You Can Call Me The Girl Who Ate the World

It was my creative writing class this semester that gave me the final push to return to my abandoned child of a blog. It reminded me that it’s not about what exactly I write but that fact that I am writing at all. The following personal narrative, and my final for the class, brings me nothing but pride and hunger for both food and adventure

Of all the posts to return to CC with, I think this is a curveball for all of us but enjoy!

The Girl Who Ate the World

By Casey Irwin

I plan on eating the world. Our planet we love and live for, I plan on devouring—and I don’t just mean I’m going to eat at the “Top Ten Restaurants in Rome”.

I am going to eat Rome.

Devour Moscow.

Consume Toronto.

Throw in some Hong Kong and even Vienna for dessert. I am going to eat the world until nothing remains.

I left Chicago because there was nothing left of it. I was eating away at it as I grew up, really learning the best mindsets when setting out to explore my city, person, or plate before me. My family nurtured me with putting experiences over everything, which showed me the best approaches to satisfying my hunger. I started off slow, not completely taking it in until the picky eater in me faded away and a big appetite took its place.  Even as I visit, returning only after it has had a chance to rebuild itself in my absence, I eat all that I missed and more of the surrounding areas. Eat one city and it is as if two grows back in its place. There is always something new to try while too much of the same also remains.

Next I will be on to Spain. I go. I try the Paella. The Jamón. The Tapas. But I don’t stop there. I consume the smiles that join me for every meal. I am given energy by the flowing conversation around the table. I snack on the satisfaction of a meal out, with a buzz from a coffee and a life-high hangover. Every element of Spain fuels me for my next trip, repaying the meals that my host family feed me with the filling feelings of appreciation and love. I leave without a regret; not a corner unturned.

Maybe India is next. India might be a bit harder to swallow, but I will take on any challenge if it means a full stomach. To some people it isn’t as pleasant as other places, but throwing enough spices on anything will make it tasty. I will be bloated by the rivers, and I’ll need to run off those festivals and traditions later. Social media will capture it all before there is nothing left to capture. Consuming India is a more intimidating idea, more than just the different table manners that come with a different place. It can take a lot of energy to step into a place without letting expectations and other people’s judgments take over, but what you get out of it is so much more. I won’t let the over crowded streets clog my arteries when there is something so satisfying about sharing a meal or traditional chai tea with someone that expects nothing from you except a smile.

Again I will be forced to question myself as I make my way to Egypt. History is like the bran muffin of subjects to some people, while to me the thousands of years of being marinated in conflict and culture have left Egypt ready to be cooked and consumed like a fine steak. My tongue may grow tired from trying to speak the native language, only to have my appetite grow with the humorous conversation around my mispronunciations. The tourist filled pyramids won’t stick with me, like how carbs never manage to keep me full for long. It’ll be the authentic restaurants and people that will carry me from one adventure to the next.

It’s then that I am ready for Melbourne, Australia. One of my high school best friends was from here, but I would like to think she would be encouraging and even helpful as I nibble away at it. The artistic support that has been created by the beautiful city, whether it be through the discussion around cafés or street art, will make it go down so smoothly. The intriguing thoughts brought up enrich my body more than any vitamin could.

Can’t leave out South America. I’ll make my way through Argentina, Bolivia, Chile,

Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela by way of the Andes Mountains. The rough terrain has nothing on my chompers, making my way through small villages and vast cities. You would think that I would get tired of it after so many countries, but people tend to forget just how different the Latin American countries are. Only once I take a sip of satisfaction where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet will I move on.

To Baklava in Athens.

Korean Barbeque in Seoul.

Matriarchy in Mosuo, China.

The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

Equality in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Only the penguins of Antarctica are safe. One sided conversations leave a bad aftertaste.

I will travel them all, picking my teeth clean of them one by one, until I have licked my plate clean and eaten it too.

~          ~         ~

 I would eat the world if I could; for I think it would taste pretty damn good.

That is the thing though. Food isn’t just food. We don’t just consume and grow from what we put in our mouths. Food is the conversation around the table. Food is the energy of whoever you care to share a meal with and the culture that surrounds its roots. Meals are remembered by the place they are eaten and who they are with. Food is an experience that can be done alone, but is so much better with people by your side to complete the experience.

Studying: Coffee House Composure

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It can be hard to focus in college. So many people and activities and food. It’s important to find a place to really be able to focus, whether it be in the library or dorm. After my first semester in college, I know I prefer studying in coffee shops or cafés. Some people may not have found their favorite place personally, but even during my winter session I get the best work done when I leave my house and venture to a new setting. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is definitely my cup of coffee.

Why Coffee Houses?

  • But First, Coffee: Coffee is both a cultural phenomenon and basically an essential item to function. Cafés/coffee houses have an endless supply of it (shocker, right?!), as well as varieties of tea, delicious pastries, or even the occasional healthy foods. Although Starbucks is great, more unique places tend to have different and better things to offer.
  • The People: Small coffee houses are usually stocked with original characters and quality service. Both the customers and employees are usually conversational and pleasant to interact with!
  • Noisy, but not annoying: Working in complete silence is just a call for distractions for me as little things tick or tock. Too much noise is a distraction in it of itself. I find the low buzz of conversations and steamers the perfect complements for a study session.
  • Energy: Not to get too hippie-hippie here, but my past three reasons all add to the feelings of a coffee house or café. I find them so cozy, comfortable, and straight-up motivating. Most other people there are also studying, and everyone is hyped up on coffee and cream.
  • Even science supports the coffee-shop-studying-movement!
  • Who does’t want to feel like the cast of Friends?
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Make the Best of it:

  • Know Your Budget: Know going in that you are going to only buy one cup and a muffin so that you do not keep ordering coffee as you spend more time there and accidentally drop $20 on coffee in one day.
  • Try New Things: Those giant menus are created for a reason. Don’t order the same thing every time you go and it will help bring more excitement to what you are studying!
  • Get to Know the Staff: I have yet to master this, but having the people know your name and/or order could really make your stressful study days a little bit better.
  • Don’t go every single day because the day you skip will be filled with a caffein withdrawal headache.
  • For anyone in Newark, Delaware: Brew HaHa and Brewed Awakenings are the best things to ever happen on Main Street.

You’ve got nothing to loose, except maybe some money.

Please join me in my coffee house obsession and check out your local places, especially if you are a student or if only just to support a small business at the end of the day!

Your Caffeine Enabler,

Casey

Just How Sweet is it to be a Sugar Skull for Halloween?

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Halloween in college is no longer just a calorie-filled night, but a whole week. Everyone wants to be original, but relevant enough so their costume makes sense–not to mention everyone suddenly forgets its 40 degrees outside. With that in mind, my suite mates and I searched day and night for costume ideas that would set us apart but not give us pneumonia. We finally settled on ever-so-popular Sugar Skull faces. It sounded like a great idea three weeks ago.

Yesterday the day finally came for us to do our makeup. That same day my Spanish class talked about El Día de los Muertos. I am not sure about my suite mates, but I completely appreciate Mexican culture and I hope I did it justice. With that in mind, I sincerely apologize if Sugar Skulls are considered cultural appropriation. I admire global celebrations and the idea did not cross my mind when we decided on this costume (I found this blog post about it interesting).
My angel of a suite mate Aron picked up the Wet n Wild Queen of the Dead Stencil Kit to help us out, along with some white face paint. We did not take the time to practice before hand, like I originally thought we would.

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I did not take any pictures of the process, but we all started with the white base. Thanks to some Pinterest inspiration and our own sheer laziness, we only did half of our faces. Being that I am so pale, I really had t layer on the paint to make it actual contrast my actual skin. I have very dry skin, but it still went on well. I did not anticipate the rough texture that the paint created on my face, but I still managed to avod a panic attack and get it on my face. That alone took more than half-an-hour.
I was already tired of doing my makeup by the time I got to the most important part of my face: the art. I would definitely recommend some practice on this one, but have fun with it! Luckily the Wet n’ Wild was easy to remove if I messed up and I got tScreen Shot 2015-10-31 at 2.58.32 PMhe idea from this video to use the sponge applicator from the kit to create the circle around my eye. It took a couple tried but we got there! My suite mates were quick while my roommate and I struggled to strive for impossible perfection. I would say only makeup artists, beauty gurus, and anyone more authentic can really perfect the sugar skill look. I am still happy with how it turned out, and I managed to not smudge it until after we took our pictures!

A quick review for the main product: I would give the Wet N Wild Kit a solid 5/10 because the eye liner was good, but the consistency of the colors was very gooey–almost like those cheap lip pallets that everyone had as a kid. If there ever is a next time, I would just buy some bring and dark eye shadows to contrast the looks better. It still managed to get the job done. All four of us were supposed to be different colors, but none of them really showed up well. I ended up using my Too Faced Natural Eye pallet for some better sparkle, so being innovative is key!

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My beautiful room and suite mates

We saw a lot of other Sugar Skulls last night, most of which looked better than ours but oh well. I was happy and I had a pretty great night. It’s a fun costume if you do it well and for the right reasons.

Happy Halloween everyone! Stay Safe!

Hello October: My September Favorites

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It looks like goals are not going to be my thing, but I have definitely found some favorites!

  1. My Suite mates

I was really nervous about making friends going into college. I have yet to find my true group, but what I have for now is completely fine with me. I love my roommates and suite mates, or at least the ones that have not moved out. There has been very little drama, but we managed to have two suite mates move out and one move in. The three OG are the best, even if they aren’t perfect. I could not have been more lucky. They are helpful, caring, and very entertaining. (They do not know about this blog so I am going to hold off on pictures… for now)

  1. Café Studying

I was told that I should find my own niché going into college and that is exactly what I did. A lot of people I know like the library or the dorm lounges, but I am willing to pay for tea or coffee whenever I need a place to study. I crave the sounds of the steamer and cafe chatter. The idea of becoming a regular at Newark’s Brewed Awakenings in basically my goal in life right now. My productivity levels increase so much when I am there. I can’t wait to go back as I type this, and I was literally just there

  1. Ocean City, New JerseyIMG_7278

As much as I enjoy my suite mates, I was overjoyed when I had the chance to get away for the weekend in OCNJ. The house (my grandma’s extra house) is being kept open all year for my sake, so of course I had to check it out. I didn’t realize it until I got on the road, but I missed being alone so much. I also missed fresh air and the open road. The full weekend, although still full of homework and laundry, was more than I could have asked for. I love Ocean City so much and I cannot wait to go back.

  1. WaWa

IMG_7389National Coffee Day came and went this September. Last September I would not have cared, but now I am a changed *college* woman who needs coffee. Wawa was my supplier for that, and now many other things. I need to start a petition for more WaWas nationwide for when I go home to Chicago. Wawa does not have all that much, but for some reason I just love it. It’s probably because of all of the sweet foods and subs (hoagies?!?!).

  1. Food

Walking is my main form of transportation is college, but unfortunately I am usually walking to or from places with food or near food. Be ready for some posts about Insomnia Cookies and Newark Deli & Bagel, among many other places, once I get my hands on more of their menu items. While my dining hall food is okay, the off campus food just a short walk from my dorm is amazing. Fingers crossed exercising is in my favorites next month. #FightingThatFreshmanFifteen

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September was a roller coaster ride, but a good month over-all. I won’t go into detail because I want to safe all the juicy stuff for full posts of their own.

This was a short list with nothing to specific, but I just really wanted to post SOMETHING. I am slowly getting my lift together here at UD, but I am going to test out a new system so I can post more. Wish me luck.

Hope everyone had a great September!

Casey

Casey. KC. Case. Casey-bean. Casey-dilla.

A rose by any other name would small as sweet… or something like that, right? Whatever floats your boat my way.

Hello one and all! Nice to have you here.

A lot of things are changing in my life right now, but here are a few things that will never change:  I love to bake. Music is a big part of my life. I have pretty curly hair.

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I’ll always be a Chicago Suburb-ean at heart, but I’m moving to Newark, Delaware this summer (28 days!!) to attend the University of Delaware. How I ended up there is a story of it’s own. What I’m hoping to do with my life is also a story. Typical Communications major.

My heart has grown fonder for writing as I have not actually written a non-school assignment in awhile. I’m gonna try to kick this blog off right by writing about anything and everything that I want to! I hope that my blog will grow and change with me as I go through college.

You’ll get to know me in the coming weeks as I hope to get to know any of my readers, if I ever have any!

Please enjoy this photo of some delicious donuts and have a great day

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Shout Out to Fracture Prune in OCNJ

xoxo Casey Girl

xo Casey