Stella, may I know about Caspersen Beach?

11:58 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Why of course you may!

Hello world. (really though, hello sis!) It's been about a week since my last post and shame on me... I have only posted three times and I have already started to slack. Try harder Stella May!

Today I want to share my experience at Caspersen Beach. While I am here in Florida, I wanted to make it a point to visit beaches. I decided on Caspersen Beach as it is known for shark tooth hunting and shelling. (shelling for me, shark tooth for Mister.) Located about an hour south of Tampa, it's at great location of a day trip. It was just a little harder to find.

Initially, when we searched for "Caspersen Beach" on Google Maps, we were led to a lush green park that was miles from the shoreline. Instead, I should have searched for "Caspersen Beach Harbor Blvd." (or for future me and you: 3900 Harbor Dr. S, Venice FL 34285) As we drove to now the correct location, we didn't think it was the correct place again—we saw large bushes and then a dead end. There were small parking lots (free btw!) but we didn't see sand or water. It wasn't until we saw other people dressed in beach wear that we hopped out of the car.

I've learned those large bushes we saw (the ones blocking our view of the beach) are dunes. There are boardwalks built to walkover and protect the dunes in the area. Once we crossed the walkover, we saw the beach (albeit a rocky one.)


This isn't the softest sand (head north to Siesta Key for that), but that's because it is full of shells! & shark teeth! The first thing we did was put our blanket down and hobble our way into the ocean. There were quite a few rocks to climb over so be prepared to wear your shoes into the water. Just make sure they stay secured on your feet! I wore Havianas flip flops and they started to float away! 979788FF-EAB3-4FFB-83E4-12F5FE535F8DAfter some splashing in the water we started to search for shark teeth. These fossilized shark teeth are millions of years old (that's why they are black) and are starting to wash up. I found best place to find shark teeth is to look at where the wave hits the shore or between the rocks along the shoreline. I just grabbed a handful of sand and picked through until I found the teeth. The more you go into the ocean the bigger the teeth. If you don't want to ruin your nails, there are tools to help you sift through the sand. The Florida Snow Shovel! It is basically a sieve. (you can rent these at the local shop or purchase them online) We brought along a mesh wire container and that seemed to do the trick. Mister used the container and found smaller shark teeth that my picking method would have just skipped over.

The shark teeth you see above are actually from Manasota Beach. It's located about twenty minutes from Caspersen. I haven'y photographed the teeth we found at Caspersen, but they look very similar (just larger) to the Manasota one's. Manasota Beach is also a great place for shark teeth hunting and shelling (found lots of those too!). Manasota beach is less crowded and has a bigger sand area compared to Caspersen. We switched beached after we exhausted our search at Caspersen.

A few do's and don'ts: do find a comfy spot to sit and sift, do go the morning after a storm for the best search, don't go during high tide-- most of the teeth will be underwater, don't forget to reapply sunscreen, don't forget to have fun!


Stella, may I meet Valentine and Popcorn?

11:58 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may.
Today I would like to introduce you to my fish and hedgehog. Valentine is my pet fish. He was a Valentine's Day gift from Mister. Hmm... I wonder how Valentine got his name... Anyways, originally Mister was trying to find a hedgehog for Valentine's Day, but, if you read Oswald's post, then you would know I am set on having my pets a certain color. So, we didn't find a hedgie by Valentine's Day and instead we drove down to Petsmart (on Valentine's Day, 10 minutes before closing time) for a betta fish.

We keep Valentine housed in an old pickle jar with some glass beads. I would suggest fish owners to have some beads or rocks at the base of the tank/jar. Fish can appear brighter when they are against a darker background. The beads also prevent uneaten food and waste from floating when your fish is swimming. (Just make sure the beads are safe for your fish.)
I wish I could say Mister and I just drove down to the pet shop to get a hedgehog, but in actuality the process was similar to Oswald's. Hedgehogs are considered exotic animals and no big box pet shops carry the special license to sell them. So once again we resorted to craigslist. Most domestic pet hedgehogs are either White-bellied or Algerian. Both of the terms are used to identify the species and color category. I know it's confusing but in the end it doesn't really matter. Domestic hedgehogs have been interbred and finding a pure bred hedgehog, or pure bred anything for that matter, is really difficult. For those that insist on knowing, white-bellied species generally have smaller bodies, shorter noses, and smaller ears. Algerian species have larger bodies, longer noses, and larger ears. The Algerian colored hedgies have a distinguished eye or cheek patch. See below. Other than that the coloring will then depend on the colors of their spines and bands. The Algerian colored hedgies below have cream colored spines with dark brown bands.

I wanted one with lighter colored spines/bands and without a dark mask on its face. A lot of times, lighter colored hedgies would be classified as albino and would have red beady eyes. I didn't want one with red eyes. That would just scare me every time the hedgie looked at me. So because I am silly picky (not species picky), it made the search longer.  Mister and I searched across multiple states, multiple times a day. We eventually found a seller over one month after Valentine's Day. The seller didn't post any pictures but claimed to have a lighter colored one without red eyes. It made me and Mister wary to pick the baby hedgie up, but at this point we were tired from searching and we decided we should just drive out and see the baby hedgie.
We drove to Greenville, South Carolina, met tiny Popcorn, and we just had an instant connection. Hedgehogs are sensitive to smell and will avoid anything that is unpleasant or unfamiliar. When Popcorn was placed into my hands, he just got comfortable and fell asleep. Popcorn was born February 14, 2015. It was as if he was meant to be a Valentine's Day present, and I just had to wait until he was weaned to take him home.
This is Popcorn's first car ride and he was surprisingly calm. Hedgehogs like to huff when they get nervous (making it hard to take a clear picture.) When he huffs, he pops! (Like kernels when making popcorn.)


Stella, may I meet Oswald?

10:48 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may. oswald

As promised, I would like to introduce the first of my three pets! Oswald! Oswald was a Halloween present from Mister. We don't usually give each other gifts on Halloween, it just happened that way... but just think about it, how amazing would it be to receive gifts on Halloween?

At the start of 2012, I wanted to start a new chapter and what better way then to get a pet. I started searching animal shelters. Many of the shelter's websites were not up to date and the cats posted were older. I was looking for a white kitten (yes, it had to be all white) and the shelters didn't have any, so Mister started to look on craigslist. You should know I have never been the biggest fan of craigslist and I have been wary of how the entire process works. So Mister looked at each post and contacted the sellers.

It wasn't until October that Mister found me a white kitten (yes, it took that long). Oswald has since grown into a cream colored cat with rose golden ears and striped tail. Not all white, but I still love him. He is a domestic medium hair breed. (A mutt, if you are more familiar with the dog world.)

A little bit about his story... Oswald's birth momma, a alley cat, got pregnant on the streets. We don't know who his papa is, but thankfully someone took the momma in and nurtured her until the kittens were ready to be weaned. When we first brought him home, he would stay cuddled in my lap or shared my chair. But then he started growing! It didn't occur to me that you can estimate the size kittens grow to by looking at the size of their parents. For most of his first year I just kept wishing that he wouldn't grow! Look how he used to fit into that small flat rate box! I know that's terrible to want to stunt his growth, but don't worry I kept him well nourished and watched him grow into a big boy.

As he started to grow, he also became more independent. No more cuddles and no more chair hogging. These days, only when I have settled in with lots of blankets will he come sleep in my lap. But if I move the tiniest bit, he will run away from me.

march 11 2015 089

Mister has also been training Oswald. Oswald can high-five, kiss, and play dead! As you can see in the picture, Oswald can also talk to you on the phone! (He can't. He just fell asleep on the phone.)

That's a little introduction to Oswald. I'm sure he'll be in photographs every now and then. Next post: Valentine and Popcorn.


Stella, may I know about you?

9:31 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may.

My name is Stella May. I'm currently in Tampa, Florida and I've decided to start a blog. This will be my first time blogging and I want this little corner of the internet to be about home, food, beauty, life, and just a hodgepodge of potpourri. My plan is to blog every other day or so about my day and the occasional instructional. I love to cook and bake and I want to start documenting my creations. There is a Mister in my life. He'll pop up here and there, but most of the time he will stay hidden. There are also three little misters in my life: Oswald my 2yo cat, Valentine a blue betta fish, and Popcorn a baby hedgehog. More about these little misters in the next few posts.

I've decided to start my blog the day after Independence Day, July 5th. Starting it off with a boom. (I've been trying to start for about a month... but setting a date has finally got me to actually publish!) Speaking of Independence Day, here's how I spent mine. Unsure of where to watch fireworks, I asked around and me and Mister decided to go to Channelside.

We arrived at Channelside by 6PM and got two wirstbands. Only 3,100 wristbands were going to be handed out for the 9PM fireworks event. Seeing as how  we were 3 hours early, we tried to find something to do. After the traffic and the frustration of finding parking, we didn’t dare leave. Two hours before show time, the clouds started to roll in. As a side note just about every day I've been here (since the start of summer), there has been thunder/lightning storms on a daily basis. The thunderstorms don't last long, but of course on the 4th of July (when I was hoping to enjoy a nice day out and watch fireworks) the storm loomed above to no avail. Since we were right on the waterfront, the lightning delayed the show. Luckily the show wasn’t canceled and eventually started at 9:45PM.

Even after all the waiting and hiding from the storm, it was well worth it because we were able to  watch fireworks in the front row. Fireworks were shooting off from a boat just off the shore and exploded above us. Two tiny downsides to being so close to the firework action are the ash debris and the loud boom-booms. Overall being so close to the fireworks is probably a one time thing, but I'm glad we did it. We will just be enjoying them from a distance from now on.

Right now I'm craving a sweet. But tbh, I am never not craving a sweets. (donuts, chocolate, ice cream, candy..) That's my first post and I hope I've piqued your interest and that you continue following my new venture into the blogging world to learn more about me my life, beauty, do it yourself projects and nifty tidbits here and there.

Stella May