March 2016 - The Dainty Squid
animals and nature

#fessermakesfaces

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Something that has been missing from the blog for a while is pet photos. I used to post them constantly. While there is still a fair share of them on my instagram account, most of them never make their way to the blog. I recently created a hashtag for Professor Stingray because I tend to post a certain kind of photo of him quite often. It's #fessermakesfaces, and it's full of the ridiculous faces he makes. Most are post yawn, or mid chirp but some are just plain silly faces I happen to catch with the camera. He's the most expressive little critter I've ever met. At the risk of sounding like a total cat lady (which I am, it's literally tattooed on my knuckles) he's the funniest "person" I know. Not a day goes by that this little dude doesn't make me laugh.

In the nearly six years this little rascal has been in my life not too much other than his fur color has changed with him. He's always been this rambunctious little cat that's just full of personality. While browsing for old photos of him, I found the diptych below from 2010. Apparently I've always thought his yawn face was hilarious.

Even though it's easy enough to browse his hashtag over on instagram I thought this little dude needed his own blog post. These photos crack me up, I hope they brighten your day as well.

from 2010. Those tiny teeth!!!
xoxo

PS. If you need more cuteness in your life, here's the very first time I posted about him - "a new addition" I can't even handle the cuteness!

books

The Wander Society review + giveaway

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Keri Smith, book review, wander society

A few weeks back I received an email asking if I'd like to receive an advanced copy of Keri Smith's newest book, The Wander Society. I was interested just based on the fact it was by Keri Smith. She's the author of many awesome books including wildly popular Wreck This Journal which I most definitely had and LOVED when it first came out.

The story is that Keri Smith was browsing her local bookstore when she stumbled upon strange notes in a worn copy of Leaves of Grass by Walk Whitman: "WW will show you the way," "Solivitur ambulando," and then "The Wander Society" accompanied by a small thunderbolt symbol. Intrigued, she followed the clues and discovered pamphlets, more hidden messages, and a like-minded professor to help her in her search. Keri then complied her findings into this book, aptly titled The Wander Society.  The book is a manifesto of a secretive group that extols the notion that in order to find your way and live deliberately, soulfully, you must wander.

Intrigued yet? Yeah, it's just as awesome as it sounds! As someone who has been becoming more and more disenchanted with technology and how social media seems to rule everything around us, this book couldn't have come at a more perfect time.

wander society, book review, keri smith

The book includes prompts and calls-to-action, as well as how-tos and practical tips and strategies for wandering fieldwork. I found it to be incredibly inspiring. It was honestly hard to sit down to try and read it because I would read a couple pages and immediately feel like "maybe I should be outside instead...?" When I did sit down to read, I found myself bookmarking lots of passages. There were so many I wanted to share in this post. The one I chose was a photo Keri had taken. Her notes under it say "found this written on a wall"

"The beauty of happenstance. Of looking for one thing and finding something else. Of stumbling onto something when you were least expecting it. The book on the shelf next to the one you wanted. Overhearing an interesting conversation. Finding a special sitting spot. In just the right place. Seeing an amazing sunset. Stumbling onto the perfect passage in a book. Discovering a place you want to go for tea. Taking a detour and seeing a different view. A combination of 'happen' and 'circumstance'. To find or come across by chance. Can only happen if we provide the opportunity for them to appear."

I'm excited to exercise my wandering legs. The Wander Society really, really struck a chord with me. It reinforced some thoughts I had already been having and was exactly the encouragement I needed to get out and do more of what I really love. One chapter, titled "leave behinds", talks about how it's nice to plant things for other to find in hopes that will encourage them to wander too. It gives some ideas of things to leave behind. One of the suggestions was stone piles and arrangements which immediately made me think of all my beach adventures - like my driftwood fort!

Keri Smith, book review

The publishing company was sweet enough to offer one lucky wanderer their own copy of Keri Smith's newest book The Wander Society. US entries only, please. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
I LOVED this book. Like I said before, it just came at a time when it was exactly what I needed to read. I'm really excited for y'all to check out this book too!
xoxo

cutting room floor

on the cutting room floor

Monday, March 28, 2016

On the cutting room floor is a series that was started with the sole purpose of sharing photos that didn't necessarily warrant a whole post but didn't deserved to just be buried in my photo archives.


At the beginning of the year I made a goal to send out 150 pieces of mail and in the beginning of March I hit that goal! Wahooo! I'm at a 184 pieces sent out right now! I was not expecting to do that so soon. I'm slowly but surely working my way through my pile of incoming mail. I'm really happy with how it's going so far. I'm connecting with lots of new people! Sitting in bed, or in my living room with a stack of postcards is easily becoming one of my favorite pastimes. I've wanted to turn it into a blog series, sharing whats incoming and what I'm sending out, like this post, but I'm still trying to find the perfect way to photograph everything without sharing addresses or details.

first two are outgoing mail, directly above is incoming mail.

After one million years of talking about how cool those color drip candles looked I finally bought two of them. They were soooo pretty! I wish there was something similar but in regular candle form since tall candles make me nervous but that was totally worth it to watch it drip. Also, rose lemonade? Do yourself a favor and try some!


For a while now my taste buds have been changing. I like basically any food I try and I'm down to try just about anything. This is a big deal coming from a former picky eater. The one thing I wanted to like but didn't? Coffee. I liked basically every other coffee drink except coffee itself. It wasn't the flavor, it was the texture. It's like it's too watery. I prefer thicker, milkier drinks. I was explaining this to Jeff's sister who was like "Oh, I totally get that. It's the only reason I use creamer." For some dumb reason I guess I never thought of creamer making that difference.

Sooo I am now a bonafide coffee addict. I've been trying as many different flavors as I can get my hands on. My favorite so far has been the donut shop's vanilla cream puff.


Since I all of a sudden enjoy long walks, and want to geocache constantly Jeff and I have been getting out literally every chance we get. It's been really really great. We recently hiked down to check out this tunnel which in the past I can guarantee I would have complained about and it was a ton of fun. I picked ferns and tiny flowers along the way to press in my notebook.


I got two new books of my photos from chatbooks! Back in July I ordered one of all my road trip photos. I liked it so much I decided to sign up for the instagram series. It's 60 photos from your instagram account that you can edit to your heart’s content: exclude photos, edit captions, and move things around or you can just get them printed as it. I love love love seeing my photos printed! PS. Don't forget if you use code "theda146" you can get your first book free when you subscribe to your Instagram Series.


A massive abandoned cement factory along the lake. Not necessarily worthy of too many photos but a fun adventure none the less and I'm happy to check it off the list. Can I also just say that I love love love hanging out with these three dudes? I have so much fun with Jeff, Jake, and Jason. I am very happy they're in my life.


And of course, here's a pretty sunset because there ain't nothing better! Happy Monday!
 xoxo


friday favorites

Friday Favorites #357

Friday, March 25, 2016

This lapel pin? So darn cute!
 (via: Bottino)
The print on this dress is pure springtime perfection.
 (via: Modcloth)
 (via: Moorea Seal)
These lights are kind of weird but for some reason I can't help but want them! They'd look so awesome in an industrial loft beside my pretty blue lockers.
These concrete planters look perfect for propagating tiny succulents!
YES! This lapel pin rules. They also have one that says "succ it" with a succulent. Dude...!
 (via: Prick Pins)
Advice for everyone, everyday.
 (via: Ghost Goods)
Mine and Jeff's two year anniversary is coming up next month. I already found (and purchased) the perfect card a little while back but this one was a close second. So cute!
Why does Crosley have to do this to me!?


Link love...
▴ So Kate Funk takes the BEST photos of her cat, AC. Their 2016 calendar is marked way way down, like you're dumb not to buy it cheap! I just can't get enough of her photos!
Vintage Optical Shop has literally the most amazing selection of vintage glasses I have ever seen.
▴ How dreamy are these sandals!?
Washi tape covered in planets!!
▴ This floral bathing suit is adorable! ...But I still don't think anything is better than this donut one!
A portable BBQ! 1. it's super cute and 2. it'd be perfect to keep in the car for spur of the moment picnics!

Happy Friday!
xoxo

reviews

Dana's Bakery Review

Thursday, March 24, 2016

macarons, dana's, macaron

Macarons. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Seriously though, I reeeeally do love macarons. The first ones I ever had were made by Beca and it was love at first bite. After those macarons kind of became my "thing" as in I hunted them down where ever I went. No excuse needed to splurge on this little taste of heaven. Going to see my favorite band in a city a few hours away? Better find some macarons. Taking a road trip? I should taste them from every place we stop.  Moved to Cleveland? Guess I should try every macaron I can find in the city. They're that one trendy thing that I actually understand why people obsess over. A good macaron is a treasure!

So when Dana's Bakery contacted me asking if I'd like to write a post about them I jumped at the chance. I will work for macarons, apparently. While I had never had them until now I was familiar with Dana's Bakery simply because they have a monthly macaron subscription! I love the idea of subscription boxes but a macaron subscription kind of takes the cake, right!?

Dana's Bakery has a hefty selection of flavors to choose from including strawberry shortcake, thin mint, fruity cereal, champagne, and sooo many others. More than that, they also do a flavor of the month so there is always something new to try.  If you'd rather bake your own - they sell kits to do so. One more thing, they're all gluten free!

dana's bakery, review, macaron
Dana's Bakery

First thought upon getting them in the mail? Holy smokes, these are packed really well. I received a variety pack of 12 macarons. They came in a box with air pillows (similar to bubble wrap, if you're not familiar), safely tucked inside was a reusable insulated cooler bag that housed my macarons. It was great presentation and most importantly they all arrived in perfect condition. Not a single one was broken or even cracked.

I popped them in the fridge until later so I could share them with Jeff. Over the next three days we happily snacked on these babies. We kind of have a little routine with macarons. I take a bite and then he gets the other half (that somehow makes it sound like I'm stingy but I always try to leave him a bigger half... unless of course we're talking about floral or coffee flavors because those are my favorite!) This way we both get to try every flavor and we have fun guessing which flavor is which together. Orders from Dana's Bakery come with a key so you don't have to guess if you don't like surprises!

They were all delicious! They had high expectations to meet up to and miraculously they did it! My favorite was orange creamsicle, which isn't normally a flavor I would go for. My go-to flavors are usually coffee related but this orange creamsicle... it was something else! It tasted like the solid version of my new favorite pop, Sprecher's orange dream. The two together would just be insaaaane.

macaron review

Two thumbs way up for Dana's Bakery. If you haven't been able to try macarons yet, need an awesome gift for a pal, or just want to treat yourself, I can't recommend them highly enough. They even offer a 10% off coupon if you sign up for their newsletter! Getting flowers in the mail is cool but macarons by mail is next level!
xoxo

Cleveland

driftwood beach fort

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Trying to get more steps on my Fitbit means a lot more of me getting out and wandering around. It's definitely a win/win situation. I'm getting more exercise, and I'm also out doing more of my favorite activities without feeling guilty that I should be at home working. Last week I hit up the beach. I collected some beach glass, and then noticed some nice looking drift wood that was perfect for building a fort. Forty five minutes later I finished her up and put a bunch of the beach glass I had collected earlier inside. I took a handful of photos but wasn't all that impressed with what I shot. I was still excited to share those photos here because I was proud of my little fort. As I was leaving the desolate beach a woman walked over to a bench to eat her lunch but before sitting snapped a few photos of my fort. I was so excited that I took a crappy photo of her taking a picture of my creation.

The next day it was SUPER foggy. I ran around town taking pictures, and eventually made my way back to the beach. You can see my photos here! I wasn't too confident that my little fort from the previous day would still be standing, people love to knock stuff down and I wasn't sure if the waves might have gotten too close, but to my delight it was still there and HOLY COW, it looked awesome in the fog! I took so many photos and couldn't be happier with how they turned out. The bare trees, the fog, the colors! Everything just came together so wonderfully.

Most importantly though, there were little doggy footprints leading right up to it and the glass had all been taken. Someone else (and their pup!) enjoyed it, and that makes me happy!

driftwood, cleveland, wendy park
Wendy Park, CLE
wendy park, cleveland, foggy
glitter rain boots from Modcloth, no longer available. Found them here though!


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