Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Burlesque, Boudoir and Body Image

Last week, Jenn and I had our adventure to see the Suicide Girls Blackhearts Burlesque show.  It proved to be quite the experience.


Hottest ones there, obvi.
Was it a super-polished performance?  No.  Was there a giant champagne glass involved?  Sadly, no.  But it was just a really fun and interesting night.

The Big Lebowski tribute

Bikini-clad Stormtroopers, of course.

What stood out to me the most was how the whole evening just had this really cool vibe to it.  The acts were very tongue in cheek.  It was all very geek-based, which I appreciated.  Kill Bill, Legend of Zelda, Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Fifth Element - there were shoutouts and nods to pop culture icons all over the place.  I mean, they did the Time Warp and Thriller.  Doesn't get much better than that.  The whole night had a real sense of joy to it, and that came down entirely to those girls on stage.

They were so inspiring.  Their bodies were great, but not perfect.  There were absolutely some dimples in places.  But do you think any of them gave a shit if there was some cellulite or if their belly jiggled a bit?  Hell no.  They were the picture of confidence, completely owning the room.

Time Warp

The Fifth Element



Planet of the Apes

Thriller

It was so much fun, and it actually made me get around to blogging about something that I've been kind of putting off for quite some time.  Last year I actually had some boudoir pictures done.  It was a bit of a whim - a friend of mine who is a photographer was looking for volunteers to do boudoir sessions so she could hone her skills.  I thought it sounded fun and needed a bit of a boost at the time so I signed up.  Before I had any time to stress about feeling out of shape or like I shouldn't be doing it, I was sitting in Wendy's studio getting my hair and makeup done.  Wendy does amazing work - she eased me into things by starting out with more of a glamour shoot before things turned to boudoir.  Nothing too crazy - just in a bra and underwear, which really isn't any different than being in a bathing suit.  Wendy made me feel so freaking confident the whole time though - I didn't worry about how I looked, it just rolled with it.  Wendy assured me the whole time that I looked amazing and you know what?  By the end of the session I completely believed her.  And when I got the pictures back, I agreed with her.  I guess sometimes you really do need to let yourself go and embrace your most confident self.  While I don't think I'm cut out for burlesque (hello lack of coordination) I would 100 percent have Wendy do more boudoir pictures for me.  Everybody needs a little confidence boost now and then!

If you want to have an amazing time getting boudoir pictures done too, you can find Wendy's website here.






Monday, 21 April 2014

Treats of the Week - Easter Monday

Nearly forgot it was Monday today!


  • I love Easter weekend, mostly because of the 4-day weekend it grants me.  It's such a nice holiday because I usually have minimal family commitments, and lots of time off work so I usually end up with some decent downtime.  This year my mom took Vivian for a sleepover so I ended up with an entire day off for real.  It was great - I should have spent it doing yard work but instead spent a lovely day wandering around antique shops.  Heaven.
  • As much as I love my TV shows, I do love it when they start to wrap up.  Hooray for the start of spring finale season!
  • I can't even say enough nice things about the weather this weekend.  I think I actually forgot what it feels like to have the sun on your skin.  It was so nice to just sit outside and feel warm for once.  
  • To go along with the nice weather, I got some new sandals.  Hopefully the weather stays warm enough that I can continue to wear them instead of being forced to go back to tights/socks.
  • Game of Thrones has been ON FIRE with this season.  Each episode has been just rock-solid and ridiculously awesome.
  • See also - the return of Mad Men.  I can't believe it's the beginning of the end, but I'm so glad to be along for the ride.
  • Vivian was thoroughly spoiled for Easter, but it was a great time.  I go a little overboard at Easter since it's such a long time until her birthday.

  • Mini peanut butter cups.  They don't count when they're mini-sized, right?


Monday, 14 April 2014

Treats of the Week - My First Trip to Kingsmills

Kingsmills has been a London institution since 1865, and yet I'd never set foot in it until this past Friday.  I figured it was as good a time as any, since it's liquidating and will be closing soon.  I wasn't sure that I would find anything special to buy to say "that's what I got at Kingsmills" but I ended up finding a Fiesta ware large disc pitcher in cobalt blue.  I've always wanted one of their pitchers, and with this being the last one they had, and it being marked at 50% off, I couldn't leave without it!

Here's the rest of this week's treats!


  • Jenn and I went to see the Suicide Girls Blackhearts Burlesque show on Thursday and it was so much fun!  I'm planning on doing a more detailed post about it later, but I would definitely go again!
  • I went shopping in the States yesterday with my friend Amanda and it was so nice to just be out in the nice weather and spend too much money on Easter stuff!  Plus, Olive Garden.
  • I had a very special delivery today of a trampoline for Vivian (shhh, the Easter Bunny will be surprising her) and my purse, which I had stupidly forgotten at my mom's this weekend.  I'm so lucky to have good people to help me out!
  • Vivian had an orientation day at her new school this week - but her favourite part was getting to hang out with her buddy, Lily.
  • I actually made it out to Graphic Novel Group on Saturday for the first time in forever (dammit, those Frozen songs are infiltrating my thoughts) and it was so nice to get out and see everyone again!
  • Watching TV in bed - always worth mentioning as a treat.


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

My New Old Things

 I've been having some good luck with thrifting lately, so I put together a post to show off my finds!

First up, I got this little bowl for like 69 cents.  It's not real Pyrex, but it's pretty and handy for holding elastics and stuff at my desk.


I finally made it over to see Marty at Modern Hipster Antiques as he was closing up his London shop to make way for new opportunities.  You can check out his Facebook page here for more news on what he's got coming up.  I got these amazing vintage Canadian tabloids and I'm obsessed with them.  They were $10 each.  They're just so awesome, I would love to have them framed to decorate my not-yet-existent-bar.



I got a couple of little things for that wall o' Canadiana that I keep dreaming about.  I found these next few things at the Brydges Street Antique Mall.

First up is an old LCBO price list.  I love the picture of the old LCBO on the cover, and it's pretty cool to see the old prices  Going price for 12 cans of beer in 1968?  $2.80.  No wonder everyone was drunk back then.  It cost me $5 for the booklet.



I also grabbed this old Wink ad for $5, again decorating my non-existent bar.


And I got these two old postcards of a street in Quebec City and the Royal York Hotel.  I think it was $5 for both of them.  


I was also glad to find these funny prints still at the Brydges Street Market.  I just had to get them, for the Q-Tip picture alone.  It was $10 for the pair of them.  The mouse isn't nearly as funny, but they go together and I can't wait to hang them up in my bathroom.


I found a bunch of great travel tray things at Talize one day.  I thought I should get the Atlantic City one to go with the Vegas one I already have.  Apparently I collect these now.  It was 99 cents, so it was worth the risk.


I was super excited to find this tray with the Canadian coats of arms on it - perfect for that wall of Canadiana I keep planning!  I think it was 99 cents too.


I also couldn't leave this Halifax one behind, even though it isn't quite as great as the other two.  I didn't want to leave it and take the other two though, since I feel bad for inanimate objects sometimes.  It was 69 cents too, so it was worth it.


And my prize - the best thing I've bought in a long time.  I got this ballerina print from Marty at Modern Hipster Antiques for $40.  The frame alone is amazing - and I love the picture too.  It's one of those things that I love more and more the longer I look at it - I'm so glad I got it!


I don't have the perfect spot for it yet - Vivian wants me to hang it up in her room, but I want everyone to see it!  It will look perfect over my MCM loveseat, if I ever get around to getting it reupholstered.  


Sigh...so pretty.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Treats of the Week - April Showers

It's raining outside, which is an incredibly welcome change.  Hopefully it helps to clean up the yard a bit, as I have a pile of yardwork waiting for me this weekend!


  • Vivian wasn't quite done with iPad time when it was time for her bath, so she set it up on a stool in the bathroom.

She was also watching this video, which is pretty entertaining.
  • I went to see The Grand Budapest Hotel on the weekend, and I really enjoyed it.  Interestingly enough, the crew I went to see it with didn't think it was that awesome.  It's definitely a bit different than Wes Anderson's other stuff, but I liked the whole "story within a story" feel of it.
  • This is a little embarrassing, but I'm featured in the alumni profile of the Brescia Arts and Humanities newsletter this month.  It's not a bit deal AT ALL, but my mom thinks that it is, so I had better post the link.  You can check it out here.  This is also a test to see if my mom actually reads the blog.
  • Game of Thrones is back and more badass than ever!  I might have already seen episode 2, and it is pretty wild.  Can't wait to hear everyone's reactions!
  • I keep forgetting to post about this, but Worn on TV is my new obsession site.  So handy!
  • Vivian's schedule got a little thrown out of whack because of a change of her dance class - luckily it's been resolved with some help from my sister, and now Vivian and Blair will get to spend some more time together.
  • This nicer weather also means that my stupid cats have been spending more time outside - always a welcome event!


Friday, 4 April 2014

Very Vivian - Skating Star


You know how performance events go with little kids.  When they're Vivian age, for the most part they just kind of wander around in some vague formation and you clap and cheer just because they are out there in front of people.  Sure there's a few kids who are excelling, but for the most part they're just kind of there.  Then there's usually that one kid.  They probably aren't the fastest or the best, but something about them kind of steals the show.

I don't want to sound biased, but I'm pretty sure that Vivian was that kid at her skating carnival.



That's her skating picture from this year.  That's the kid who said she didn't want to go skating before most of the sessions.  The kid who flopped around on the ice and complained that her feet hurt and her stomach hurt and a million other things.  But put a costume on her and a camera in front of her face and she turns into a superstar.  Ridiculous.

So on the night of the carnival, Vivian was pumped.  She loved her costume, she was ready to go.  I sent her out on the ice to wait behind the curtain with the other kids and stood back.  I wasn't sure what to expect - all I was hoping for was that she would skate out a bit and not freak out.  It can be scary - it's dark, there's a bunch of people in there, and the instructors don't go out with them so they're all on their own.  Sure enough, the kids come shuffling out and there's Vivian just trucking along.  She was close to the back of the pack, and spotted me on the sidelines.  I got a big wave and she started trying to skate a little bit faster.  Then it happened - she fell.  Not unexpected, but she was the first kid in the group to fall.  She laid there for a moment, possible considering her options.  Then her little Bambi legs started to flail around and she got up all by herself.  The crowd burst into cheers.  My mom started wolf whistling.  Vivian was up and skating around again, triumphant.  Then she fell again.  Got up again.  Then the kids started to head back to the curtain and she fell.  Hard.  She fell backwards and her little minion hood fell off of her helmet.  She got herself back up and comically grabbed at her helmet to see if her minion hood was still there.  Realizing it was missing, she grabbed it off the ice and slammed it back down onto her helmet and kept on skating.  It was something that would have only happened to Vivian and it was hilarious.  I was laughing so hard I was crying.  I think she fell again, and at that point an instructor had to come out to scoop her up and help her get off the ice.  She was crying when I went to get her, she was pretty mad about her minion head falling off.  (Clearly, it was my fault.)

She went out there, and she did it.  And I couldn't be more proud.  Or more pleased that I ordered a DVD of the whole thing.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Things to wear to Suicide Girls

Welcome to another edition of "Ashlie is crazily overthinking things and needs to just chill out".

I'm going to see the Suicide Girls next week, and I'm really excited.  It just seems like it will be a really fun, different thing to do.  True to form, however, I'm obsessing over what to wear.  What exactly does one wear to a burlesque?  Do you dress up?  Dress down?  Sex it up a bit?  Or does it even matter what you're wearing because no one is going to be looking at you anyway?  So many questions.

I've probably left it too long to actually order any of these things, but I threw together a Polyvore board of the things I have been considering.  In all likelihood, I'll end up just throwing a clothes tantrum the night before and then go out shopping for a new top in a panic.  We'll see.


Things to wear to SG

Things to wear to SG by ashliehawkins featuring a skater dress


Starting top left...

Bow Derek Dress from Hello Holiday - I've been obsessing over this dress for a while, and really just want an excuse to wear it.

Polite as Fuck Tee from Buy me Brunch - I love this shirt, but I'm worried about the oversized, drapey-ness of it.  That style doesn't usually work on me.  Plus it might attract more attention than I actually want.  I thought I would just pair it with a black skirt or jeggings, so that's why those are floating in there.

Good Enough to Eat and Good Enough to Illustrate dresses both from Modcloth - I found the Good Enough to Eat dress first and fell completely in love, but they don't have my size in stock.  Then I found the Good Enough to Illustrate dress and they have larger sizes in stock, but I would have to try a 1X and I haven't really ventured into plus sizes before.  I'm not sure how it would fit, and I'm wary of gambling on the fit when I would probably just end up being frustrated.  They're both so wonderfully tacky though.

Intergalactic Skater Dress and 80's Geo Skater Dress both from Forever21 - Now with Forever21 I'm pretty positive I would be in the plus sizes, seeing as how I can't even cram my foot into a pair of their sandals.  These are both the same dress, just different patterns.  They seem cute, but I've never gotten anything at Forever21 so I don't know if the quality is worth even trying.

There you go, that's all I got.  Send me your suggestions, or come and help me when I'm in the midst of a clothes tantrum next week.  At least my hair will look good.