Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Guest Post: Granny Cougar Goes to Church


Greetings from South Eastern Ohio, I am Granny Cougar.

I do stand-up comedy. Although I am also considered disabled, I once traveled all over the U.S.A. I now am only able to do it on a local level, but the need to write and perform has never failed in desire. While on stage, I portray an older show girl who wants all the hot young men in the audience. 

In real life I live with two gay roommates, and my boyfriend, who is older than I and has never moved past kissing. One really could hardly consider me to be a true cougar. It is however, funny, when young girls from an audience come up to me prior to a performance and beg me to “pick”, on their boyfriends. Most of my jokes are extremely for an adult crowd. When we have family gatherings they often times want me to do something. It is a scramble to figure out how to figure out how to present adult materials to a born again Christian based family. 

I was not raised around any of these people. I was raised by an old lady which escaped from a German concentration camp. As you could guess I was brought up a Jew. She has been dead for many years now. Since then I have been putting forth the effort to re-connect to my “family”. 

My birth Mother sits in the front row of her church, and has for well over thirty years. She is now in her late 70’s. When they sing, she gets up and dances. Her church is crazy like the ones you might see on television! So here I am this little Jewish American Princess (JAP) and I thought, “I should go so when she passes on I could say I danced with her when she was old.” The first time I went I could hardly sleep the night before. Mother told me that people speak in tongues there and so I did not what to expect. As you could imagine I had plenty of racing thoughts. 

That next morning my ass was dragging. During Sunday school they asked if they had anybody new and I got a jab from my beloved Mother who really did not want to raise me. So I stood up like hit with a cattle prod. Next, more people came in. While the real service started once more they asked was there anybody new, and that of course meant a new poke. I stood up and there were about eight people with me. 

If I do not have enough sleep, I can nod off most any place. The vocals from the choir was fast and she and I danced. Exhausted I set down. They sang next, slow and angelic songs. They were more like lullabies. Next, her pastor began his sermon; in the middle of it a gal jumped up and started to speak like gibberish or some sort of baby talk. Next, some man joined in and told us all what it was meant. 

I was very outside of a normal place of worship, and very confused. I admit I did start to nod off while everyone began some sort of strange prayer request thing they do partake in every Sunday. The next thing I hear is, “Come Forward!” mind you I am seated in the front row so I cannot see behind me. I thought, “Oh good here we go again.” So I took about three steps outward turned and none of the others were with me. Somewhere in my sleepy state I missed the fact that this was an invitation to be saved and join their church. 

With my Mother beaming with pride, people from every direction came to put their hands on me! I have a mental illness and part of it is social phobia. Can you imagine what this was doing to me? I began to cry and they took that to me I was in the spirit. Finally, and without trying to hurt anyone I said nicely, “Ok I’m good now I know the devil is a really bad thing and God is a really good thing please stop with the touching already! OY-VEY” 

So I am also a Pagan who sees light in many paths of faith. To recap kids, I’m a comic, Jew, Pagan, Smartass, Neo-Christian. I guess you could say, I’m a Pagan Ham Sam Witch.
~G.C.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

And The Winner Is....


The winner of our $10 Sephora Gift Card Giveaway is

(drum roll, please)

Ms. Charlene Patton! 


Charlene, if you're reading this, you subscribed to us via e-mail. We do have your e-mail address but would like to confirm it. Please get in touch with our editor, Caitlin, at caitlin.seida@gmail.com or message us on the I Feel Delicious Facebook Page. 


Thanks so much for playing, everyone!

SexYOUality: The Hardest Decision

Photo by Leigh Temple - Used Under a Creative Commons License
This story starts and ends typically: I began with the shocking revelation of an extremely unplanned pregnancy and I ended with an empty, scraped  uterus and plenty of emotional baggage to boot. The body of the story, too, oozes with the all-too-familiar bad, sad and torrid details of a seismically unsound and ultimately fractured relationship.

   Often I try to recall what I did earlier in the day before I found out I was pregnant. Had I brushed my teeth that morning or had I forgotten? Did I put lipstick on? Had I done anything out of the ordinary or had I woken up and done the same thing as every other morning, oblivious to the fact that in mere hours I would be crying, shaking, wracking my brain for ways in which to make one of the biggest decisions of my life. 

But here and there are bits and pieces scattered throughout my own story that have clung to my very being ever since December 27 2009. It has been difficult to understand why even with the end result, the loss of what I would ever so dearly call my child, my baby, I cannot seem to lay to rest all my dreams of what she or he was and would have been.

As women we are directly exposed to pregnancy, giving birth, miscarriage,  having an abortion. Our bodies in each and every one of theses scenarios  births something; be it a live child or the eternal memories of a lost one. No  matter how different each is there is confusion, suffering, happiness and  devastating loss embroiled in our womanhood. Regardless of which way any of these experiences end there is something that comes out of it that will be carried forever.

When confronted with pregnancy and the overwhelming discovery that there is a growing, living, twisting being beginning to grow inside of you, life changes. For me, almost immediately I began to instinctively touch my stomach which was still flat, hiding all signs of what had begun to live  beneath my skin. My breasts hurt and the image of latching my son or  daughter onto my own flesh constantly appeared in my head. I dreamt of naming my daughter but feared that if she ever discovered the roots of her name she would look down on her mother for her poor taste in '90s films. 

I imagined her rolling her eyes and snapping her gum at me, reaching the point where my touch would embarrass her in public. I dreamt of the moment she would yearn once again for that touch, as I did for my own mothers, and would come and collapse into me, reimagining the way I carried her as a baby. One morning I started bleeding heavily. I remember feeling guiltily relieved; my own body had taken the reigns and was making what felt to be an insurmountable decision on my behalf. I had considered abortion -- I was 21, broke, pregnant while taking birth control and six months in to a relationship with a long-haired stoner (who subsequently sat in the abortion clinic waiting room reading a graphic novel, hungry for Taco Bell). But the moment I peed on a cheap looking white stick and saw one too many blue lines appear I felt pregnant. I felt like a mother.

Many people told me that I would fail as a parent. Most often they warned me against parenthood without a degree, a reliable job, owning my own home or the precise assurance that my life would run smoothly. When I began bleeding, thinking I was starting to lose parts and pieces of my child, I decided I would need to go for an abortive procedure. I scheduled an appointment at a private clinic one week later.

I arrived at the clinic with my mother, my boyfriend and my best friend. My mother couldn't quite hide her relief; her 21 year old daughter wouldn't be having a baby unexpectedly, without every "I" dotted and "T" crossed. My best friend was there for me, and my boyfriend for obligation and the free food that would be purchased on the drive home after my 11 week old  fetus had been sucked out from inside of me. I made my way into the back and had a very nice anesthesiologist attempt to administer twilight sedation into veins in my dehydrated feet, legs, arm, neck and hands. His name was Steve, he told me. He put his hand on my forehead to ask me if I was okay. I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. As I was waiting for Steve to get a vein the doctor, a brisk looking blonde woman who never introduced herself to me (perhaps there wasn't a good enough moment, seeing as I was strapped down to a table, tears streaming down my face) performed a vaginal ultrasound. I heard her say the pregnancy sac was "still" intact. Steve touched my forehead again.

I woke up some matter of minutes later. I stayed in a recovery room until the nurses felt I was ready to walk. I stumbled out into the office waiting room, wearing what I have since coined the "abortion robe". My mother, boyfriend and friend all stood at the same moment, sharing the same look of love/confusion/concern/discomfort and out we walked. People holding signs screamed, called me a murderer, asked me what it felt like to kill my baby so close to Christmas. We kept walking and made it to my mother's white luxury vehicle equipped with a beige, leather interior (I wondered and worried that I may leave parts of my dead child in between the seams). 

We started the car, pulled out of the abortion clinic parking lot. My mother asked if anyone was hungry. My boyfriend, the man who had impregnated me, touched my stomach, had told me he would love me, love us forever, offered that he was in the mood for tacos. We stopped at the drive through, my mother asked me if I wanted anything but I couldn't tell her that all I was wondering was where the pieces of my baby were. Was she or he in a trash can, wrapped in blue medical paper? I looked at the ultrasound the doctor had given me: my before and after. I saw a circular shape on the left hand side, my baby. On the right I saw nothing but a vast blackness; a terrifying night without a single star. I told my mother I was not hungry and 
we began our drive home.



About the Author: 

Mikaela Jensen-Roseman came into this world in 20 minute flat. To this day, her mother claims that may indicate something about her personality. Jensen-Roseman was born and raised in Philadelphia but made from a heart and body constantly yearning for travel and impulsive adventure. She's known for her ability to scold dogs for misbehavior, roadtripping, injuries involving metal fencing and peeing quicker than at least 95% of the remaining female population. You can get in touch with her via e-mail, or of course here on I Feel Delicious! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fat Girl Fashion On A Budget: Lingerie for Valentine's Day

As a plus size model, if there's one thing I love more than lingerie it's cheap lingerie that fits my frame. There's an abundance of places out there for us larger ladies to get some stunning bedroom outfits (Hips and Curves and Curvy Girl Lingerie are the two that come to mind that I absolutely LOVE!) but these places can break the bank in an instant. If you're looking to play around with your style this Valentine's Day, either to surprise your lover or just feel like the princess you are and don't want to invest in something that you may find unflattering, spring for one of these cheap finds. 

Longline bras are totally retro and totally flattering on larger frames. Delicate and lacy numbers can look disproportionate and not provide a lot of support (although if you're dressing up for your partner instead of yourself, chances are it'll be on the floor before you ever NEED the support.) Long line bras also have the added advantage of sucking in any chub around your ribcage, making your waist look thinner by comparison. The wide straps on this make it appropriate for everyday wear, so it's not strictly a bedroom item, either. No slipping straps? That's a good thing. This piece from DebShops runs $17.90 and can be paired with your favorite black lace boyshort -or if you're daring, a thong or g-string. 


Show him (or her!) what she's getting with just a peek through the delicate mesh of this slip-style nightgown. In bright coral, it's flattering to a wide variety of skintones and the straight cut to the hips with a slight flair is flattering on a variety of figures. At $13.99, it's hard to pass this one up. 




Say you're feeling a little naughty but still want to look nice. At $17.95, this floral patterned lace teddy and matching stockings set from Yandy.com is just the ticket. It hugs your curves, shows off your cleavage and has sassy lace-up detailing at the bust. For a teddy and stockings, the price is great. 

Plus size burlesque-style corset and skirt from IntimatesCare.com - $29.58

I cannot tell you how in love I am with this corset. It's got a bustle detail, so for larger girls without the hips or butt to proportion their bust, this is a great find. It's got a steel busk closure at the front, which is a good thing - you don't want that to snap. For the price, I wouldn't expect a quality corset with steel boning, though I can't say since I don't own this piece (yet!). It's more for play than for actual waist cinching. Still, you'll look fabulous whether you wear it for its own sake or as part of a saloon girl or steampunk roleplay for your lover. At $29.58, it's worth giving it a try. 



Pink plus size babydoll from tidebuy.com - $29.99

If your style is more sweet than sexy, check out this pink babydoll from tidebuy.com. At $29.99, this simple design is guaranteed to give you lots of wear. Pair it with stockings and gloves for an elegant look, or just wear it to bed after you've changed your sheets (I'm not the only one who likes to shower and get dolled up just to roll around in new sheets, am I?). In a bubblegum pink, this piece screams "Sweet!" 

We want to hear from you. What's your favorite place to find plus size lingerie that doesn't break the bank? 


About the Author:

Caitlin Seida has been writing since 2006, with her work appearing on various websites including Livestrong.com, TypeF.com, Salon.com, Dogster.com and The Daily Puppy. A Jill-of-All-Trades, she splits her workday as a writer, humane society advocate and on-call vet tech. What little free time she has goes into pinup modeling, advocating for self-acceptance, knitting and trying to maintain her haunted house (really!). You can find her on Facebook, on Twitter, and of course here on I Feel Delicious!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What is Respect in a Romantic Relationship?

Eye Candy Girl Emily - Courtesy of Terri Jean Photography

By Barbara Alvarez

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” We’ve all heard that old Aretha Franklin tune. Mom and dad gave that song to me – in the form of a 45 rpm vinyl record when I was but a teen. (Now that you know my vintage ...) Aretha sang about respect and Tina Turner sang about “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” in her movie. (Turner wrote a book, then adapted the book into her movie, “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” referencing her years of isolation and abuse.)

Eye Candy Girl Brandi Reminding You To Respect Yourself!

Respecting Yourself 

Know what your self-worth is. “I’m always getting yelled at and put down. Why?” Could it be the message you’re putting out, even if you’re not aware you’re doing so? Before you can receive respect from others, you have to respect yourself.

You’re not truly better than others, but you do have worth in this world. With your circle of friends, family and coworkers, you should be communicating, “I am worthy. I know what I know.”
Nobody has the right to put their hands on you in anger, especially when you do not want that. When you communicate with others, they should respect you in word and deed. You are worth more than put-downs and swear words.



Respecting Your Partner

If you expect to be respected, you need to demonstrate respect to your romantic partner, as well as to coworkers, family and friends. When you’re angry at him, think before speaking. Yes, in the heat of the moment, blurting something out just to punish him feels good – but what about later?

Your words and actions act just like the sharpest knife in the drawer – they cut and hurt. It’s impossible to take them back. Throttle those words and say, “I need some time.” Walk away, go for a run or hit the punching bag. Once you’re calmer, come back and discuss the issue – rationally. 

Eye Candy Girl Natalie Communicating! 

Ways of Showing Respect

 Because you want to be respected, you need to be ready to show respect. After all, part of showing you’re worthy of respect means you need to give the same consideration. We’ve already covered careful word choice. Let’s cover a few other ways:

√ Respect his emotional and physical boundaries. These include his time, touching and honoring his need to be with others or by himself;

√ Be considerate, thoughtful and helpful;

√ Notice when he’s done the laundry or made dinner reservations for you. More than just 
“noticing,” speak up and say, “I appreciate this;”

√ Compromise. Give and take builds a relationship;


Establishing Your Expectations 


This takes place at the beginning of every relationship – or it should. Here’s a few ways of doing so:

√ Be honorable. Be where you say you’ll be and do what you say you’re going to do;

√ Understand your own self worth. This includes your body, feelings and opinions;

√ Practice good character. Earning respect is much easier;

√ Establish firm boundaries. Don’t make excuses for poor behavior, especially when they cause harm to you;

√ Give respect. If you can’t, why are you with him?

When you’re able to see yourself with respect, others sense this and are less likely to act against you. If they do, take appropriate action and cut them out of your life. In the words of Miss Abileen (“The Help”), “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” (Source)



Barbara Alvarez earned her journalism and mass communications degree in December, 2006 and has been writing professionally since that time.

Alvarez has written and self-published two books, one non-fiction and one fiction. The non-fiction is intended for a military spouse niche. This book is written under a pen name: Diana M. Lopez.

The fiction is intended for anyone who loves to read about strong men and stronger women who confront conflict even as they learn to adjust their beliefs about relationships and love.

Alvarez plans to write until she is very old – it is in her blood, along with crochet and cross stitch. She is the mother of two grown sons.


You can keep up with Barbara at her website, or follow her on Facebook.  Of course you can also keep an eye out here for more of her work on I Feel Delicious!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Significant Other Approves - +10!


By Keelah Monster Cosplay

Valentine’s Day is coming up and whether you are celebrating with your cosplayer in a home you share or meeting them somewhere, or even celebrating at Katsucon as I wish Robert (my boyfriend) and I were (we’re having a belated Valentine’s Day due to his senior year being a large workload this year), you want to get them the perfect gift possible, maybe a nice little figurine or keychain if you’re just starting out, perhaps a collar or cuff that matches one of the their cosplays or fandoms if you’re serious (Or a piece of jewelry if you’re super serious).

But keep in mind, above all most geeks and cosplayers want something cool, fun, and unique that fits their interest, DeBeers and the like will tell you diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but the fact of the matter is that diamonds are cold, hard, impersonal, and come from a bevy of disgusting practices including child slavery and modern colonialism not to mention are severely up charged, misrepresented, and overrated simply because some fat cat company says so at the expense of thousands of African children.

 Social justice indignation aside, you can read more about the massive problems with the diamond industry here at Amnesty International, I’m here to help you pick out a gift for your cosplay SO, so here’s a few suggestions that are a bit more wallet friendly (and most of them are more human rights friendly too!) than diamonds.


8 Bit Flower Bouquet from ThinkGeek - $10


For this post, I’m not going to suggest things specifically, I’m going to suggest places to go and ways to figure out what your SO would like. I don’t know your love interest, so I’m not sure entirely what you should get them, this is using examples from my experience on what to do. For the sake of avoiding hypocrisy and also making sure you find the most unique and amazing gift possible, I’m going to avoid most mainstream stores and tell you flat out that Etsy or making something yourself or commissioning a crafty friend is point blank the best way to go, but if you don’t mind some potential sweatshop labor, Thinkgeek is a tried and true surefire shop for any geek to give gifts, they are a great company, but again, shop at your own risk as far as sweatshop items because they’re more a geek department store than a place that makes their own items, granted not every mass produced item is sweatshop fodder, you may find some that are in a place so big and diverse.

From The Hobbit Collection by Shiro Cosmetics
So, here are some basic ideas for things your cosplayer may like that can be bought from known reputable companies: Does your cosplayer have their makeup pallet yet? It doesn’t matter what gender they are, every cosplayer worth their salt (barring skin allergies of course) usually likes to have a pallet for their character even if it’s just some concealer or bronzer. Well don’t worry, because Shiro Cosmetics has you covered. It’s owned by a lovely person named Caitlin (not to be confused with IFD’s Caitlin, who while wonderful, isn’t the same Caitlin!) and I have personally received assistance from her in selecting pallets for many of my cosplays. Is your SO cosplaying a character with a non-human skin color like gray or purple or green? Well if you email her with the character’s name and a pic in case she isn’t familiar with them, she can help you put together a lovely three color pallet for toning and blending AND she’ll sell you the colors at an increased size so they can be used as foundation. Also, most of her colors can be made into high pigment lip glosses.


Arcane Magic: Dark Fantasy by Fyrinnae Cosmetics
Shiro doesn’t have exactly the color you need or you don’t need that much, just an eye shadow? Or maybe you need some epoxy or some shimmer? Well head on over to Fyrinnae cosmetics. All their products are vegan, long lasting, and I can personally attest to their variety and vibrance. They have wonderful customer service, though they don’t offer the same size customization and personalization that Shiro Cosmetics does. Also, their lip products may look like glosses, but they aren’t! They’re actually long lasting opaque lipsticks; they are simply applied like gloss. Both shops are reasonably priced and a good alternative to the sham of a business that is Lime Crime (As with my above rant, feel free to look up their years of poor business practices, shoddy formulas, and upcharges on basic micas, not to mention borderline racist advertising for their China Doll set).

Makeup not for your SO or they’re very picky about it? Not a problem, consider browsing Etsy or asking a crafty acquaintance to sell you a small prop or accessory piece, you can find almost anything for any fandom there, from ribbons to jewelry to prop weapons to masks and latex pieces, commissioning some small finishing touch can be the most thoughtful gesture imaginable to a cosplayer since so much of our expendable income goes towards costumes.

A Brony's dream


On that note, another thoughtful gift is something completely unrelated to cosplay that your SO could otherwise not afford because of the combination of bills and cosplay costs. I am an avid tea drinker and while not my SO, one of my best friends frequently buys me tea or accessories for making a better cup of tea since she knows I could never afford those things on my own. Be it cute casual clothes, alt fashions they like, snacks or drinks they enjoy, even a bottle of their favorite alcohol, one less extra thing they no longer need to debate setting cosplay money aside for is a gift in and of itself. Hell, I also collect figurines particularly Mass Effect and My Little Pony, my BF got me Soarin’ and Spitfire as well as a few other blind bags last year for my MLP collection, and then this year he got me Garrus and Grunt Funko POP! Figures to go with my Tali and Mordin figures. Books also never go amiss.


The Ferrari Wig by Arda Wigs
Another big cosplay piece you could offer help with is a wig. While there are other places, I recommend Arda Wigs or The Five Wits. Arda has a larger selection that comes in a bigger variety of colors and are better for styling, but Five Wits has many great pre-styled wigs for those who can’t style for themselves or don’t have the time. Their prices are close enough that neither will break your bank and both are subject to multiple sales a year AND Arda now has a punch tab discount program.

Don’t buy wigs on Etsy. Buying a custom styling job is different, but don’t buy pre-styled wigs on Etsy as a rule as many of the MLP wigs that are sold there are actually either two cheap wigs sewn together or one cheap, unstyled wig with ears attached. Buy your ears from Yaya Han or have them commissioned and clip or strap them onto your head or wig, it’s not worth a $60 upcharge for a shoddy pair of ears to be sewn into a $15 wig as some wig sellers on Etsy have been known to do. Arda has many tutorials, Five Wits has many pre-styled wigs that are inexpensive, and Etsy has many talented stylists who you can commission to style a wig that you bought or picked out. Don’t fall for a scam.

Now this last suggestion is likely out of most price ranges, but if it isn’t and your cosplayer doesn’t make their own costumes, having a full costume commissioned for them that they’ve been wanting is a very, very thoughtful and kind gesture. The problem is the inexpensive ones you see online are generally from sweatshops or worse, Milanoo, which buys at random from different sweatshops so not only are you getting poor quality and slave labor work, but also you don’t even know just how poor the quality.

 The reason this will break your bank is that you HAVE TO go to a reputable commissioner and the average seamstress wage (at least in most cities I’ve looked into) is $25 an hour, costume work can take days, in my first article you may recall I broke down how long Tali and Jaina each took me? And the thing is, those weren’t even the final drafts. Think long and hard about this one unless you bring in a six figure income yearly, but it IS a nice, thoughtful gesture.

Mana and Health Necklace Set - $24 by ZooZim on Etsy

Apart from the aspects of finances and picking between many wonderful options, the act of buying a gift for your cosplayer should be a snap if you know them well enough. And if you’ve only just started dating? Play it safe and get them something small and simple.

Price and size shouldn’t matter for a gift, these are only loose suggestions based on what a cosplay requires to be completed, in the end all that matters is that you thought of your loved one on Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air, so grab your love interest of choice and hit Silver sun Strip for some DLC style dating!...But don’t go for sushi...Trust me…You Mass Effect fans know what I’m saying.


Keelah Monster (formerly Tali'Belle) is a fashion and costume design student with twelve years of cosplay experience. She operates Fleet and Flotilla: Dextro Couture and Salvage on Etsy. Her main cosplay is Tali'Zorah Vas Normandy and her current preferred convention is Dragon Con. You can keep up with her on DeviantArt  or Twitter. And of course, you can find her posts here on I Feel Delicious!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Link Roundup - Sunday, February 9th

"Angry Rosie" by Basistka on DeviantArt.com
The Harry Potter World gets shaken, a five year old gets death threats, a special man pays off elementary school students' lunch debts, cute Shiba Inu dogs, fat ballerinas and personal care and personal health round out our links for the week. Check it all out - there's a lot happening in the blog-o-sphere this week!


Everyone's favorite wordsmith of the wizarding world has admitted that she should not have put Ron and Hermione together in the Harry Potter 'verse. Wait, what? I'm not sure how I feel about the admission that Harry and Hermione should have been together. Opposites attract and Ron and Hermione seem like a good pair based on that. Read more of Andrew Sims' article on Hypeable. 

We covered Selfies this past week, and we're big fans of shaming those who are assholes online. Yahoo reports on artist Lindsay Bottos, who took screenshots of abusive comments left on her selfies and put them to good use (Way to go Lindsay!) in an art project entitled Anonymous, seen here on her website. Be forewarned, the stupidity of people exhibited in the project is overwhelming. Lindsay, if you see this, we'd love to have an interview. You belong on our wall of fame!

Kelly Glover over at Big Curvy Love reports on a new UK reality TV Series, Big Ballet, which takes larger women and turns them into ballet dancers. While I like the idea in theory, the reality has the capacity to be harsh and cruel. We'll see how it goes. View the article and trailer here at Big Curvy Love's blog. 

One of our favorite bloggers, Sally over at Already Pretty, reminds us of the link between personal style and self care. As someone who suffers from depression, I can attest that when I'm at my worst, my personal care and styling goes out the window in favor of yoga pants and baggy T-shirts (nothing wrong with that, but coupled with not showering? Yikes!). When I need a pick me up, something as simple as an at-home facial or doing my nails can do wonders to pull me out of my own darkness just a little. Check out Sally's post here at the Already Pretty Blog. 

Elys over at Avonex and 8 Wheels shares a personal plea for courage in her post Skating the Yellow Brick Road. Read it here, it's powerful and moving.

Dr. Louise over at HealthySmartsMD shares her thoughts on a study linking added sugar to death from cardiovascular disease. This is of particular note for us PCOS cysters, as carb craving is a BIG deal. Check out Dr. Louise's post here at the HealthySmartsMD blog. 

Lisa Mercer over at Top Ten Social Media shares 10 sites you should check out for health information. See the full list here.  She covers men's health, women's, teen's, children's and resources in case you're having trouble affording your meds. Thanks, Lisa!

Molly over at Kihaku Shibas writes a wonderful piece on Shiba Inu dog breeds in "It's Not a Question of If a Shiba is Right For You, It's a Question of If You're Right for A Shiba".  Read more about this beautiful dog breed - and their needs - at her blog.

The Today Show reports on Kenny Thompson, a "Lunch Angel" from Texas who paid of over $400 worth of delinquent student lunch accounts of local elementary school students. Read more here.  Be prepared to cry.

And if that restored your faith in humanity, be prepared to lose it again. The Daily Dot reports on Disney Star Mia Talercio. Talercio's show, "Good Luck Charlie" recently introduced a same-sex couple, prompting some ignorant jackasses to issue death threats to the star - a five year old girl. Get real, people. Read more here. 

Get your heart warmed up again. James Nichols over at the Huffington Post reports on a high school bully learning a lesson. When the former bully learned his gay former classmate was marrying the love of his life because a the marriage proposal went violent, this bully-turned-ally APOLOGIZED. Read more here. 

Rounding out our links is this awesome video of an older (in body but not in spirit!) couple dancing the shag. Charlie and Jackie have been dancing together for 30 years and they have the most amazing chemistry. View the awesome video and their slammin' steps here. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

You Ain't Right: Misses and Mrs. At the Polls




Did you know 34 out of 50 states in America require some form of ID in order to vote? And laws are only getting stricter. Proponents of the laws state that it cracks down on voter fraud - a phenom experts and pundits alike say is almost non-existent. But these laws - meant to protect the integrity of the American voting system, have an unintended side effect: They make it harder for women to 
vote. 

Before you think I'm jumping to conclusions or engaging in hyperbole, hear me out. Let's take a walk in the shoes of our friend Sally. Sally is a newlywed. Sally, like 90 percent of women, took her husband's last name. Sally dutifully changed her social security card, ID, bank cards and vital documents to reflect her new last name. But oh, no! Sally forgot to update her voter registration. In some states, Sally could be turned away entirely because the last name on her ID does not reflect the last name on her voter registration records. In other states, Sally will have to cast a provisional ballot.


These laws are majorily Republic sponsored. And while not all Republicans (as people) have a problem with women, a lot of anti-woman legislation has been introduced by the Republican Party. They aren't exactly the most XX-chromosome-friendly political party out there, ladies, in case you've been hiding under a rock for the past decade or so. I don't care what Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann, or even Ann Coulter say- the Republican Party does NOT have the best interests of women at heart.


And guess what? These laws make it harder for Democratic voters to get their ballots cast. Minorities, those living below the poverty level (who may be so poor that they can't even afford to get an ID, or update it if they move often), and the young are all affected by these laws. But so are women. All of these groups tend to vote more Democratic than men - who rarely change their names and are less likely to be affected at the polls by a registration vs. ID conflict.


So what does this matter? According to a poll by Marie Claire Magazine, 41 percent of women took or want to take their spouse's name, 32 percent of women want to keep their name, 14 percent of women plan to use their name professionally but take their spouse's name personally, 11 percent like hypenation and 1 percent want their spouse to take their name, while another 1 percent plan to take or have taken a mutually agreed upon or created last name. All but one of these options - the most traditional form of a woman taking her spouse's last name - could pose problems at the polls.

We spoke to our readers to get their feedback. Reader Betty, from Ohio, who took her husband's last name, never had a problem. She lives in Ohio, one of the states that requires some form of ID (but not necessarily a government issued photo ID). Jamie, from New York, took her husband's last name also, but was worried. New York does not request or require any form of ID in order to vote (Hear that, Jamie? You're good to go! Unless, of course, you move.) Suzie from Pennsylvania has had a lot of problems. Although she kept her last name, Suzie moved recently and didn't see the point in spending money on updating her ID to reflect her new street address since she lives in the same town.

Unfortunately for Suzie, Pennsylvania is one of the states that requires a government issued photo ID in order to vote. This past election season, Suzie was turned away from the polls. "I still haven't updated my ID," she says. "I don't think it's fair that I should have to pay $30+ just because some dumbass at a clerical office needs to see it on plastic. I can show a utility bill anywhere else to prove my change in address. Why can't I do that at the polls? What? Are that many people paying other peoples' electric bills? I don't think so." Clearly Suzie was not amused.


And then we've got the whopping issue of same sex marriage. Couples who get married in other states, where gay marriage is legal, may have trouble changing their names and information in their home states (where gay marriage may or may not be legal). Not only is this a headache and a half, but it can be costly and time-consuming when it comes to updating IDs. And we all know how the Republican Party (not necessarily its constitutents, but the party itself) feels about gay marriage...



So tell us, ladies...What are your thoughts on voting laws? Do they unfairly effect women? Have you ever had trouble at the polls? Is requiring ID to vote even constitutional? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. We want to hear from YOU. 

----------

Caitlin Seida has been writing since 2006, with her work appearing on various websites including Livestrong.com, TypeF.com, Salon.com, Dogster.com and The Daily Puppy. A Jill-of-All-Trades, she splits her workday as a writer, humane society advocate and on-call vet tech. What little free time she has goes into pinup modeling, advocating for self-acceptance, knitting and trying to maintain her haunted house (really!). You can find her on Facebook, on Twitter, and of course here on I Feel Delicious!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

SexYOUality Corner: The Oui Vibe



So we're introducing a new feature here at I Feel Delicious: The SexYOUality corner. Each month we'll be reviewing a new toy, accessory, or sexual aide that you should know about. This isn't going to be sleazy though, ladies. We're gonna class it up and bring these toys and aides out of dark, dimly lit stores and into the open. Since we do have some younger readers, please verify the fact that you are over 18 years old to view this feature and continue by clicking the link below.



It's still not too late to enter to win a Sephora Gift Card!

Yep, you read that right. We're running a contest at I Feel Delicious. We want to spread our message far and wide - empowerment for women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Young, old(er), able-bodied, disabled, high self esteem, low self esteem, gay, straight, trans, anywhere in between and more.

So what do you have to do?

It's pretty simple:

1. Follow our blog. There's a couple ways to do this - by e-mail or your favorite blog reader. In fact, there's a few links to your right-hand side as you're reading this that you can use to follow or subscribe to us.

2. "Like" our Facebook page (click here). Or hop over to http://www.facebook.com/ifeeldelicious and click that little "like" button.

3. Comment below and tell us that you're out there! We want to know more about you - our readers - so we
can continue to provide quality content that meets your needs and interests.


That's it. Three simple steps. The contest will end on February 14, 2014. The winner, chosen at random from the comments below, will receive a $10 e-gift card to Sephora to use on all sorts of beauty goodies. The winner will be announced the 15th of February here on the blog.  That's one full month to get yourself in the running. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your cat.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Starter Quests Are the Worst! (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Newbies)

By Keelah Monster Cosplay (Formerly Tali'Belle)

No matter what your goal in the cosplay community or any alt scene for that matter, it pays to be nice. Better to be a Margaery than a Cersei, after all if you intend to be queen. When people like you, they are more likely to do things for you and more likely to genuinely want to see you succeed. To better explain my comparison to non-George R.R. Martin fans, when Cersei Lannister was queen of king’s landing, she acted like it put her far above everyone else and flaunted her wealth and influence and all her family could do to punish people who crossed her, Margaery Tyrell played the game better, though, she walked among the people, helped them and took personal interest in them. Guess who that worked out better for? (At least so far, no one’s lifespan is guaranteed in those books.)


Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones

But anyway let’s begin with the cosplay community. There are people who are just starting out and they all go about the anxiety that comes with taking to such a new, involved, highly critical cosplay in very different ways. Some put up a front with bravado and pretend they know more than they do, some are quiet and frightened to ask for advice and then become defensive when someone might be better or offer advice, and then there’s the dreaded weeaboo. Loud, excitable, overly obsessive, unable to interact properly or politely, taking most of their public mannerisms from GIR of Invader Zim fame or Foamy the Squirrel with disastrous results for the image of their fandom and the cosplay community as a whole. These people, like their gothic equivalent, Baby Bats, like to believe that they and they alone are unique in a world full of Barbie clones and posers, they often spawn internal misogyny or nice guy syndrome where they believe that other members of their gender are vapid, cruel, and mean as I mentioned before in my ‘fake geek girl’ post. Above all, this kind of person is very annoying.

However stop and think for a second. Everyone’s been in a situation where they felt different and ostracized. In those scenarios isn’t it a kneejerk reaction to believe that you are Wednesday Addams in a world of Amanda Buckmans? Of course it is, and isn’t it fun to see Wednesday screw up that trite, uncomfortably racist first Thanksgiving play by setting things on fire? Of course it was, and that’s fine, movies where someone like you is the protagonist and makes the
vapid jerks pay are cathartic, but in real life it is never so black and white. Even Kim Kardashian and Megan Fox have feelings and dreams and things that make them human no matter how awful they may seem as human beings. Not every slender blonde with a Prada bag and Abercrombie and Fitch outfit is an evil bimbo who hates you. But can a kid who’s grown up with nothing but movie interpretations of interactions with ‘normies’ possibly fathom that?


Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones
Consider, many people who latch onto fringe cultures already have trouble fitting in, they can feel ostracized, some may have social anxiety or be awkward around others. As a young teen or preteen who already has these feelings, also finding a love for alt culture is one more thing they can feel prevents them from fitting in, throw in that at that age everyone is immature and bullying is a very real problem, and it can become very easy for them to conclude those movies were true. Someone is going to dump pig’s blood on them at the prom or lock them in the Harmony Hut or even physically hurt them in their mind and so an all too common defense mechanism is to lash out first or write off everyone as a vapid poser Barbie wannabe clone. Believe me, I know. That’s why it’s so hard to write my Lipstick Love Letter piece.

When I was twelve, I went to regular public school. I grew up on a heavy dose of sci-fi, horror, teen comedies, and geek culture. In elementary school that’s really okay, few people are going to bully you because everyone plays Pokemon in elementary school, everyone collects action figures, everyone watches cartoons, things are pretty well universal when you’re a child no matter what the glittery pink aisle that boldly insisted ‘GIRLS’ at the toy store wanted you to believe, as far as we were concerned in elementary school, Esmeralda could be rescued from Frollo by the timely intervention of the Autobots and no one would bat an eyelash, Princess Aurora was secretly the pink Power Ranger and sleep fought Rita Repulsa...and/or Maleficent, same headpiece style and all. But I digress. The point is, suddenly as you grow up, everyone’s interests shift…or stay relatively the same but start to incorporate new ideas and feelings from a maturing mind, suddenly all my friends who used to want to trade Pokemon or play Sailor Moon were into the dreaded makeup, boys, cheerleading! And of course being raised on teen movies that taught me cheerleaders were mean bullies, I panicked.

So I put on my Hot Topic gear, got some makeup of my own (ANTI-MAKEUP) and shunned things like Charmed and The OC and other things teenage girls watched in favor of Utena and Hellsing. And like so many weeaboos and baby bats before me, I was loud and proud about my interests to the point of being disruptive and rude, but you couldn’t tell me that, oh no, everyone was mean to me because I was different and special and they just couldn’t handle that, not because I went off on tangents about my anime to the point that we never got out of a lesson early even when other classes had. Not because I begged my English teacher to let me read terrible fan fiction in class as extra credit or because I openly told people from my school that I hated it and everyone there was a baka gaijin who didn’t understand the amazing depth of my manga collection (to be fair, I still enjoy a lot of my manga, I stand by it being pretty trippy and cool.)


Hurtful meme found on the Internet directed at Weeaboos


 I never once stopped to think that I was being rude and forcing something these other kids had no interest in on them, they didn’t hate me because I was different, they hated me because I was an insufferable jerk who took it upon myself to force my interests on them when for the most part none of them ever tried to do the same. And even then there were people who were still nice to me. The cheerleader who secretly loved Card Captor Sakura, the football captain who chatted cheerfully about his favorite Final Fantasy strategies, but I overlooked these people and acted like a grade A jerk. Which doesn’t excuse the older kids beating me up or shoving me down stairs, but rest assured I was not just some innocent victim that everyone hated because she was so special.

Then I went to a private school where most of the kids were just like me, creative, into what I was, weird, quirky, artsy. The problem was most of us brought our clique problems and social structure beliefs with us to school but no one wanted to admit that so did they, which continued the cycle of bullying and hatred, except now it was geek-on-geek bullying. There were only really two upper classmen who ever really stood by me and befriended me entirely instead of bullying or ignoring me and my group. One of those people was Caitlin Seida, who brought me into writing for I Feel Delicious. She was also the one who took time (in small doses) to talk to me and show me that not everyone was against me and eventually I grew up into a half-way decent person. I still have moments of vehement dislike for people I don’t know based on something they do that rubs me the wrong way, but with time and patience, I can look past whatever my initial dislike came from, be it annoying over enthusiasm, bravado bordering on Miles Gloriosus, or genuine rudeness.

All most newbies need is a gentle guiding hand to push them in the right direction and learn to understand what they’re doing wrong and why it bothers people. Everyone needs a friend, everyone deserves to be loved and cared for and to experience an element of human kindness, and every young kid just getting into a subculture needs to be taught the basics. You weren’t perfect when you started wearing Lolita, your first cosplay wasn’t screen accurate, perfect, and handmade, your first goth ensemble wasn’t top of the line Euro-goth couture or Harajuku finds, you started somewhere and so must they. So offer your hand in friendship, not in punishment. Be a Margaery, not a Cersei.


Keelah Monster (formerly Tali'Belle) is a fashion and costume design student with twelve years of cosplay experience. She operates Fleet and Flotilla: Dextro Couture and Salvage on Etsy. Her main cosplay is Tali'Zorah Vas Normandy and her current preferred convention is Dragon Con. You can keep up with her on DeviantArt  or Twitter. And of course, you can find her posts here on I Feel Delicious!






Sunday, February 2, 2014

Link Roundup - Sunday February 2, 2014

Baby, it's cold outside! Most of the US is experiencing a cold snap. Tempers are running high, everyone is stuck inside. So what are you gonna do about it? You're gonna check out these DELICIOUS news stories from the past week. Scroll past the Gil Elvgren penguin pinup girl to start reading. It's worth it!  ~Caitlin



Experts are up in arms over the petition started by a teen to include a plus size Disney princess. I think it's a fabulous article. Read more here in an Examiner article by Kathryn Darden  and more on this and plus size mannequins and their effect on realistic body image in an article by Marcey Cruz at Plus Model Magazine, here.

Skinny middle class white girl goes to Yoga class. Skinny middle class white girl notices overweight black girl in class and makes assumptions about her based on skin color and weight. Read the original article here and the rebuttal here at Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss by Erika Nicole Kendall. Bravo, Erika.

Facebook user uploads a video of a fat chick dancing (and rocking out). She captions it with derisive words, but this girl has some moves and is worth watching. It makes me want to dance again. Check out the video here. 

In XOJane's "It Happened to Me" feature, Bree Davis details what it's like to be friends with an Internet troll. Read more here. 

Maternity wear is hard to find. Plus size maternity wear that doesn't look like a potato sack is almost impossible to find. Sally over at Already Pretty suggests some awesome plus size maternity wear options that are stylish and look super comfy. See her picks here. 

Speaking of style and fashion: Meet Jillian Mercado. She's a model for Diesel and she has muscular dystrophy. This girl just might be my new hero. Read her story here, at Refinery29. 

Jilly over at Refashionista.net shows us how to make a Johnny Was designer tunic look-alike - for less than $5. See her inspiration and the refashion here, on Wannabe Wednesday at the Refashionista blog.

Agence France-Presse over at Rappler raps on a study that shows sex and pregnancy are poorly understood by women in the US. Read the article here.  And keep an eye out on I Feel Delicious as we aim to change that - sex and sexuality are fun! And an important part of your health and wellness.

Fox News reports that being shorter may lead to feelings of inferiority. I'm not sure how I feel about this, as someone who's only a hair over 5 foot 3 inches. Read the article here.  Maybe Napoleon just had low self-esteem?

The Telegraph posted an article here, on how two women could change the face and future of South Africa. Strong women in global politics - we like that.

Aziza al Habsi reports on the aspiriations of women in the Middle East. Read her article here, at the Oman Observer. 

Pope Francis is up to causing trouble again. This time, he said publicly that women should have a larger role in the Catholic Church. Read more here at Time. He's silent on the subject of ordaining women priests, though. So we can only guess what he's up to now. Go Frankie, Go!

Matthew Tucker reports on the work of Sean Scheidt, where burlesque performers are shown in costume and then in their everyday wear. Breaking down the idea that burlesque performers are all tramps, whores or worse, this piece on Buzzfeed is a must see. 


Got a news-worthy link? A blog post you want to share? Let us know. Post in the comments below or get ahold of us on our Facebook Page. We want to see your work and hear your opinions!


Groundhog Day: Do You Keep Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again?


February 2 is Groundhog Day, a day to celebrate a garden pest that most people try to get rid of but look forward to seeing this one day a year. Funny? Not so much. *Actually* funny though is the 1993 movie of the same name starring Bill Murray, where he lives the same day over and over again. I've included a tribute to that movie from my favorite TV Show "Supernatural" to catch you guys up on the concept, just in case you need a refresher.



But really, it begs the question - are you doing the same thing over and over again? Making the same mistakes in life, love, at work, at school? Are you unhappy? Why do you keep doing it?

The only way to break out of that Groundhog Day mentality is to reexamine your life, your goals, your priorities and your actions. So what are you waiting for? Go forth and make sure you aren't living the same day over and over again out of the same bad habits you've had for a long time. Start loving yourself - poke your head out into the world, and don't be afraid if you see your own shadow. Spring will come eventually.


Caitlin Seida has been writing since 2006, with her work appearing on various websites including Livestrong.com, TypeF.com, Salon.com, Dogster.com and The Daily Puppy. A Jill-of-All-Trades, she splits her workday as a writer, humane society advocate and on-call vet tech. What little free time she has goes into pinup modeling, advocating for self-acceptance, knitting and trying to maintain her haunted house (really!). You can find her on Facebook, on Twitter, and of course here on I Feel Delicious!


It happened today in women's history


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tips for Smokin' Hot Selfies!

Selfies, though a new term, is not a new idea. I've been doing it for years. I use self-portraits to create my own press photos, to entertain myself and my friends, to goof off, document my life, and.. well.. I do it because I can. Over the years I actually got pretty good at it. Of course, being a professional photographer has something to do with it.

Recent Selfies - documenting my 40's.
But I do have some tips.. a secret here and there. Here's my top 10:


 
1.       LIGHT: Make sure you are lit from the front or the side. The best light will come from a natural light source, such as a window or light from the outdoors. If inside, you can use a white posterboard to bounce light and direct it onto you. For example, sit on a chair facing a window. Place a posterboard on your lap and reflect the light onto your face, but hide it from the camera. This will fill in harsh shadows and create a soft look. You can also use the sun when outside, but it’s best on a cloudy day because the clouds filter the bright light. If you do not have clouds, sit under a tree. Sitting for portraits in direct sunlight is a myth. You’ll squint and create lots of shadows.

 
2.       BACKGROUND: How’s your background? Are there a lot of stuff sitting around you? Is the wall distracting? Does it look like a plant or tree is poking out of your head? Look around for a spot that has as many solid colors or textures as possible. Brick buildings, wood siding, a solid colored wall or a wooded backdrop all make great backgrounds. Just remember, the less busy the background, the more the viewer will focus on YOU.

 
3.       DO SOMETHING! If you have the same pose, the same look, the same head tilt in every photo, it’s going to get boring. Even if you’re having dinner or walking the dog, THAT makes a far more interesting photo than just you, again, smiling like you always do… every single time.

 
4.       LOOK UP: Hold the camera just slightly above eye level. It’ll raise the chin and catch the light so your eyes will twinkle.  Pull your jaw slightly forward and away from the neck. Double chins vanish!

 
5.       BE AWARE OF YOUR BODY: including your outstretched arm. Unless that’s the look you’re going for, try different angles so that your arm is not seen, or prop the photo up and use a timer.
 

6.       BE REAL: It’s often pretty obvious that your photo is a selfie, so be very careful when trying to fool people into thinking you were sleeping, looking away, gazing into space, and so on. We pretty much know you staged the photo and then snapped it yourself. So be real. Take real photos. It’s better to the in-the-moment, goofy and visibly taking a selfie than to pretend that you somehow just caught yourself off guard and happened to take a photo.
 

7.       TAKE SEVERAL PHOTOS: Yes, you may feel silly sometimes, but even professional photographers need to snap a few photos before they have the one they want to show the world.
 

8.       USE MAKEUP TO FOCUS ON ONE THING: If you have your eyes done, then keep your lips bare. If you’re wearing bright red lipstick, then keep the eyes simple with some mascara and maybe liner and light eye shadow. You don’t want the eye to be drawn into two places, it needs to focus on what you think is your best feature.
 

9.       IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU: If you post a lot of selfies, you may come across as  conceited. Sorry, but it’s true. I good rule of thumb is to post a minimum of 3 photos of other things for every 1 selfie. This way, it doesn’t look like all you’re doing all day is taking your photo and focusing purely on yourself – unless you’re involved in a photo project, if so, click away!
 

10.   USE YOUR FILTERS: to create interesting lighting and color saturation. Play around with what YOU like. There are some amazing tools out there and honestly, I love playing with them too.

 
Lastly, just remember that eventually, some of your Facebook and Twitter friends are going to eventually see you out in the real world, so be careful not to over-edit. You want them to recognize you when they see the REAL you.

Have fun my lovelies. Feel free to share your selifies with me on our IFD Facebook page and let me know if you have any tips to share.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, here's some of my favorite selfies from my 30's (when we called them Self-Portraits.)

XXOO,
Terri Jean


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