:: 92 ::

Friday, August 30, 2013

* I completely agree!

* This song & video are wonderful.

* Yup.

*The trailer for Divergent has me so excited. I loved this book, can't wait for the third!

* I am on such a tennis shoe kick lately... these are amazing.

* this

* Okay, Guys With Fancy Lady Hair is ridiculous. And so funny.

* I think these planters are pretty freakin awesome.

♥ Links Loved ♥
* 21 Jane Austen Movies and Miniseries Ranked. (Duh, the BBC Pride & Prejudice is a masterpiece. But where is Jane Austen Book Club?)

*Being a Music Fan in your 20's vs. your 30's.

* 17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand.

* In Defense of Miley Cyrus' VMAs Performance. 

:: August ::

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's nearing my favorite time of year y'all. The weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing, and things just move at a little slower pace. Fall is the BEST. Here's a little playlist for taking long walks through the woods, sitting next to the river with a good book, and having coffee in the morning mists. Enjoy!


Monday, August 26, 2013

As a child, I spent an inordinate amount of time flipping through National Geographic and snipping the photos of places that I had to visit in my life or planning my backpacking across Europe route approximately a million times. I grew up fascinated by the color, culture, and life that existed in so many different places. I was incredibly lucky to have a mother who had as much of a travel bug as I did,and who would take us on "educational field trips" every summer with her friends. (Once a teacher, always a teacher. Who else would take their decidedly less-excited children on the entire trek of Lewis and Clark? My mom, that's who.) While I may have slightly resented some of these trips, (Amana colony, I'm looking at you,) they lit a fire in my to continue to explore and appreciate the amazing things that surround us in this world.

 Lately, I've been feeling the pull of the open road, the whisper of a new adventure at my front door. As a kid I assumed that once i was grown up, I'd be an explorer, someone who has stepped foot in every country, knows a handful of languages (and how to appropriately curse in said languages,) and is constantly on the go, out the door, for a new adventure. As an adult, I am all too aware of bills, and commitments, and a pitiful amount of vacation days (c'mon America, get with the program!) but I still have that insatiable desire to go, see, and do. While most of us will have to do with dreaming and saving all those dolla bills, here's a little dose of wanderlust for your Monday afternoon.
  Santorini, Greece (image via here)
Coron Islands, Philippines (images via here and here) Hillier Lake, Austrailia Thailand
Morocco (images via here and here)

:: 91 ::

Friday, August 23, 2013

*Holy awesome, this animated mean girls alphabet is aweeeesome.

*The Secret Life of Bee is such a lovely blog, and i just discovered that she sells prints too! This simple reminder is wonderful.

*The Orange is the New Black paper dolls by Emily Niland are so great! (Also, Diaz is my FAVORITE.)

* Kid President is the cutest thing ever.

* This print needs to get on my wall.

*I love Steve Martin, Kermit, and banjos. Some things are just meant to be.

* I am so obsessed with both of these tats. ♥ Links Loved ♥

* These articles about "meaningless" tattoos are spot on. I can't wait for my "meaningless" T-Rex tattoo....
Do This Don't: Get a Meaningless Tattoo That Noone Understands
All My Tattoos Are Meaningless, Just Like My Insignificant Life

*Maybe the best article of the week.

* I am so excited for fall, it's my favorite season overall...and my favorite season to dress for. I am dying for this sweater, these sweet mugs, these boots, and this top.

simple goals : be happy right now

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I'm not particularly good at living in the moment.

I've always been a "goals" person, someone who plans and spends an incredible amount of time thinking and planning for the future me. This, I've learned, often makes me the speed through the now because my eyes are so "on the prize" that i don't recognize the great things that are happening around me at that time.  Is it wrong to set goals? Of course not.  Even ridiculous ones that i'm sure I will never actually accomplish.  (Hello future me living in the Irish countryside with my strapping firsherman husband making the worlds greatest chicken soup and writing the next great American novel.  Unlikely I know. And yes, very Nora Roberts-tinged. She's in my brain.)  

But I find myself having to constantly stop and remind myself. 

Stop. Look around you.  Be Happy in THIS moment.

In these last days of summer, the happy, wonderful, random moments with friends and family...this is what I will continue to remind myself of.  Because the future will be there regardless.  


Monday, August 19, 2013

There have been some pretty interesting conversations floating around the blogosphere surrounding the ideas of originality and individual voice in blogging.  Without naming names a very popular blogger located in my city was highlighted as having blatantly stolen the products and designs from other artists and selling them as their own which led to a larger conversation surrounding the originality of the entire blog itself.  It was shameful, and it was wrong, and I'm so glad that it was identified as a problem.  

As bloggers, we naturally fall more into the internet obsessed world than most.  We spend enormous amounts of time curating our favorite things on the internet (in my case, baby pigs and Ron Swanson obviously) and religiously follow our own favorite blogs around the world.  So it's natural to find yourself admiring a blog or website and it's style & ideas of those bloggers.  The problem arises when "admiration" become "emulation."  This all got me to thinking, about how accurately (or not  so accurately) I represent myself on this ole' blog.

Is it wrong to say that you want to live as beautiful a life as Elsie, or be as cool as James, or as much of a badass as Kaylah and Jess? Of course not! Looking at my blog it's clear that I find influence in my favorite online ladies... but I'm not those people.  And it's unfair to hold myself to the standards that other bloggers set for themselves in order to be more palatable to my readers. For a while now I've found myself doubting if I should write something, or post an article that might be deemed more controversial or shocking. Do I omit the things that I fear might upset a few readers? Or do I stand out, loud and proud of my thoughts and opinions, even though they aren't always shared by the many?  Duh.  You know I'm choosing the latter.  I think it's time for shit to get a bit more real on this gal. 

So what can you expect to see on the Uniqueness of Being?  Am I going totally off the rails? Not at all.  I still am going to share all the things that this tattooed, vintage obsessed, shopping addicted, pop culture loving gal has always shared.  But I also want to show y'all a little more who I am.  I'm blunt.  I'm occasionally often hard headed. I'm sensitive cry often.  I'm an advocate. I struggle with being open minded even to those that I do not understand.  I'm pro-woman (and pro-man, hey I don't discriminate) and pro-choice, pro-sex and pro-EQUALITY, and pro-ice cream every day.  I want to talk about sex, and relationships, about making a difference in the world, about standing up to the man, about politics and religion and everything else you're not supposed to talk about at Thanksgiving dinner. I want to share tutorials, hits and misses in my journey towards being a domestic goddess, about books and all of the other things I love with probably a little a lot more profanity and ultimate REAL-NESS. 

Because life's too short and baby, I'm alive.   

:: 90 ::

Friday, August 16, 2013

*Danielle recently posted this poster and I am IN LOVE with it.  It's the perfect color for my bedroom!

* this blues cover of "I Will Always Love You" is freaking amazing. video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

*this is fantastic

* These paintings of girls doing crafts are pretty amazing.

* this video about how animals eat their food.

* this is the prettiest room I've seen.

*Geek Week on youtube is amazing. I'm dying over Breaking Bad: The Middle School Musical

♥ Links Loved ♥

*this amazing "History of the World" map

*these pet owners are awesome.

Books Q & A

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I'd bookmarked this books Q&A off of Jess' blog forEVER ago and promptly went on to forget all about it.  (Don't you hate that?)  I stumbled upon it again while doing some computer cleaning and decided to go ahead and give it a whirl on the blog.  I'd love to know what books y'all are reading right now, I'm always looking for some new suggestions!

What are you reading right now?
"Adulting: How to Become a Grown Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps" by Kelly Williams Brown & "Don't Worry, It Gets Worse" by Alida Nugent.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
I've got a pretty extensive "to read" list going at all times, but I think my next book will be Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight.  I've heard great things. 

What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to? 
Oh goodness, I have so many of these.  They tend to exist in this big book pile next to my bed but every time it's time to choose a new book, I can't seem to be in the right mindset to read them.  I've been saying I'll read Infinite Jest for years now... we'll see if that ever happens.  Other books in the pile include The Fault In Our Stars, Perfume,Damned, and (though I'm so embarrassed to say it,) I've never actually read The Catcher in the Rye. I need to get on that.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?
I read all of my magazines on my iPad in order to cut down a little bit on my paper usage, but the ones I read regularly are Good Magazine, Outside Magazine, Glamour,Bust, Rolling Stone,  Kinfolk, Martha Stewart, and Mollie Makes. 

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?
I hate read the entire Twilight series, which now sounds more ridiculous...why waste the time?  I feel that the story had the potential to be really interesting at least, but I'm pretty sure Stephanie Meyer might be the worst writer/character developer on the planet.  I have never loathed a character as much as I did Bella.  

What book seems really popular but you actually hated? 
I'm not going to say I hate it yet, but I just CAN"T seem to get into Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain.  I REALLY wait to, but it's SO boring so far.  

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone? 
For my female friends I always recommend nearly everything written by Sarah Addison Allen, but especially Garden Spells. She has a beautifully lyrical writing style that I love and they're perfect light reads.  For just about everyone, I recommend Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.  It's one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking books I've ever read.  

What are your 3 favourite poems? 
Rape Joke by Patricia Lockwood is very recent, but hit me in a very visceral place. I couldn't stop thinking about it after reading.  Still I Rise by Maya Angelou is just amazing.  See video below.  Duh.  And if you can't listen to Dylan and not recognize the poetry in his lyrics... unbelievable.  Listen to Hard Rain.  You'll get it. 

Where do you usually get your books?
Mostly Amazon for real books and through either Kindle or ibooks for an e-book.  I've also just started using Audible for audiobooks, it's awesome!

Where do you usually read your books?
Everywhere! On the train, in bed, in waiting rooms... I take my iPad everywhere with me.  

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits? 
I was a huge reader as a kid and let me tell you, bedtime always got in the way.  I used to lay at the foot of my bed reading by the hallway light for hours after bedtime (which probably played into my current terrible eyesight.)  Sigh. 

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
I finished The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller in one sitting, something like 6 PM to 4 or 5 in the morning.  It's such a wonderful book.  I also devoured the entire Hunger Games Trilogy in about 48 hours.

Have you ever “faked” reading a book? 
1984.  I even did a book report on it Junior year of high school.  And got an "A".  :)

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
I don't think so, but I will specifically not buy a book if it has a really terrible cover.  Or if the only available option is the movie poster cover.  

What was your favourite book when you were a child?
100% Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Clery.  I still have my original copy from my kindergarden library that I accidentally spilled water on and my parents had to buy.  Every time I see a fresh new pink eraser I immediately think of that novel.

What book changed your life? 
I did a lot of great reading in the 7th grade, and two books that I still read nearly every year come from that time period.  The Giver by Lois Lowry and The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky both individually blew my mind.  

What is your favourite passage from a book?
“It's much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change and friends leave. And life doesn't stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especially me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and than make the choice to share it with other people. You can't just sit their and put everybody's lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can't. You have to do things. I'm going to do what I want to do. I'm going to be who I really am. And I'm going to figure out what that is. And we could all sit around and wonder and feel bad about each other and blame a lot of people for what they did or didn't do or what they didn't know. I don't know. I guess there could always be someone to blame. It's just different. Maybe it's good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there. Because it's okay to feel things. I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite. I feel infinite.” 
― Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower

“Humans are the only animal that blushes, laughs, has religion, wages war, and kisses with lips. So in a way, the more you kiss with lips, the more human you are. And the more you wage war.” 
― Jonathan Safran FoerExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Who are your top five favourite authors? 
Jane Austen, David Sedaris, Chuck Palahniuk, Sarah Addison Allen, and yes, I will admit it, I love me some Nora Roberts.  judge away.  And can I add in George R.R. Martin for a 6th? I obsessively read the Song of Ice and Fire series and am SO anxious for the next book!

What book has no one heard about but should read? 
I'm sure some of you have heard of these but ones I often tell people about are Things I Learned from the Women Who Dumped Me which includes short stories from SO many people and is HI-larious.  People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks is something that I was recommended by a work colleague and was SO happy to have found it.  It's a treasure, especially if you're into history. Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell, (really anything by Sarah Vowell.)  Her books are always about historical events, FULL of information and such funny reads.  Even better, she reads all of her audiobooks herself and has a great voice for listening.  Lastly, the Divergent series, by Veronica Roth is definitely a must read if you're into dystopian, hunger games-like novels.  I'm really enjoying it so far and am eager to see what the rumored movie will be like.

What are your favourite books by a first-time author? 
I absolutely loved The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach.  It's one of those coming of age, college novels that just perfectly captured the struggle of being young and confused.  I can't stop recommending it to people.

What 3 books are you an “evangelist” for? 
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer was one of those books that I tell people to read all the time.  It's one of those books that while reading, I would look around at other people with this look on my face like, I need to share the crazy shit I'm reading with another human being. The Stand by Stephen King was my first King novel and remains a favorite to this day.  Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs is a book that I recommend to everyone. Please don't watch the movie.  I repeat, DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE. It ruins everything wonderful about the book.  Just read.

What is your favourite classic book? 
By far Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of those books that I will never tire of for as long as I live. I also loved the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery and the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder growing up. Everyone should read these to their children.

abandoned beauty

Monday, August 12, 2013

There's a special kind of beauty in the reclamation of a building by nature. Drive through any small Midwestern town and you're reminded of the past in the peeling painted murals, cracked window panes, and ivy covered walls of these relics from another time. It's one of my favorite things about my little town, the melding together of old and new, and the repurposing of these to make them into something wonderful.  

:: 89 ::

Friday, August 09, 2013

*these nice sharks.

* this swimsuit

*Ja'Mai is my favorite. Summer Heights High makes me die.

* this is the greatest thing to happen on TV this week. Colbert is a national treasure

* but this is a pretty close second.

* these teacup balconies. omg.

*the fabio of lions.


♥ Links Loved ♥

* Jeff Bridges AND Meryl Streep for the movie adaptation The Giver (basically my favorite book ever.) I'm PUMPED.

*this NYC missed connection is lovely.

* 20 ways being single saves you money.

*25 Things Everyone Should Try Doing Alone.

*Life Lessons of Being a Dog Owner.

expanded eye tattoos

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

One thing is for sure, these next artists are definitely not sitting around on their laurels.  Artists Jade Tomlinson and Kev James split their time between illustrating, street art, installations and tattooing.  And somewhere in there they manage to sleep.  Drawing inspiration from geometric shapes, nature & typography the two collaborate on the artwork and follow up with Kev performing the actual ink work.  I love that they have such a strong point of view with beautiful tattoos that show their style and sense of humor in every piece.  Check out more of their work on their Facebook page or by checking out their personal website here.

:: all images via Expanded Eye website ::