January 2017 - The Dainty Squid
animals and nature

the critters

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

It's been just around one month in the new apartment, and things have been so incredible here I figured it was time for a pet update. That and I have a whole bunch of cute photos of them that I want to share. In the first post that I shared an update on the new place I mentioned how the animals were behaving much better than expected. When I moved to my first apartment alone back in 2014, the cats hid in the litter box for nearly a week. They were absolutely terrified and were honestly quite skittish the entire time I lived there. In my next apartment they hid for a few days after moving but quickly warmed up, and made the place their own. With this move, I expected they'd hide for a few days then everything would go back to normal. I was mistaken. There was no hiding and almost immediately they were out exploring their new surroundings. Its obvious they are SO happy here, and were from basically the second they walked in.

I'm sure the fact that this apartment is completely brand new and doesn't have any smells that belong to other animals is probably a big part but I would also venture to guess that they sense how happy their people are and that makes them happy. I know, or at least I firmly believe, that animals can read our emotions and do their best to respond in what they feel is an appropriate manner. Despite any reservations Jeff and I had about moving in together I think it's safe to say things have been better than ever! Judging by how happy the cats and Klaus have been I'd say they agree.

Some of the biggest breakthroughs since moving;
▴ Squid tolerates Klaus! One of the biggest reasons I wanted to adopt a puppy instead of a full grown dog was because I wanted the cats to be able to teach that pup who was boss from the start.  I didn't want to worry about this new dog hurting my babies. My plan worked out a little too well. Squid, without even putting much effort into it, somehow communicated to Klaus that she was the one in charge. For the longest time he wouldn't even enter a room if she was in there. If I was on one side of the house and he was on the other but Squid was in the middle, he refused to run past. These days they're more than happy to share the couch, even if I'm not in the middle. They often lounge in the same ray of sunshine, and sometimes even share food. Cats, obviously, aren't supposed to eat dog food but Squid randomly became interested in stealing pieces from Klaus' dish last week.

▴ Klaus and Professor are thiiiiis close to cuddling. Last March I caught them in bed together - not touching or anything - and it was such a big deal I wrote a whole post about it chronicling their relationship. Read that here! This last month has been full of instances like that. Professor is even totally comfortable laying on top of Klaus when I'm around which absolutely kills me. It's taking forever but I have hope I'll eventually catch them cuddling.

▴ Squid is seriously just a new cat. She has always been a little reserved but since living here she has been so free! She's always somewhere rolling on her back, showing off her belly. I've had Squid since she was six months old, nearly ten years, and she's more relaxed than I've ever seen her in her entire life. She was my first cat, and it wasn't until I adopted a second that I realized she was the kind of kitty that would have preferred to be the only one in the house. It always seemed like she was happiest when all the other animals were in another room. These days that same relaxed happy cat I had only seen when it was just me and her is out all the time! Squid is living loud (literally, so many squeaky little meows!) and proud these days.

I love this photo of Professor. He looks so chubby and content sitting in the sunshine in his new home.

So yeah, that's how things have been lately, and it's awesome. Seeing the animals so happy makes me happy.

project 365

project 365 : 21 - 29

Monday, January 30, 2017

21 : 365 Warm winter days, and all the stripes! Full outfit details + more photos here

22 : 365 I love seeing my nieces and nephew enjoy my parent's amazing yard. That pond was such a huge part of my childhood. I spent so much of my time digging in the clay, building dams out of small rocks, and just getting dirty so it's fun to see them doing the same thing. 

23 : 365 We're fiiiinally starting to hang things around here. We haven't made much progress, and the living room walls are still completely empty but I'm the kind of person who isn't quite happy with a space until all the open wall space is decorated somehow so this feels really good even if it's happening one random piece at a time.

24: 365 Always a candle or seven burning around here. This neroli + eucalyptus one is a new favorite.

25 : 365 The newest addition to my collection of kind of strange things - a full sized skeleton! Woo! If you're been reading for a while you might recall how it's been on my wishlist for a looong time. I finally just went for it and couldn't be more pleased. I'm not actually sure where I'll end up displaying him but for now he's hanging out in my office.

26 : 365 Oh look, more ridiculous things from around my house. What a surprise! My giant ice cream cone lamp is getting used more than ever in the new apartment. I've had it for years, and it still makes me smile every time I plug it in.

27 : 365 Sooo, I'm officially an adult now... or something? I got a big box of cleaning supplies in the mail and it honestly felt as exciting as Christmas. I had never used Mrs. Meyer's brand previous to the day Jeff and I moved in together. When we were cleaning up his old apartment I used one of his  products and was like "Uhm? What the heck smells so good?" Since that day I've been looking for every excuse to use it because it seriously just smells that good.

Fast forward to last week when I see an ad for Grove Collaborative who carry all sorts of natural products. I spotted the Mrs. Meyers section and immediately filled my cart. My apartment? It's super clean, and smells amazing too! Part of me wants to try other scents when these run out but that lavender is just too good.

28 : 365 ELYCIA CAME TO VISIT! Ahhh! We met through blogging about around six years ago but haven't really been all that great about finding time to get together these last few. It was so nice to finally meet her youngest, show off the new apartment, and catch up. We ate tons of amazing food, and had lots of great laughs. These photos are from our quick walk to the park. Despite the snow I was determined to show our guests just how walk-able, and lovely my neighborhood is.

29 : 365 More photos from Elycia's visit. Why can't they just live closer?!!?

This morning I woke up to a ton of snow. It looks so beautiful falling outside my window, and from the second story I have an awesome view of all the snow covered houses in our neighborhood. It's a perfect day to bundle up, drink alllll the tea, and work on my laptop from the couch. Hope your week is off to a lovely start.

You can keep up with my Project 365 photos under the hashtag "project 365", of course!

friday favorites

Friday Favorites #400

Friday, January 27, 2017

 Gah! Obsessed with this little doggy shirt.
 (via: ohpopdog)
Super duper into these clear rain boots. They'd look rad paired with a see through rain coat - an item that has been on my wishlist for far too long. 
 (via: Amazon)
Love love love this rug!
(via: Land of Nod)
(via:  Punky Pins)
Leaping lemurs! This wallpaper is equal parts ridiculous and cute. 
 (via: Anthropologie)
I've expressed my love for Kate Funk's work before but this photo of AC dressed up as the dude is just amazing! Also - Beetlejuice! SO GOOD.
 (via: Kate Funk)
This skirt! It'd be perfect paired with a black crop top.
 (via: Amazon)
 (via: Papio Press)
 I don't think I could pull off this shirt, light colors aren't really my thing but it's so beautiful.
 (via: Modcloth)

Link love...
▴ I've been seeing this "painless dentist" mug everywhere, I guess it's a sign... It needs to be mine.
▴ Positively obsessed with this bra.
▴ A woodpecker wallet - so cute!
▴ I originally thought this skirt covered in shells was actually covered in donuts, still it's really cute. And looks way adorable with the shirt pictured above.
▴ This desert inspired bathroom rug!!
▴ Dear tea obsessed friends, how do you store your abundance of tea?! Jeff and I both had pretty intense collections so when we moved in together our tea collection officially became out of control. They're all currently in a basket which doesn't quite cut it since you have to take everything out to see whats at the bottom. I'm thinking something like this tea box might do the job but I'd need a few of them and it just seems like there has to be a smarter way! (A plus side to getting that box though would be that I could organize by color which would be SO pretty!)

Happy Friday!!

Ps. For more fun finds check out my Everyday Favorites!   

daily life

Kinzua Bridge

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Last Monday Jeff had the day off work for Martin Luther King Day. The original plan was to head to Rochester for our annual abandoned subway adventures but at the last minute our friends weren't able to make it. While we still have a lot of things to do around the apartment, we were both aching for an adventure. Somehow talk of Kinzua Bridge came up and we decided to drop Klaus off at my parents for the day, and take the three hour drive just to see a big pile of rust.

Kinzua Bridge is located in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. It was originally built in 1882, and billed as the "Eight Wonder of the World". For two years it even held the record for tallest railroad bridge! In less than twenty years the bridge needed some serious updates to accommodate for the heavier weight of modern trains and the materials they were carrying. The bridge was rebuilt, and used on and off for quite a few more years. In 2002 all traffic on the bridge was halted due to the poor condition of important structural elements. (This is obviously a very brief history, if you're interested in reading more there are tons of sites with the all the details a quick google search away!)

On July 21, 2003, a tornado struck the Kinzua Bridge causing eleven of the twenty towers to collapse. Instead of rebuilding, which would has cost approximately 45 million dollars, the state decided to turn it into a visitor attraction. In 2011 the Kinzua Sky Walk, a pedestrian walkway to an observation deck with a glass floor, opened.

Quarter found below the bridge from someone who probably tossed it to make a wish.

I had actually visited the bridge back in 2012 (you can find some photos from that trip here!) but didn't really do too much exploring around the area. We basically walked out to the observation deck, took a peek, and left. These days I'm a quite a bit different. I'm certainly not as lazy, and definitely more inclined to want to get a closer look at things. Needless to say, after checking everything out from above, Jeff and I hiked to the bottom to get a better look.

Unlike my first visit, where the park was jam packed with people, we were one of only two groups of people there. It was awesome! We hiked down the crazy steep hill which was pure agony to get back up after we were done, and wandered around the massive ruins. I took so many photos but ultimately was disappointed in what I shot. There is just no way to capture how incredible this all is to see in person, and how tiny you feel beside it. Seeing it from above it almost looks like a model but as soon as you start to get closer you realize just how big it all is. I think the photo above the one of the quarter puts it in perspective, at least a little bit, when you spot the tiny person in the right corner.

I was a little nervous about taking such a long drive just to take a few photos, and return home the same day but it ended up totally being worth it!


what I've been reading...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

At the end of last month I bought a Kindle Paperwhite on a whim, hoping it'd help me get back into reading... and it did! I've read more in this last month than I did in all of 2016. It feels great. I swear I read faster on my Kindle, and of course, the fact that it's so portable certainly is a plus. Seriously, if you've been on the fence about getting a Kindle, just go for it! 

What I've been reading...
Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread by Chuck Palahniuk. I've finally joined the huge number of people who don't quite get Chuck Palahniuk's newer work. I hate saying it but it's true. The only reason I was to determined to read the whole book was because who it was written by, and that's not really a good thing. While a few of the stories were fairly entertaining, all in all it wasn't that great. It was sloppy, and a little too strange to be relatable. I still consider Mr. Palahniuk one of my favorite authors but I'd recommend sticking to his older stuff. Rant is INCREDIBLE.

Mattress Actress by Annika Cleeve. I've always loved reading books by sex workers. I've read a ton that I really enjoyed, and a handful that were, uh, a bit of a struggle to get through. This one falls into the latter category. It wasn't completely awful but a lot of it sounded fabricated. Obviously I could be wrong but so much of it just seemed like it was made up to be shocking which ended up having the opposite effect. All in all, not a terrible book, just not one I'd recommend. If you're looking for books on sex work, I recommend Stripped, Chicken, Johns, Marks, Tricks and Chickenhawks or Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys.

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. So, right now I'm going to admit that my memory is failing me. I rated this book three stars out of five over on Goodreads but honestly don't recall feeling one way or another about in. On my Kindle I highlighted one passage that I loved but other than that I've got nothing. In the future I'll try to write my reviews as soon as I finish reading a book so this doesn't happen again.

If you're curious, I highlighted "We need more women who are allowed to prove their worth as people, rather than being assessed merely for their potential to create new people." from page 238. As someone who is not interested in having any children but is constantly being told I'll change my mind, or something along those lines that sentence really struck a chord.

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks. Hallucinations was my first book by Oliver Sacks but certainly not my last. In fact, I've already downloaded Awakenings to read next. I'm very interested in medical writing but am often turned off by the fact that a lot of it is hard to digest as a layman. This book was filled with case studies, and information that even as someone who has no previous knowledge was easy to understand. I had NO idea how common hallucinations were and thoroughly enjoyed reading about all the different types. The human brain is really wild!

Shrill by Lindy West.  You guys, I LOVED this book. That's right capital L-O-V-E-D. I devoured it. I read the full book in two sittings which for my short attention span is a miracle. Lindy West is hilarious! Not only that but there were so many times I was like "YAS MOMMA!" I highlighted the heck out of that book. Definitely read Shrill if you liked Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson... or read some Jenny Lawson if you liked Shrill!

I also started and quit The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop. The title is very intriguing to me as someone who watches every single Prison documentary they can find, and has enjoyed the show Cops since childhood. This book though, it was a struggle. I made it about a quarter of the way through before reminding myself that life is too short to read things you don't enjoy at all. The author pointed out numerous times he was just a regular guy, not a writer which was fairly apparent seeing as he seemed to just be writing in circles. Glad I got that one from the library and didn't actually buy it.

What have you been reading? 

what i wore

what I wore : stripes, again!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

what I wore, outfit post, fashion blog, green hair
cleveland fashion blog, green hair, striped dress
tuesday bassen, green hair, girls lapel pin

glasses - Louise via Warby Parker
dress - striped dress via Amazon
pin - girls via Moorea Seal
shoes - White Mountain oxfords via Amazon

Super cute black and white striped dress that fits like a glove for under 20 buckeronis? Heck yeah! It obviously loses some cool points for not having pockets but still! This beauty will definitely be a staple in my summer wardrobe. Paired with my trusty jean jacket? Yeeeah. It's gonna be perfect.

Speaking of summer, Cleveland got hit with some really crazy weather over the weekend. January 21st and it's 60 degrees? I'll take it! I was comfortable outside with bare legs! I was even comfortable without my cardigan on. A Sleeveless dress! In January! In Ohio! WHAT!? Warm weather after the cold breaks is always like that though. 60 degrees at the end of summer and I'm trying to wear hoodies, and my fuzzy socks. At the end of cold weather (or some random warm day in middle of winter)? I'm wearing as little clothes as possible. It just felt so good to be outside, not wearing a million layers. The sun was shining down and everything felt so right. Just a little pick me up in the middle of the worst, most depressing seasons like "here's what you have to look forward to in just a few months!" It was a much needed surprise.

The random super warm weather also made me even more excited to be living in my new neighborhood. I feel so much safer taking Klaus on walks here than where I lived before therefore we've obviously been taking a lot more walks. We've been living here just under a month and I feel like it's already made a huge impact on both Klaus and I. Obviously dogs are happier after they've been walked and have used up their energy but those walks help me feel a lot less stressed too. I'm so looking forward to exploring the neighborhood with my puppy dog even more once the weather warms up for good.

One last thing related to my neighborhood and the warm weather. Like I had mentioned before, my apartment was completely remodeled right before we moved in so my landlord had been spending a ton of time here over the last few months. He was telling Jeff and I that there is a neighborhood pig that goes on walks with it's owner. We were both like "NO WAY! How cool!" and figured we probably wouldn't see it for a while. A few days later my landlord came over to finally hook up our washer and dryer (DUDE. It feels so good to finally do laundry!) Shortly after he left he called and asked if it was still working to which I was like "Uh? Yeah? You just left?" then he revealed the true reason for calling... "The pig. It's out walking at the corner of Professor and College" Sooo needless to say, I threw a leash on Klaus and we literally ran outside. I found the pig almost immediately - prompting this tweet. It was just happily waddling along behind it's mom. I watched as three people stopped to talk to her about her unique pet. I've got my fingers crossed for lots more pig sightings this summer. I will most definitely be updating you, hopefully with photos and a name, next time I see the piggy!

follow along @thedaintysquid.