FAQ

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BASICS

How tall are you?  5’8

When is your birthday? June 21st

What is your natural hair color? Brown

Have you always been in Baltimore? For most of my life I lived just south of the city limits, but in June of 2017 I moved to south Baltimore with my boyfriend Joe.

Did you go to college? What for? I graduated from the University Of Maryland Baltimore County with my BA in Psychology in 2012.

Where did you work before you became a full-time blogger? At Arundel Lodge, Inc. It’s a psychiatric rehabilitation center, and I worked there for five years in the Day Program. I taught daily living skills and art classes to adults with mental illness, had a case load of clients I helped work through rehab goals, and hosted events among other things.

CREATIVITY

How many penpals do you have? This answer varies based on what you want to know. Currently, I write to approximately 60 different people in various capacities. Some I just exchange postcards with, some just letters, etc.

Where can I get penpals? Check out this post.

How much mail do you receive? I get about 40 pieces of mail in my PO Box every week.

Can I send you snail mail? Sure! My turn around time for response is usually very slow, unfortunately, though. And I can’t guarantee that I will be a full-time penpal due to my schedule. My address is on my contact page.

What made you want to start a daily journal? Do you have any tips for starting my own? I loved the idea of having something tangible that was full of only positive things. It has been a wonderful decision that has left me feeling more appreciative and full of life. Read my how to guide.

How can I get started with guerrilla art in my city? See Guerrilla Art 101.

Where do you find inspiration? In other artists’ work, powerful women, and acts of kindness. I get surges of inspiration when I’m taking drives, at the top of the Ferris Wheel, and dancing on stage. Anyone who goes after what they want with gusto makes me want to do more with my life. Anything bright, sparkly, or related to balloons doesn’t hurt either.

BLOGGING/BUSINESS

When did you start blogging? If we’re counting Livejournal, then 2003. I had a blogger account for years, but ended up deleting my posts and starting over “for real” in 2012.

Can I link to you/use one of your projects on my blog? Yes! Just give me credit and link back.

What kind of camera do you use? I have a Nikon D3300 and I also use the camera on my phone, a Samsung Galaxy 7. Most of my photos at this point are taken by the fabulous Maura Housley, though.

How did you publish a book? It was a long process! I wrote a post that will give you the basics here, and if you have further questions then you can e-mail me.

Do you have a side job? I worked at a flower shop for about six months in the beginning of 2017, but now it’s just Uncustomary full-time!

Can we collaborate? Sure! If you have an idea for a project, please e-mail me. If you think you’d be a great candidate for an interviewee on my podcast, fill out this form.

MENTAL HEALTH/SELF-LOVE

How are you so happy all the time? Short answer: I’m not. I’ve developed pretty great coping mechanisms over the past years, and my bounce back rate from sad experiences is getting shorter and shorter, but I do get sad. I also get angry, anxious, scared, and irrational. Read more about my experiences with happiness and mental health.

Have you always been fat? Nope! As a kid I struggled with my weight, but I started dancing rigorously in high school and also developed an eating disorder and became clinically underweight. I could do the splits, run a seven minute mile, and do a dozen different styles of dance. When I was about 20, I started a medication to treat one of my mental illnesses that made me start to gain weight, and that coupled with my newly drastically sedentary lifestyle in comparison made me gain a hundred pounds in a year and a half.

Are you healthy? Yep. I have to get my blood tested for my medication and everything is healthy on the inside. No diabetes, no high sugar levels. No drastic or unhealthy levels of anything, actually. My BMI isn’t good and I am considered obese, but that’s not the only way to measure health. I don’t have high blood pressure or anything. The only thing I’m technically diagnosed with medically is PCOS.

How do you not care what other people think of you? If I did, I wouldn’t be able to do half the things that make me happy. I embrace my weirdness and honestly get excited about the fact that I’m different.

What are your diagnoses? Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, & Bipolar (One) Disorder

Are you a therapist? No, I’m not a licensed therapist. I have my associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and worked at a psychiatric rehabilitation center for five + years with over a hundred adults with severe mental illnesses. I’m very well versed with the clinical aspects of psychology as well as social work and helping with coping skills, but I do not have a degree to practice medicine or conduct therapy. I do offer Happy Hour sessions, where I provide advice based on my own life experience and journey with self-love and body positivity that comes highly recommended. You can check out more information here and see praise and reviews for my work here.

UNCUSTOMARY BABES

What is the Uncustomary Babes? It’s a membership group you pay a small fee to get into and gain access to an exclusive online support group, as well as get put on a mailing list where you get a snail mail surprise once a month forever! Plus, upon signing up you get a membership card with the 10 Commandments Of Self-Love mailed to you and access to a ton of content upgrades (downloadable PDF printables and Instagram images). There are two tiers of membership, Basic and Awesome, and you can learn more about them on the official membership page.

Didn’t it used to be free? When I first started the group, it was free. But postage costs started to pile up, and I’m only asking for a one time fee of $5, which I think is very reasonable. It’s actually a great deal if I say so myself, and the fee makes you more likely to take signing up seriously and take pride in participating in the group.

FAVORITES

Colors: Yellow and teal

Season: Autumn

Holiday: Halloween

Flowers: Sunflowers, Gerber Daisies, Desert Roses, Hydrangeas, Shasta Daisies, and pretty much all wildflowers

Stores: (For Plus Size/Everything:) ASOS, Forever 21, Target, Sears, Lane Bryant (bras) // (For Accessories:) DollsKill, BanDo, Claire’s, Amazon, We Love Colors

Genres: Comedy, Documentaries, Action, Drama

TV shows: TV: It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Arrested Development, Broad City, Girls, New Girl, 30 Rock, Parks And Recreation, You’re The Worst, Difficult People, Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23, Gotham, The Office, Archer, The League, Workaholics, Party Down, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Bob’s Burgers, Friends, Girlboss, Grace & Frankie, Black Books, The IT Crowd, The Mick, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mindy Project, Billy On The Street, Legit, Gotham.

Movies: Amelie, The Little Mermaid, Anchorman, Matilda, Harriet The Spy, Moonrise Kingdom, Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Hocus Pocus, Tiny Furniture, Wet Hot American Summer, The Brothers Solomon, Beetlejuice, Clueless, Elf, Mean Girls, The Improv Everywhere Documentary, Antics Roadshow, Grey Gardens, The Birdcage, Out Cold, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Zoolander, Teen Witch, Hot Rod.

What music do you listen to? Lots of alternative, indie, pop, and 90’s. Against Me!, Less Than Jake, The Mowgli’s, Jimmy Eat World, Jukebox The Ghost, The New Pornographers, Ke$ha, Rilo Kiley, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Brand New, Alt-J, Grouplove, Florence + The Machine, Third Eye Blind, Eve 6, Robyn, The Shins, Spoon, Oh Land, The Head And The Heart, The Griswolds, Mike Doughty LP.

Who are your favorite comedians? Russell Howard, George Carlin, John Mulaney, Amy Schumer, Tom Segura, Bill Burr, Russell Brand, Chelsea Peretti, Jim Jefferies, Jim Gaffigan, Chris Porter, Brian Posehn, Hannibal Buress, Patton Oswalt, Neal Brennan, Chris D’Elia, Sarah Silverman, Dave Chapelle, Kathleen Madigan, Bo Burnham, Tim Minchin.

RANDOM

How old is Bug? Bug was born in 2010. His birthday is June 1st. He now lives with my dad (they have an adorable/incredible bond that can’t be broken).

Do you have a boyfriend? Yes, Joe and I have been together since September 2014.

Do you have any tattoos or piercings? I have a tattoo of a mermaid on my left foot and a teal star on my right ankle. I have “11:11” on the inside of my left ring finger, and “A little magic can take you a long way” along the outer edge of my right foot. I have multiple piercings in my ears. Previously I have had my cartilage and belly button pierced, but they are now closed. I want many more tattoos.

Why do you never wear pants? They aren’t comfortable to me. Any time I decide to wear pants is followed by regret. My ideal outfit is a dress with no bra and cloth booty shorts underneath. It’s a 98% chance that you will see me in either a dress, skirt, leggings, or pajamas.

Who is on your laminated list?  Zooey Deschanel, Chris Pratt (but chubby like in Parks And Recreation), Charlie Day, Jake Johnson, Daniel Norris.

Are you straight? I identify as heterosexual, but plenty of people have introduced me as bisexual without even consulting me based on facts like how I find women objectively more attractive than men. I’m somewhere between a 1 and 2 on the Kinsey Scale.

Will I really get glitter on me if I hang out with you? Yes. This is almost inevitable. (After living with me, Joe can attest to the fact that I don’t even throw it around, it just appears. I think I materialize it.)

Check out 50 Random Facts About Me!

Read Mary’s Praise & Reviews

More questions? E-mail me!