August 2015 - The Dainty Squid

another 30 days of biking

Monday, August 31, 2015

Every April people across the world pledge to bike every day of the month. I participated this April and despite kind of hating it a little bit (snow, rain, blah, blah, blah) it was really good for me. I got a lot of exercise and in general felt really really good about myself and what I had accomplished. During that month myself and a group of friends were attacked by a large group of young men. No one was seriously injured and they weren't able steal anything from us but something felt different after that incident. I managed to make it through the rest of the month but since then have fallen victim to my own anxiety. I've barely ridden my bike all summer. I've actually spent my summer more cooped up than I'd like to admit.

You know what? I'm sick of it. I am so sick of letting this anxiety control my life. I miss my bike. Riding my bike is when I feel most free. It's when I feel strongest. It's when I feel in control. I'm taking it back. I'm taking my summer back.

Every day in the month of September I am going to ride my bike. Rain, or shine ...or anything else wacky Ohio weather might throw my way. I'm not going to let fear control my life. I'm shooting for 125 miles total which should be no sweat considering thats just over 4 miles a day.

I'm posting this a day early so you have time to fix your flats, take care of any maintenance your bike may need and get psyched up because I'd like to encourage you ride with me in spirit this month*. I will forever be trying to convince people get back on bicycles because I promise you it's more fun than you realize. You don't have to commit to riding every day of the month if you don't want, just a ride or two!

 *Or in person! If you're in Cleveland and would like to ride together sometime during the month - shoot me an email! I'm always down to ride (and get ice cream) with new people!

project 365 // days 234 - 241

Sunday, August 30, 2015

234 : 365 The sleepiest puppy.

 235 : 365 Jeff and I went to my parents house to celebrate my dad's birthday. We hiked down the creek looking for critters, played with the foxes, and ate lots of tasty food!

  236 : 365 Finished up the next batch of limited edition pouches. They'll be available for purchase on September 1st. I am SO excited.

  237 : 365 Wish I could photograph this awesome print from Moorea Seal in front of a real cactus but this neat-o wall will have to do.

  238 : 365 The sweetest little toasted marshmallow.

239 : 365 Thumb, meet cactus.

Also, look at these two! Professor and Squid aren't very cuddly toward each other (with me is another story!) so to even catch this is super special.

240 : 365 A pumpkin steamer from one of my favorite spots in Cleveland. I've finally started working on a post that includes a list of all my favorite places in the city. I've basically been copy and pasting the same list to everyone that emailed me asking for suggestions these last few months so I finally was like wait, why am I not just pasting this into a post and then fixing it up from there. So I still have to snag a few photos but it's coming along well.

241 : 365 Jeff and I took the train downtown and walked around a while. I only took five photos but I did eat one of the best burgers of my life so I guess it's all good.

Hope you're having an excellent weekend!

friday favorites

Friday Favorites #327

Friday, August 28, 2015

How incredible is this bedding set!?!?
 (via: Land of Nod)
Look at these glasses! Soooo awesome!
 (via: Modcloth)
I can't get over how pretty these necklaces are. You have to go view the close up photos!
 (via: Wild Air & Co)
Cat-tus pins! Those are basically my two favorite things!
Forever a sucker for a pretty notebook.
 (via: Moorea Seal)
 I'm not huge on oval plugs but I really really dig these ones. Opalite is just so darn pretty.
 (via: Mandie Kuo)
It's almost cozy sweater season!!!
 (via: Modcloth)
Okay, this is the best!
These might just be the most badass boots ever.
(via: Jessamity)

Link Love....
▴ I want one of everything from Toru & Naoko's shop. Such gorgeous lingerie!
▴Angie from SilverSpoon London always shares really awesome spots on her blog but I was browsing her instagram last week and ...just wow! Just look at this hotel!
▴ Love love love these alien nail decals.
▴ Oh? What's that? More washi tape that I want to cover all my outgoing mail in? Yep. I'm down to only a few rolls of solid tape so basically every time I come across some I'm like "well...I mean...I need it for packages..."
This is such a cute, simple watch. I feel like it'd look really nice with the boots pictured above.

Happy Friday!

Ps. Don't forget to browse my Everyday Favorites if you want to see more fun finds!

daily life

listening, watching, playing

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Back in February I did a little post called "listening, playing, watching" where I just shared a little about the things I was up to. In a reader survey at the very beginning of the year a few people expressed interest in a series of posts similar to my "what I've been reading" posts except with television, movies, and video games. I was really happy with how that post turned out. It's not something I can do super often though because I'm a creature of habit and I'll usually be watching, and listening to the same thing for months at a time. It finally feels like it's been long enough to do another edition.

Not too long ago I discovered The Front Bottoms and according to I've listened to their songs 1,279 times in the last three months. I'm not sure if that fact packs enough of a punch until you see that my second most played band, Why?, has only been played 631 times in the last three months (which is still a lot!) Yeah, so needless to say, I'm super into them. I wish I could recommend just one song but I love everything. Give them a listen for sure!

Also, Spotify recently added a feature where they make you a little playlist of music they think you might like at the beginning of each week and I'm a little embarrassed to say I look forward to getting my new playlist every Monday. It's ridiculously accurate. I've discovered lots of new artists and songs I enjoy. Nothing that will become my new favorite but it's super helpful as someone who does get stuck in patterns of listening to things. It's fun to hear things that I actually enjoy and don't have to search hard for.

Pssst! Pouch update coming on the 1st of September!!!

I've been on a movie kick lately. I have HBO GO on my apple tv and I think I've basically watched every movie on it. Sewing does that to me. If I'm sitting in front of my sewing machine, I am watching a movie. A few that I've enjoyed recently for the first time : Feardotcom, Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter is Dead, Gone Girl, Hell Baby, Inspector Gadget,  My Favorite Martian, Neighbors, and The Other Woman. Inspector Gadget, and My Favorite Martian are both things I feel like should have been part of my childhood but some how I missed them (or just don't remember them at all) but they immediately feel like the kind of movie I'll want to watch when I'm feeling under the weather. Please say you have a list of movies you like to watch when you're sick too! My list include basically all Jim Carrey movies, Beetlejuice, and Jumanji.

As for TV shows Jeff and I are in the middle of watching Wayward Pines which is way weird. He's read the books, which is why we started watching, but I'm still totally out of the loop with whats happening. I'm definitely enjoying it though.

Oh! Oh! Oh! And even though it was a little while back it's worth mentioning that if you're looking for a documentary on Netflix I recommend An Honest Liar. We actually turned it on because the movie we had just started was making a funny sound and we wanted to see if it was the movie or the tv itself. We switched An Honest Liar on and some how immediately got sucked in. I literally don't think I've ever loved a documentary so much!

Adventure Time Puzzle Quest. Downloading this game was the biggest mistake... in the world. You're battling characters while working your way through a map. Each one of your moves hurts the opponent a certain amount. You can use treasures you find to level up your characters. The reviews on the game are kind of mixed since it does have some glitches. Regardless, it's way more fun than I was expecting! I downloaded it late one night while in bed because I couldn't sleep and now I'm playing like every second I can. Sorry in advance if you download it and waste a ton of time.

I'm actually still playing Hyrule Warriors. I got it for Christmas last year, and somehow I'm still finding new quests to do? I purchased the expansion pack a few months back which was twenty bucks and it added about one billion more hours of game play. I feel like I'm kind of stuck now though. I need to level up characters I don't care about before being able to beat levels that will unlock other levels but I still play regularly. I can't say enough good things about this game. I wish all video games had this much content!

Aaaaand that's that! What have you been listening to, watching or playing that's worth talking about? I'm always looking for suggestions.


Desert Dreamin' at Joshua Tree

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I'm finally at the end of my photos from mine and Jeff's big adventure at the beginning of June. I feel like I've just been holding on to these photos to make it feel like I wasn't finally done. Writing these posts and looking back through the photos have been a great help in soothing my ache to travel. I've been having dreams these last few weeks where we're out in the desert again. I literally get teary eyed even trying to explain how much I love the desert. Being in a car in the middle of my desert with just Jeff, and all our camera gear is when I'm happiest.

Back to the subject at hand, our last big stop of the trip - Joshua Tree! We were on our back to Phoenix after spending the night at Wigwam Village when we just so happened to pass a sign for Joshua Tree National Park. It wasn't something that was even on our mind and we were more than ready to get to our final hotel of the trip but we figured at the very least we could get some more stamps in our national park passport book. We picked up a park map, and chose a spot to get out and play so we could say we spent a little bit of time there. The very first thing I spotted on the map was the Cholla Cactus Garden - that without a doubt was what I really wanted to see.

It's just a quick walk through the garden but it was an excellent one none-the-less. We took photos, admired tiny birds nests in the cactus, and took silly panoramic iPhone photos where it looked like Jeff was floating.

Last year while we were at Noah's Art I was walking backwards taking photos and not paying attention when I got one of these cactus stuck my ankle. I called Jeff over and had him pry it off with a stick. I almost immediately regretted not stopping to photograph it before removing it but I was left with a little reminder anyway - it actually bruised! It was sore for the whole rest of the trip too. Since that was my only previous experience with cholla cactus I did my best to be oh so careful in this garden full of them.

Guess its time to plan another trip now, right?

You can find more posts from our road trip under the "travel" tag. 

animals and nature

Foxy Lady : part four

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Over the weekend Jeff and I went out to my parents house to celebrate my dad's birthday. While we were there I wanted to take the opportunity to photograph the foxes again. They've both grown by leaps and bounds. It's funny because without having taken their photos previously it'd be hard to imagine just how much they've changed, especially because they are still relatively small.

There are no photos of Tramp this time. He's very interested in asserting his dominance right now. He would not let my dad pick him up to move him over to the temporary enclosure but as soon as my dad would turn away he would start scratching on door. He wanted out but only on his own terms. Hopefully next time I get over there to take photos he'll be less of a little jerk because he is SO handsome. I would love to shoot his photo.

I did get to shoot Lady though. She is hilarious, such a little character. She bolts around in the grass, diving in face first every few minutes. She lays down and pushes herself around using only her back feet, something both my cats do regularly at home. She nibbles on shoe laces and tries multiple times to steal my mom's watch but is always startled by the way it snaps back when she pulls it away far enough.

Despite interacting with my parents daily, Lady is still a bit skeptical of people. It takes a great deal of time for her to warm up to you and even then she still isn't very interested in being touched. She doesn't like quick movements either. You know who she isn't the least bit afraid of though? Klaus! He was on the outside of the enclosure, relaxing in the grass, when Lady started running back in front of him in an attempt to get his attention. They ran back and forth, on opposite sides of the fence, together for a while, and even laid in the grass and looked at each other. Eventually Klaus, who was probably wondering what the heck sort of strange cat that was, tired of her antics and went to curl up in Jeff's lap. Lady sat and waited for him to come back. She wanted to play with him so badly.

See previous posts on Lady and Tramp here, here, and here.

Just a note to add that foxes definitely aren't for everyone. They require a lot of work, care, and attention. Not to mention in most states they are illegal to keep as pets unless you have a license. Please do your research!


Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Monday, August 24, 2015

I spent my twenty fifth birthday in a mental hospital - one that was abandoned, purchased at auction, partially restored, and now offers tours! I'm talking about the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. It's a little over two hours away from Oglebay, where we stayed the night, so it was kind of must. We woke up fairly early, ate the best hotel breakfast I've ever had, and made our way there. Although I'm not a huge fan of guided tours (okay, I kind of hate them) and that's all they offer - we had to see this place!

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was in operation from 1864 until 1994. It was originally built to house only 250 patients but in the 1950's peaked at 2,600 patients. Like the majority mental hospitals that were open at the time, there are many stories of wrong doing. An investigation in 1949 found unruly patients locked in cages, lobotomies being performed with ice picks, and conditions so poor they were surely the cause of death in many patients.

This building has suffered it's fair share of abuse as well. In 1935 a patient started a fire in his closet that destroyed six male wards and caused one of the cupolas to fall through the roof. It sat abandoned from the time it closed, in 1994, until 2007 when it was bought at auction for 1.5 million dollars. Of course, much like any abandoned building, many explorers found their way in to photograph this gorgeous building, and in 1999 vandals did quite a number on the interior...but it's probably not what you're thinking. All four floors of the building were damaged by police officers playing paintball!

The building's condition had deteriorated to the point where it's survival was threatened. A dedicated team of staff and volunteers are now committed to restoring it to it's former grandeur. Our guide pointed out a few things in the main lobby that they had restored and it's apparent how much time and love they're putting into this place. One of the other people on our tour asked "Are you ever going to fully restore it? Or just leave it looking abandoned?" I don't recall exactly what she said but I caught something about how they would probably leave some sections fixed up just enough to be safe because photographers would otherwise be outraged. Jeff and I shot each other knowing looks. Heaven knows I love me some peeling paint!

One of my favorite things I saw were actually the stone faces on the exterior of one of the buildings. It is said that spirits cannot come in through the front door so they put these ugly faces above the back door to scare away any spirits who might wander in the back. The uglier the better. While I don't believe in "spirits", I do LOVE folklore. After walking back in the building Jeff whispered "Can we get some of those for our house?" I had already been thinking of asking him the same thing!

After the tour you're allowed to visit a wing of the main building that's basically a museum. There are tools, old photos, headstones, and even some of the former patients artwork. It was a great way to end the tour, especially since I wanted more. We took the shortest tour since I hate guided tours so much (and of course, time constraints) but I was way into it! I feel like they could probably rope people into the longer tour at the end of the short tours by simply offering to let them pay the difference and continue on with the group.

Like I mentioned, I am not a fan of guided tours but this one was well worth it. Our tour guide was knowledgeable, kind, and seemed to actually be interested in what she was doing. Maybe I've only been on guided tours with poor guides in the past? We only took the first floor tour but I would love to go back to take the cemetery tour. It's not my thing, but if you're into ghost tours they offer those year round as well. I definitely recommend stopping in if you're anywhere in the area! It was waaaay cool to be able to finally visit such an incredible building with such amazing history.

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