30.9.11

Today, I met Douglas Coupland.

I MET DOUGLAS COUPLAND TODAY!!!!

{Douglas Coupland and I. Brilliant (and Canadian!) author and artist.}

There I was, leaving the library when I pass by two men eating at one of the tables in the atrium. I stop, dead in my tracks because one of them looks a little too familiar. I hesitate, and tell myself not to bother him, just let it be. But I can't. This man has greatly impacted my life and I needed to meet him. So I walked up and awkwardly said "Hi, I think I recognize you...?" to which he kindly replied, "Hm. I don't recognize you, what's your name?" So I told him and told him of how much I adore his books and how much they mean to me, and he was so kind and so gracious. He asked which was my favorite and I told him it was between Eleanor Rigby and The Gum Thief. To which he replied: "I like Gum Thief too". We chatted, he asked about me, I told him the impact of The Gum Thief is what made me finally move to Vancouver. Of course, I asked for a photo. My first attempt at a self shot was horrible as I was shaking, so he asked the man he was with "Would you take a picture of Erin and me?" (Having my hero say my name was an incredible feeling.) So we ended up with a decent photo thanks to him! For some reason at the time I thought since I didn't have a book of his on me, I couldn't ask for an autograph. Now I realize I'M AN IDIOT and why didn't I ask for him to sign a piece of paper? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! Oh well. As he said, "It's a small town, I'm sure we'll meet again."
To which I made things even more awkward and said "I'm just so glad I finally met you, since I moved here i've always hoped i'd run into you! Not that i'm a stalker or anything! Okay, I should go. Sorry to bother you! Thank you! Bye!"
I'm soo smooth.


I'm just so so overjoyed that I actually met my favorite author. His books have had such a huge impact on my life. I connect to all his books but I hold Eleanor Rigby especially dear to my heart. (As I mention here.) It was after reading The Gum Thief that I finally had the gumption to move to Vancouver. Douglas Coupland was raised in Vancouver, and most of his books are set here. In living here i've become even more connected to his stories. For three years, i've always wondered if i'd ever bump into him. If some cosmic force was out there to unite us. And it finally, finally happened! After it happened I went outside and called my house, to tell somebody what happened. My sister answered and I excitedly told her the news while crying tears of joy. This is really one of the best days of my life.


So do yourself a favor and go read one of his books! I highly, highly, recommend Eleanor Rigby (obviously), The Gum Theif, Girlfriend In a Coma, Hey! NostradamusMicroserfs and JPod are among some of my favorites. 

28.9.11

Spinster diary, pt. 1

This week, in my Sociology of the Family class, we talked about dating and marriage. You know, since those two things are kind of required for a family to form. 
So of course, reading chapters on the topic in my textbook, then attending a three hour lecture on the matter, just did wonders for my spinster self-esteem. 
Seeing as most nights of my short life have been spent like this.






Incase you can't tell, I am single. I sometimes refer to myself as somewhat of a "mormon spinster" since I am unmarried at, gasp! 22! (I'm really just being facetious, while it may be an oddity in Utah to be unmarried over the age of 20, I live in Canada where we're a little more forgiving.) 
However, I haven't dated much, and confession - i've never been in a relationship. The guys at church look at me like I have leprosy, or don't look at me at all, and I haven't found any interest at school. I also don't go out to bars or clubs so how in the heck else am I going to meet someone? So in order to remedy the situation, this summer I ventured into the world of online dating. It's been an... interesting experience.


I've gone on a few dates, with a few guys, who were nice enough, but nothing ever came of them. As of late, I'm torn between wanting to throw in the towel and give up because it's just too hard, and wanting to  keep at it, hoping i'll find someone compatible eventually. You see, online dating is very weird. I'll get into this with more detail at some point, but for now, I'm going to showcase just how weird it can be through the use of some ways guys have tried to pick me up. 

Here are some of the best of the worst I have received.
Because if I can't laugh at my situation, i'll cry.

First, we have the just plain awkward ones, that I don't even know how to respond to.

Like..."You look like an teacher lol maybe you are an English teacher? :)" 
And: "For a first date we could rob a bank together!!!!"


And then there are the creepy gross ones.
That I also don't even know how to respond to.








"Just wondering if you'd be up for a little play wrestling..? I could even let you win dear..." 
"seriously we were born to make porn together.....No! what? I must have misread your grin."
"Nice legs. When do they open?"



...and this is why I will forever be single. 

27.9.11

LBDD

{dress: ASOS, belt: H&M. tights: Old Navy}

I lovingly refer to this adorable ASOS Curve dress as an "LB(D)D", meaning "Little Black (Day) Dress". It's always nice to have a go-to garment for when you can't decide what to wear. This one is a great casual option for the classic LBD, a dress for any occasion. One that lends itself nicely to whatever look you are in the mood for.



Today I wanted some pops of colour, so with some bright tights and a bright belt this dress lent it's self nicely to the cause. You can see how i've worn it plain here, and stay tuned for more looks. I have a gaggle of other avenues to take this dress on, in time.

I'm also thrilled that my hair is finally long enough to do the milkmaid braids!

And that my bangs were very cooperative and behaved nicely today. 


23.9.11

What would you do?

I've always had a bit of an activist streak in me. I remember as a kid one year at Thanksgiving dinner, while  going around sharing what we were thankful for, I shared I was thankful not to be a turkey. Everyone laughed, but really, I felt from a young age that it didn't seem right for our species to eat another living thing. (Which lead to me being a vegetarian for most of my life.)

But my empathy doesn't end with animals. I feel for anything/anyone that is being victimized. As a teen, I started making these feelings I had known. Once I became a vegetarian officially, I found it easier to start expressing myself. I started slowly, pointing out the problems I encountered. (My family, the usual targets just love it.) I call out any racist, homophobic, and (sometimes) sexist comments. (I find this happens especially with my dad, we argue over politics constantly!) In pointing out the problem, I hope to create a change, and enlighten others. To help my family "see the light". As they are my family though, it is safe to do so. They still have to love me. (They really do. And I love them.) It is a much harder thing to do with strangers. 

But I digress. What I am getting at is that since taking more Sociology and Women's Studies courses in college, I have become even more vocal about the wrongs of this world. These classes inspire me to do whatever I can to help create change in the world, so I take whatever opportunity I am dealt. 
Weather it be calling out family members, friends, or blogging about experiences I have. Like I am doing today.

The other night, my mom and I were discussing the new Glee premiere. (We are both avid fans of the show.) In discussing the show, my mom asked if I had seen her facebook lately. I hadn't, so she explained to me that one of her 'friends' had commented negatively on my mom's enthusiasm for the premiere. It really upset my mom that this 'friend' was so judgmental and dismissive of my mom because she is a fan of the show. I checked it out, and was appalled and this woman's narrow minded comments. So I told my mom how I felt, and let her know I just couldn't stand by and watch without saying anything. My mom has had 22 years of experience with me, so she gave her blessing, and assured me her and this woman weren't even really that good of friends, so I wouldn't be offending my mom in any way. 

The following ensued. (I've blurred out names and photos other than mine in respect to privacy.)

After my last comment, I quickly added a challenge for the woman to explain what 'social agenda' of the shows it was she was referring to. (I just forgot to take a screen cap after I added that.) As you can see, she tried shifting the blame to me, rather than own up to her own discrimination. 

Sadly, we'll never get to see what becomes of this. My mom deleted the conversation today after listening to the Glee soundtrack and getting even more upset at this woman's remarks, as she was recalling the glee movie and how they shared so many different stories of teens (of all varieties) finding acceptance through the show. (I just love my mom!) But I hope that by challenging this woman's discrimination, I helped her to maybe open up her mind a bit, to tolerate ideas that may differ from her own. 


Like the point this video sets out to make, I am a firm believer that if you see prejudice happening, you should do something about it. It's hard. Im not denying it's a challenge, especially at first. But I can promise you it's so worth it. Because attitudes really can change. I've seen it. 

Don't be afraid to act. Be afraid of standing by. 

21.9.11

Since I am sick and have no outfits to post...

Since everyone is doing it...
(And yes, the argument "If everyone jumped off a cliff would you do that too?" holds because I did in fact, jump off a cliff because everyone else was doing it one year at camp. So there.)

A. Age: 22
B. Bed size: Twin.
C. Chore that you hate: all of them!
D. Dogs: Love 'em! I am currently dreaming of owning a corgi one day.
E. Essential start to your day: Hitting the snooze button at least 4 times.
F. Favorite color: Turquoise
G. Gold or Silver:  Silver.
H. Height: 5’9”
I. Instruments you play: None, really. I have no musical sensibility.  However I have tried to play the piano, the flute, and the guitar.
J. Job title: Student.
K. Kids: would be nice someday.
L. Live: In Vancouver! 
M. Mother’s name: Alaine.
N. Nicknames: One friend calls me 'air'. 
O. Overnight hospital stays:  At least two...
P. Pet peeves: Vancouver drivers, and slow walkers.
Q. Quote from a movie: “I saved Latin, what did you ever do?" -Rushmore
R. Right or left handed: Right handed. Left politically. 
S. Siblings: Older brother, younger sister.
U. Underwear: Should be worn at all times.
V. Vegetable you hate: I can't really think of any...I love my veggies!
W. What makes you run late:  What doesn't make me run late? I am always late.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Several. Leg, both feet multiple times, arm, back, teeth...i'm sure there's more...
Y. Yummy food that you make: Everything I make is delicious. 
Z. Zoo animal: I love the belugas at the aquarium. 



Hang tight, dear readers, I am working on some more substantial posts! 

18.9.11

{Dress: Modcloth, necklace: Laura}

Remember how when I found this dress, it was fate? Yeah. It's a pretty special dress. Every time I wear it, the more I love it. The colour, the cut, the style, the length, the fit. It's a perfect dress. 

I also think it's quite fitting that while wearing this dress, which Modcloth called "acornucopia", I feel a cornucopia of love every time I wear it. 

17.9.11

I sewed a skirt!



I have finally accomplished a goal I have had in mind for years. To sew something myself! I grew up with a mom who is an amazing seamstress. I'm still lucky enough to have her make things for me today. However, living in a different province means I can only get her help when I'm home on breaks from school. As i'm 22 it's high time I became just a tad bit more self reliant. Plus, I want to work on my sewing skills so that one day when I have a daughter, I can sew her things like my mom sewed for me!

So I set about to make a skirt thanks to this lovely tutorial. (It's funny how I even ended up with similar fabric! I found it in the halloween section at the fabric store!)

I did learn to sew properly once, as a teen. Church activities and one year of Home Ec. taught me the basics, along with my mother who as i've mentioned, rocks at this stuff. But as that was some time ago I am  trying to re-teach myself what to do. So even though  I was a bit rusty, I have watched enough seasons of Project Runway in my lifetime to figure out how to make it work. (I just had to post that video because season two was the best of all time.)


In the end it only took 6 hours, talking to myself like a crazy person, laughing maniacally when I figured something out, calling my mom every 20 minuets to ask a simple question, freaking out over my "broken" sewing machine (which as it turns out, I kind of forgot to turn on...) and a little help from James to thread the elastic threw and I MADE A FREAKING SKIRT!!!

I am so proud of myself.
And I can't wait to sew more!!

13.9.11

{shirt: Old Navy, dress: gap}


You know those really annoying kids in elementary school (and jr.high, and high school) that would always answer every question in class and never shut up? Well, that was me today. I couldn't help myself. We were talking about Bridesmaids. Which is kind of my favorite movie ever. I may have seen it four times already. Because my hero Paul Feig directed it. So I just couldn't shut up. Finally, wasting all my time on the internet obsessing over something has payed off scholastically! 

I really, really, really, love Women's Studies. 

11.9.11

{top: Urban Outfitters, skirt: Addition Elle, belt: from Italy}
Apologies, apologies, for the terrible flash photography and the crazed look on my face. I kind of woke up at the time I should have left for church, hence the sloppy ugly hair bun and bangs going on.  Luckily I've had this outfit idea floating around in my mind grapes for a while so I could just throw on something in a hurry and still look cute. Guess my thinking about clothes 90% of the time really does pay off! 
I snapped this photo as soon as I got home, when it was already dark at only 8! It's so sad summer is over. What really sucks is the weather was so crappy all summer but it's only now starting to get nice! It'll be back to constant rain soon enough though, so I am trying to enjoy it while it lasts.
Like last night, when I went to the beach and watched the sunset. It was gorgeous!

9.9.11

Frugal Friday: Green Smoothies for Less Green

One of the new features of this here blog I am most excited about is called Frugal Friday! I am the worst with money. Well, recently at least. I used to be very good with money. I saved most of what I earned working throughout high school, and for the year I worked full time afterwards. However, when my work life became unstable and I went back to school I got into some major debt. In an effort to remedy this, I have tried different methods to add a little frugality into my life. I hope that by making this a blog feature I will find more creative ways to save!

So here it goes!


One way I have found to save is by making my own green smoothies. I love the ones Whole Foods makes, and often on my way to/from school I will treat myself to one because 'it's so healthy', which is the reason I justify the $8 price tag. They taste wonderful, and are wonderful for you, but they cost a little too much green for a struggling student.

So I started making my own! I always figured this would be an impossible task without a fancy high powered vitamix, which I could never afford as it's about half the price of a semester of tuition!
So I gave into Whole Foods, defeated.

Until I figured out a way to get by...
Previously when I tried to make green smoothies at home, the greens (I favor kale) would get all chunky and not mix properly. I blamed it on a shotty device. (I use a magic bullet for my smoothies.) It took me a while to realize that of course a bullet couldn't do the job of a vitamix, which could blend a bunch of tough ingridients at once. However it is halfway decent at blending smaller quantities of tough ingredients. So I tried that. I threw a handful of kale in at a time, with a little bit of coconut water, and blended until it was smooth.


Works like a charm! If you don't have a bullet, and are using a blender i'd still recommend blending the greens first, as they can be tricky to mix in with the rest.

After the greens are all mixed up, add your frozen fruit.
I like peaches, mango, and banana with kale.


I like using frozen fruit only because you get more fruity goodness that way, and you don't take up space with boring ice that doesn't add anything. 
After adding in your frozen fruit, top it up with coconut water, juice, or water (though I find there's something about the coconut water that really makes it special) and blend!


You now have a delicious and beautifully nutritiously green smoothie! I drink these for breakfast almost  everyday. They are also great as snacks! 

Now, I know to some blending greens into a smoothie may sound a bit odd. I always get weird looks drinking this on the train or in class, but I swear to you that it really is delicious! I love kale, so I don't mind a bit of kale taste, to me it's barely there but I sampled it to some (less adventurous) friends and they said they could taste it. If you are weary of adding greens then start with only a few leaves of greens, and work your way up! 


And if the colour is putting you off, try mixing other fruits to get a more desired hue. For this smoothie I got a dark purpleish colour by using a mixed berry blend (cherries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries , and acai). Be warned though that sometimes you may end up with a brown smoothie. But it'll still taste great! 

By making these babies at home I know I am taking down the cost. I don't know by how much because I can't do math, but i'm sure it's significant. Even with expensive ingredients, like the coconut water, it doesn't add up to much because I try to buy it on sale. Same goes with the frozen fruit. And I freeze my own bananas, which are always super cheap.


Here's the recipe for the smoothie I featured today:

Tropical Kale Smoothie
serves one

3-4 handfuls of kale (start with one at first if you want to acclimatize to taste)
1 medium banana, frozen
small handful of frozen peaches
small handful of frozen mangoes
liquid to cover fruit. (coconut water, juice, or water)


Add the kale and a splash of liquid to your blender. Blend until smooth. Add your frozen fruit and add liquid until it's even with the fruit. Blend until smooth. Add more water/ fruit to adjust for texture. 

And there you go! A great yummy healthy way to satisfy your wallet and your taste buds! 
If you try out a green smoothie let me know how you like it! 

7.9.11

Summer of '11

Today in one of my classes, the teacher asked us to go around and say one thing we did this summer. (Yes, I am in college, that's just what you get with a Women's Studies course.) Even though it feels like I didn't actually have a summer, due to both my decision to take a summer semester and the horrid weather we had in Vancouver this year, I did manage to get some good times in. Despite being injured. It's nice to look back and remember those times. 

This summer I loved...

good times in the water.

in the lake.


in the ocean.

in the pool.


and out of the water...
 reading Harry Potter by the pool.

picnics on the beach.
FACT: I am the best picnic packer ever.
pasta salad, carrots, hummus, strawberries, best ever vegan brownies

BBQ tofu, mashed potatoes, local apricots, watermelon, oranges, and grilled corn on the cob.

going to a drive in.
Turns out there is a drive in not too far away from here, it's actually pretty close to the boarder. This year I went and saw X-Men, Bridesmaids, Harry Potter, and Horrible Bosses. 
They even have those adorable vintage refreshment cartoons you see in Grease! 


time with my mother.
My mom came out to visit me for a whole week! She is the best. I love her a lot.

an out of town excursion.
I went to Portland and Seattle with my good friend, who sadly moved to Alberta at the beginning of the year. I really miss her so it was great to spend a weekend traveling with her! 

I even stayed in a hostel for the very first time! And I loved it! 


a free concert.
I got to see one of my very favorite artists (Neko Case) for free! I also saw her preform with The New Pornographers. I also discovered a new artist Hannah Georgas who was in the lineup. Yay for Canadian music! Especially when it's free! And in beautiful Stanley Park.

picking fruit. 
I found an organic peach farm in the beautiful Okanagan. I was there for a ysa conference and made it a a point to stop by. Peaches are my favorite fruit but contain the most pesticides, so you should always try to  eat organic! ;) the actual trip it's self was a nightmare as I had a few of the biggest jerks I have ever encountered (imagine three sexist, egotistical, back seat drivers complaining and criticizing you for over 5 hours straight!) riding in my car with me, but getting to pick peaches was nice! 


pinkberry came to Vancouver!
I am a frozen yogurt fiend. I'm completely addicted. Surprisingly, I have only been twice so far! Both times I have been truly amazed by how wonderful this froyo is. 





4.9.11

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes





When I started this blog, I wanted it to just be my outfits. A place to share my passion for dressing well with others who would appreciate it, since I feel so out of place in the manner I dress in every day life.
But as I've become more and more obsessed with the blogging world, I've wanted to share more of my life. There are times when I think "I want to blog about this!" but I tell myself I can't, as this is just a blog or outfits. But that's silly. Why not share my other talents and interests? Why censor myself? Why not let this blog change and progress along with me? So it's time for a change.

Not too big of a change though, i'll still be predominately posting outfits. There will just be a few other things i'll be sharing as well. But there will be a few changes...

Starting with the name.
Goodbye Plus Sized Pretty.
Hello, With No Letter On It.


So what's in a name?

If you recognize my name, congratulations, we can instantly be best friends. If not, that's okay. I'll explain it to you.
My favorite author, by far- is Douglas Coupland. He has the incredible ability to create worlds populated by such real characters, characters I can always find myself in, and put them in these extraordinary, out of these world experiences while still making it an undeniable reality.
My favorite of his works is Elanor Rigby.  It was one of my early Coupland reads, and it is a book where I have so clearly felt that the character on the page could be me. I always identify a bit with any book I read, (otherwise I put it down, as i'm not interested, as concieded as that might sound) but I really found myself in Liz Dunn's lonely narrative. Liz, (through Douglas), expressed so many of the thoughts and feelings i've experienced but never really been able to put into words. About loneliness. Realizing there was someone else out there who thought and felt the same way I did, it helped me not to feel so alone. Which is one of the great joys of reading.

Reading has always been there to help me not feel alone. Lately, i've found blogging to do that as well. It's near impossible for me to get to know people "out there", where extroverts rule, get the friends, the attention. Get noticed. A shy introvert like me only has the internet to communicate, really, with the exception of the few kindred spirits who bother to break through my barriers of shyness. As nice as it is to come across these people, they are few and far between, so I turn to the internet.

In the year and a half I've actively blogged I've found a great support circle. I've found support in sharing things I haven't told many I know outside the interwebs. I'm thankful for that. It reminds me I have something to share, and people to share it with.


One of my favorite quotes from the book, is
"I feel like that one scrabble tile that has no letter on it". It so perfectly sums up how I, like Liz, feel.
You know how when you're a kid everyone has their "thing"? My best friend danced. My brother played hockey. My sister played soccer, and the trumpet. My cousins all sang and did music and drama.
What did I do? In chronological order... one year of gymnastics, figure skating lessons, two miserable years of soccer (where I was on a boy's team), one day of running club, swimming lessons, one class of irish dance (these two were on the same day, and I broke my foot through doing both.), one year of tap dance, one year of voice lessons, science camp (which is so ridiculous considering my mental block for all science and math things, I just wanted to learn about animals...), another year of tap, two years of volleyball, two years of band, one year of guitar, and then finally, another year of tap. I've never been able to find my "thing". As a kid, or as an adult. My scrabble tile has no letter on it.

And neither does this blog. Instead of just being about my outfits, i'll share recipes, DIY's, design, and witty anecdotes. I'm hoping this will motivate me to be more accountable about all these projects I want to take on so I can actually finish something I start.



So thank you readers, for giving me the support over the past year and a half. I'm glad there are people who have enjoyed my blog, and I hope you will continue to enjoy what I post!

love,
Erin

p.s.
take a look at the new layout, and let me know what you think!
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