Energy Upgrade California, NOW

It is no mystery; California is shoe melting hot during the hottest days of summer. Air conditioning and a well insulated home is not a desire but more a necessity. Yet, now more than ever, Californians need to watch our water and energy usage. With the heat ahead, it is a great time to take a thorough check of some basic changes we can make inside our homes.

Our state bear has come down from the flag to talk to us about managing our water and energy use. See him in action.

Some easy steps include:

  • Using low-flow showerheads
  • Playing fun family games at night by candlelight
  • Using advanced smart strips to stop standby power
  • Installing smart thermostats and home energy monitors
  • Replacing inefficient light bulbs with energy saving bulbs
Additionally, Energy Upgrade California’s Website has many details and tools to help out. From financing options to searching for approved contractors, it is a great resource and place to start. Help California stay golden. Overall, the goal is to better manage energy and water, which will not only help California meet energy and emission goals, but also save consumers money while making their homes more comfortable.
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Even simple changes in the way we manage energy can have a big impact – especially if we take them together. Learn more about energy management, upcoming events, contests and more:
Disclosure: Frufrugal partnered with Energy Upgrade California for this post. All opinions are my own.

Writing Like a Girl

I write like a girl. I talk like a woman. I think like a grown-up.

Am I bothered by that? F#*k no.

Because I am all of these things. In fact, I am shoveling spoonfuls of ice cream into my mouth while I type this and don’t plan on barfing it up later.

I am emotionally raw by the manipulated images that have rubbed against my imperfect skin since middle school. I have always been too dark, too light, too chunky, too Asian. So, I used their beauty sticks to measure up my looks. Applied all their make-up but I still didn’t look like Gisele Bündchen or Eva Mendes.

Ladies, you know what I am talking about. Those late at night, after a terrible date and a half container of (pick your poison) later. We stuff those feelings of inadequacy down. Deep down.

I have put these images up on pedestals and envied them more than myself. Binged, calorie counted, exercised my young adult life away. All to get a little closer to unrealistic. For what reason but to perpetuate a cycle that the beauty industry has created for us. Unreachable.

Wait a minute. Now these same companies want to teach me about self-worth?

Lately it seems, the beauty industry marketers want to shove feminism down our throats. Presented in nice, neat boxes. Cause as women, that is what we like. Pretty, emotional yet what is perceived as being the smart choice. Easy to consume, cause it is calorie-free, shareable to friends and family. No one gets fat off that crap. It is almost subliminal. Not almost, it is subliminal.

Back-to-back viral videos that are carefully crafted to magnify a long running dilemma.

Instead of offering real solutions, they force and perpetuate the stereotypes. Almost like a reminder we can never leave it in the past. Instead we have to drag the dead horse around. As if our mothers, grandmothers and the women before them did not suffer enough to pay for our freedom.

Always and their like a girl campaign video.

Let me get this straight, I am for brands using women in realistic, smart and educated ways to help improve our perceptions of our worth.

Yet I can’t keep buying into these bullshit examples from Always and Pantene.

From the moment the “Like a girl” video starts it’s a set-up. Even the actors and actresses can’t fathom the part they will play. Had the woman behind the camera shouted, “act gay” or “act like a southerner” — how would they have responded? Probably with wild extremes because this is how you act while performing in front of a camera. Isn’t that what they teach in acting school? No?

Instead they face plant right into the guilt.

Oh you, dirty rotten girl, how dare you flail your arms when I say “act” like a girl. Shame on you and repent to the camera, you sinner.

Besides the commercial making us feel vulnerable or wanting to cry, why would they play the girls, and us, like that?

Because it triggers our emotions. Those feelings of inadequacy we cannot forget. I mean, it worked. I am writing this post in frustration.

PLUS, because the Ban Bossy campaign. Always and Pantene are partners and supporters of the continued efforts of Sheryl Sandberg. So what, you might be thinking. Sandberg’s desire to help younger girls is based off old research data, in a study that is not so easy to find on the Ban Bossy website. Until solid data is available this just continues the cycle of victimization. Yet this time at the hands of corporations.

Why do we want to trust the CEO of Facebook. Her apology for manipulating timeline feeds should be enough to not.

We Are Not Victims.

Yet we are helpless to this steady barrage of advertisement that virtually beats us down a little more each time it is viewed.

Did you fall for it? We all must have. The video has 18 million 30 million views and counting.

The only thing this campaign makes clear:

  • Marketing to a girl requires over dramatizations for the sake of going viral
  • Women are not using their intellect but instead seeking drama
  • Companies will continue pandering to our emotions rather than our brains

Brands are not our teachers.

If these companies wanted change for women, they have the power to do something more drastic than make this veiled attempt at our insecurities. They should depict a strong women, without heavy make-up or lighting in powerful roles.

When will this happen? Not for any length of time since that kind imagery doesn’t sell tampons.

We should be bothered by this. Instead we keep the cycle going by whoring ourselves for them to give them likes and shares as if we’re not smart enough to know the difference.

Until then, we are the butt of the joke – women are beautiful because you buy our products.

In the meantime, I am sorry for posting this like a girl.

write like a girl

BGCA’s Cyber Safe Site

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for BGCA. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

June is Internet Safety month. “One in three parents believes their teens to be much more tech-savvy, leaving many feeling helpless when it comes to monitoring their teen’s online behavior.”

As a parent to teenagers, I feel out of the loop often. Either it is because the latest teen trend or the complexities of the online world. Lucky for us, the Boy & Girls Club of America launched a new website to lend a helping hand with navigating through some of those cyber challenges.

Talking to your children about online safety is now necessary as kids mature into having their own online social  media accounts. For the third year Sprint has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of America and has created a site just for parents. BGCA’s Cyber Safe site is educational and includes a quiz, Q&A and resources to learn more about taking on this difficult task. Unlike other teen issues, cyber safety will require ongoing discussion especially as they mature into having private accounts.

I decided to “Ask the Cyber Tribe” for their feedback on a dilemma I have been curious about for years. At what age do they feel it is fair to have online privacy. Personally, I feel like most parents when it comes to this topic. Online privacy is not a negotiable topic and we have to be vigilant in helping them stay safe. Especially for kids under the age of 16. One of my friends shared with me recently some questionable items found on her son’s computer. This included visiting sites with violent images. She decided to talk with her husband who addressed their son. I am curious what you all think is an appropriate age?

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In the meantime, stop by the Boys & Girls Club Cyber Safe site and take the quiz for yourself: Are you a smart cyber parent? Plus, do you have burning questions about online safety, then Ask the CyberTribe (side note: everyone who submits a question is entered for a chance to win an iPad mini and $500 to the Boys & Girls Club of your choice). Be sure to check the Resources tab for further information. The page covers topics such as online bullying, social networks, mobile technologies and privacy settings.

The site might not have all the answers to the dilemmas your teenager will face. However, it is a great place to start for online safety!

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