Treat Yourself at a Burlesque Show, Toronto!

Toronto, are you in the mood for a scandalously good time? On June 14th you're invited to a glamorous evening with femmes fatales, not-so-innocent ingenues, dangerously debonair gents, and thrilling vaudevillians: The Firecrackers Go Classic burlesque show!

The show will feature THE FIRECRACKERS: SCARLETT LAFLAMME ("The Girl Who Gives You Fever"), MOLLY MISSHAP, FAN TAN FANNY and LI'L RELLY, and will be hosted by ELLIOTT LORAN.

Special guest stars include:

Plus, treat yourself to cupcakes, fascinators, pasties and more by theOriginalFace!

Doors at 9:00, show at 9:30
Tickets: $20 at the door, $15 in advance
Advance tickets are on sale now!

If you're on the fence, read 5 Reasons Why YOU Should See a Burlesque Show. It's going to be a great time; hope to see you there!

Image Source

Related Links: 

Things I Love Thursday 26.4.2012

I'm taking a break from working on my ebook (!!) to write this week's TiLT and snuggle with my cat. I hope your Thursday is treating you well, too!

This week has mostly been recouperating from the last of a cold and my trip to the South. Yesterday I went downtown with two of my best friends, Chana & Tush. We had an amazing vegan lunch, explored Kensington Market, shopped at the Eaton Centre and shared some tiramisu at Wanda's Pie In The Sky.

Today I slept in, but since getting up I've covered a lot of ground, doing some spring cleaning, writing a few drafts and getting other stuff done. Busy busy busy!

Looking at photos from my pin-up inspired photoshoot at the historic Highland Inn, Atlanta ♥ Rose-scented sachets ♥ Irreplaceable -- Beyonce This is such a great resource! ♥ Pina coladas ♥ Silver nail polish ♥ Freshly laundered clothes that smell of lavender ♥ Chilly, sunny days (perfect for long walks!)

Lust List: Stuff We Crave

I recently got an email from a reader who wanted to know what products, clothes & books are on my wishlist right now. Great question, Amber* (and thanks!). I find it fascinating to scroll through other bloggers' wishlists, so I'd be happy to share my own. 

If you want to check out what's on my list as I add it, here is my list. I also share on Pinterest.

Without further ado...

  L U S T   L I S T

If it were up to me, I'd live in sparkly flats! I really like these blue glitter flats by Pleaser.

The Clinique Chubby Stick looks amazing! Everyone I've talked to on Pinterest says it's amazing, so I'm pretty tempted...

The Trotsky is a great, indie, Canadian-made film about a Montreal teenager who's convinced he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky. It's quirky, funny, romantic & clever. I could watch this over and over again, so I'm saving my pennies to buy a copy for my DVD collection. Other Canadian-made books, movies and music that tempt me: Alexz Johnson's album, Voodoo, 18 To Life & Zoe Whittall's Bottle Rocket Hearts (of which I had a copy, but gave it away-- the first to Amanda Palmer, the second to a friend... so I need a new one!).

I always want books! Lately topics include: Southern culture, sexuality & Canadian social history.

Nars cosmetics come in demure colours and have naughty names. "Orgasm" lip gloss is supposed to be  pretty amazing.

Money can't buy it, but... I would love a day in which to indulge in these 10 little things to do for yourself.

This dress is cute, colour-blocked & comes in plus sizes!

Zero chocolate bars are so good. Stockpiling them would make up for the fact that we don't have them in Canada, right?

A "Plus Size Barbie" t-shirt like Tess Munster's!

Speaking of t-shirts: I blogged for Out of Print a few weeks ago, and Out of Print sent me a Wonderful Wizard of Oz tee! I love it so much that I'm lusting after their others, including Charlotte's Web and The Bell Jar. If there were one for Gone With the Wind I would cry tears of joy, most likely.

Other stuff: stockings & knee-high socks, an underbust corset, neon denim (which is so hard to find in my size!), a 50's-style bikini and a push-up bra.

What's on your wishlist right now? Share with us!

I'm not compensated or endorsed by any of these companies, unless otherwise stated. 
*Name used with permission.
Image via WeHeartIt.

Celebrate Toronto Literature!

When I fall in love with a city, I devour every book featuring it that I can find. Being a Torontonian, I'm enamoured of this beautiful city, and of course, am thrilled when novels are set here. So imagine my excitement when I learned about #OneBookTTC, the Toronto Public Library's week-long discussion of literary gems and Toronto culture, taking place on twitter.

Yesterday's question was especially awesome: "What is your favourite book set in Toronto?". I loved scrolling through the answers. I've read quite a few of them, but there are numerous titles I haven't even heard of, which makes me wish I were at the library right now!

My picks:

And here's a list of some of the other books mentioned:

Charis Cotter's Toronto Between the Wars
Shawn Micallef's Stroll
Dionne Brand's What We All Long For (this one was shared by author Zoe Whittall!)
Lilian Nattel's Web of Angels

And of course, Girls Fall Down by Maggie Helwig, which is TTC One Book Club's official choice.

Find the rest of the list here.

What's your favourite book set in Toronto? Are you taking part in #OneBookTTC?

Related Links:
Toronto Public Library @ Twitter | Rebecca Esther @ Twitter | TTC One Book Club


Things I Love Thursday  Friday

It's been a great week! I went swimming in a huge outdoor Orlando pool, explored Downtown Disney and enjoyed a lemon cupcake in Atlanta.

Plus... Little things which made me smile:

• Gingerbread shaped like Mickey Mouse • That 70's Show reruns • My neon-striped top • Buying stationary! • The adorable black cat who was snoozing in the inn's sitting room • Double-decker buses. Atlanta's Edgewood Shopping District •

What made your week?

My new friend, Jack the cat, who lives in the hotel's sitting room.

Hello, Atlanta!

Hey, gorgeous readers!

I'm sitting on my hotel bed in Atlanta, Georgia, eating strawberries and lamenting the fact that today is my only day here.

I love Atlanta. I knew I would. I've wanted to visit this city ever since I started traveling by myself. There's just something about it that calls to me. I know I feel that way about a lot of places, but Atlanta is special.

It's the city air and small-town feel, the culture, the fact that it's beautiful here.

I do miss Toronto though, so in some ways I'm glad I'm going home soon.

Do you feel this way when you travel?

P.S. if you're ever in Atlanta, treat yourself to a cupcake from The Atlanta Cupcake Factory. The lemon ones are amazing!

I will be by the pool!

It has been wonderful to do nothing today.

After two days' journey to get to Orlando, FL, covering the opening night of the Florida Film Festival and writing drafts of numerous articles, it's been lovely to kick back and do nothing but go for walks down SBT, indulge in some much-needed retail therapy, watch movies and take naps. Best of all, I spent a few hours by the pool!

What I Wore:
Swimsuit - Forever 21+
Sunglasses - RayBan

DIY Accessories & Edible Flower Lollies: Link Love 13.4.2012

Happy Friday, my dears! Time for some link love:

These DIY Polka Dot Sunglasses are adorable-- and so easy to make!

Spring Flower Lollipops... Dainty, beautiful, and you can make them yourself! Best part? They contain real edible flowers, which is positively decadent!

More DIY: These wedges are really cute!

An entertaining infographic about 15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly.

Because I love the South: How To Speak With a Southern Accent. I admit, y'all, that I just can't get enough of that Southern drawl.

Have you read my interview with Emilie Autumn yet?!

How precious is this photobomb-ing sloth?

This was all over the internet last week, but in case you missed it... Texts From Hillary is pretty awesome.

Have a wonderful weekend, kittens!

Image Source? If you know, please let me know!
I believe there are more good people than bad in the world. Unfortunately, in greater number than these, are apathetic people who do nothing when they see ill being done.

If these people mustered some courage and stood up for what they believe in, the world would be filled with good.

Poodle Skirts & Ponytails: What I Wore

"Put your glad rags on & join me hun; we're gonna have some fun when the clock strikes one! We're gonna rock around the clock tonight, gonna rock rock rock 'til broad daylight. We're gonna rock around the clock tonight!"

Showing off the fullness of the skirt.

I love 50's girls' fashion: Full petticoats under candy-coloured circle skirts. Rock n' roll. Ponytails adorned with hair ribbons.

Inspired by this era, here's my Bobby Soxer-inspired ensemble!

What I Wore:

Top: Winners
Poodle Skirt: eBay
Crinoline: Vintage
Hair Ribbon: Dollar store!


All photos by Rebecca Esther

10 Little Things To Do For Yourself Today

It's hard, in this fast-paced world, to make time for yourself. It's easy, however, to feel guilty when you do. Stop the madness!

Not only is taking a step back from commitments and treating yourself once in a while totally okay, it's actually good for you! Keeping yourself happy and healthy increases productivity, betters your mental health and is exactly what you need to brighten your day. So let's get started!

1 Have a hot bath, complete with luxe bubble bath, candlelight and champagne. You deserve it!

2 Finish a task you've put off for a long time, despite its importance. Opening a savings account? Organizing your closet? Updating your resume? Whatever it is, do it now. Just get it over-with; what a huge weight taken off your shoulders!

3 Take a trip to the dollar store. No need to spend a lot to have fun shopping. Pick up some craft supplies, a colouring book or a silly toy that reminds you of childhood. It's good to do something frivolous and silly every once in a while.

4 Get all dolled up. If you feel lousy, looking the opposite may be enough to perk you right up.

5 Listen to music that makes you happy. I like Demi Lovato's album, Don't Forget, the song Fuck You by Cee-Lo Green, Danger Days by My Chemical Romance and anything Doo-Wop.

6 Stop. Sit down. Breathe.

7 Make a date with yourself. Do you have to pencil appointments into your agenda just to make sure they happen? Then make an appointment with yourself! Make time for you. You're worth it.

8 Spend time with someone who makes you feel good about yourself. Have coffee, get manicures or hang out on the couch. You'll be grinning in no time!

9 Write yourself a love letter.

10 Be productive. Push yourself just a little. Get something important done. Then celebrate!

Image: Demi Lovato

I'm so tired.

I wrote this sometime last month, and since right now I'm feeling much the way I did then, I felt it would be a good time to share:

I'm in my childhood bedroom. The ceiling lights don't work anymore, the windows stick and the air is slightly musty, but the room looks much as it did during my teenage years.

Magazine clippings, snapshots of my (very few but incredibly loved) friends and artwork I've made are taped to the walls, painted a chipped bright blue.

I'm laying in bed, writing, head resting on my hand.

The room smells old and sad. At least the stench of my ex's cheap cologne no longer lingers.

I'm so tired lately-- and not just because of my chronic fatigue-- the kind of tired that's also emotional, that keeps you awake for days on end.

I have these moments when I'm so depressed, but I can't tell anyone because I'm supposed to be in recovery.

I need someone to love, someone to love me.

I hate talking, even writing about feeling like this, but the truth is, if I don't talk about my feelings (especially the ones that arise due to my BPD), how can I rightfully expect anyone else to be open and honest about theirs?

Emilie Autumn on Mental Illness, Muffins & Her Upcoming Album [Exclusive!]

“I’m not crazy, never was crazy; I’m stark-raving sane”.

The hardest part of a writer's job is when there are no words to describe how she feels. This is the challenge with which I was presented when I sat down with Emilie Autumn.

In this instance, I was not just a journalist, but a peer (survivor of a serious mental illness) and a ‘muffin’ (Emilie's affectionate term for her fans) as well.

This was not my first time meeting Emilie, nor my first time seeing her show. I had been to two prior (one in Montreal, the other in Toronto). At that last Toronto show I met her. Completely starstruck-- a rare event for me-- I hugged her and whispered, "thank you for your music and your words and for being you. Thank you for showing me I will survive too".

This time was different from the start.


I had it all worked out: I’d stride confidently into the room, smile and introduce myself.


Well, I arrived about 10 minutes early. The venue’s doors were locked. I wandered back to the stage door, where angry (or maybe just very urgent and determined) men were unloading what appeared to be Emilie’s set from the back of a truck.

“You’re not ‘sposed to be here!” one uttered, gruff and exasperated.

Taken aback by his abruptness, I stuttered “y-yes I am. To speak to Emilie Autumn”.

“Wait ‘til the show. Doors at 8”.

“I’m a journalist. Emilie’s tour manager, Melissa and I set up an interview”.

He shook his head and left me alone.

Just then, Veronica (from Emilie’s “scantily-clad girl band”, the Bloody Crumpets) flounced by, blissfully unaware of my nervousness or the man’s annoyance. “Hi, dear,” she smiled as she strode past me.

Melissa arrived at that moment, ushering me inside. “You’ll meet Emilie in ‘the dungeon’,” she grinned. The room, though well-furnished, did look like a dungeon, complete with concrete walls and narrow steps, and very cold.

EA appeared from her dressing room, clothed in a casual outfit and minimal stage make-up. She pulled me in to a hug (she gives the best hugs, truly!) and introduced herself. I explained how we had met before, though not professionally, and she said she had thought she remembered me (though whether she meant to flatter me, I’m not sure. I was charmed either way).

We sat together on the black pleather couch. I had prepared a list of questions, but looked at it only once in our near-hour together: I really didn’t need that piece of paper, because what followed was simply a conversation between fast friends.

First, we spoke about the evolution of the Asylum. What started as an outlet for Emilie to express her pain, sorrow, and her history as a girl affected by mental illness soon developed in to the album Opheliac, an international tour, the Asylum Book, and now the Fight Like a Girl (FLAG) tour and forthcoming album.

“It’s become this whole Asylum world,” Emilie says, “It isn’t just about me anymore”.

She emphasizes multiple times that she is helping herself (through music and art) to help others, and that her victory “is not just for me, but for all of us”.

“This is your third time performing in Canada,” I say, “how is this tour different from the last one?”

Emilie’s show has always been theatrical, akin to a vaudeville show, complete with singing, violin solos (Emilie is a classically trained musician, afterall), skits, acrobatics, burlesque… But the FLAG tour, Emilie exclaims, goes above and beyond. “This show [on this tour] is more intense and dark… a horror story”. She explains that, despite the heavy subject matter of a young woman’s struggle with mental illness and the cruelty of people who don’t understand, it’s empowering and explores the “role of sex and humour in really dark subjects.

“I’m a main character in the story, the story is actually true, but it’s kind of getting to a comfortable place where it’s not directly about me, and Emily, who tried to kill herself. This is what the story is about and this is why you [Muffins] can relate to it. It’s just a good story. For those of us who are in on it, it’s probably something more personal. It’s a big theatrical production where you can just go and be entertained. It’s kept its comedic side… It’s important to balance everything out!”

Upon being asked what her next step will be (after Fight Like a Girl is released), Emilie explains that FLAG is meant to be “the soundtrack to the Asylum musical”. Having heard a few songs, it’s very easy for me to believe this; the music is epic and cinematic, the lyrics powerful and the theatrics are definitely there. As EA says herself, putting her story into a Broadway show “doesn’t seem like a stretch”. She continues, “I don’t need a Grammy; I want a Tony!”.

Oh my tea trays, the Asylum on Broadway! That Tony is sure to be Emilie’s; it’s just a matter of time.

On a more sombre note, Emilie divulges that the song Take a Pill is about her experience being locked in an insane asylum—an experience both myself and many of her fans can relate to.

She laments the fact that most people don’t talk about mental illness. She postulates that most are terrified of even thinking about it, so they judge and criticize those who do talk about it or are affected by it.

“Suicide is considered a crime and you get locked up for it. You’re punished for having survived, and all you wish is you could have pulled it off, could have done better”. That hasn’t changed since the Victorian era (a major theme in Emilie’s work).

“What we’re often referencing in a very dark and sarcastic way [is the Victorian Era]. Most of society has not progressed very much. And that is fucked up”.

Which leads us to this: “A huge part of the Asylum story is this question of ‘who’s really crazy?’.

“I’m not crazy, never was crazy; I’m stark-raving sane”.

Her eyes wide, Emilie says, “escaping the asylum doesn’t mean you’re free. You never really get out. So instead of fighting that, we ask, ‘how do we change a prison into a sanctuary? Change being alone into not alone?’ Unfortunately, you can’t solve the problem of mental illness or being mistreated because of it-- but that also means you don’t have to look to anyone else for the solution. You just have to ‘put one foot in front of the other’. That’s how the Asylum was born”.

Emilie volunteers her love and empathy, exclaiming, “The Asylum is mine and yours and all of ours… And now you”--she points at me—“and muffins everywhere have a cellmate”-- she points at herself—“and a sanctuary”.

My final thought, as I hug Emilie farewell and make my way down Queen Street is this: Emilie is as genuine and emotional and real as she seems, especially when she talks passionately about her wish for a world more understanding of the people in it.

And running through my head for weeks later, is “one foot in front of the other foot in front of the other one…”

Things I Love Thursday: 5.4.2012

There's so much to be happy about this week!

The main thing that's on my mind? I'm leaving for Florida next week! I'll be covering the Florida Film Festival, visiting Clermont's famous Citrus Tower & conducting a top secret interview with some very special, news-worthy Floridians (soon to be announced!). I'm about to burst with excitement.

Little things which made me smile:

♥ Discovering that Ruby Gloom is on Netflix ♥ Looking at photos from my last trip to the ocean (see above! I was 14!!) ♥ My new iPhone... I'm so in love with it Pizza with feta and Kalamata olives Toiling away at the last stretch of my Human Sexuality college course Watching a Family Guy rerun and realizing they parodied Bye Bye Birdie. I love when silly TV shows reference classic musicals.

What made your week?Link

Texas Hospital Bans Fat Employees

Citizens Medical Center in Victoria, TX is banning workers whose BMI is over 35.

Hospital chief David Brown explains: “The majority of our patients are over 65, and they have expectations that cannot be ignored in terms of personal appearance".

So if the majority of their patients at Citizens Medical Center demanded only brunette nurses or doctors wearing purple lipstick and clown suits, would that be acceptable?

Further, the issue is not employees who do not adequately do their jobs, nor employees looking or acting unprofessionally. Therefore, despite no laws being in place against this, it is discrimination.

Peggy Howell of NAAFA agrees. “This is discrimination plain and simple. A hospital should know that lots of medical conditions lead to obesity or weight gain... So the field of medicine is no longer an option for people of larger body size? What a waste of talent.”

Perhaps most importantly, BMI is not an indicator of health, ability to do a job, or attractiveness.

Shape up, Citizens.

Quote sources: Buzzfeed and the Texas Tribune

Ten Little Things To Do For Yourself Today

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