At War with the Squirrels

At War With the Squirrels |Thoughts&Daisies

It seems that there is a theme among college campuses where the squirrels there are just weird. Here in Ohio, we have a TON of squirrels on campus and they can really be strange. Such as being seen eating Takis out of the trash or jumping on your window.

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(actual photo of the squirrel that jumped on my window)

I now have begun a war with them. But not in the way you would have thought.

The squirrels’ problem with me is as follows… I have been taking all of their acorns. I know a very strange sentence for someone to be uttering but there is a story behind it. 

My mom likes to decorate the household for all and any event. Fourth of July? Red white and blue everywhere. Halloween? There will be photos of Halloween’s past covering the mantel and pumpkins on the dining room table. So for fall, there is obviously also some sort of decor going up. Craft store leaves and candle holders and this year… she wants acorns. 

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And since there are not readily available acorns falling from the sky in southern California I have been tasked with shipping them back from Ohio.

The actual conversation went more like… 

Mom: “It is too early for fall decor even though it is 100degrees here? I’ve gotta find acorns and pinecones”

Me: “There are a million on the ground in the OHIO”

Mom: “Send them to me I’m on a budget”

Me: “I’ll have to fight the squirrels”

Mom: *ignoring the fighting with the squirrels* “I need a gallon size bag full please!”

And there the war was initiated. Thanks to my mom. I am now the girl who randomly has acorns filling the inside pocket of her backpack. The one taking the time to grab handfuls from the ground. The one who the squirrels stare at with their acorns in their mouths and are not at all happy that some are being stolen. 

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While I did not fill the gallon bag what I have better be good enough. Now both my homes will be ready for fall. Though I am beginning to be doubtful that either one will actually experience fall. (Come on Ohio don’t skip straight to winter again I can’t take it!)

Does anyone else decorate their homes for fall? Have you thought to use acorns? 

 

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Trying Escargot

I’m not one to shy away from trying most foods, but something I never thought sounded very appetizing was escargot.

For anyone who doesn’t know escargot is a snail. 

Despite my “I’m not going to eat snail” way of life the weekend before school started, things changed. 

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The fall of my freshman year my mom and uncle came to visit and we had wanted to go to a french place in Cleveland for brunch, but the line was too long. So after 2 years of waiting, we finally went.

Le Petit Triangle Cafe is a french restaurant located in the Ohio City neighborhood outside of Cleveland. It is very popular and always busy for brunch.

For an appetizer, my uncle ordered us the Escargot. They were covered in a parsley and garlic butter sauce with some baguette on the side.

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The best way to eat it is to first dip the bread in the sauce and then put the snail on top. To me, it tastes a little bit like mushrooms.

I was pleasantly surprised. I would for sure eat it again. 

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As my entree, I ordered the ratatouille crepe and added ham. 

Anytime I think of ratatouille I think of the Disney movie and how I always had thought ratatouille was thinly sliced meats like salami. Until I realized it was actually vegetables.

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It includes béchamel sauce which I had never had but found to be delicious.

The vegetables were the best part of this crepe and kind of wish that I hadn’t added ham to it. I assumed it would be a few cut up pieces of ham but instead, there was more ham in the crepe than anything else which made it overpowering.

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All in all, brunch at Le Petit Triangle was yummy and I would go there again, Even if just to order some more escargot.

Have you ever had escargot? What are your thoughts?

 

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An Ode to Summer

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By the time this is up I’ll be 10,000 ft in the air on my way back to Ohio for the next few months. Which means school back to the land of reality and homework and the impending doom of winter. 

I had a good summer and a MUCH needed break from school and work. 

My roommate visited for a week and I showed her some sites of SoCal like Disneyland and Balboa Park. 

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I got to see The Lightning Thief Musical when it toured in San Jose. Now the musical is headed to Broadway next month with the entire original touring cast! Read my spoiler-free review HERE.

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Much to the surprise of everyone I went golfing at 6am but could have used a Troy Bolton there to teach me how to not suck at it.

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Foodie Adventures happened which is always one of my favorite days. I could really go for an octopus taco right about now…

The music released these past few months have been totally great and perfect Summer Sounds for all of my summer music needs. 

With all the downtime I had, I was able to catch up on books from my reading list like Alice in Wonderland and Bridge of Clay.  Just to name a few.

But summer as I know it is officially over and I will just have to hold tight to the last few moments of Ohio sun while it lasts. Though every time I close my eyes I’ll be dreaming of the seemingly never-ending California sunshine and missing the smell of ocean breeze more than I ever do the rest of the year. 

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While it never feels long enough it wouldn’t be as special if it never-ending. As it goes with all good things.

The summer dresses and shorts will begin to be put away and the coats will be put in their place. And the temperatures will start to cool but we will always have that fleeting memory of summer.

So here’s to the summer breezes, the beach days, the pool floaties, and all the refreshing foods and drinks.

Here’s to sleeping in and those days when you can bum around by the pool all day because you have no responsibilities. 

Summer always feels fleeting and once it’s gone you can only dream about the next year. 

Thank you summer for the memories. See you next year. 

 

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5 Things you​ DON’T Need to Bring to College

5 Things you Don't Need to Bring to College |thoughts&daisies To make your packing a little easier (and your bags a little lighter) here are 5 things you don’t need to bring with you.

As schools come back in session all of us college kids are once again packing up our things and packing is daunting. So much we could bring, so little space to put it. To make your packing a little easier (and your bags a little lighter) here are 5 things you don’t need to bring with you.

 

An Iron

It sounds like a good idea. Wrinkly clothes need a way to be dealt with, but I’ve been in college for two years and have only used mine a handful of times. Because it takes a lot of effort. Instead, opt for a wrinkle spray or a handheld steamer. Super easy to use and takes up less storage space. 

Your Whole Wardrobe

Not having every piece of clothing you own for a whole year, or at least a semester can feel limiting. Especially if you go to school really far away like I do. While you may want to, you don’t need to take your whole wardrobe with you. You won’t even have space for half of it in those tiny dorm room closets. You just need to pack smart. 

Pack for the seasons you will be there first. If you don’t need all of your winter gear the first semester leave it at home and do a wardrobe swap over the break. 

Start packing by laying out piles of basic staple pieces by items. Shirts, pants, PJs, etc. Once you have that then add in more clothes. But before you take that top that has been collecting dust in your closet for 5 years really decide if it’s worth it. Take more versatile pieces instead. 

Rule of thumb, if you haven’t worn it in the past 6 months you probably won’t be missing it in college. 

 

A box of nail polish and every makeup palette you’ve ever owned

I made the mistake of taking a whole box of nail polish with me the first year and painted my nails approximately zero times. Unless you paint your nails every month I would suggest taking no polish or up to three colors. If you decide you want to paint your nails you can always stop by your local Walgreens for some polish.

Same goes with your makeup. I am not someone who uses all of my palettes on a daily basis so I am scaled back on which ones I take with me. It really pays off when your luggage is at 49.9lbs and you don’t want to be charged for overweight bags. 

Bed Risers

Most dorm beds are made to lift on their own to provide extra storage space underneath or you can loft if you want it to be extra tall. Bed risers are just extra things to buy and I just don’t think they are very useful. 

Most Valuables

Keep the valuables you take with you to a minimum. It is better to be safe than sorry. For whatever you do take with you have a safe place for it hidden in your dorm like a small safe. 

Be smart with what you bring. Don’t bring an expensive speaker when you can get one at Target for around $20. If you can’t afford to lose it maybe don’t bring it. 

 

Happy Packing!

 

If you have any other suggestions of things NOT to bring to college put it in the comments!  When do you go back to school?

 

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Bridge of Clay Review

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Markus Zusak (MZ) is the author of two books on my all-time favorite list so when I found his newest release during a Barnes n Noble browsing it was quickly added to my shopping cart.  

Zusak is the author of the award-winning novel, The Book Thief as well as I Am the Messenger (probably my absolute favorite of his). But we aren’t here to talk about those today. Today’s blog is all about Bridge of Clay.

“In the beginning, there was one murderer, one mule and one boy…”

Bride of Clay is a story about the 5 Dunbar boys, most notably the fourth, Clay. Clay the boy who will build a bridge. 

I will have to say that this book was a bit slow-paced and it is looooong, almost 600 pages, and with it starting off slow it took me a while to get into it. Including a lot of patience on my end but I knew I didn’t want to stop because I love MZ’s writing style. Although, his style is also the reason this book ended up being this long.

The way he writes incorporates details in a way that is different than other books and in use takes longer than average explaining something which can feel, at times, tedious. 

“The sun was some sort of barbarian, a Viking in the sky.”

One thing for me that makes MZ a fantastic writer is his command of language. If you are a lover of language than his books are for you. His sentences have a very poetic feel and are often used to both rip your heart out and stitch it back up at the same time. It is writing to where sometimes you just have to stop and admire a sentence because it takes your breath away.

Compared to his other books I’ve read I will have to say it is my least favorite. The extensiveness of the book created some confusion as the plotlines shift around a lot and I don’t feel that it allowed for enough cohesive detailing in any specific one. 

In total there are maybe 10 characters that this book delves into pasts for and I for one had to reread pages a few times over to keep up.

 Similar to his The Book Thief, Death as its own character makes a return in Bridge of Clay, for good or bad. Which is all I will say since, spoilers.

“It was in there, out there, waiting. It lived on our front porch.”

I felt the narration fell a bit flat compared to his other novels because, for me, it was harder to connect to Matthew as a character and the narrator. I felt we saw little of him as his own intricate character. Despite the novel being centered around Clay and not Matthew, I would have liked to have had more glimpses into him. 

MZ also used Homer’s novels The Odyssey and The Illiad as both allusions and physical objects throughout the book which were intriguing and I felt were tied well into the other plot points as a whole. For those who know me they know, I am a lover of anything involving Ancient Greek Heroes so I very much appreciated this detail. 

In whole, I enjoyed the plot of the novel and my read but I do not think this will be one of his that I reread over and over again.

“That bridge was made of him.”

Let me know in the comments if you have read one of his books and which is your favorite.

 

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