January 2014 - The Dainty Squid

what I've been reading

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I have a decent start on my reading goal for this year. So far in 2014 I've read three books. (This post includes four because after my last "what I've been reading" post I managed to squeeze out one more book in 2013.) I could have read more but I got hung up reading one of the books. Once I start a book I have to finish it but that doesn't mean I don't try to avoid it. That's what happened for the better half of January, I avoided reading because I didn't want to finish a book. Yeah, definitely going to break that habit because I wasted some valuable reading time.
What I've been reading...
People Are Unappealing: Even Me by Sara Barron
Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky
Nine Years Under by Sheri Booker
A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown

A Piece of Cake was my least favorite of the group and the one that I hoped that if I ignored long enough it would finish itself. It may sound strange coming from the girl who literally cannot read enough books about sex work, the funeral business, and other taboo subjects but this book made me really uncomfortable. For some reason, I found it hard to empathize with her at all, and I was bored to death reading about her drug abuse. Other than that there's a lot of repetitiveness throughout the book. Saying something, then a paragraph or two later rewording it to mention it again. I couldn't finish it fast enough.

It took some time but Nine Years Under grew on me. I'm going to go ahead and snag a description from Amazon since it sums the book up perfectly - "Sheri Booker was only fifteen when she started working at Wylie Funeral Home in West Baltimore. She had no idea her summer job would become nine years of immersion into a hidden world. Reeling from the death of her beloved great aunt, Sheri found comfort in the funeral home and soon had the run of the place. With AIDS and gang violence threatening to wipe out a generation of black men, Wylie was never short on business." As far as books on the funeral business go I thought it was decent, still it wasn't on par with Curtains by Tom Jokinen, which was one of my favorites!

Heads in Beds is the tale of one man's career in the hotel industry. It's an enlightening look at how hotels work behind the scenes. Even if it's only one person's experience and most likely not an accurate portrayal of them as a whole, it still make you think about everything you do while booking, checking in and whether you tip or not. It was an easy read but nothing groundbreaking. 

My favorite from the group was People Are Unappealing: Even Me."People Are Unappealing tells the strange, funny, and sometimes filthy stories of Sara Barron’s twisted suburban upbringing and deranged attempt at taking the Big Apple by storm–first as an actor (then a waiter), then a dancer (then a waiter), then a comic (then a waiter)." -Amazon It was pretty funny but nothing worth raving about. Although, there are a few parts, particularly the story of the porn she wrote at age eleven, that I will randomly think of and crack up about.
All in all, this wasn't a very good batch of books. Nothing I'd consider a must read and nothing I'll actually be keeping on my bookshelf for very long. Let's hope the rest of the books in my to-read pile are better!

what i wore

what I wore : stripes + polka dots

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

jacket - c/o HauteLook
cardigan - Modcloth
shirt - TJ Maxx
jeans - Target
boots - c/o The Drifter Leather
necklace - Buzz Worthy Beauty Necklace c/o Modcloth (last year)
camera bag - Siena c/o Jo Totes
patches - Explorer's Press

Well, would ya look at that, another outfit featuring this darn coat. Sorry 'bout it. I'm obsessssssed. I haven't left the house without it since it got here. I'm not sure I've ever loved a piece of clothing so much, except maybe this camera bag, which I'm sure you noticed I've been wearing an awful lot in outfit posts. I've basically been using it exclusively. I even sold some of my other camera bags since they were getting ignored. As a camera bag hoarder, I think that speaks pretty highly of this particular bag.

Hope you're having an excellent Tuesday!

project 365 // days 18-24

Saturday, January 25, 2014

18 : 365 Baby kitty, my parents' cat, is pretty cute. Check out that tiny tooth peeking out of his mouth.
 19 : 365 Why two photos for this day? Because I said so!
20 : 365 Packing for my trip to northern Kentucky.
21 : 365 Jungle Jim's haul! You guys, chocolate banana pocky!!!!
 22 : 365 Back at home admiring all the sarsaparilla + root beer I stocked up on during my trip. I cannot wait to try them all.
23 : 365 I didn't technically take a picture on this day BUT I did get my picture taken in a photobooth with Ryan Kattner (aka Honus Honus aka the lead singer of Man Man) Coolest thing ever? I think yes!
24 : 365 New patch from Explorer's Press!
It was a pretty wild week. I drove to Kentucky in a snow storm to see Man Man, came back home to rest a day then saw them again in Cleveland. Oh, and hey, guess what! Another snow storm hit Cleveland the same night. But their Cleveland show was off the hook. It was literally the best show I've ever been to. Words cannot even describe it, 120% worth the fact it took me two hours to get home afterward.

tips and tutorials

My five must-have hair products!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Whenever I post about my hair I always get more than a few questions about how it looks so healthy despite what I put it through. I tried to cover this in my hair tips and tricks post, which in reality could definitely updated due it's age. I've been dying my hair unnatural colors consecutively for nearly six years now so over the years I've found a handful of products I swear by.
1 // Hask Placenta. Yep, you read that right. With a main ingredient like placenta, sheep's placenta to be exact, I can understand any hesitations you have with this product. I've been using it for years though and couldn't be happier with the results. I spray it on everyday before I brush my hair out after showers. It works wonders when my hair is less than manageable after bleaching and keeps my hair shiny, always.

2, 3 + 4 // Coconut oil, EVA NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask and Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Mask are three products I like to use before bleaching my hair (not at the same time, of course.) They each smell wonderful and leave my hair so much more smooth, shiny and manageable than before applying. Before bleaching your hair you want it to be in as good of shape as possible, using a hair mask will definitely help. Of course, after dying your hair you could use one as well but since they all need rinsed out in the end there is the chance of your color fading so I recommend using them often in the days leading up to the day you plan on bleaching. 

5 // Boar hair brush. I picked up a boar hair brush at Target one day just because I needed a new brush. I got in the car, started brushing my hair and immediately realized this new brush was making my hair reeeeeal greasy. Come to find out, boar hair brushes are great for distributing your scalps natural oils to the rest of your hair. The thing is I have very fine hair so this brush makes my hair embarrassingly greasy. This was actually a really great discovery though. Now I always brush my hair thoroughly with this brush before bleaching my hair so the bleach does as little damage as possible. Your oils help protect your hair.

Other than those things I don't use much else. I use Sparks Color Care Sulfate-Free Shampoo + Conditioner which is awesome for helping maintain my hair color.

These products won't save super damaged hair and they're not miracle workers but they definitely help keep my hair super shiny and as healthy as possible. What are some of your must-have hair products? I love trying new hair masks!

daily life

photo an hour : january 8th, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

8am // watching birds outside with this guy and having my morning mug of chocolate milk.
9am // Snow beard! Klaus is obsessed with eating snow, especially from near a tree where there are a whole bunch of squirrel tracks. He's not much for following scents or anything but I guess those squirrel foot prints make the snow taste better. Hah!
10am // Getting some work done before my mom arrived.
11am // My mom arrived and had me cut her hair.
12pm // Baking treats for Klaus and Crum.
1pm // No one loves nuzzling chins as much as Professor Stingray.
2pm // We headed over to the beach to see what it was looking like after those few days where the temperatures were in the negatives. We both bundled up so much it was hard to bend but it was surprisingly warm. By warm I mean that I didn't feel like my eyeballs were literally going to freeze like I did the last time I was there. It was still very cold.
3pm // Back at home peeling apart all the land camera shots I took.
4pm // A surprise from Incoco in my mailbox! Valentines Day 2014 nail wraps.
5pm // Discovered that my friendship plant (Pilea involucrata) was flowering!
The rest of evening was spent playing Zelda but I'm sure you don't need to see five pictures in a row of me snuggled up to my cats on my couch with my eyes glued to the Wii U game pad. It's not that pretty.

I didn't make photo an hour once a month for the year a goal for 2014. I'm not all that sure I want to do another full year of them. But it's almost like I feel guilty not keeping them up. I don't want to only do them out of pressure though. It's hard to explain and it's certainly silly to feel all stressed about a weird little project. Maybe there will be a February photo an hour, maybe there won't be. We'll see!

explore everywhere

frozen lake erie // land camera photos

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A few weeks back my mom and I headed to the beach to check it out since the weather had been super cold (-10F) for a few days in a row prior. I wanted to see how much of the lake had frozen since the last time I was there. Just as I suspected, it was GORGEOUS. Lake Erie, at least the part near my house, is incredible in the winter. It turns into this completely unrecognizable place. I shot with my land camera and I am so pleased with the results. I feel like they capture the otherworldly beauty of the place perfectly.
The photos all have a quite a few imperfections that I think make them even more special. A few are overexposed around the edges, some have lines where I didn't pull them through the rollers in one clean swipe, and some even have frost on them!

I had been keeping my land camera in my car so it'd always be there in case I stumbled upon the perfect photo opportunity and when I finally used it the first few shots had these beautiful frost formations on them. The photo below was the first one shot at the beach, and the last photo was taken third from the pack. At first I was a bit disappointed, especially because it's hard to see what the photo is even of but it's like the frost helps the photo tell a story it couldn't otherwise.

You can find land camera film here: black and white or color. If you're interested in buying a land camera check out your local thrift store, but if you're in a hurry there are always some floating around on ebay. I bought mine from Film Photography Project on ebay two years ago or so when they were having a sale. They do currently have a few in their webstore. They're slightly pricey compared to what you'd find at a thrift store or estate sale but they have been tested and come with batteries. Plus they have really great service that I can attest to! When I first got the camera I had no idea what to do with but it actually came with an instructional DVD and that's pretty stinken awesome if you ask me.

what i wore

what I wore : magic jeans

Monday, January 20, 2014

cardigan - Charter School Cardigan in Rust via Modcloth
shirt - Walmart
collar clips - handmade
jeans - TJ Maxx (Indigo Rein)
ring - Ring & Tings
hat - thrifted
bracelet - Target
socks - Romwe (a few years back)
shoes - c/o YRU
camera bag - Siena c/o Jo Totes
I only headed into TJ Maxx to waste some time before a movie (...which I ended up being late to and therefore skipped it altogether) but left with these pants. I just grabbed the closest pair to me in my size on my way into the fitting room because I wanted to try on a crop top. The crop top was... interesting. It was just a little bit shorter than anticipated, I suppose. I really would like to find one eventually. The pants though, my goodness, they're perfect. Sure, they look like all the other jeans I own but it's like they have a little bit of magic sewn in because they make me feel fabulous. I will never turn down an item of clothing that makes me feel awesome so I had to have them. Plus they make my butt look bigger and I'm totally into that. Hah!

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