Not Very "Smart", Huh?

Today Jezebel shared some horrible-looking diet 'food'. The pictures were enough to make me lose my appetite-- and enough to reassure me that going for yummy food regardless of my weight & having a healthy body image is far more appealing than eating what companies, dieticians and society tells me is healthy & maintaining a size that's not natural to me.

Go ahead. Gaze in the mirror & admire your gorgeous body- and then take a trip to the fridge for something delicious, like an apple or some lox on a bagel or an ice cream cone.

Related Links:

| I Stopped Reading Health Magazines and You Should Too | Health At Every Size (HAES) | Full-Fat Frappuccinos | Body Image |

11 of the Best Things About Being Single

I admit it: I'm one of those girls who loves being in a relationship. I love knowing there's someone to come home to. I love waking up to romantic text messages. I love awesome sex being practically a guarantee. I love feeling loved.

But you know what? You don't need a relationship for any of those things. You can fulfill yourself. You can get a room mate or a pet, send yourself a love note, buy yourself a vibrator & practice self-love by taking care of your own happiness.

Don't settle for making do with not being in a relationship, though. Embrace all the awesome things that come your way just because you're single.

Here's just a sample of the very best parts of the single life:

1 You get the whole bed to yourself! Lots of space to stretch out, roll around, or fill with plushies and paperbacks.
2 You get to choose the movie on date night. Don't like action movies? No problem!
3 Flirting with random people. Boost that confidence, baby! Flirting is fun.
4 Dress up for yourself. Love lace? Buy a pretty chemise & admire yourself in the mirror. "Hello, gorgeous!".
5 Suddenly, you'll have more money to spend on fun things for yourself. I spent so much on bus tickets to go see Kamen (not to mention gifts for him or lingerie to wear for him). Not anymore!
6 No need to agonize over whether or not he'll call or text you. There's far less anxiety of 'am I not important enough?' in my life now.
7 Vibrators don't talk back. You can turn them off and on, and they don't stop until they are through serving their purpose." (Source).
8 Also on the topic of vibrators: No need to explain what that lime green phallic thing in your dresser drawer is, nor to reassure him 'no, honey, it won't replace you'.
9 You can go to bed and get up whenever you like. No nagging from your boy or girlfriend.
10 Opportunity to reconnect with old friends and family. It’s amazing the relationships that you put to the side (and you may not even notice it) when you are in a relationship. I’ve loved taking the time to reconnect with those people – and have learned my lesson that I will never become disconnected from them again. (Source).
11 Nodding along with everything listed in this post from 1000 Awesome Things.

What would you add to this list?

Note: All of these ideas are mine, other than the few followed by this: (source). Click the link to go to the original post. Image Source.

Farewell, Orange Vinyl Seats

Oh, those orange vinyl seats...

I have so many memories of the TTC's old H4 subway trains... Hours spent en route to concerts at the ACC, to doctors' appointments uptown, riding for the fun of it (and for a comfy place to sit and write) as a teenager.

But as of this morning, the old H4s are out of service.

For most, the subway is a day-to-day fixture, not worth noticing. But I see a subway and smile, because I'm a sentimental Torontonian in love with her hometown.

Edward Keenan of The Grid seems to get it. Just read this loving prose.

Do you miss the H4? Love the new trains? Or are you ambivalent about public transit?

All photos by Rebecca Esther.

Link Love 27.5.2012

Lego man in space, slap bracelets, a very smart cat & more!!

It's Friday! Time for some Link Love:

I really like these t-shirts... And if you're fat & fabulous like me, you will, too!

Why I Don't Own a Scale from Lovelyish is great. The way your body feels is more an indicator of health than the number on the scale, so I agree with this article. Do you?

You should follow CatFoodBreath on twitter. He's one smart feline. Check out the conversation we had the other day:

Ooh, these slap bracelets are nifty!
Two Toronto 17-year-olds sent a Lego man into space. How incredible is that?! (The Canadian flag was a nice touch).

Have a great weekend, gorgeous!

An Open Letter To Rick Santorum

Dear Mr Santorum,

Being pro-choice isn't about aborting fetuses. It's not about undermining you (and I know self-centred Republicans like you often think the world revolves around them & people's political choices revolve around them). Being pro-choice about one thing, and one thing only: a person's right to choose.

As an American, white, financially well-off, cis-gendered, straight male, you're given the right to choose.

Most of us aren't so lucky.

Most of us aren't white, financially well-off, cis-gendered, straight and male.

So here's a suggestion. Instead of spreading hate and insensitive 'advice', try being empathetic. Instead of telling women who've survived rape to "make the best out of a bad situation" [source], consider the fact that some situations can't just be made better. Sometimes, abortion is the only answer. And sometimes, politicians need to admit that they're wrong.

Just like I'm going to admit something about myself: throughout this letter I've been tempted to make jokes about your campaign being full of shit, but I've restrained myself (mostly).

Unfortunately for you, your grossly unconstitutional campaign is a much bigger issue.

Hopefully you'll fix that before you get glitter bombed again.

Rebecca Esther

Related Links:

Definition of Santorum | Santorum on Wikipedia | Santorum Quotes | Santorum's Campaign Site | More Santorum

2011: A Year In Review

I know a lot of bloggers are already done their year-end retrospectives, but I've been pondering mine for ages. In fact, I thought I'd forgo it all together. But I don't feel right not tying all the loose ends from last year into a neat, pretty bow to help me move forward. Maybe you'll also get something out of this exercise-- and I'd love to hear about the ups and downs of your year, too.

2011's most memorable happenings:

I fell in love with a boy... who later broke my heart. So I wrote about it. How Taylor Swift of me!

I travelled across the continent all by myself-- twice.

I visited New York City, Washington DC, Richmond & Alexandria (VA), Orlando, Kissimmee & Loxahatchee (FL) and lots more American cities I'd never been to before.

My writing was featured in Love Twenty Magazine, Datingish and others, plus I wrote for EdenFantasys, The Selectively Silent Child & other companies.

2012 is off to a good start.

RIP Etta James

Though Etta was diagnosed with a terminal illness last year and passed away today, she'll live on through her songs.

Link Love 19.1.2012

Happy Friday! Here are a few fun links for you.

Vogue's interview with Taylor Swift is just fantastic.

This makes me miss Florida.

Every time it snows in a big city by The Oatmeal is hilarious... and so true!

These heart elbow patches make me wish I could crochet.

What caught your fancy this week?

Outfit of the Day: Leopard Print Leggings

A foggy day in North York, ON called for a cheery pastel t-shirt paired with leopard print leggings and a chunky knit scarf!

I spent yesterday with my mom, who's under the weather. My sartorial choice was stylish, but comfy, allowing me to effortlessly switch between nachos and a movie & writing a college paper.

And I got pretty cozy with this troll doll from my mom's collection...

What I Wore:

Pastel blue v-neck t-shirt: Old Navy
Leopard Print Leggings: Forever 21+
Chunky Knit Scarf (not pictured): The Bay

TiLT 19,1,2012: Strawberries, Leopard Print Leggings & Stacks of Mags

Thursday is here again!
It's a gorgeous, chilly day in Toronto, full of possibility! It's still pretty early as I type this (barely 9 am), a great time to reflect on this week.

A few big things I'm excited about & grateful for:

~ Working on my very first Outfit Of The Day (OOTD) post. Lots of my favourite bloggers have this feature and I've been tempted for a while, because it looks fun & is such a great source of sartorial inspiration, so I can't wait to join in.

~ Toronto's weather. I can't stop talking about how great it is! Cold & sunny, sans ice and snow. I love it!

~ Time does heal all wounds. No elaboration required.

Little things which made me smile:

♥ Leopard print leggings ♥ Catching up with old friends ♥ Discovering THE BEST conditioner that makes your hair silky smooth-- finally!! ♥ Jason Webley's Only Just Beginning ♥ Getting awesome things in the mail ♥ I bought a new bag for my upcoming trip to Buffalo. I'll only be gone a couple days, so going sans suitcase (but still with a change of clothes & room for new purchases!) will be great. ♥ Fresh strawberries. Unseasonably delicious! ♥ Stacks of magazines ♥ Snuggling with my cat, Edward ♥ Crinoline, lace & sequins ♥

What's on your TiLT list this week?

Related Links:

| Things I Love Thursday Archive @ |

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Music Monday 16.01.2012: "Baby is a bad boy with some retro sneakers/ Let's go see The Killers and make out in the bleachers!"

Hello beautiful! Happy Monday!

This morning, let's listen to a fun, dance-y song dedicated to the cute boys we like to admire.

Boys boys boys! We like boys in cars. Boys boys boys! Buy us drinks in bars. Boys boys boys! With hairspray and denim. Boys boys boys! We love them, we love them!

What else is in your headphones today?

Featured on Datingish

My post was featured on Datingish!! Thank you so much, Datingish team & my lovely readers. It means a lot to me that my writing is being read by so many of you.

Link Love 13.1.2012: Vintage Typewriters, People's Choice & Love Lessons from 30 Rock

Hey, lovely! Welcome to this week's Nonpareils (Link Love)! I've struck internet gold this week, don't you think?

A very insightful article about Instagram.

The new trend in nail art, via Lovelyish.

Meryl Streep covers this week's NOW Magazine! She looks stunning.

Whose People's Choice style was your favourite? I'm partial to Emma Stone's jacket & Demi Lovato's dress. Ellen & Portia made an adorable couple, as always. And Kaley Cuoco's hair was lovely.

LearnVest advocates splurging on yourself every once in a while.

Anne Wayman suggests 5 Ways to Generate New Ideas and Creativity. This is great for writers, as well as for those who just want to be inspired & try something a little differently.

These rejuvinated vintage typewriters are incredible! I'd love to sit at my desk in 1960s garb & type up an article or three.

I love Love Lessons From 30 Rock. I think it's my favourite article in Nerve's Love Lessons From... series!

What sites caught your attention this week?

Image SourceLink

Jason Wu for Target

I'm starting to get excited about Jason Wu's soon-to-be-released line for Target, aren't you? I especially love the piece above, the Milo the cat bag.

The Budget Babe has a whole list of the line's accessories (including pictures!). Prices range from $19.99-$49.99US and will be available 5 February.

TiLT 12.1.2012

Happy Thursday! This is my first TiLT post at my new domain & my first TiLT of the year-- I'm excited. So here goes :)

First of all, I'm thankful to my amazing family & friends who, (especially) in the past little while, have really proved to me that I can count on them. I've had a rough couple weeks, thanks to super-strong antibiotics that made me sick, difficulty choosing what to study this semester & getting over a nasty break-up. But the incredible, wonderful, magical people in my life have been here for me, and I love them for it.

I'm also thankful to Kamen (who I know is reading this). I'm thankful for the good times we had together. I'm thankful for the push he gave me to come to Florida. Without that, I know I still would have left the city to travel and find myself, but I wouldn't have as soon as I did. Most of all, I'm thankful things turned out the way they did. I've learned how strong I am. And now I know what I deserve in a relationship-- support, passion, romance and especially unconditional love. None of which Kamen gave me. He couldn't give me any of those things, can't give anyone those things, until he gets his shit together, learns how to treat a woman & and finds someone who's right for him. I wish him the best in that endeavour, I really do. I know it will be hard for him.

On a lighter note...

Little things which made me smile this week:

♥ Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake ♥ Derpy Cats!! ♥ Vitamin Water. ♥ ThisUmmm.. PANDAS PANDAS PANDAS!! ♥ I'm really enjoying Toronto's chilly, snow-free weather. Perfect for long walks. ♥ Melissa McCarthy ♥ Planning my upcoming trip to Buffalo ♥ "Picture to Burn" by Taylor Swift. It's my new 'theme song'! ♥

What are you thankful for this week?

Image Source: here.

Are you on Pinterest?

Pinterest is a really great site that allows you to organize all the pages, sites & pictures that inspire you.

More details from What Is Pinterest?: Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people.

Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

Plus, the site is totally free & really trendy right now.

Request an invite to Pinterest here.

Click this button to visit my boards: Follow Me on Pinterest

An Open Letter To Anonymous Haters

Dear Anonymous Haters who post nasty comments on my blog,

I am flattered. Truly. Not only do you take the time to read my work, but you meticulously craft scathing responses to my every post. You are so good at sharing your hateful words in a timely manner (within a day of my updates-- wow!) but you word them so creatively, so eloquently. For example: "dear becca, my responze to your last post is fuck ylou".

Oh god. That stung!

Also, you are very brave, leaving an anonymous comment on a not-yet-popular blog. That takes guts, doesn't it?

Here's another gem:

I told Kamen you'd blogged about him.
And everytime you mention him, I will tell him. You may be hurt by whatever he ''did'' but Stop talking fucking shit about him over and over again. You say you're done with him but you're not. Youre using him to get fucking sympathy for nothing, thats just cruel. Stop trying to make out you've done fuck all wrong when youve caused more damaage than anyone else.

1 Ooh, I'm so scared someone told Kamen I'd blogged about him!
2 You put 'did' in quotation marks?! Now you're serious! I am shaking in my boots. For realz.
3 I'm talking "fucking shit" about him? Not just "shit", but "fucking shit"? Actually, anon, I'm talking "fucking shit" about you right now. You must feel so special.
4 What is "damaage"? Is that pronounced 'dahm-aw-j".

These are just the latest comments. The others I didn't care to post because making up snarky responses to them all is a waste of my time.

And next time I write an open letter, I think it'll be responses to my favourite positive comments from my dedicated readers (other than Victoria, because she's a cunt).

"My Enemy is My Teacher"

This post from Metta Drum couldn't have come at a better time for me.

Daniel Collinsworth asks, "Who is your enemy? The one who talks down to you and criticizes your work? The one who treats you carelessly? The one who puts obstacles in your path and makes your life more difficult?"

That sounds like Kamen.

Collinsworth continues, "When I accept that I am responsible for my attitude and my actions, in the face of resistance from someone else. I do not pass this responsibility onto them. I stand strong in my own sense of stillness and peace.

"This is a far cry from defeat. This is, in fact, the ultimate victory: the victory over yourself. Here, you have transcended a layer of the story-telling ego and expanded into a state of liberation. Here, you have empowered yourself to act consciously and compassionately, because you aren’t locked into a game of me vs. them. And here, there is revolution and growth".

When I read these words, in my mind, I joyously screamed, YES!!!

I'm hurt, but I'm not angry. I accept what happened, how I feel and how he is acting. I accept my role in our (lack of) relationship. Instead of acting childishly & focusing on our fallout, I will move on and be happy and healthy.

Being the bigger person may not be as much fun as spilling his secrets (and believe me, there are juicy ones) or poking fun at his numerous flaws, but it does teach me how strong, decent and compassionate I can be.
These are the words I live by. This is my philosophy. But no one has ever put it into words (or action) as beautifully as Jack Layton.

Image source.

Kamen responds to my last post + an update

---> Scroll down for the update.

You know that feeling when a tiny part of you regrets a decision, but the universe decides to show you you made the right choice? You're sick with remorse until Karma or what ever deity you believe in proves to you you were right, and you feel better.

That's how I feel right now.

Kamen decided to comment on my last post. Here's his comment, word for word:

"You fucken (sic) liar. My (sic) there was a new text from Victoria, it wasn't open to her name. You can't "accidently" (sic) open it."

I can't believe I used to take that shit from him. His suspicions, his lack of trust, his siding with anyone but me all the time. Not to mention that horrendous spelling... ;)

But his actions demonstrate a few things to me.

1 He misses me. (And that sucks for him). Why else would he read my blog? It's good quality writing, but I doubt that's it. I mean, you should see his bookshelf. (Lousy with a capital L).

2 He's immature. There's no need for me to waste time with someone like that.

3 Karma definitely exists.

So Kamen, I hope you like this post even more than you enjoyed the last.

And darling readers, learn to recognize your own worth. That will save you a lot of valuable time & prevent a lot of heartbreak.

Here's another comment, this time from an anonymous.

"Dear, you are all sorts of delusional and I really think you should have that seen to (sic). You're lying not only to yourself, but to strangers on the internet to get sympathy. I'm not saying Kamen isn't in the wrong in some points, but not in the ways you're claiming."

Okay, "dear", I'll gratify you with a real response when you have the guts not to be anonymous.

And another from Kamen. Is all he does all day think about me? Probably.

"I read your blog because I got an email update, judging by the name of it, I assumed it involved me.

I wouldn't give a flying fuck if it weren't for the little details you left out.
This is half your fault too.

You have lack of trust for going threw (sic) my stuff
Not once did I read a thing of yours with out asking.

Ps. Every time I was "asleep" talking to you, I remember everything. I know you locked me out of my phone because I wouldn't tell you the passcode.

I know you tried to get me to talk about shit.

I'm not immature, I'd like to see you deal with half the things I'm responsible for."

It's nice that he wouldn't have given a flying fuck, because he clearly did give a fuck.

Anyway. I'm aware that it takes two to make a relationship work or not work. I'm also aware of who put the most work in, toward the end: me. Afterall, did Kamen even try to come to Toronto to see me? No. I went to Florida twice (and was planning a third trip). And I take some responsibility for our relationship not working (although the lies he posted on my blog are obviously not true). And being truly mature means not having to say you aren't immature.

I'm done wasting my time on you, Kamen and anonymous. I have much better things to do with my time.

On Break-Ups

I've been in three (romantic) relationships. All three were disasters. All three break-ups were disasters. But I've learned a lot from them.

Break-up #1

I was 18. Serge was 20. The experienced, slightly older guy. I think that's all I saw in him. That, and he seemed to like me, which made my self-esteem swell.

Things started going downhill when he said "you have such a good head on your shoulders! You mustn't really suffer from depression. You don't need antidepressants". I thought I could overlook that ignorance, but he started telling me to change numerous things about myself-- my weight, my hair colour, my taste in music.

What really got to me was when he said he'd be away for the weekend and couldn't talk. And he didn't get in touch with me until a week later, when he said he'd made the whole thing up, he was just sick of me.

I know I can be clingy. But that was unnacceptable.

What I learned:

It's healthy to evolve in a relationship, or to improve or change little things about yourself to make the other person happy. But when you're expected to become a completely different person just to make your lover happy? Dealbreaker.

Break-up #2

Siri was a lovely, curvy blonde from Norway. We loved the same music, Scandinavian culture & burlesque.

Three things tore us apart: Distance. My Borderline (I wasn't dealing with it well at the time, at all). Her insecurity.

And her friends interfered in our relationship. A lot. I'm not ready to talk about that part though.

What I learned:

Some relationships just can't be saved. Just hope you grew as a person & keep calm and carry on.

Break-Up #3

This is the big one. It's still a raw, open wound. It happened today.

Kamen and I were friends. We met through a mutual friend named Nelly. She's English. Kamen's American. I'm Canadian. Of course distance was a problem from the start. (WHY do I always fall for people who live far away?!).

We each developed a crush on each other... And I confessed it during a late-night facebook chat. He said that he felt the same way. Within a couple months, our crushes turned into love. I'd never felt like that about a person before. I thought we'd last forever.

I went to visit him in the summer, then again in September. I took the bus, because it was all I could afford. I spent at least 70 hours total on buses & in Greyhound stations, but I felt it was worth it. I'd do anything for him. Anything.

Toward the end of my stay with him (the very end of November 2011), I had to look up an address. He let me use his phone (I didn't have wifi or 3G that day). I'm not used to Androids so I accidentally hit a button that brought up his latest text messages. Messages from his friend Victoria (who I thought was my friend, too), belittling me for suffering from a mental illness, making light of my emotions, & worst of all, saying I'd kill myself if he left me, but he had to because I was a crazy bitch.

I understand being angry. I know things are said out of spite and hurt sometimes. But making light of a serious mental illness? Laughing about something I'd only ever confided in him about, with his friend? That crossed a line.

Our relationship slowly died after that. And now it's fucking dead and buried. I'm better off that way.

I'm still trying to figure out what the lesson I've learned from this relationship is. So far, here's what I've got: Travelling across the continent alone has shown me I'm braver and more independent than I thought. Dealing with my suicidal thoughts, panic attacks & his cruelty regarding them has made me a much stronger person. But most importantly:

I'm not bitter. I still believe in love. Even if, romantically, I'm alone for the rest of my life, I know love is real, because the empathy my friends and family have shown me is pure and wonderful and exsquisite. Plus, love isn't just romance. I'm in love with books, cities, feelings & ideas.

"My faith in love in still devout"...

You ARE beautiful NOW!!

Becca, age 14

Sometimes, when I see old pictures of myself, I say "wow, I was so beautiful!" ...with the implication that I'm not beautiful now. And that needs to stop.

We look at ourselves in the mirror & only see flaws. 10 years from now, looking at photos from today, we'll think, I was so pretty/perfect/flawless, why didn't I see it then?!

So let's stop that. Today, look at yourself in the mirror. Look at how stunning you are! Don't wait.
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How To Make This Year Your BEST YET!!

Happy 2012, beautiful!

Whether you've made new year's resolutions or not, there are lots of little things you can do to assure yourself an awesome year, one day at a time.

Here are 4 ideas to try:

1 Work on a 'what I love about myself' list. At the start of a new year it's so easy to focus on things we wish to change, especially with everyone around us bemoaning their sky-high debt or criticizing their cellulite-riddled thighs. Forget that! Focus instead on what you're doing right-- meditating weekly, conditioning your hair often or excelling at school.

2 Treat yourself & a friend to some really great hot chocolate, complete with marshmallows, whipped cream & a cherry on top! Yum.

3 Go through your underwear drawer, getting rid of holey socks & granny panties-- and replace them with stylish knee-highs & frilly, neon-coloured or pastel-hued knickers! You deserve to feel pretty. Your drawer of 'unmentionables' should reflect that.

4 Subscribe to a magazine that makes you feel good. Fashion mags are fun, but they don't necessarily have a great impact on our self-esteem. And while it's great to be well-informed, dry news magazines or newspapers can be upsetting rather than entertaining. Try Bust, Bitch or Shameless. Trust me!

What else would you add?

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