Saturday, March 3, 2012

How to be a Cheap Bitch™

That's right, this is my first post that ISN'T about fashion, bodies, sexy bitches, etc. 

This post is going to explore my biggest hobby of all (well online window shopping is PROBABLY my first, though not quite as productive). That hobby would be getting stuff for free/very cheap. 

At this state in my life, I'm not at leisure of a very large, disposable income. I wish I could say it's because I'm a poor college student, but I'm actually just a poor college drop-out suffering the consequences of the dreaded loan repayments. (Either don't go, or don't drop out kids!) A year ago I lived completely on my own, working a full-time job, paying too much rent for my crappy apartment, with two small children (okay, cats), and way too many loans. Unfortunately I had to resort to begging my parents for help on several occasions, which is probably my least favourite thing in the world. Thankfully, my mom and stepdad are the sweetest, most supportive people I've ever met, but there is nothing I hate more than having to admit I need financial help. 

So around that time I decided to start being more frugal. I mean, I was just buying groceries and nothing else, but I didn't really understand that just because I didn't have much money didn't mean I had to sacrifice other small pleasures in life. Here are some helpful things I do to help conserve money by getting coupons, free shit, and just general awesome, discounted stuff. And guess what - I literally don't even have to get off my butt to do any of it!

1. Discounted Invite-Only Websites

I wasn't sure what else to call these. You may have heard of a few but not really known what it was all about, which was my first impression. The first one I joined (and by far my favourite) was I don't really remember where I first got an invite link, but since joining last summer I've gotten $105 in site credit and bought A TON of totally awesome things. Here are a few examples from the five orders I've made:

In short, every day they post around 5-10 small shops featuring different artists and companies with various goods, and it's all discounted. Sometimes it's extravagant spices, blankets, jewelry, art prints, kitchen utensils - if you need something awesome, they probably have it. You receive credits for inviting friends - at just 10 invites, you receive $30! Sometimes they will send you $10 just for being a member. And if you allow their "Social Shopping" (basically it just posts on your Facebook wall when you make a purchase) you get $10 a month, and you don't even have to buy anything. I have basically gotten $105 worth of stuff for sitting on my butt.

Seriously, I can't recommend them enough. If you're interested, here's my invite link.

Another site I'm liking so far is sneakpeeq. They are quite similar to fab, though it seems they have a very slow shipping time (I placed two orders in mid-February and they still haven't shipped. That's not uncommon for these kinds of sites, but damn I mean really.) They also do a pretty cool idea for discounts, they call them "badges". You get badges for doing various things on the site, most of them are as simple as looking at items, liking them, or just being a new member. A few I have gained were free shipping, free surprise item with first purchase, and $10 free credit. I've bought a scarf, necklace, and some Yes to Carrots beauty products and only spent $2. Here's an invite link!

Other sites like this include hautelook (great for discounted high-end beauty products) and Ruelala. But there are a ton out there! If you see an invite link floating around, give it a try! They're a great way to get cool stuff without spending much (or sometimes, anything at all!). 

2. Frugal Blogs

Some people are just awesome at getting stuff free/cheap, and are nice enough to make blogs about it to help other people out. I wish I had the time and dedication for it, but I'm very grateful that some people do! 

My favourite free stuff/coupon blog BY FAR is hip2save. She's an awesome mommy that posts freebies, sales, and cheap deals INCREDIBLY FAST. She walks you through each scenario so you know how and where to get everything. She also has a facebook page, in case you don't feel like refreshing her blog every five seconds. 

Another I'm quite fond of is The Broke Student Guide. She doesn't post quite as often, but she posts GREAT info about how to get almost anything for free, especially if you're struggling in college. 

There are tons more out there, but those are the ones I personally like best. If you can't get enough, just Google search for "money saving blogs" or "coupon blogs"! 

3. Freebie Facebooks

Someone once recommended to me a few facebook freebie pages and they are GREAT. You would be surprised at how many big companies with facebooks do giveaways daily! I've scored all kinds of stuff - samples of beauty products, full sized energy drinks, coffee, t-shirts, coupons for full sized products of all kinds, and more! 

You may think samples are a waste of time, but they're absolutely not. You're basically clicking a link, putting in your shipping information, and getting to try out a product for free, which is way better in my opinion than throwing out some money on a product you may (or may not) like. I also hoard my samples for vacations or trips home to see my family. They are useful, and you're doing absolutely nothing for them!

These facebooks will pop up in your news feed as soon as the giveaways happen, and they usually go very fast. Here are my two favourite freebie facebooks - Freebies~Samples~Deals and FreebiEasy.

4. Couponing

I'll admit, I really didn't like coupons before. I think they're a bit humiliating, having to be THAT girl at the checkout counter handing in one million little scraps of paper and holding up the line. I'm still not to that comfort level yet, but I'll admit, coupons are awesome!

What I like most about the freebie blogs/facebooks I posted above are that a lot of the links they provide are for coupons they will mail straight to you. You can request one if you want it, keep scrolling if you don't. And there's no searching through ads to see if you actually need anything. My favourite things to get coupons for are cat food, hair color, and makeup. You would be surprised how much a dollar or two off can help out!

5. A few more helpful hints

If you're shopping ANYWHERE online, never forget that there could be secret discount codes that aren't posted on the site! Always check Retail Me Not before making a purchase to see if you can get some $$$ off. 

Also, a lot of companies have members-only benefits. Sephora's Beauty Insider is a great example. For the purchases you make, you can receive free samples, points towards free items, or other perks. If you're a frequent online shopper, look out for special sign-ups for free to help you work towards free items in the future.

Even if you plan on shopping somewhere in person, don't forget to check their websites first for coupons! If you don't have a printer (like me) don't fret. Usually all it takes is pulling the coupon up on your phone and showing it to the cashier to receive the discount.

Lastly, don't be afraid to be cheap! If you're looking for something specific, SCOUR the internet for every single place you could possibly buy it. A lot of times you can get the same item you would be buying for much less on sites like amazon or ebay


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Body Shaming & Fatphobia

Long time, no post, I know! I was waiting for a subject to "light my fire" so to speak, and oh boy, scrolling through my blogger dash last night, I got that.

It has boiled over in me the past couple of days, but it really started when a certain few images started floating around on facebook. The first is two rows of pictures, one with modern stars and the second with vintage beauties such as Marilyn Monroe. The text is, "When did this become hotter than this?" Seen that one? Well, it doesn't take a genius to let you know that the image reeks of body shaming and is incredibly offensive. It was only taken seriously for a few days though before it became a meme.

Not exactly offensive.

The second image, which I'm assuming is in backlash, was this one:

Seems legit enough, right? "Naturally" skinny girls lashing back from being told their skinny bodies aren't just as good as a curvy or overweight one. I couldn't help but plainly see how this reeks of MORE fat shaming than it lets on, but we'll get to that later. 

The last straw in the body shaming bullshit was the most recent post by Xiaxue. If you're not familiar with her blog, she's one of the most popular bloggers in Asia, and in fact was voted the "Most Influential" blog in Asia for this year. My disclaimer here is that I didn't follow her blog to hear good opinions (in fact, when talking about serious issues she almost never fails to be biased, badly informed, and offensive). I read her blog for surface value. She's cute, pretty, with pink hair and lots of makeup and LOTS of money from running a successful blog. But every once in a while, she opens her mouth a little too much and posts something like this absolute crock of offensive, body-shaming, fat phobic BULLSHIT. (TRIGGER WARNING FOR EATING DISORDERS)

As I was reading this, I was simultaneously ranting about every wrong thing she said to my boyfriend (and literally almost every sentence was wrong) and trying not to cry. For those who don't want to read stuff that will probably make you feel like the scum of the earth because you don't fit into a size small, I'll summarize for you: Xiaxue rants about Adele's fat confidence, calls her a hypocrite for looking attractive on magazine covers, calls "fat" people too sensitive, says if you're not skinny you are lazy and don't want to work, uses all kinds of HORRIBLE insults I could only dream of being so ignorant to use, closing with this gem: " It's against nature's will to be attracted to the obese "

To keep me from thinking about what a stupid fuck Xiaxue is, let me begin with the skinny defense image. Most of it IS a legitimate argument. Trust me, I have nothing against someone who is naturally tall or skinny. In fact, more power to you for being the exact body type that social media idealizes. Hey, wait...


Does this mean you're not allowed to feel offended over some "fatties" telling you to gain weight? Absolutely not. You should feel offended by something that is offensive, clearly. But, "If you can tell me to 'gain weight' why can't I tell you to lose it?" 

I'll tell you why. Because skinny shaming is N O T H I N G like fat shaming. Any body shaming is wrong, it doesn't take a genius to figure that one out. But fat shaming is all encompassing. It surrounds your entire life. It's not just one, or a few people telling you in your lifetime to gain weight, because you might be "more attractive" with a few "curves". No, it's people EVERYWHERE telling you if you don't lose weight, you will never be a legitimate human being. It's on every television, every magazine, every store you visit. Every person you talk to could be fat phobic. You can't wear most popular clothes because it's not created for your body type. You write yourself off immediately from talking to attractive people because your body is not "desirable". 

How is that comparable? 

Spoilers: it's not. That's the end of my rant on that. 

Now to approach Xiaxue's word vomit. Of course I'm not going to go into every dumb statement she makes, but let me just highlight the worst. 

First off, the fact that she's an incredibly successful blogger and is posting something like this makes me EXTREMELY upset. This is something that would have inspired my disordered eating back in high school. I know without a doubt there will be little 14 year old girls reading her shit like the Bible and developing eating disorders left and right from things like this. For that alone, she should be ashamed. 

But the main thing that upsets me about her rant is that she lumps all "fat" people together as lazy, "oily" (NO FUCKING JOKE!!!) and having "zero self control". 

By her standards, I'd probably be fat. I like to consider myself thick or curvy but as long as we're talking about this excuse for a human I'll go ahead and call myself one of the "fatties" she's talking about. She's calling Adele fat, which in itself is pretty fucked up because she's a size 16 and looks quite healthy.

So what's this promoting? Adele, and anyone like her, is a fat, oily, lazy slob. And we can't all sell millions of records, so I guess we're fucked. 

"Fat" people being lazy, gross and with no self-control is literally the oldest and most naive assumption about bigger people I can think of. The generalization honestly disgusts me. I have known plenty of people in my life who were bigger, even by most standards "overweight", and could run laps around skinny people. My own mother is considered overweight, and she eats one meal a day, works 9-12 hours daily on her feet without breaks, and still can't lose weight. I'm sorry, does that make her lazy, oily, and with no self control? 

Take a "plus sized" girl who eats well, exercises, doesn't smoke or do drugs, and a naturally skinny girl who eats Taco Bell daily, smokes, does drugs, and sits on her ass all day. Who is the healthy person here?  The "fat" girl. But who is the one who will also inherently have a much more difficult life? The "fat" girl. 

The reason body-shaming is ignorant is because YOU CAN'T JUDGE SOMEONE BASED ON THEIR WEIGHT UNLESS YOU KNOW THEIR EATING HABITS, MENTAL/PHYSICAL HISTORY, AND GENETICS. All of these things factor in to a person's weight, and if you don't know all of these things and you still want to call someone fat? You're being ignorant, please don't talk. 

And to go onto a rant that Xiaxue seems to firmly believe, she says several times that if you don't want to be overweight, get off your lazy ass and work for it like the skinny people did.


Because she wasn't born Asian, skinny, with good skin and hair, AND SHE WORKED FOR HER PLASTIC SURGERY DAMMIT! Which she paid for with her successful blog, for being Asian, skinny, with good skin and hair. 

We can all be so perfect! All we have to do is be born with certain privileges. Oh wait, that doesn't make any fucking sense. 

If I had a penny for every time a skinny, attractive person had worked to get that way, I'd have a few dozen pennies over a lifetime. Most people are born into that shit or they aren't. And I'm sorry, but I'm not going to eat twigs and leaves all my life to make myself fit into a modern standard of beauty. 

So guess what Xiaxue? You're probably the most fat-phobic dumbass I've ever had the displeasure of stumbling upon. It must be nice living in your perfectly skinny, wealthy, pastel colored bubble which I'm sure you worked so hard for. But the oldest saying, in my opinion, says it best; "it's the inner beauty that counts". And guess what, you're probably the ugliest person on the planet by that standard.

Fat girls, keep on fattin'. Curvy girls, keep them curves. And try not to let the fat shamers get to you. To anybody else, think before you talk, because honestly, you never know how easy you probably have it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

♔ (late) goals for the new year - and life in general ♔

I know, I know, I'm a whole two weeks late! In my defense, I normally don't "do" New Year's Resolutions. They seem a bit ridiculous to me - why do you have to wait for January 1st to start being better? Why not start whenever you're ready, or whenever you can?

But this year I really do want to see some big changes in my life, it just took me a while to compile a list. And it's not a New Year's Resolution, it's a Life Resolution.

1) The dreaded "Be Healthier". 
It seems that literally almost everyone has this same resolution. I know it's been on my list for years. But I'm not saying I just want to lose weight - I want to be a healthier person. This includes not only getting in shape and eating better, but being a healthier person mentally, which is exponentially a harder task.

So far in January Jonathan and I have revamped our grocery list and are buying almost everything healthy and fresh. It's more expensive by far, and not always as satisfying when you're craving something you definitely don't have, but I do feel a bit better. I'm also working on healthy alternative recipes to things we love, like pizza and chocolate.

As for the whole exercising's not going as well as I planned. We live on the top floor of our complex, so vigorous activity might be rude. I bought a little bicycle pedal machine but it didn't work like I wanted so I took it back. Social anxiety/money is holding me back from a gym membership. I'm thinking about seeing if Jonathan would take up walking with me. I do walk CONSTANTLY at work, which is probably what has prevented me from weighing 400lbs in the past.

But what if I don't lose weight this year? What if I stay exactly the same, or even get bigger? This leads me to goal number 2.

2) Accept yourself, either way. 
Self-explanatory. It's been on the list for 21 years and hasn't happened yet, but I'm working on it harder than ever this year. 

3) Be more social.
The past two years have been the most anti-social of my entire life. I can contribute some of it to anxiety, but most have been my own personal short-comings. I have a bad habit of writing people off without giving them a chance because I feel that we won't have enough in common. I've scared multiple people away by being distant and awkward, and it's something I really need to work on, because I live a fairly lonely life.

4) Be more crafty.
I've been crafty in the past. I know I have all the makings of a crafty person. It's just the commitment to learning and making mistakes that keeps me from doing it. Plus the money involved. But I think it's something I could be very good at, and might give me something to do with the amount of free time I spend bored. I really want to learn to cross-stitch! And finally learn to sew.

5) Save money. 
I've become quite a frugal person as of late, and I like to think that I'm finding better and better ways to save and manage my money. But I'm still thousands of dollars in student loans, and I have no savings to my name. I want to not only save money by finding cheaper alternatives but literally put some away for important things in my life that are yet to come.

6) Be spontaneous! Be happy!
In the past year I haven't really done anything spontaneously fun, and in my memory those are the things that provide me with the most happiness. Photoshoots and dress-ups with friends, random late night drives, trips to somewhere new are the things that have made my life memorable in the past. I want to do way more of it this year!

Friday, January 6, 2012

♔ five instant confidence boosters! ♔

I'm not going to lie, I basically have to fight with myself every day in the mirror to get to the point where I think, "Okay, I look pretty decent." There are times when I kind of give up. But the following things are always sure to make me just a little more confident, that require minimal effort.

They don't have to come up to your knees or have a five inch heel. Putting on a good pair of boots for me takes a basic outfit and amps up the sex appeal. I feel most kick-ass in a pair of black flat boots, with feminine details, like these I recently purchased from Torrid!


 It's an every day staple for me. If I'm not wearing it, people tend to ask me if I'm sick. That alone should tell you the positive things it does for my personal confidence. But even for someone who doesn't typically do eyeliner/eye make up, it instantly brings drama and personality to your face.


In my opinion, almost every girl looks sexier with big, bouncy curls. Luckily enough I already have naturally curly hair, but they certainly high maintenance and require TLC and product. Even so, I feel better rocking curls over straightened hair any day.


I'll admit, I'm in a bit of a style rut lately, but for the past few years I've acquired quite a collection of dresses and skirts. I don't always feel like wearing them, but every time I do I'm instantly glad I did. I always feel more feminine and prettier in a dress, even if it's something simple.


The easiest and quickest way to boost my confidence is hearing positive words from someone I love. For me, it's my mom or my boyfriend. Both of them have seen me at my worst, and still think I'm hot shit at all times. All it takes is "You look beautiful" from either one of them, and I'm ready to face anything, even a 9 hour work day.

Monday, January 2, 2012

♔ girl crushes week 1♔

To kick of this blog the right way, I'm going to post a weekly installment of sexy ladiez of a variety of shapes and sizes, who's style/bodies are just awesome.

Without further ado!

unknown, found on tumblr
Hot ladies in the kitchen, always welcome.
unknown, found on tumblr
omg look at her waist-to-hip ratio
I love her confidence! She has a totally fearless style. 
Not only does she have amazing style but she is probably the coolest mom I've ever seen ever
Another hot momma! She exudes confidence.

Thanks for being hot, ladies!

♔ my body's story ♔

All my life, I have never been the "skinny" one.

You could say that I haven't always had body issues, but I have to look back a long way to find them. As a child I was "normal" sizes up until about 12. This was when I hit the most awkward time in my life (as it is for many people) - I began to have acne, my hips got wider, my belly got softer, and my thighs grew.

It started there, and got worse. In middle school I kept wondering when I would get "acceptable" boobs, or when I would lose my "baby fat". I didn't get either. I wore my mother's grubby old one-piece bathing suits when I went swimming with shorts over my thighs. I wore strictly boy's t-shirts and jeans that covered my entire waist. (I don't have any photos online from this time, which is okay with me because honestly it's painful to look at for me.)

I thought then that I had it bad, but it would only become worse.

In high school, not only was I awkward and very quiet, but I realized then that if my body wasn't going to fix itself, I would have to fix it. I ate one meal a day, which was after school, and it was either baked tilapia and a salad or chicken noodle soup. I grew faint every day, and I passed out several times in my choir class. I exercised every day on my mother's Gazelle in our living room for at least an hour after school. This was the only time in my life that I steadily lost weight, and I honestly thought it was healthy. I would never go so far as to classify this time in my life as "eating disordered", but I can see now that it certainly wasn't healthy.

Age 17, size 6
Finally in college, I can honestly say I was the most confident I had been in my life. I had dropped 40 pounds from my middle school weight, was now a solid size 8, and though I wasn't "skinny" I was confident enough to wear and do what I wanted.

Age 18, size 8
It was short lived. After an incredibly messy year long break up with my first serious relationship, I was alone, with very little money and very little respect left for myself. I lost weight and gained weight. I destroyed my metabolism on excessive drinking, little sleep, and too much work. I rose and fell and finally at the end had to seek medical help before I could start over.

It's been two years since then. I've completely moved on in my life, but I can't say that I'm a better person physically. Being with Jonathan has made me comfortable, and in doing so I've become one of those people who doesn't "try" as much. I'm now typically a size 12, though I can get into a 10 depending on what it is. I don't feel like my body is mine anymore, and I don't recognize it when I look in the mirror.

It's changed with me - my thighs are so big that they wear holes in my jeans where they rub each other. My stomach stretch marks have faded only to be replaced with bright new red ones. My calves hardly fit into standard sized boots.

Age 20, my most recent full body shot, size 10-12
I'm making small improvements toward a healthy lifestyle. I rarely drink (maybe once a month or every two months) and I'm devoting time and money to learn to prepare more healthy alternatives for myself. I'm trying to find ways to dress my body which make me confident and still express my eclectic style.

I find that most of the style blogs I've seen are either for skinny girls or "plus sized" girls, of which I think I fall somewhere in the middle (obviously more towards plus sized). My body is suited for neither of those extremes, which makes me feel a little uncertain of how I should look, and how it is acceptable for me to dress. 

While I'm dissatisfied with myself, I am still ever aware throughout all my insecurities that this body is the only one I have, and I'm forced to love it or spend the rest of my life fighting with it. As a person who already has enough mental instability and things to worry about, I don't think it's worth it.

I hope that by sharing my insecurities and finding ways to destroy them can help others too.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

♔ intro ♔

Hello bloggers!

My name is Melanie Ann. I'm a 21 year old cat lady from Fayetteville, Arkansas. I have a passion for funky clothes, RPGs, and kitties of course. I have a wonderfully creative boyfriend named Jonathan and we share an apartment with our two furbabies and one close friend.

I work retail at the moment, unfortunately. I dropped out of college two years ago after a fairly major mental breakdown and not-even-quarter life crisis. I'm still trying to find what I'm truly good at, or any sort of passion hidden somewhere in me. It's a difficult journey, but I have hope that at some point I'll figure it out.

I mean to use this blog as somewhat personal, somewhat crafty, somewhat fashion inspired blog. Also I'd like to recognize dealing with my own negative body image and make an attempt to better myself and others like me with curves in more places than they are happy with.

If these things seem interesting to you, be sure to follow me!

I'm also on the following sites: