"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
| RebeccaEsther.com @ 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
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