March 2015 - The Dainty Squid

Bike Goals for 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I've briefly mentioned a few times before how I'm from the middle of nowhere. Anything we ever wanted or had to do was done by car and took at least twenty minutes to get to which since I grew up with that didn't seem like a big deal. Now that I'm living in the city I'm constantly in awe of the fact that anything I could ever want to do is just a short distance away. (Getting used to not leaving for things so early is HARD. I am always early!) It also means I'm a lot less dependent on my car.
Getting a bike changed my life. It pushed me out of my shell, and has taken me on many adventures. Lets not forget how it's changed the way I view my body. I am strong, and powerful! I want to continue this. I want to continue to do things that are out of my comfort zone, and that are just totally different than what I'm used to. I thought it would be kind of fun to make a list of a few bike related goals. These are just things that have been floating around in my mind these last few weeks as I'm getting back into the groove of biking again after a winter spent missing it. I might even think of a few more things to add throughout the summer.
In 2015 I want to...
Get groceries on my bike. I live around a mile and a half away from the grocery store and I'm just about the same distance away from the Westside Market. There's no reason to use my car, especially as someone who shops often for small amounts per trip.

Bike over 1000 miles total. This is one of my big goals for 2015. Like I said in my new year's goals post, I'd love to smash 1000 but we'll see!

Bike to a concert. My whole life I've lived at least an hour away from all concert venues. Now that I live a hop, skip, and a jump away I'd just get a kick out of biking to one. I guess this goal being met all depends on which, if any, of my favorite bands come to Cleveland this summer.

Tackle the roads that scare me. There are a few places that I don't like to bike alone. Actually the two places I'm thinking of while typing this are both busy intersections. I just hate getting stopped at them, it stresses me out. When it comes right down to it, they aren't a huge deal. I can do it. I want to conquer this city on my bike. I don't want there to be anywhere I don't feel like I can confidently bike by myself.

Bike most, if not every, Critical Mass. I know I've blogged in the past about how much I love Critical Mass so obviously I want to bike as many of them as I can this year. I've even talked my mom and dad into joining me one month this summer!

Give biking in a dress a real try. I'm not sold on biking in dresses. I don't like getting sweaty in dresses, and something about the aggressive position I'm in on my bike just doesn't fit how I like to feel in a dress. The thing is I've never actually tried to ride in one so I'm gonna give it an honest try once it warms up.

Practice endurance. I have pretty poor endurance when I bike alone. I'm able to go a lot further between stops when I bike with friends because I feel dumb being like "Uh, can we stop again?" I'd like to work on not letting myself stop as often (unless it's for photos or something like that!)  

Use legs, not brakes. When I first started riding I used my legs to stop a lot more often than my brake. Somewhere along the line I got lazy and started braking. Getting back to doing that will not only make my legs much stronger but it'll help keep my front wheel cleaner since right now it's nearly black with brake dust.

Bike to the beach. I don't live far from the beach, it's a 1.5 mile ride which is cake but for some reason I can't quite figure out it seems intimidating so I'm putting it on this list! Honestly, thinking about it now it actually seems like way more work to drive to the beach than bike.

20 miles per day for one week. This is probably the most difficult goal on the list. Not because 20 miles is hard for me but because I feel like doing it seven days in a row will be challenging time and weather wise. A few weeks ago we did 20 miles a day three days in a row (not on purpose, just happened) and I have never felt better.

Go places I've never been. My favorite way to explore the city is on bike. I want to check out all the little neighborhoods, side streets, and alleys! No need to bike the same route all the time. 
I know I talk about my bike all the time. Some of you probably get it and are like "yeahhh! bikes!!!" and then the rest are probably thinking something more along the lines of "okay... cool" but I encourage you to give biking a serious try, especially if you haven't been on one in a while. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, but I really think as adults people forget how much fun riding a bike is. It is honestly hard to be sad on a bike. It just makes you feel darn good.

Still not convinced? Last summer I posted 3 reasons I love to bike, check it out.


Salton Sea of the Midwest

Monday, March 30, 2015

A little while back Jeff, Jason and I took a day trip to do some exploring. We were all pretty darn sick of being cooped up inside for the last few months. It was a gorgeous day so I don't think it really mattered where we went. I was just happy to be out looking for things to shoot again. You could have told me we were going anywhere and I'd have been like "Cool! Sounds great! Let's go!"
 When we arrived at the destination, it's safe to say we were all blown away. It was better than we imagined.  This area, formerly a little vacation spot, has been abandoned since at least 2008. The left side of the now overgrown road has little cottages, and the right is lined with colorful trailers. In those seven years the weather has really taken a toll on these structures. Most of were still full of things like one day everyone just picked up and left. Essentially had we discovered the midwest's version of the Salton Sea. It was incredible! We spent nearly four hours (!!!?) wandering in and out of each trailer and cottage taking photos.
It's funny because the one big thing Jeff was really set on seeing last year on our road trip was the Salton Sea. It was amazing, we both took tons of photos and were just completely overwhelmed by it. But, y'all, this place! We both sheepishly admitted while strolling down the abandoned road these trailers rest on that it was a cooler experience than the Salton Sea. It's so crazy to think that we had something like that so close. There have obviously been other people here, and we're not the first people to photograph it but it's fun to think this ours. It's not a tourist destination like the Salton Sea has essentially become. Maybe someday it will become a spot that everyone gets but the three of us will still have all have the experience of discovering it together and memories of how stinking exciting it was.

Ps. You can check out Jeff's post from this place here, and Jason's here.

project 365 // days 80 - 86

Sunday, March 29, 2015

80 : 365 Plants : pressed + propagating.
 81 : 365 Worked on a fun nail design for the first time in what feels like forever.
 82 : 365 A few new plants... I discovered a nursery I had never been to before and couldn't really resist these babies.
83 : 365 Spent the afternoon writing postcards. 
84 : 365 Took a long walk around the city with Jeff, and Brandon. It's crazy how much more you see on foot than by car or even bicycle.
85 : 365 Packing up the first round of pouches! I'm still in shock over how quickly they sold out. I can't wait to start working on the next batch!
86 : 365 Favorite tea in my favorite mug.


Don't call it a comeback...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

If you've been following for some time you might remember when The Dainty Squid was a sewing business, and not just a blog. (Oh yeah, and you might have noticed that giant sewing machine tattoo on my chest!) Sewing was my life. Day and night, it's nearly all I did. That lead to me getting burnt out. I didn't touch my machine for a few years other than to sew a patch on my coat every once in a blue moon. I've mentioned a few times over the last few months how I've had the creative itch again. After a weird year or so I'm finally feeling like myself. I'm dabbling in a few other creative outlets, like embroidery and watercolors, but deep down I missed sewing a lot.
( top to bottom - 1, 2, 3 )
I really enjoyed making zipper pouches. It's super relaxing to me, and as someone who loves organization - I love pouches. I still have a handful from my old sewing days that I use everyday to keep my camera bags tidy. It hit me a couple weeks back what I wanted to do! I could get fabrics printed with my photos on them and sew pouches with them. This would combine my favorite hobbies, photography and sewing, and that way I'd have something unique to offer. I wasn't exactly sure how good the fabric would look so I just went ahead and got three photos that I had already taken for my society6 shop printed. I could barely contain my excitement when I opened the package. The fabric turned out even better than I expected. I immiedately set to work gathering the rest of my supplies, and got sewing. I'm so proud of how these babies ended up looking. I actually have them sitting on my desk beside me right now because I seriously just love seeing them!

I'd like to produce a new set of fabrics hopefully once every month or two. I think from here on out I'd like them to be a little bit more tied together with a theme, like I said these were just tests that turned out really well! I considered opening up the shop again full time but realized it would be a lot more fun for me creatively if I did it this way with little flash sales. I'll definitely give more notice before the next one, hopefully with some sneak peaks before the release, as well as a date of when to expect them to go live but this batch really just came together so quickly I couldn't hold off sharing them. 
They're available for purchase here. I only have a few of each of the three prints so if you're interested I'd act quickly. I'm still undecided on whether or not I'll be getting any fabrics, these or future collections, reprinted. So consider these babies limited edition!

Update - In exactly one hour I sold out completely. I am blown away. You guys are the actual best. Due to overwhelming demand, I've made five more of each print available for pre-order. The fabric is ordered. I will sew, and ship as soon as it gets here. Please allow up to 2 weeks for shipment.

Ps. I'm curious to hear what else you'd like to see on pouches! What sorts of themes would you be interested in? I'm down to hear any suggestions.

what i wore

what I wore : little black dress

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

cardigan - c/o Macy's (no longer available)
tights - Kohls
camera bag - Jo Totes

I'm a pretty colorful person but I'm sure it's become quite apparent I have an immense love for all things black and white. I like the way it really makes my hair pop. This outfit isn't my usual black and white striped ensemble but I'm pretty in love with it nonetheless. This dress is from Unique Vintage's house brand. It's so incredibly cozy and something about the fit is just spot on. I'm not usually a huge fan of dresses that lay so flat against my stomach. I'm not sure if it's how active I've been (heck yeah, bike rides!!), if it's the dress or a combination of the two but I feel darn good in this little black number!

Hope you're having an awesome week!


Blogging - a real job

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I often get asked what I do for a living. My answer depends on who asks. If it's an older person that I don't know I might just say that I'm a photographer. It's easier to explain than the real answer. If people in my own generation can't seem to grasp it, how I can expect the generation before me, who grew up without computers to understand it? So what do I do for a living? I'm a blogger.

The frustrating/strange/down right annoying thing is, I frequently hear things like "that's not a real job", "you can't possibly make enough money doing that!", "that's only a temporary thing, right?" and "what are you going to do after this?" But what is a "real job"? I have thought so long and hard about this question. I still haven't come to a conclusion. Maybe it means a doctor, or a lawyer or any number of careers that I have literally never even considered for myself. Is blogging not a real job because you can't go to school for it or because you don't need a resume to do it? Is it not a real job because you don't need an interview to fill the position or because you don't personally know anyone who does it? What makes something a "real job"?
Whatever your answer I assure you, blogging is a real job. I may not have to leave the house for days on end if I don't want to (not that I recommend anyone ever does that, definitely not as fun as it sounds!) I can work in my PJs or without pants if I want, and no one cares if I come into work with morning breath. My co-workers may be two cats and a dog who enjoys sitting beside me and squeaking his tennis ball incessantly but this is a real job. I live alone and completely support myself. I pay all my own bills with the money I make blogging. There isn't another job or person helping me out and I'm not living off credit cards. I'm no different than any other person with a conventional job.

The sad thing is that this bias of what is and isn't a real job doesn't stop at blogging. Many other millennials with unique careers experience the same thing. For example, Mickey travels the world teaching taxidermy. This girl is killing it. Did you see what I just said? TRAVELING. THE. WORLD.  Yet somehow, that's not good enough to be considered a real job by some people either. She deals with the same questions.

It needs to be acknowledged that any way of supporting yourself even if it isn't traditional, so long as you aren't stealing or hurting anyone, is a real job. It seems awfully silly to criticize someone for making a living doing something they love and enjoy, doesn't it? Blogging isn't all that new of a career and despite what you may have heard, it isn't going anywhere. There are tons of people out there making a living doing just this.
 Co-worker Klaus. Excels at distracting me.
This is part one of a new series that will hopefully help explain and clear the confusing fog about blogging as a career. I'll share tips, answer questions, and generally just share more information about what being a blogger really means. On that note, if you have any questions, or specific things you'd like me to talk about I'm all ears. Shoot me an email or leave a comment!


bike style

Monday, March 23, 2015

 jacket - Target
shirt - TJ Maxx
camera bag - Lowepro Fastpack 250
explorer pin - Explorer's Press
good vibes only pin - Pintrill

My bike is has become a huge part of my life, if you couldn't tell. It has, without a doubt, changed my life. It's my favorite possession - even ranked above my camera which is saying a lot. I try to find at least a little bit of time everyday to ride. It's what makes me the happiest.

Last summer I shared my typical bike outfit. That was Kaylah who had only been on a bike for a few months, and was still figuring out what I liked to bike in. I was having issues with being comfortable on my saddle, and found that things without a seam in the crotch made all the difference. Cue me buying a million pairs of comfy yoga shorts and pants. They got me through but now I'm trying to expand what I wear on my bike. I could (and have) read a million articles about being stylish while biking but I need to figure out what's comfortable for me.

Here's where "bike style" comes in. These posts will be just like my outfit posts except they'll be things I'm wearing on bike rides. It's a way to challenge myself to wear something other than yoga pants and a cozy black tee. I love that, it does look cute, and I'm sure you'll end up seeing me wearing it at some point but I want to expand so that doesn't end up being what I wear all summer long.

Currently I'm just trying to get back into biking in jeans. It caused me so much pain over the summer that I swore them off completely. Now I'm figuring out it all depends on the jeans and how big the seam is. These jeans are super cozy to ride in the only downside is they're turning blue saddle. Hah! Luckily it's nothing some bleach wipes can't fix!

follow along @thedaintysquid.