Advice from a Shopaholic

Advice from a Shopaholic

If you suddenly want it, you don't need it. Maybe.

Do you enjoy shopping? Are you a shopaholic? If you say no to any of those two, well - I envy you and your self control. However, it is a self-evident truth that everyone eventually must hit the mall and its plethora of stores to update or refurnish their wardrobe. As a self-proclaimed and publicly-labeled shopaholic, I have tips for those who wish to shop, without having to drop - all their money.

Start from the back, then work yourself up to the front of the store. If this is an unplanned shopping trip, or vice versa, it is always best to start from the back - because that is where the clearance is. By walking straight and keeping both eyes forward, one can avoid the temptation that is the expensive and more current clothing. Yes, the clearance may have only last season's outfits for sale, but by going there first - one can avoid the regret that will settle in once those seventy dollar t-shirts get marked down to fifteen bucks.

Besides that, if you are going shopping, and something cries out like a downtrodden puppy to you, grab a friend and get him or her to walk you away from that item. Chances are, if you suddenly need it, you really don't. So keep walking and go straight toward what you actually need. Like a pair of jeans that don't have holes in them. Or some black trousers - your only young once right. so you're going to need those professional clothes sooner than later unfortunately.

Another helpful tip is, take a picture of your closet to keep in your camera roll. By doing this, you can avoid buying similar clothes and invest more in styles that aren't in your closet yet. Also, say no and don't go. Everyone loves the mall, whether it is for shopping or just going out - even if they don't, everyone has friends who enjoy mall trips. So best way to avoid losing that extra cash or swipe? Say no. It's easy and simple as that, say no to your friends, and say no to yourself. Sometimes the devil whispering in your ear is you. So say no and suggest an alternative that is cheaper and far from the mall.

Although, if you do have to go out and shop - much to your dismay or joy, make a list. Sometimes, having a physical list whether in your phone or on paper, helps keep you goal-orientated and aware of what your money should really be spent on. And speaking of money, leave the cards at home. Not the gift cards, those are great - spend them anytime you wish, but as for credit/debit cards? Leave them behind. They are endless money for shopaholics, and by just taking out just enough cash for your trip - you can be very sure that you will remain on your toes about what you buy and how much you spend. After all, you also have to remember that shopping trips include food and gas too, right?

So from one shopaholic to another, (or not), shop safely and smartly!

Cover Image Credit: Google

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.


Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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