New Year's 2012 Roundup

Hey gorgeous! Happy New Year!

Here are my favourite New Year's & end of year roundup posts from around the web:

You can never go wrong with these posts from Gala Darling-- awesome New Year's Eve inspiration.

Catsparella's "The Best Maru Moments of 2011" had me laughing & 'awwing'... What a purr-fectly splendid (I couldn't resist!) post.

This sentiment from Neil Gaiman is simply magical!

If you're going out tonight, see my post from last year, "What's in your NYE party bag?" for tips on what to bring with you!

And start 2012 off right by entering the giveaway!

Squee! Happy New Year from Zooey Deschanel & Joseph Gordon-Levitt

These two together are ridiculously charming & beyond adorable!! Here's Zooey and Joseph's performance of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve":

Goodbye, "Occupy"!

Lake Superior State University's annual List of Banished Words is out. Since 1976, the university has compiled a list of the most overused, misused and generally useless words in the English language, garnering press for their college & thrilling logophiles everywhere.

Here are this 2011's most terrible words:

-Baby Bump
-Shared Sacrifice
-Man Cave
-The New Normal
-Pet Parent
-Win The Future
-Thank You In Advance

What would you add?

Check out all 37 lists (1 for each year since '76!) here.

What's a Dragée?

In confectioners' terms, a dragée is a delicious type of candy used to decorate baked goods. Dragées used to contain mercury (early in the 20th century), so they were incredibly dangerous. Now, though, they're yummy, sparkling, decadent & elegant-- what better pet name for my wonderful readers?

Image Source

How To Make & Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

1 Set measurable goals. Instead of resolving to eat healthier, try eating at least 4 servings of veggies each day. If you're able to see the improvements, you'll be more confident in your ability to stick with your resolutions.

2 Make your resolutions challenging, but keep-able. Giving yourself a challenge pushes you to become an even better you. Having attainable goals means your goals are likelier to be met.

3 Make sure your resolutions are YOUR resolutions. Don't pledge to lose weight just because your self-conscious aunt says you should. Don't promise to cut down on watching TV if it makes you happy & you lead a productive life. Do be sure to make resolutions that will impact your life positively-- forget others' ideas of what makes a good resolution.

What are your new year's resolutions for 2012?

"My heart's beating better alone..."

How can you let yourself fall when you're terrified of getting hurt? I can't explain it, even though I've been in love. I've fallen. Hard. Scared beyond words, I've fallen in love.

Alexz Johnson's latest single, Skipping Stone is about exactly this. Of the song, she writes, "I wanted to try and capture the intimacy, pain and realness that often accompany being in love. If a heart were to get broken, there's a tendency to move forward pretending we weren't really hurt that bad after all. I think it takes incredible courage to let yourself fall. If you have, this song is for you".

Here's Skipping Stone:

You can download the song for free (!!) at

My heart's beating better alone
And if it is broke why let you know?
This heart's not your skipping stone
If I'm sinking water than why even bother
Leave it alone
This hearts not your skipping stone

Merry Christmas From Mother Monster

Lady Gaga promised an extra-special gift to her Little Monsters- a new song. She exclaimed "I love you all so much, you're the greatest gift to me".

Of the song, she tweeted "I wrote it in Minnesota after the Monster Ball on the tour bus" & "We recorded it in one shot. Fernando on guitar, Paul on Drum Machine. I wrote, sang it, and freestyled the last minute + a half of the song".

The Huffington Post describes Gaga as a "raw, hyper-sexualized Santa Claus, slinking down the chimney to mingle with the flames of your yule log". What a delicious description!

Here it is, 'Stuck on Fuckin' You' by Lady Gaga:

What To Eat for Christmas Dinner

Food is a hot topic year-round, but when the holidays approach, women begin to feel especially guilty about their food intake.

The delicious aroma of Christmas Dinner, the mouthwatering desserts on the table... It can be hard to resist. So here's my advice: Don't.

If you're calculating calories or banning dessert, how can you enjoy yourself? The holidays are supoosed to be festive and fun, not fraught with guilt and anxiety over what you eat & how you look.

Enjoy what you eat. Eat when you're hungry. Stop when you're full. And most importantly, have a wonderful time!

No More Fishbowls

Back in 1959 the design was called "The New Look", but in 2011, the buses Torontonians affectionately call "Fishbowls" are outdated, finally replaced by modern TTC buses as of 16 December.

To read more, visit The Grid & Transit Toronto.

About Becca

Hi! I'm Rebecca. Here's a little info about me:

Full Name: Rebecca Esther
City of Residence: Toronto, ON, Canada
Freelancing: 2+ years
Age: 20
Dress Size: 16/18
Shoe Size: 7.5

Have a question? Contact me directly at RebeccaEstherWrites (at) gmail (dot) com.

Bonjour! Start here!

Hello, beautiful!

Thanks for visiting & I hope you'll come back again & again! is a blogazine for fabulous women who don't always play by society's rules when it comes to how they act, think or dress. A reader of this blogazine is a lady with class, sass & a great wardrobe. She's as comfortable reading Cosmo as she is reading Psychology Today. She's smart enough to appreciate intellectual convos but enjoys 'chick flicks', nail polish & sugary confections just as much.

This site is packed with insightful articles, outfit inspiration, tips, tricks & giveaways.

Sound good?

To get started, why not check out my most popular articles?

~ Full-Fat Frappuccinos
~ How To Help a Loved One Cope With Her Mental Illness
~ I Stopped Reading "Health" Magazines + You Should Too!
~ How To: Look Gorgeous Without Makeup
~ Fuck "Plan B"

Or, here's a list of the weekly features I post in addition to articles. Click the name to read every post in that category.

~ Music Monday. A taste of the songs I'm listening to non-stop & a great start to your week.
~ Things I Love Thursday (TiLT). A weekly chance to be grateful & celebrate all we have, TiLT is a list of the little things that made me smile, plus an opportunity for you to share your own TiLT list.
~ Nonpareils (formerly called Confetti). Posted on Fridays, Nonpareils features links I found interesting, fun or fabulous-- it's my own spin on "Link Love".

Or, check the tags! They're found on the right-hand side of this page.

Can't find what you're looking for? Have a question or comment? Contact me!Link

xox Becca
Hello darlings, I haven't forgotten about you! Things have just been crazy in my life, but they seem to be calming down at last, so... Check out my brand new blog, Borderline To What.

Observing Remembrance Day

Today let's honor the brave Canadians who have defended, protected and loved our beautiful country.

Both images via this source.

Starve yourself, then you'll be pretty (?!)

Victoria's Secret "Angel" Adriana Lima is all over the news this week, in celebration of malnutrition and conforming to society's absurd body ideals.

The model is preparing for the Victoria's Secret fashion show with an insane regimen: she "drinks a gallon of water a day. For nine days before the show, she will drink only protein shakes - "no solids". The concoctions include powdered egg. Two days before the show, she will abstain from the daily gallon of water, and "just drink normally". Then, 12 hours before the show, she will stop drinking entirely" (source).

The worst part of the extensive media coverage surrounding her is the exultation of starving oneself to achieve a 'perfect' body, one worth showing off in expensive lingerie. A woman who isn't dehydrated and malnourished is not worthy of praise and admiration?!

Victoria's Secret already has had their say in what body sizes are acceptable-- the ones their stores cater to, from extra small to large (or, on occasion, (a very small) extra large). The diet Angels are forced to adhere to just drives the point home, ten-fold. Not only are very thin women the only beautiful women, but they must be constantly starving, parched + exercising.

I used to excitedly watch the fashion show every year, drooling over the dainty lingerie and angel wings, but the glitz isn't enough for me this year. I'm boycotting Victoria's Secret until they wise up and feature models of all sizes (or, at the very least, naturally slender women who don't have to stave themselves to be considered pretty). Please join me.

advice for young girls

advice for young girls by anonymous (via

I really like numbers 2 + 5! How about you? What would you add to this list?

xx Stay gorgeous!

"Blurgh!" [Halloween 2011]

I'm totally not spending Halloween like this... Really! Um...

I didn't expect to spend Halloween like this... doing homework, wearing pjs, watching 30 Rock reruns with no one but my boyfriend's cat to keep me company.

I was contemplating staying in bed, wallowing in my loneliness, but I'm trying to make the best of being home alone in the middle of nowhere.

So here's to drinking ice water + pretending it's wine, finding solace in favourite TV shows + buying Halloween candy 'cause you're too old to go trick-or-treating.

Happy Halloween!

Full-Fat Frappuccinos

Why is a fat person in leggings with a venti frappuccino regarded with pity (if not scorn), while her skinny counterpart is 'a fashionista'?

No, Starbucks Barista, my dress size does not suggest that my frap should be fat-free.
Yes, I'm sure I want fries with that.
And yes, I'll rock skintight pants if I want to.

I'm sick of being judged for the curve of my hips, the roundness of my stomach, the fullness of my chin. My body is built this way. Sure, I could diet obsessively, exercise ceaselessly, engage in fervent self-loathing. In fact, I've done all of that before. But the majority of people who lose weight gain it all back and self-loathing does absolutely no one any good. I would know.

So here's a radical idea: instead of focusing on my eating habits, my clothing or my frame, consider this: there's something to that adage, "don't judge a book by its cover".

And if you really want to look at peoples' bodies, feast on this: people come in all different shapes and sizes. Each and every one of them is beautiful, from the tiny to the rotund and everywhere in between.

Confetti 28.10.2011: Tim Burton, Cupcakes + Breakfast At Tiffany's

Amanda Seyfried in Elle UK

Check out this week's link love!

Have a sweet tooth? Check out these adorable cupcakes via Cupcakes Take The Cake! Catcakes. Crumbs' Monster Cupcake. Sugadeaux's Vampire Bite + Pumpkin Cupcakes.

Classic film Breakfast at Tiffany's is celebrating its 50th birthday! Check out Audrey Hepburn: On Beauty and Brain Pickings' post in honour of Audrey, in celebration!

These "Real Life Disney Characters" are pretty cool. Who is your favourite?

Abandoned Lego Victorian Houses. Swell!

How many of these have you used in conversation? AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes.

Tim Burton's new film, Frankenweenie is coming out 5 October 2012! Excited?!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Contest: Caffienated Marshmallows from Caffex

Caffex sent me some of their CaffeMallows to taste + share with my readers!

CaffeMallows each contain a double-dose of coffee or espresso, and they come in  numerous flavours!

My individually wrapped marshmallows arrived in a cute little plastic container within a well-padded envelope, along with some deliciously fragrant coffee beans in an organza bag. The delivery was very prompt, which is always a treat as well.

My favourite Caffex marshmallow is the Mocca (Cacao Espresso!!) flavour. It's sweet and chocolatey with a very unique texture. It gave me a bit of an energy jolt, though not as much as I hoped.

This is a great product, both for its innovative taste-texture combo + its convenient packaging, which makes Caffex Mallows great for the 'with-it' woman who wants a treat on the go.

Do you want two yummy CaffeMallows of your very own? Comment on this blog post + tell me why! For a bonus contest entry, follow me on twitter + leave a comment here with your username.

Please get your entries in by 12 pm EST this Wednesday (26 October).

Update: The winner has been contacted. Thanks everyone!

Snapshots: It's Halloween at Disney's Fort Wilderness!

This week, I got to visit Disney's Fort Wilderness. Walking through the campgrounds, + admiring Halloween decorations has really gotten me into the mood to celebrate! Check out these pictures:

All photos by Rebecca Gorenkoff of etched in tin

TWLOHA at University of Central Florida

Jamie's sense of humor was apparent from the moment he stepped onstage, a tiny, slender brunet in a blazer and TWLOHA tee, announcing that he dropped out of University of Central Florida (to pursue his career), so he was proud the college invited him to speak. His compassion, sense of humor and optimism were catching. He instantly set the audience at ease.

Jaime related the story of his friend Renee who suffered from depression, addiction and self-injury. He and their mutual friends convinced Renee that "treatment is needed and deserved". Once she was finally in recovery, Jaime approached Renee about the possibility of sharing her story. Renee lit up, thrilled that helping others would mean there was a "purpose for her pain". And To Write Love On Her Arms was born.

Once Jaime had Renee's consent, his family and friends' support and some promotional t-shirts printed, he created a To Write Love On Her Arms' MySpace page. He explained, "being in [people's] top eight was very important. You didn't want to be ninth. And there was this guy Tom with a lot of money but a very bad default picture...". Jaime knew TWLOHA needed internet fame in order to find, "a home for the story". People found their way to the MySpace page. Numerous individuals emailed Jaime, saying, "the story [of TWLOHA] you're telling is my story or the story of someone I love".

Since 2006, TWLOHA has flourished, offering hundreds of thousands a loving community to belong to. He realized, "maybe these are not emo issues, maybe these are not white people issues, maybe these are not American issues. Maybe these are human issues... TWLOHA is a haven for human being[s] talking to other human beings, [convincing them that] they weren't alone"

Jamie said inviting his musical friends to perform at TWLOHA events isn't just a marketing tool-("and it's bad to call people tools, anyway!") On the contrary, "music has a unique power to remind us that we're alive... Songs have this funny way of being almost friends". The ballroom, jam-packed with college students, community members and friends responded enthusiastically.

The Minor Prophets performed a few of their songs, to thunderous applause. "Let's find a place where there's joy and let that joy burn the pain. [...]," they sang, "we may never get over this, that's okay".

Jaime admitted, "i don't have all the answers" to depression, feelings of loneliness or being in pain, but "my hope is that you leave here encouraged... It's okay to say you're not okay"

"Healing comes when we let people see those wounds and things we don't know what to do with. My hope for you, for myself, for all of us is to try to live like that... Everyone is living a story that is sacred...and priceless...and entirely unique. The shit that's happened to you, who you are, matters. You deserve people who remind you that your story is priceless."

The message Jaime reiterated and wanted to leave the audience with, is one I want to leave with you, dear readers, as well: "You're not alone... Please know that you matter. Please don't give up... This world needs you. You were made to be known and to be loved. You were not made to be alone".

Related Links:
TWLOHA @ Facebook
| @ Facebook |

Happy Birthday, Becca!

I celebrated my twentieth birthday today. I believe that, no matter your age, you have wisdom to impart to the world. So here's mine:

• Do what makes you happy.

• It's okay to be different. In fact, you will find that you're not 'weird' or 'fucked up'; you're special, and the people who love you will see that.

• Laughter and sex are not mutually exclusive.

Reading "health" magazines is actually bad for your health.

• It's okay to ask for help.

• Sometimes when we're stressed, we forget to breathe. Stop and take a deep breath. You'll feel better.

• You're never too old for Toy Story.

• A change of scenery can change your life. Sometimes a trip is exactly what you need.

• Never doubt the power of hugs to bring people closer together-- not just literally.

• Self-love is essential. You are worth loving. Celebrate!

• Drinking multiple glasses of water each day is very good for you.

• Your true friends will stand by you, no matter what.

• Birthday cake is delicious year-round (not just on your birthday!).

• Learning to love your body is probably a lifelong process, so you had best get started now! It's worth it, and so are you.

• That old cliche, "age is just a number" is absolutely correct.

• Once in a while, ice cream for breakfast is divine.

A Year of Books + Films

When I turned 19, I decided to record every book I read and film I watched for a year. The whole project made me more mindful of the media I consume every day + what interests me. I discovered a lot more about myself in the process, than I thought I would.

You'll find the lists below. I highly suggest that you try this too!

20th Year Books
Consolation by Michael Redhill
Tuesdays With Morrie
Bound to Please: A History of the Victorian Corset
Water For Elephants
The Story of O
The Poison Eaters by Holly Black
Truth Dare or Promise by Paula Boock
Holding Still For As Long As Possible by Zoe Whittall
It Gets Better
The Stream Runs Fast by Nellie McClung
A Taste of Honey
Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall
Kingdom Hearts volume 3
Kingdom Hearts volume 4
Fuck This Book
Kingdom Hearts volume 1
Rage by Julie Anne Peters
Moominvalley in November
Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Define "Normal" by Julie Anne Peters

20th Year Movies
Salt (x3)
The Runaways (x3)
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Life As We Know It
Madama Butterfly
Dear John
Mamma Mia
Four Christmases
Ramona and Beezus
Elf (x2)
Leap Year
The September Issue
Rent on Broadway
Toy Story 3 (x5)
Eat Pray Love
Alice In Wonderland (2010)
Adventureland (x3)
Despicable Me (x4)
500 Days of Summer (x3)
Remember Me
The Tourist
Easy A (x5)
Julie and Julia
Pride and Prejudice
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Toy Story
Toy Story 2 (x3)
Monsters Inc
Definitely, Maybe (x13)
A Bill of Divorcement
The Dilemma
Paperman (x3)
The Princess and The Frog (x3)
Valentine's Day
Wuthering Heights
The Seven Year Itch
The Perfect Vagina
Laughing With Hitler
The Big Lift (x5)
Judgement At Nuremberg
Laurel and Hardy Highlights
Les Miserables (Concert)
Benny and Joon
Some Like It Hot
Phoebe in Wonderland
Let the Right One In (x3)
The Trotsky (x2)
The Great Dictator
Sweeney Todd
Freaky Friday
Black Swan (x3)
You Me and Dupree
An Education
Water For Elephants
How To Train Your Dragon
Vampires Suck
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2

TiLT 29.9.2011

I have a lot to be thankful for this week.

Waking up next to my love, every single day. Most of our relationship has been long-distance, so I'm used to sleeping alone. Being with him is beyond-words-incredible.

Correspondence courses. I'm in Poinciana, Florida, and working on a course through University of Toronto. How cool is that?!

Disney World. Kamen's mom took us a couple of days ago + it was such fun!

Parents who care. My mom and dad have both been emailing me, asking how I am. I feel loved, knowing they're thinking of me, especially while I'm away.

Having fun with American lingo. "Candy bar". "Swimsuit". "Restroom". As a linguaphile, I love picking these out of conversation and trying them for myself (but I still say "chocolate bar" instead of "candy bar"!).

Big or small, what made you smile this week?


Things I Learned About Myself in the Big Apple

NYC as seen from the Staten Island Ferry. Photo by Rebecca Gorenkoff, Etched In Tin.

During my just-shy-of-3-days in NYC last week, I had time for lots of introspection + self-exploration. Here's what I found:

1 I'm much better with directions than I thought. While it's true that I get lost in my own city of Toronto, where I've spent all my life, I'm able to figure out which bus to take, which way Avenues versus streets go and how to ask for directions if (read: when) I need them. This comes in handy all the time!

2 I love taking pictures. I've known this for a long time, but it became more apparent than ever during my trip. I gleefully snapped photos of buildings in The Bronx, artifacts in The Museum of Sex, the Statue of Liberty... Even a few of pretzels. Photography is a great way to express one's self while keeping track of time and memories, so you'll see lots more photos (by me) on Etched In Tin.

3 I think I now understand how new Torontonians feel when they see the C. N. Tower. Seeing the Statue of Liberty up close is surreal. She's so much smaller than literature leads one to believe, yet she's larger than life. The moment you witness a landmark you've heard about all your life but never actually seen is magical.

4 I'm more capable of interacting with strangers than I thought. This is a revelation! I'm quite shy by nature, so learning that I can hold a conversation with ease was quite a confidence boost.

Do you find that travelling offers you learning experiences? When's the last time you learned something about yourself?

I Stopped Reading "Health" Magazines + You Should Too!

April Flores for Bizarre Magazine

I used to pore over women's health magazines, certain that reading them would inspire me to be healthier. Recently, though, I learned that so-called health magazines aren't so good for us afterall: They perpetuate negative body image ideals and insist that a woman will never be good enough until she's thin, inspiring crash diets and self-loathing.

Now, I do indulge in magazines (what girl doesn't?) but I'm far more discerning than I used to be. In place of reaching for Self or Shape, I explore the Health at Every Size community online or read feminist publications like Bitch and Bust. Better quality material and it makes me feel good about myself. I love fashion magazines too, but take their "health" tips with a grain of salt.

Rather than reading about ways to be skinny, I actively work at being healthy by going for walks, preparing nutritious snacks or practicing yoga.

I recognize that skinny is not necessarily healthy and healthy is not necessarily skinny, just like fat is not necessarily unhealthy and unhealthy is not necessarily fat.

I acknowledge that my body type (voluptuous, full-figured) was highly sought-after throughout history-- a larger figure meant a woman was well-off enough to eat lavishly and her curves were considered beautiful. In the past 60 years or so, slender has been considered most attractive. Society's tastes change in cycles. One day curvy will be in again and thin will be out. We just have to ignore trends and embrace the body we have.

Lastly, I remind myself over and over again that I am beautiful and I deserve to be healthy-- emotionally and physically.

And so do you.

Facebook, Fruit Eggrolls + Vintage Vibrators: Confetti 9.9.2011

TGIF! Enjoy this week's Confetti.

The Seven Most Ridiculously Amazing Things About Beyonce.I love how intelligent she comes across as when she speaks. Not to mention how glam she is! Fierce.

These fruit eggrolls look delicious.

Amanda Palmer fans, you probably already know, but... There's an Evelyn Evelyn graphic novel coming out soon! Check out this MTV Geek interview with Amanda Fucking Palmer.

Hey, fatshionistas! Domino Dollhouse has a new divine collection of dresses out.

If you're a fan of Facebook you'll 'like' this one... Facebook Like Button Cupcake.

Check out this vintage vibrator advertisement from a 1960s lingerie catalogue (via Dita Von Teese)!

Have a great weekend!

TiLT 8.9.2011

I know Things I Love Thursday is usually about little things that make us happy, but this week I also have some bigger thrills to divulge!

Firstly, yesterday was mine and Kamen's anniversary!! I am grateful beyond words to have such an incredible sweetheart + all I can ask is for many, many more years with him. Happy anniversary, beloved.

Number two? This week a lot of Canadian students went back to school. And I'm not one of them!! I love learning, as is evident in the multitude of topics I research + write about, but I thrive in less-structured environments than schools tend to be. So I'm doing a writing program by correspondence through University of Toronto, and that makes me very happy.

Now, on to the little things!

♥<3 Mad Men marathons with my mom.

♥<3 Listening to the same album multiple times in a row (in a single day!!) And never tiring of it.

♥<3 Vanilla bean ice cream.

What made you smile this week?

How To: Look Gorgeous Without Makeup

A happily makeup-free Becca, with her love, Kamen.

I first started wearing make-up in junior high. It began with super-girly pink lipsticks and pastel eye shadows, then progressed to Goth-esque red lips and tons of eyeliner. I've definitely toned down my look since then, to the point that instead of 'putting on my face' every morning, I sometimes step away from the cosmetics completely.

The idea of going without oodles of black eyeliner used to petrify me. A lot of girls are afraid to be seen without makeup, and with good reason: we're expected to look perfect at all times-- slender, stretch mark-free, poised and polished, like the pages of a magazine. So can we afford to skimp on makeup?


Here are some ways to rock the no makeup look.

Take care of your skin. Moisturize daily, exfoliate regularly + be sure to drink lots of water.

Groom those eyebrows. Extensive tweezing or waxing is not required-- simply pluck enough to enhance your brows' natural shape. This will give your face more definition and draw attention to your stunning eyes + cheekbones.

Most important of all: confidence is key! Know that you are beautiful + you do not have to look like a supermodel. In real life, even supermodels don't look like supermodels! Pounds of makeup and tons of photoshop contribute to that flawless look-- a look that's 100% unattainable. Even if it were possible to look that way, would we want to?

Your inner beauty shows outwardly, with or without makeup + a confident smile is more compelling than any computer-generated, idealized image ever will be.

TiLT 25.08.2011

Hello, gorgeous! It's Thursday, so you know what it's time for... TiLT!

Little things I loved this week...

♥<3 I had a rough few days last week, but things are finally back on track. That makes me feel accomplished + hopeful.

<3 Awesome times with my best friends this past weekend.

<3 My mom, brother + I get along pretty well. That in itself makes me happy. We went to see Crazy Stupid Love together and it was fantastic! Which leads me to my next point:

♥<3 Julianne Moore!!

♥<3 Early morning conversations with my BFF, Nelly.

♥<3 Pineapple as a pizza topping!

How about you? What's on your list today?

the past few days...

The past few days have been really hard. I keep alternating between two different moods, thanks to my Borderline.

1 I push everyone away, am angry or sad, don't trust anyone, feel like breaking something, or 2 I'm desperate to be held and kissed and comforted by Kamen and terrified of being alone.

Either way, I've been crying a lot. This is so hard.

Thank you, all of you who have been here for me. It really means a lot <3. I'll be back to "normal" soon!

Jack Layton, RIP

Source: Chris Wattie/Reuters, via The Toronto Star

I am shocked + deeply saddened by the news of Jack Layton's death.

“If I’ve tried to bring anything to federal politics, it’s the idea that hope and optimism should be at their heart. We can look after each other better than we do today,” he proclaimed.

Layton will be sorely missed, both as an NDP leader and as a man who will continue to inspire generations of Canadians.

Harry Potter Cocktails, Clever Monkey + Pina Colada Sorbet: Confetti 19.08.2011

Happy Friday! Have some confetti to celebrate!

A picture of me + two of my very best friends at Lake Ontario last summer <3. Photo belongs to us!

A black macaque borrowed a photographer's camera and took a series of hilarious self-portraits.

Pina Colada Sorbet... 'nough said!

Starbucks Spelling features coffee cups with mispelled names. Silly, but good for a laugh.

I especially like numbers 4 + 7! Glamour's 12 Ways to Flirt Without Saying a Word.

Elle Fanning stars in the new Marc by Marc Jacobs ads. Stunning!

Have you seen my article on Love Twenty? 7 Easy Body Image Boosters.

Harry Potter cocktails! As Ron would say, bloody brilliant! :D Find them here + here.

What are your weekend plans, gorgeous?

5 Reasons Why YOU Should See a Burlesque Show

Frenchie Fatale

When I enter The Revival on College Street, I'm greeted by the illustrious Frenchie Fatale., her red lips bewitching, her eyes sparkling with excitement about tonight's show, Les Follies Tres Bare. I introduce myself as a writer and a former stage kitten. She says, "oh yes, you're Rebecca!" I nod. She smiles, "I always remember people". Much like her stage persona, in person, Frenchie is enchanting. It's hard to keep your eyes off her.

The lights are dim. Performers wander out from the curtains occasionally, mingling with press and crew, nervous energy palpable. Finally, doors open at 8 and audience members begin to arrive. The room is buzzing with excited chatter. I take my seat near the front of the room in the press section. A man in a charming chapeau introduces himself to me as Paul, a photographer. He shakes my hand and tells me about his typical burlesque experience, since he's been to shows before. "I take pictures of the show, but of the audience too. I love that for burlesque shows, people get dressed to the nines".

One of the things I love best about burlesque is its ability to bring out the theatrical, old Hollywood-esque style in everyone. This thought makes me wonder about the other reasons why I love burlesque, as well as why I'd recommend you go to a show...
The very dapper emcee [Photo by Paul Hillier Photography].

The room errupts in cheers as the very dapper emcee, clad in a top hat, jacket, boxers and men's garters introduces the opening act, featuring all four Glamour Puss Burlesque dancers. For half of the number, the girls wear full costumes (afterall, Dita Von Teese says burlesque is all about the tease!). It's an inventive, ethereal number involving ballet and peacock feathers. The audience squirms deliciously in their seats when the first glove is peeled! That's the second reason to see a burlesque show: it's incredible, how sensual removing a single glove can be.

The bar smells pleasantly of cupcakes, cologne and alcohol. Candy girls work the floor, flirting and delivering sweets, lingerie-clad. Seeing so many people in a state of undress, completely at ease with their bodies, is so moving. Reason number three to see a burlesque show: you'll be inspired to love the skin you're in.

"This is nothing in this world sexier than an accent!" proclaims the emcee. He continues, "The French accent is like butter!". He calls three audience members to the stage to say something, anything, in French, trying to be as smooth and sulty as possible. The audience howls with laughter, and he waves them back to their seats. "Now get off my stage, all of you!" Comedy is constantly present in the burlesque theatre, and embraced fully by performers and audience members alike. That's the fourth reason to see a show! It's a genuine good time.

Rubie La Framboise performs as a tantalizing French courtesan, followed by a set featuring Lady Adele in her wiggle dress and elbow-length gloves, caressing the microphone stand and singing jazzy ballads. The audience loses it when she begins running her hands up and down her body while belting the lyrics. "If you can't take the heat, then take off your clothes!"  shouts the Emcee as he returns to the stage. He then dances with Kinky La Femme. Very hot! This brings us to reason number five: sex, sex, sex! I've never felt so comfortable with my sexuality.

In one of my favourite moments of the night, The Matador bursts onto the stage and tears off 'his' clothes, hat and mustache, revealing Frenchie Fatale dressed as a bull, complete with horns and panties with the word "Ole" printed on them. In another, Lady Adele sings a breathy, Marilyn Monroe-style happy birthday to Kinky La Femme.

More of the night's highlights: Paralee Peal dances a Cinderella-inspired number. She's playful, demure, full of longing and sex appeal all at once. Baldini and Kazam mystify the audience with their magic, then Frenchie and Carlos Caliente perform "a true tale of betrayal", followed by 2011 Burlesque Hall of Fame star Jett Adore in a captivating solo act.

Finally, all the Glamour Puss girls take the stage for the grand finale, "All That Jazz" from Chicago. Kinky and Lady Adele wear crimson, sparkling dresses and captivate, their voices filling the theatre. As the last note is sung, the room begins to vibrate with applause.

While the curtains have closed on Les Follies Tres Bare, the neo-burlesque movement dances forward. Be on the lookout for a burlesque show in your city (or check out Glamour Puss if you're ever in Toronto)-- you'll be in for a treat.

Related Links:

| Category: Burlesque @ Etched In Tin |
Glamour Puss on Facebook | Etched In Tin on Facebook

1 Year, 100 Posts!!

Hello, readers!

I am ecstatic to announce that Etched In Tin is 1 year old! This anniversary is marked by this, my hundredth post!

Here's to many, many more years and a multitude of new articles.

Lots of love and confetti,
xo Becca

Fab Hats + Blog Love: TiLT 11.9.2011

Happy Thursday!

Here are the little things which made me smile this week:

♥<3 Texting song lyrics back and forth with Kamen.

♥<3 Wearing my favourite hat! Check out the picture below. It's from July. I've been wearing the hat all time since I got it! [You can buy your own, in any colour, with or without ears, here!! They're handmade in the USA.]
Full disclosure: My boyfriend runs Table Monkey Knitwear. But I'm advertizing not because he wants me to, but because I genuinely love the products and overall company + think you will too!

Here I am, wearing my favourite hat! [Photo by me]

<3 I went to Taste of the Danforth, an annual Greek food street festival, with one of my best friends, Tush. We shared lots of laughs and delicious treats, including baklava. It was awesome!

<3 Receiving heartfelt comments and emails on my blog always makes my week!

What made your week?

7 Easy Body Image Boosters + Love Twenty

Marion Cotillard for Elle France

I am very excited to announce that I have joined Love Twenty's team of writers!! I'm thrilled to be a part of such an awesome online resource for women.

My first article will be live on the site very soon, but I wanted to give my wonderful Etched In Tin readers a taste before anyone else on the web!!

So, without further ado, here are 4 (of 7!) Easy Body Image Boosters.

:)  Write out a list of all the little things you like about your appearance. For example: 'I have fabulous legs'. 'My arms look awesome when I wear sleeveless tops'. 'I love how my eyes pop when I wear bright liner'. On 'ugly days', go over your list for a boost!

:)  Find a go-to clothing item that you always feel great in, be it a perfectly tailored pair of pants, sky-high heels or a little black dress.

:)  Check out the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement. HAES embraces the fact that we all have different sizes and shapes and health is more important than fitting society's beauty ideals.

:)  Cover your walls with photos and magazine clippings of your body image role models. Think of women who are comfortable with their figures, no matter what they look like. Emulate their confidence. Ideas to start your collection: Lizzie Miller (plus size model), your best friends, LinkChristina Hendricks, Beth Ditto, Lady Gaga.

What would you add, gorgeous?

How To: Help a Loved One Cope With Her Mental Illness

Thanks to the devastating stigma attached to mental illness + the lack of research on most disorders, coming out as suffering from a mental illness is terrifying. Your loved one trusts you enough to have divulged this information. Bravo! You're on the right track! A support system is vital, especially for those combating severe disorders such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar or a personality disorder.

I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. The intense, unpredictable moods, irrational fears and feelings of vulnerability within relationships that it leads me to have impact my life every single day. Every moment, I am grateful for the people in my life who love me enough to stand by me, even when it's unbelievably hard.

A couple of days ago, during a particularly difficult episode, I talked to my ever-supportive boyfriend, Kamen.

I choked, "There's no way you could possibly want me, especially forever!" Through sobs, I continued, "Are you sure you love me enough to deal with decades of my fucked up meltdowns?!" BPD leads me to believe (almost always incorrectly, despite how real it feels) that the world is about to end and no one loves me... And on and on the terrifying thoughts go... It sounds over-dramatic, but I feel everything with this intensity, if not more.

But he simply said, "I'm damn positive".

I took deep breaths as he continued to reassure me that everything was okay and he loves me very much. I was soon able to calm down.

Your loved one is so lucky to have someone who cares enough to stand by her. Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to be there for her, especially if you have never experienced what she is going through. As someone who has a mental illness and helps others cope with their own, I've compiled a list to help you out.

Be empathetic. As painful as the position you're in is, recognize that your lover is hurting even more. Not only must she cope with her illness' symptoms on a regular basis, but she knows her illness pains you too.

Learn everything you can about the disorder. When I was diagnosed with Selective Mutism (SM), my mom read every article, newspaper clipping and book about SM she could get her hands on. Knowledge is power! Perhaps your loved one can share the books or websites that helped her.

Consider joining a support group for family, friends or lovers. You'll get some unique perspective and build a support network.

Recognize that your loved one is not her disease, BUT that it does affect her day-to-day life in a large, noticeable and uncontrollable way. Know that she has no say in this matter. Reassure her that you know it's hard and that as long as she does her best and remembers that you are there for her, everything will be okay.

Most importantly: Take care of yourself. Being there for your loved one is essential, but so is your own mental health. Never forget that! Take time to explore healthy coping skills of your own, be they meditation, making art or talking to someone you trust.

Review: Salacious Magazine

Salacious is a "radically sex-positive thought-provoking super-hot porn" magazine.

Porn is usually thought to be anything but thought-provoking, let alone empowering or inspiring, but Salacious is all three, and then some. A feminist, queer publication, Salacious offers fare to titilate people of all genders and sexualities.

Issue #2's topic is Voyeurism-- the deliciously exciting scenario of watching or being watched. Page after page of comics, photos and stories promise hours of enjoyment and a multitude of kinky ideas to explore. I'm rather partial to the story "Deeper" by Corey T. + am convinced you'll love some (if not all) of what this magazine has to offer, too.

Tempted? Click here to order the current issue, pre-order the next issue or find out if a store near you carries Salacious.

Related links:
Salacious Magazine on Twitter | Becca on Twitter | Becca's NSFW sex blog

Forget "perfect": You're already beautiful!

Liz Taylor knew looking good on the beach is all about having the right attitude!!

With swimsuit season upon us, I've noticed a flurry of discussion (especially among women) of the stress we experience trying to tone-up and look perfect in itty bitty bikinis and filmy summer clothes.

What if I'm not tan enough? What if I'm too skinny or too fat? What if, what if, what if.

We're terrified of being thought of as anything but as flawless as the mannequins at Urban Planet or the models in Fashion Magazine. The truth is, those mannequins are plastic and those models are air-brushed-- a human can't look that way in 'real life', EVER.

This is common knowledge. And yet, we still beat ourselves up about not being perfect.

So how do we change this?

First, we need to acknowledge that we're almost never being carefully, cruelly scrutinized when we think we are. The other girls on the beach aren't looking at your stretch marks, and the men you sleep with aren't judging your scars. Other girls are too busy worrying about their own perceived imperfections and guys are too busy simply being stoked that they're in bed with you.

Instead of fixating on your "flaws", focus on what you feel confident about. Wear something that makes you feel pretty, that emphasizes your best features (and STOP reading magazine articles that tell you to cover your 'arm flab' and 'muffin top'! Focus on the positive!) Remember that no one is perfect.

You are beautiful. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
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