Home + Author Archives: Marls Vaughan

Author Archives: Marls Vaughan

Let’s Plan a Family

An estimated 222 million women in developing countries would like to delay or stop childbearing but are not using any method of contraception.¹

222 million women don’t have a say over their bodies. Doesn’t that just amaze you? I know a lot of Pro-Choice / Pro Family Planning advocates always begin by talking about a woman’s right to take control over her personal health. I’m not going start any differently. There is an intrinsic right that seems to be missing from many developing nations and that is the right to freedom, the right to empower, and the right to equality.

familyplanning

Globally, an estimated 287,000 maternal deaths occurred in 2010. Sub-Saharan Africa (56%) and Southern Asia (29%) accounted for 85% of the global burden.² Why? Why is there so much unnecessary death?

The key to stopping this is education, contraception and taking responsibility away from bureaucracy and enabling women the freedom to choose.

Family Planning is more than just a pretty word for abortion. It is actually about planning your family to when your health, finances and support are aligned to bring a child into the world. They are about education, contraception, and protection of a woman’s body. If we can institute this for developing nations, we can begin a change for the better. Allow women the opportunity to understand their bodies and offer them the resources to acquire contraception.

The time for change is now.

¹http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs351/en/index.html
²http://www.unfpa.org/webdav/site/global/shared/documents/publications/2012/Trends_in_maternal_mortality_A4-1.pdf

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This Public Service Announcement was brought to you by the Concerned Bloggers Association. If you want to join us, please contact Marleen Vaughan for more information.


Never rub another man’s rhubarb!

Top 10 Life Tips!

So I have been working quietly on putting together a TOP 10 list of helpful life hints. Some of these are stuff around the house, others are for your body, and others are for the Zombie Apocalypse time. You know, stuff you should know just in case the shit goes down and you’re flying solo.

goatswood

1. Baby Wipes. I know we all know about these… but have you ever thought of using them for your ADULT butt? Honestly, this isn’t something people like to talk about – but baby wipes really are much more tender on the ol’ bottom. Try it, and you’ll never go back to just toilet paper.

2. Yogurt. Recently, I had the flu of all flu’s. I was literally sitting on the toilet and vomiting into a bucket at the same time. It was fucking horrifying. My naturapathic doctor told me that when things settle down, to eat some yogurt. You see, your system gets FLUSHED of all the good bacteria in it during the illness. Eating the yogurt helps bring back some of those helpful bacteria and regulate your body again.

3. Smelly Kitchen Sink. I’ve seen chicks put lemon down their sinks to try and mask the smells coming from their kitchen sinks. The easiest way to kill that funky smell – BLEACH. Pour 1/2 cup of bleach down the sink and smells go bye-bye.

4. Hard Water Stains. Ever buy those brain cell killers bathroom tub cleaners? They are filled with all sorts of crazy chemicals that who knows what it would do to your skin if you ever touched them. Why not just try rubbing alcohol? Alcohol is an astringent and the hard water stains will just disappear. Plus the smell is much more manageable.

5. Full Body Aches After a Long Day. I’ve just started a career in the field of nursing, so I understand full body aches after a long day. The point where you are so tired, you sorta wanna cry – but that would take too much effort. Well, how about a long hot bath! Pour yourself a bath, add 1 cup of Epsom salts and 1/2 cup of baking soda. Soak for 20 minutes, and do not get the water on your face (it will dry it out). This combination will relieve all that join tension your body has built up while you’ve been working. It does wonders!

6. Acne. This I picked up in college. I had this HUGE mother of god fucking zit on my face. My friend took one look at me, and brought me to the pharmacy to buy some Neosporin. Within two days, it was gone and I had been suffering with this on my face for a week and half. The point is treat the acne like they are wounds. Put a triple antibiotic ointment on them at night, and you’ll see them lessen as soon as you wake up in the morning.

7. Evil Gum. Gum is totally evil. If you’ve ever gotten some in your hair or on your rug… especially. Here’s a trick for getting it out without have to pull out the scissors: butter. Butter breaks down the chemical composition of the gum and you can work it right out of whatever it’s stuck too. You can even use Peanut Butter in a pinch, but it might stain some carpets depending on color.

8. Newspaper. I learned this in my anthropology class, which is perfect for the Zombie Apocalypse.  If you ever get a huge gaping wound, and have nothing CLEAN or STERILE to cover it with… use newspaper. Newspaper is amazingly sterile because no one touches the ink. The ink, itself, is made of vegetable oil and completely harmless. Overall it’s a win-win if you’re trying to keep a wound clean until you get to the hospital.

9. Shew Fly! Sometimes in the summer our kitchen can develop gnats. We have a full garden on our property and believe in composting. So, mix the two and get some pests. A trick we picked up was leaving a little jar half full of apple cider. They love apple cider. Then putting some tin foil over it. You poke holes into the tin foil and before you know it – the gnats go in and don’t  get out. They end up drowning in their gluttony. There is something metaphorical in that and if I were a smarter person I would be able to make the analogy.

10. Alternative Sugar. This is something I completely LIVE by.. Agave. Agave is a plant that tequila is made from, but it is also naturally very sweet. Unlike sugar, honey and other natural (and unnatural) sweeteners - it doesn’t have to be processed by your pancreas. This is a good thing for diabetics. You can supplement agave in recipes, your coffee or tea, and even put it on your cereal. It is a much better choice for your body and a lot less work!

Yeah. so there you have it. Ten items I have done in my life and have worked effectively. It’s kooky to think of what some people pick up in their lives, but it is also awesome to share with others. If you have more tips, let me know! I’m always open ears.

credits……….
skin: MAR Creativity Studio. Milk Skin Jill 01 (Jack or Jill Hunt)
eyes: Epic. Liquorice. (Jack or Jill Hunt)
hair: TuTy’s. Extremist. Volumn Hairstyle. Smokey Black
top: LouLou & Co. Sweat. Johnny (Jack or Jill Hunt)
pants: Sakide. Linen Harem Pants. Black
shoes: Baby Monkey. Ultimate Roxie. Black
jewelry: Uzuri. Chura Bracelet, Furaha Bangle, Kipepeo Necklace, and Sunflower Ring
location: http://slurl.com/secondlife/NeverlandX/137/47/21


Women of Afghanistan

In my last post I stumbled onto a great mesh bag by BoHo HoBo, which led me to the shop. I was very happy to check out some great Mesh tops by the designer Trill Zapatero. She has several venues dedicated to Afghanistan and helping those impoverished by the war. In fact, she told me her proceeds all go to RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, a human rights and social justice cause for women’s education, children’s services, as well as hospital and refugee centers.

patchwork1

The Trillia sim has art, clothing, and educational services talking about RAWA and what you can do to help this movement. I suggest you start by purchasing these great sweater tops I’ve photoed for this post. For more information or to get involved, I would contact Trill Zapatero. She’s wonderfully charming and eager for help spreading the word about RAWA.

patchwork2

Here is a direct SLurl to the BoHo HoBo Shop: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Trillia/217/24/28 From there, you can continue exploring the sim and everything is has to offer!

skin. My Ugly Dorothy. Skin of Sunday 43
eyes. Poetic Colors. autumn – tarn
nails. Mock. Pink Cabaret Nails
hair. Tuty’s. Mathilda Bob Hair – Honey Blonde
nose ring. Sugar Heart. Mesh Septum Ring – steel
ring. Shiny Things. Florina Ring – gold
top. BoHo HoBo. Patched Cowl Sweater
jeans. Maitreya Zipper. Skinny Jeans #3
shoes. ISON. Aline Booties – blonde
poses: Hiccup
Photos Taken Here, SLurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Mado/220/134/25
windlight: TOR – Dusk – Fairytale


True Blood Tourist

Sylvia Olivier and I did some exploring of the sim Venexia. It is a RP zone premised on gothic vampires ruling Venice, Italy. They have built the perfect stage for their performance, as you can see in the background. It is worth exploring and would be perfect for an editorial fashion spread. You can’t take a bad picture in this place.

As for clothing, I’m wearing my new group gift from Hucci. This is wonderful mesh dress with the word LOVE written all over it. Fun, sassy, sexy — all things Hucci. The hair Sylvia and I picked up at Boon, which is always a pleasure. The bag was a surprise bonus on the SL Marketplace. It was the perfect bohemian addition to my little mish-mash outfit and only cost $170L.

I call the look Proud Nubian Woman meets Chinese Urban Bohemian Cowgirl. Fuckin’ A. 

Venice

Credits…………
skin: Heartsick. Devotion. Eternity, Tinsel C,F,DB
hair. BOON. NYN116 brown
eyes. Pulcino. Quartz Brown
lips. Mock. Opal Lipcolor puce
dress. Hucci. Carora Dress (group gift)
bag. BoHo HoBo. Mesh Afgahnistani Shoulder Bag
boots. J’s. Western Boots. Dark Brown
necklace. Mandala Rushana Necklace, Gold
nosering. Sugar Heart. Mesh Nose Ring, Steel
pose & camera. Luth. Photographer Set

Location: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Venexia/180/37/21


The Arts in Education

When I was little, pretty much everything that I liked had 4 legs or was in the back woods of my house. I didn’t particularly “blend” into the normal crowd in my schools. I was introverted, shy, and socially awkward. I had no idea how to communicate with other human beings, so animals worked a lot better for me. Nature in general was the bee’s knees in my book.

ArtsinEducation

My self-expression seemed to naturally lay with the arts and nature was my muse. Growing up, I often felt incapable of handling most situations. With an absentee father and a mentally ill mother, I was left pretty much to my own.

In middle school, I began to explore photography. My father, at that time, was the principal of my school. In order to demonstrate his love to me maybe, he built a dark room in an unused teacher’s bathroom. There was counter space to lay out all the chemicals, a tap for running water, and even a place to examine your negatives while they dry.

This was the first time, in all my life, that I felt self-expression. I could go out, take pictures, come in and develop them all on my own. They weren’t particularly great, I was only 13 at the time, but they granted me a voice. A starting point for my creative young spirit to bloom from.

My final photo in the 8th grade.

My final photo in the 8th grade.

There are tons of studies proving the efficacy of the arts in education. Statistics like:

Studies show that students of the arts in all disciplines outperformed their non-arts peers on the SAT by 91 points in 2009.¹

Students who participate in arts programs are at least three times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, elected to class office within their schools, participate in a math and science fair, win an award for school attendance and win an award for writing an essay or poem.¹

Support your local Arts Programs. They are an opportunity waiting to happen.

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This Public Service Announcement was brought to you by the Concerned Bloggers Association. If you would like to become involved, please contact Marleen Vaughan for more information.

¹ SOURCE: http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-arts-education#


Resolutionary

I guess it’s that time of year to make fucking resolutions on how you will become a better person in the year to come. I don’t have anything against this particular ritual, only that it sorta gets fucked over by the second week of January. People start eating shitty food again, stop exercising, and then the next thing you know – they are telling their BFFs to “fuck off” on a drunk Friday night.

What ever happened to commitment? To the love of doing something because you KNOW in the end, you will truly be better for it?

Over the last year, in real life, I lost 50 pounds. When I realized this, people would ask me how I did it? Was it some diet? or rigid exercise routine? I would always pause because it wasn’t really either. I just decided I was going to live better for me. There was no tormented “giving up” of foods or weird fucking calorie counting. I changed, and that changed everything. I discovered I was worth the effort. I was worth the commitment to myself to make myself healthy.

You’re worth it too. You’re worth every god damn second of it. 

Resolve to love yourself, thank your body and give yourself the support that you need to make the best decisions for your health. I’ll join you in that resolution. 

Carival

skin. dekade. Daria. Light LB. Culture Shock
lips. Mock. Opal Lipcolor Roman
eye liner. A.E. Meth. Cat Eyeliner 5
freckles. Adore&Abhor. Windy Xmas. Various Spots
eyes. Umeboshi. Yue Eyes Bicolour
tattoo. Flaunt. Serpent Skin Tattoo – Faded
hair. D!va. Hair Yoko
gloves. Rotten Toe. Long Rotten Gloves
mesh top. Hucci Salli Crop Tank – Midnight
bra. Blacklace Lingerie. Tangible Dreams. Red Velvet & Lace Bra
shorts. Rotten Toe. Maggot Shorts – Red White
boots. Crazy. Caligo Boots
neck piece. Cobrahive. Parade Collar

SLurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/MadPea%20Base/97/165/39


Peppermint Death

I was looking after this elderly couple this week and to be frank, they have a mice problem. A serious problem. The very kind woman was told that if you buy peppermint extract, the mice will leave your pantry alone. THIS IS A LIE. The mice were like, “OH! it smells nice in here. Lets try to break into that cardboard box of cereal.NOM NOM NOM.

PeppermintDeath

I, on the other hand, was not feeling as kind towards the mice. Operation: Exterminate Mickey is now in progress. I am a firm believer in the SNAP traps. They kill them quickly, as opposed to the glue traps which rip of their legs from their body. Then you have little bloody stumps running around dying a slow death.

You see, the part that is critical in this operation is that the husband has cancer. He completed his chemo treatment about 3 weeks ago and now is in recovery getting transfusions every few weeks to keep his white blood cell count up. SO! With that in mind… I am on a mission to kill the mice. No little furry creature is going to potentially poison my client under my watch. They are carriers of disease, parasites, and everything that a cancer-recovery body can NOT handle.

So yeah. Peppermint Death doesn’t work for mice, but it would make a cool band name.

Credits…………
skin. The Skinnery. Anais – End of the World (Black Tea)
hair. VAUGHAN’S – Lice Free – black
eyes. Mooney. Glassy: Blue
makeup1. mock. Opal Lipcolor – Puce
makeup2. mock. Back to Basics – Paarl
top. mon tissu. Slouchy Sweatshirt – striped
bottom. helm. Work Pants – grey
hat. Celoe. Mademoiselle Hat
earrings. Collisions. Mystique Earrings
bag. JD. Hearty Clutch Bag Carbon


Winter Light

In the winter, the light changes so much. I remember my old college photography teacher used to tell us that you start learning all the personalities of light. It begins to speak to you. I thought at the time he was being a pretentious asshole. But as I’ve gotten older, I am beginning to think he was on to something. I’ve noticed that the light in the winter months speaks in a much softer voice. Maybe it’s because there is less daylight, less time to see the tones of gold or grey or blue. You’ve gotta give it a good whisper and coax it into playing with you.

*smiles* Be kind to your winter light.

lightofWinter

art. Chiana Oh. ‘Winter’s Hazy Shade’ (new release)
sofa. Chiana Oh. Winter Couch (new release)
cat. SHOP SEU. 1 prim cat – orange
sweets. Tres Blah. Pastry Mania – Macarons (arcade)
cup. Tres Blah. Pastry Mania – Mustache Cup (arcade)
building. POST. Skov Kapel (arcade)
—-
skin. BCC. Latte – Liu 02 (arcade)
hair. INK. Natum – black (new release)
eyes. Mooney Eyes. Glassy – Yellow
eyeliner. AE METH. Cat Eyeliner 4
lips. Mock. Pomegranate Lip Jelle
nails. Mock. Cerise Mock Nails
sweater. FY. Loose Knit Sweater – lavender
bra. Pacadi Jasha. Oona Lingerie
tights. Ohmai. Basics Sheer Leggings – concrete
shoes. DECO. Mesh Distressed Heels – grape (new release)
necklace. Bliensen + MaiTai. Noel – Chunky Necklace (new release)


Mindful Compassion of Yourself

Nearly 1,000,000 people make a suicide attempt every year.

Being alone in body, mind and spirit sucks. It’s a hard rock to come out from.. trust me, I understand. There is nothing easy about the overwhelming feeling of being alone in your thoughts. Isolated from humanity and detached from these aliens that run around this earth mucking it up. You feel so fucking tired of fighting yourself and those around you. I get that.

Alone

But please, let me offer you something. It might even be a version of peace of mind for you. I know it was for me.

Let me first say that I am a card-carrying atheist. However, I think the religion I am most comfortable with has been Buddhism. As I have been taught new things over the last year by my mentor, I have expanded my world views to see that Buddhism is so much more than a “brand name” religion.

Here’s where I get to the peace of mind part.

There is a technique I have learned that has literally transformed my fucking life. It has brought me to a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me. It’s fleshed out all those grey areas where fear lived, where self-loathing lived, where I lost myself in negative thought. The strange part is that it is so very easy. I devote 10 minutes a day to saying out loud or to myself these four lines:

May I have happiness and the causes of happiness,
May I be free of suffering and the causes of suffering,
May I have joy and the causes of joy,
May I remain in equanimity from attachments and aversions.

That’s it. This is called Compassion Training. I am learning how to have compassion for MYSELF. The depths of the human psyche are all different, but I do feel there is this string that binds us together. It is the self-hate we have practiced over and over on ourselves. The Compassion Training allows you the opportunity to view yourself with kindness and deserving of happiness. It re-trains your brain to instead of being inflamed with lust or pissed with rage – to think on things with understanding. It is the motivation to see them how they are, and not as a reaction.

I’ve found with the training that it was difficult at first. When I would try to say the verses, my mind would try to distract me with negative thoughts. It would bring up all this garbage from years ago and remind me of the piece of shit I am. But you must fight through that. That is your brain resisting the training program. You must get through that and see that when you come out the other side, you are totally enabled to love yourself.

This isn’t a cure and might not even help with suicidal thoughts – but I know it has helped with my severe depression. It has transformed my brain into a loving machine. Don’t get me wrong. I still have orgasms and fight with family, but not everything is so god damn charged that I could choke on it. It releases this tension and allows you a calm.

Here are some medical and psychology journals talking about Compassion Traininghere, here and here.

If you are in Crisis and need help right away, call this toll-free number, available 24 hours a day, every day: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service available to anyone. You may call for yourself or for someone you care about. All calls are confidential.

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This Public Service Announcement was brought to you by the Concerned Bloggers Association. If you would like to become involved, please contact Marleen Vaughan for more information.


Goldenrod Hobo

One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good,
kind people there are.

Edith Wharton, author of Ethan Frome
GoldenrodHobo

credits
train. ililo. hobo hut 02 (new Arcade Item)
chair. Zigana. lazy sunday chair – buttercup (new Arcade Item)
feline. SHOP SEU. 1prim cat – black

skin. the Skinnery. Iris – Gold champaign LB CL1 (new Arcade Item)
eyes. Insufferable Dastard. Glimmer Contacts – aqua (new Arcade Item)
ears. Mandala. Steking Ears
hair. LaViere. Ambush. Creative Dye Pack
dress. The Secret Store & Nyu. Camille Dress – honeycomb
scarf. The Sea Hole. Parvita Scarf – sunzecya (new Arcade Item)
boots. J’s. Studded Long Boots – black
radio. Tee*fy. Retro Portable Radio – Printed Paper Pink (new Arcade Item)