Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What's in a name? The origins of the name of my blog.

One of the (many) things that has pleasantly surprised me since I started a blog was the abundance of emails/comments I get asking about the title. Most people in the U.K. immediately assume I'm British because "Candyfloss" means "Cotton Candy" across the pond. And most people (I've discovered through my friends who talk to me about my blog) incorrectly (yet understandably) believe that "Persie" is pronounced "Percy". I thought it would be due time to shine some light on my name that seems to make no sense.

I've always been enamored with a celebrity girl. From the first one I can remember: Barbie, all the way to my current: Miss Lauren Conrad. I tend to want to look like them, dress like them, read about them, do my hair like them (trust me, I'm not as pathetic as this sounds- think of your idols growin' up! That's what I mean). Basically- I just want to be a little bit like them.
Being a preteen in the 90's, there was no way that I was going to pass up the allure of the Spice Girls. Holy hell! All of a sudden I had 5 different, sexified, outgoing girls to emulate. I bought book after book of them, worshiped their CDs and desperately went in search clothes that looked like Ginger Spice. After purchasing one of these books (almost 100% positive it was this one) at about age 13, I flipped to the Baby Spice page. In her quick stats it simply said:

Favorite word: Candyfloss

I had no idea that this word meant what it does, all I knew was that A) it was new B) it was cute C) It was Spice Girl endorsed. I was sold.
Speaking of childhood behavior; they say we are the same person now that we've always been. If that's true, then loving animals is in my DNA. My life has been riddled with a passion for animals. I have heard so many tales from my Parents of me sprinting away from them to pet a cat/dog/chicken/snake etc. I love them.
Due to this, my little self always felt the pull to purchase animal memorabilia. I always had stuffed and figurine animals and when I went on trips, my souvenirs always had to have four legs. During a visit to Montana when I was about 9, I went into a store in the middle of Nowheresville, Montana and browsed the haphazard, random merchandise.
And then I saw her.
A small (no bigger than the length of the tip of my finger to the middle of my palm), doe-eyed, manicured little cat figurine with real hair and dainty posture. I decided that this was my most glamorous animal figurine I had yet. So elegant in fact, that I imagined her sitting beside royalty in an exotic land. I decided "Persia" was the exotic land... thus naming her (alongside my Sister) "Persie" (pronounced like "Persia" but with an "e" on the end).

Cool stories. Why are they the title of your blog?
When I decided to start a blog- I didn't know really what it was going to be. Would I write about my Job? My youth? What I ate? I wasn't sure. But I did know that the art of writing is nothing without a little imagination and vision.
When I really started to think about it, I had been "blogging" my entire life. My keepsake boxes are FULL of journals where I cut out magazine pictures, wrote my worries, my joys, my hopes. I have at least 5 that are filled to the brim and all included text and imagery.
I knew I would write about the mundane parts of my real life in this blog but I also knew that the side driving me to start a blog was the side that appreciated the imagery from dreams and hopes.
To my very young self, for different reasons "Candyfloss" & "Persie" embodied a person I wanted to be and a life I loved to daydream about.
Today and for the purposes of this blog, it reminds me of the vital and passionate emotions of beauty that hold great value. And that the beautiful escape of the every day and the amazing landscape your mind can create for you is definitely something worth writing about.

Image via Weheartit
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Stevie said...

I seriously love you more every time you post! I LOVED the Spice Girls when I was in high school and early college. I thought they were so much fun. I went to England in high school so I felt like my affinity for them was extra special :-)

And I love your love for animals. I've always had pets and can't imagine life without them. I also FREAK OUT every time I see a deer or any other kind of wildlife! It's just so cool, no matter how normal it is to see them in this area.

P.S. I'm heading down to Portland in early October. Would you be interested in a bloggy meetup?

Unknown said...

Great name!! :-) and nice to hear the story behind it.

In Oz, we call candyfloss/cotton candy fairyfloss!!

Have a great day!

Kate Gene said...

I always wondered what candyfloss meant. What a cute meaning! I have been a fan of your blog ever since I discovered it. The name was something that definitely drew me in! (That, and your gorgeous pictures!)

My full name is Katie; my middle name is Gene. Hence, Kate Gene. It's funny, because I realize that, when said together, it sounds almost redneck. "Kate Gene! Go feed the livestock! And quit datin' your cousin!" Ha ha ha! Just kidding.

It's strange to be known as "Kate Gene" online. Only my nearest and dearest ever call me Kate.

Thank you for sharing your story!

ellinelle said...

..oooh Caitlin , you must read my mind : ) and all the others , I always wondered when there will be Q and A on your blog because I always wondering what does the title mean : ) well , thank you for the explanation ..I always thought there is something deeper underneath the title and the reasons are really good , also I never heard about similar title of the blog - it's very original and most importantly it's says somethimg about your world ..
..the clue is clear for me now ..

have a great day : )))

ellinelle said...

..p.s ..oh yes , long time ago I liked Spice Girls as well : ) I always been a little obsessed with all the things celebrity , can't help it : )

o said...

Thanks for shedding light on your blog title. I've always wandered what it meant! It's so unique and it's so awesome that each word holds some type of meaning and connection to your past:)

I'm guilty of mispronouncing "Persie" hehe Though, "Persia" is such a pretty pronounciation! I resisted the Spice Girls in the beginning, but they won me over with "Stop Right Now" haha! Omg, I must have seen Spice World a million times. My favorite was Posh Spice and yes, I was quite excited when Victoria Beckham came out with her own line not too long ago lol I guess that little girl inside me still adores her:P

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

What beautiful stories from your life, Caitlin!! Gives so much insight into your persinality and gives a whole new meaning to the idea behind your blog - the kind of post that needs to be in its own special "about" section!! I must admit I always wondered about the name of your blog too, but for some reason never really gotten around to asking about it - I thought it was personal and that Persie was someone's name, like maybe it was some person from your past who was really meaningful to you lol So yeah, thank you for the beautiful read and for letting us in on the "secret" behind your blog's name :)

P.S. I also loved your reply to my "Genes" post! Great to see you have such detailed analytical understandings of your personality traits and where you got them from... I guess this must be makign life easier in a way as I believe understanding is one of the keys to success in pretty much anything and everything! AS for me, I AM thankful for my looks! Thanks for the compliment too :) I just couldn't really include that part in my post because looks wise I got the genes from only one of my parents and as I am very thankful for it, it would kind of leave out the other parent lol From my mom and her side of the family I got some really nice humane qualities - compassion, sympathy, kindness etc. My grandma is the epytome of all things a genuine human being should be, then my mom is a little less than that and I am even lesser (I'm guessing those get lost slowly lol), but I kind of like it at the same time as the good in me doesn't stand in the way of me getting things done my way which is useful, say, in bussiness and harsh modern life. From my dad and his side of the family, I got awesome friendship qualities - we both know how to be great friends to people who we call that. I got some of his negatove traits too, but since they're calmed down in me as well (plus compensated with mom's softer traits) I love those too - I can get a little stubborn and I can be really tough, but it has been helpful in life too. I used to have some of the qualities I really disliked in me but from the very moment I could think analytically I was on pursuit of getting rid of them and well, surprisingly, I succeeded at it (I used to be very shy and used to get nervous easily - now I'm nothing like it). The qualities in me that might cause problems in my life now are my own, I believe... Or at least not taken from my immidiate family members as I don't see anyone having them too.

Alison Kinsey said...

Wow, this was a question I never thought to ask, but now it's been answered for me! I, too, incorrectly assumed persie was pronounced Percy. Such a clever blog name, now that I know how you truly came up with :) I've always looked up to female celebs as well, I think its because I can relate to them more than I could a guy celeb, lol.

stylefrontier said...

oh this is so lovely dear!
and actually the name of your blog is catchy!
about mine,,
hmm little miss fhenny is a small name given to me by my friend and brother
it;s just so lovely cause it represents me


Keith said...

I hope this finds you doing well. I've had a rough week. I got laid off from work. Now I've got to find a new job. I'm not looking forward to that at all. Wish me luck. Take care of yourself. Hope you enjoy the upcoming weekend.

Sher said...

That's beautiful and I loved knowing where you got your cute blog name! Candyfloss is definitely sweet and just such a pretty word:)

I got mine from a song I really liked - Beautiful love by the afters...It goes like this, "Far away, I feel your beating heart, All alone, beneath the crystal stars"
Sappy, I know!


Panty Buns said...

It is true that we are each still the same person looking out at the world as we were when we were very young. It's nice to remember how we looked out with fresh eyes. i love it that your blog is named after cotton candy and a cat figurine and read of the images you felt like emulating. It sounds like Candyfloss & Persie is still you (a blogosphere star).

Jaime @ laviejaime said...

I have always wondered the story behind your blog name! Very nice...thanks for sharing :)

Miranda said...

I love your blog it's so fun and full of life! Just started following

Pamela Bwell said...


Even though I was right there when all these things occurred, I never fully knew why you named that adorable keepsake "Persie" and that "Candyfloss" was tied to your love of The Spice Girls. (Posh was my fave.) Your love of animals IS in your DNA. I am one of the parents who still tells the tales and the memories they invoke of my chubby little Caitie-Girl are some of my very dearest.

You are such a joy. And it is not just your Mommy speaking: look at the joy reflected back on you from your readers. As a writer, I will tell you that this is one of the best pieces you have ever written. Papa would be so proud of how you are developing this talent he passed down to me and all three of my children. This touches me deeply.


Pamela Bwell said...


Even though I was right there when all these things occurred, I never fully knew why you named that adorable keepsake "Persie" and that "Candyfloss" was tied to your love of The Spice Girls. (Posh was my fave.) Your love of animals IS in your DNA. I am one of the parents who still tells the tales and the memories they invoke of my chubby little Caitie-Girl are some of my very dearest.

You are such a joy. And it is not just your Mommy speaking: look at the joy reflected back on you from your readers. As a writer, I will tell you that this is one of the best pieces you have ever written. Papa would be so proud of how you are developing this talent he passed down to me and all three of my children. This touches me deeply.


Kim Axani said...

I totally thought it was pronounced "percey" ...
Thanks for the long awaited post on your blog name! You know I was one of the many who was anxiously waiting to find out ... it's very original.

Leia said...

I have always wondered where the name of your blog came from! I really enjoyed reading the stories behind it :) so interesting!


{andthisiswhatshesaid} said...

love it... I knda dont have a unique story at all.

Claire Kiefer said...

I loved reading about your blog name, as I've always wondered about the story behind it! I totally thought it was pronounced "Percy" so I'm glad you corrected me/us . . . now I'm gonna have to learn to say it differently in my head every time I see your blog. :) Cute stories!!

Anonymous said...

I've wondered where the name came from before but had never asked you. I was definitely pronouncing Persie wrong :) Love the stories and have always loved that your blog has such a creative name, even if I didn't know what it meant :)

erika sorocco said...

I basically love you for this post, Caitlin. I have seriously always wondered what the meaning behind the title of your blog was. And though I knew the Candyfloss part, I had no clue that Persie was pronounced Persia.

Also, yayay for the Spice Girls. I still sing their songs; and, ummm...I may still have my Baby Spice doll. :P

Unknown said...

Okay - I just have to take credit for the "Persie." I remember EXACTLY where we were when you found that little cat. I remember you picking it up and me saying, "You should name him Persie." I know we tend to argue about memories, but I KNOW I remember this one correctly. I also remember that, in the same store, I bought that tiny little bottle of perfume, which I still have. I love it because it really does, to this day, sum the both of us up perfectly. Sisters, Sisters. There never were such devoted sisters... (name that film)

Unknown said...

ahhhh so cute! I remember when all of the girls at my school pretended to be the spice girls and fought over who gets to be baby spice...

Tina said...

love love love this! Oh my god i was OBSESSED with the spice girls [my favorite was posh!] and i totally remember seeing baby spice say her favorite word was candyfloss!! lol and i remember the spice girls in that picture for rolling stone magazine!! they were the shit, totally my idols too! love how bout these things inspired such a unique name for a blog! :)

Anonymous said...

Well now we know! Awesome! (and, I've been meaning to ask you, so I think we're now conncected through ESP - weird!)

Jessica said...

Ahhhh NOW I know :) Thanks for this post it was fun and interesting. I love the Spice Girls too!! Your blog is awesome and I always enjoy reading it! You are gorgeous btw :) Thanks for reading my blog as well. I think we def have a lot in common!!

Daniela said...

:) interesting and too cute.
During the second season of The Hills I was a little obsessed with LC , too

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

Your story is way cooler than ours. HA! We like candy (bonbon)...We like pink (rose)...hence, we're the BonBon Rose Girls!

bananas. said...

i always wondered what your blog name meant. from now on i will be saying it right...candyfloss & persia with an e, not candyfloss & percy :)

happy weekend!!!

Kara said...

I love this story! I've wondered about the title of your blog before but never got around to asking. Very cute and so original - definitely unique to you, something nobody else can claim :)

Mine is a nickname my college roommate gave me due to my sunny disposition in virtually every single situation, including the shittiest ones!

Unknown said...

it all make sense now!
i am also a celeb follower/copier and went through the spice girl phase (who didn't?!?), which was followed by a hilary duff phase and now i am also very much in a lauren conrad era of life.

NRC♥ said...

that is actually so awesome!!
i'm new to you blog btw,loving it x

Anonymous said...

This is so neat! I was wondering about your blog title, but I thought it might have been a nickname of some sort.

Your 'unflattering' picture made me laugh because I paint for a living (ok, only until I can get a teaching job) and everyday is like an unflattering picture for me. I wear men's clothes and a head scarf to keep the paint out of my hair. Not attractive at all! lol

Nathalie said...

aaahahaha... I have been waiting for this post :) As I was one of the people writing you to ask about the name, I already knew (and loved) the story behind your name. But I love it even more now that you put it in these beautiful words. I really adore how you are able to put feelings into words. Great post. Likey like :)

Vanessa said...

I love learning more about the name of your blog. & candyfloss? How awesome. Being spice girls endorsed makes it even more legit. 8)

Unknown said...

I love your stories, I have and I'm sure I always will be the same way about animals. My grandparents would have to chase me down the moment I saw ANY animal that I needed to get a closer look of and all of my toys and souvenirs had 4 legs as well! Love this!

Amy @ Five Kinds of Happy said...

I love this! The whole look of your blog, the design, and the name. And your writing style is awesome too!

June said...

OMG Caitlin! How could i not read this before? What a fab post! Its so cute that you chose candyfloss cas it was Baby Spice's favorite work. And yes, I used to think persie is pronounced as percy! Now i know the story!
Very sweet!