Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm off...

To see this awesome chica....

And her adorable mama and grandmama...

On the agenda: a trip to the Korean Spa, good food and lots of laughing (per usual.) Can't wait to see you, Christine! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rob Gonsalves, Water Dancing

"Every act of perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination." - Gerald M. Edelman

Monday, December 26, 2011

Come Around: You've Been Through Too Much to Be Down

A Little Bit More

“How could it be so? It came without ribbons.
It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

~Dr. Seuss

This is Love

"This is love:
to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First to let go of life.
Finally, to take a step without feet."


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Courtney with a C loves Tavi with a T

About a month ago I was at a party at my parent's friend's house. I was enjoying some wine with the hostess in the kitchen when in came her 12-year old daughter and 2 friends. I immediately realized that these girls were all wearing jean underwear shorts and midriff tops. Did I mention it was November? And freezing? The girls were giggling adorably in a way that seemed incongruent with their baby-hooker outfits. They were also standing in that way - you know the way - with their hips jutted out, leaning back slightly to either look "too cool" to stand up straight or to make their tummies flatter. I'm not sure. Or maybe this is just the way tween girls stand based on a confidence/hormonal thing? Anyway, when I introduced myself as "Courtney," the hostess's daughter literally gasped and slapped her hand across her mouth.

"Ohmahgod. Wait like, Courtney with K?! Like Kourtney Kardashian?!?!?!!" she squealed. Her friends looked at me wide-eyed.

I stood there slightly dumb-founded for a moment. Not only is Kourtney Kardashian 30 years old and in an emotionally abusive relationship and has a child with one of the most deplorable men I've ever had the displeasure of watching on TV, but she also has absolutely no discernable talent or reason for becoming a famous millionaire and having her own TV show. Why do these girls know who she is? Or watch her show? Or find it so cool that I share her name? Frankly I am a little embaressed to be associated with someone like that.

"No," I replied with slight amusement. "I'm Courtney with a 'C'." (I now wish I had said, "and the 'C' is for courageous!!!!!!!")

When I broke this news to them, they looked dissappointed. As if somehow I'd be instantly kooler if my name was Courtney with a K, like this famous person who is famous merely because her family sells their souls for money and fame... *sigh* is this what our future looks like? I'll be right back. I need to go to the bathroom and stick my head in the toilet and flush it...

Alas! Behold! Hark! It is not! Because you see there are girls like Tavi Gevinson (aka the style rookie, aka the girl in the videos above) and my co-worker's daughter who makes and enjoys eating German Christmas cookies with her mom and who doesn't fit into skinny jeans but understands that her ability to be a good sister and a good daughter are far more important than that. I also think there is hope for all girls, even the girls from my story, because life has a way of forcing us to realize what actually matters. You can try to blind yourself from what is real for only so long. Life has a way of cracking our perfect shells of how the world/others/yourself should be or should look, the way tapping a spoon on the carmelized sugar surface of crème brûlée breaks the thin crust to reveal a creamy, richer filling.

Or, as Leonard Cohen says "there is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in." So remember to be thankful for the cracks, the imperfections, the struggles, the questions, the confusion and the quirky uniqueness that makes you you. It's what makes us human, and simultaneously it's what brings us closer to the infinite goodness (godliness) that connects all beings. Even those Kardashians, God help them.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

God Grant Me...

the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

1. quality of being brave: also bravery, boldness, fearlessness, mettle, fortitude, or intrepidity) is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. "Physical courage" is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Beef with IDK

I am not one of those people who get all hyped up on the correct use (usage?) of words, grammar and the English language. I don't flip a cahooney - yup, I just made that word up - when someone uses "their" instead of "there" or "then" instead of "than." I realize, obviously, there are bigger problems in life than whether or not you're starting a sentence with an unspecified determiner. I actually don't even know what that is, I just looked it up.

You see, I could care less about all of this despite having graduated with an English & Philosophy degree (...umm yeah, after I changed from Political Science to History & Writing to Philosophy to... Undeclared). Probably most English majors don't know what the heck else to study, so we study human stories, indirectly studying ourselves.

So I cringe when I tell people what I majored in in college because I inevitably know what comes next...

"Oh! Gosh! I should watch what I say then!"

Uh. huh? Unless you're being very rude I don't really care what you say or how you say it. I also don't care if, when texting/facebooking/gchatting etc. you use abbreviations, no punctuation or misspell words. I get that normal rules don't apply in those spheres of communication.


I have a GIGANTIC dislike for the abbreviation "idk." Gigantic. I wouldn't say I hate it. Hate's a strong word. But this "idk" thing grates on my nerves like nails tearing down a chalkboard. To me, "idk" (especially when spoken - GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) is on the same level of communication as cave-man grunting and Valley Girl speak.I cannot hear or see "idk" without hearing it the way Cher and her cohorts say "Whatever" "As if" and "I'm outtie" in the best-movie-of-the-century (and no I'm not kidding), Clueless. (*Fun fact: did you know it's a modern rendition of Shakespeare's "Emma"?! And oh by the way, the only true stereotype of English majors is that we all love Shakespeare - and dashes, and commas, and parantheses. Or maybe it's just me.)

But back to the dreaded IDK. It doesn't matter if a guy says it to me or a girl, I immediately hear Alicia Silverstone's voice and imagine that the person talking to me is smacking their gum, flipping and twirling their hair and wearing a mini-skirt with bubble-gum colored argyle knee-highs.

"Idk" is a viral term similar to "random" and "awkward" - it's become a blanket statement that covers a wide range of human emotion/thoughts/feeling and has been spreading like the flu in a college dorm room. Apparently it's "awkward" to tell someone that you aren't sure about something. Or you pretend like you aren't sure of something because if you knew something it would be so totally random that you actually knew it. I'm not sure. I'm confused. I don't really understand. Could someone please clarify? It seems more complicated than I know, let's talk about it. Can we discuss this? I'd like to know more about this. I need more information. Can we figuire this out together? Hmmm, what do you think?

You see there are a thousand other ways to respond when you don't have all of the information to know something. A thousand more engaging and helpful ways than this three-letter stonewall that people throw around. Because after someone says "idk" it gives the other person virtually no way to respond.

So please for the love of Shakespeare, the next time you don't know something or aren't sure... get a little more creative and engage the person with whom you are communicating rather than slap an idk on the conversation like hot pink duct tape. Otherwise you run the risk of looking like Cher, but a lot less adorable.

P.S. - You DO know.
P.P.S. - If you don't think you know, dig deeper. Ask questions. Clueless isn't cute. It's without a clue. And life and people are filled with clues... become a detective and ask. Learn. Grow.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lovely Links

Thanks, StumbleUpon!

Because there IS more to life than what you look like... watch The Wisdom Project

Perfect gifts for her, a Dogeared whispers necklace or a morse code necklace

Genius... an old cabinet to a toy kitchen?

Best gift for your boss... delicious pears (they are aaahhhhmazing)

My friend's brother is hitting his stride ... check out his awesome tumblr

Graffiti art comes to life (or death?)

Someone like you remixxxxx

45 Most Powerful Images of 2011

My hilarious writer friend Rachel is the young American in London and blogging about it!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Total Lunar Eclipse

via Kana Island

Moon Faces by thewheatfield

Tonight is a full moon total lunar eclipse. And what is that you may ask?

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes behind the Earth so that the Earth blocks the Sun's rays from striking the Moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse can only occur on the night of a full moon. The type and length of an eclipse depend upon the Moon's location relative to its orbital nodes. Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a certain relatively small areas of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth. A lunar eclipse lasts for a few hours, whereas a total solar eclipse lasts for only a few minutes at any given place, due to the smaller size of the moon's shadow. - 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Weekend Bits

Strawberry shortcake that the Chef at Silverspoon made special for Opa
Sparkly blue sticker nails on black velvet leggings
Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail stickers - they work so well!
Red roses from me to me

The Austrian Village!
Which of these three doesn't belong?
The table
Accordian player
Our tree
Maple Pumpkin cheesecake
Me & dad's Sunday dinner: burgers, roasted potato fries, green bean and kimchi

A funny thing happened this morning. Well, actually two funny things happened this morning. First my phone alarm went off at 6:38 am this morning as it does every weekday morning. I promptly looked at it, rolled over and laughed to myself, "Ha! Stupid phone alarm! It must be confused between my weekday and weekend alarm settings!" You see. I truly believed it was Sunday...

Second funny is that when I finally realized it was Monday... at 7:30 when I woke up again (my train comes at 8:06) I quickly checked on my phone which I do every weekday morning. 68 and sunny! Yes! La-dee-dah-dee-doo... no jacket today!

Turns out even though I set my default locations on months ago to be the town where I live and the town where I work, my default location had been somehow mysteriously reset to Ha'il Saudi Arabia. I have no idea how this happened or how long this has been going on. I would reckon to say about two weeks since lately I've been dressing grossly inappropriate for the weather. No wonder people have been looking at me oddly these days when I walk to the train station in my light spring-time bomber jacket and thin-material trousers while they are bundled up in winter coats, gloves and hats. "Oh these people," I would think while trembling, "they have no idea it's supposed to be sunny and go up to 61 today!"

Turns out the jokes on me. Both times. iPhone: 2. Courtney: 0.

I've also come up with a mathmatical formula about my humor that seems to be 99.9% accurate. It turns out that there's a directly proportionate inverse relationship between how funny my blog post is and the amount of sleep I got the night before I wrote it.... the less sleep I get the funnier I am. Thank you, Anxiety<3, for keeping me awake all last night and for making me funnier. Totally worth it.

Anxiety<3: 1. Courtney: 0.

In other news... I hope you enjoy my pictures from the weekend. On Saturday, my family celebrated my Opa's 82nd birthday at the Austrian Village - an authentic German restaurant in Rockledge, PA. It was a very down-home kind of place with linoleum flooring, pitchers of beer, waitresses wearing shirts saying "Schnitzel Happens," an accordian player and polka-dancing. We sat in our own private room called the Schwaben Stube (house of Swabia) and ate schnitzel (which is just breaded pork cutlet), delicious german potato salad and the best sauerkraut I've had yet, pickled beets, warm and tangy red cabbage, spaetzle (thick german noodles with what tasted like turkey gravy on top) and black forest cake. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the food because my phone died - but I assure you, any photos of the food would not be pretty. Sometimes the most quality things aren't what they appear :)

We also sang "Hail, Hail the Gang's All Here" (my new favorite song, kid you not) and did our own version of "polka dancing" otherwise known as "Der Ententanz" - the Chicken polka dance. And if you want a visual, this is what my Opa looked like doing the Der Ententanz (see girl in pink)...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Operation Beautiful

Through another internet trail of crumbs, I leap frogged from Daily Garnish to Back to Her Roots and stumbled upon this site/movement/genius idea --> Operation Beautiful. The operation? It's 3 easy steps:

1. Write an inspiring note telling someone they are beautiful and stick it somewhere. On a mirror in a mall bathroom, on a subway window, in a grocery store, on the door to a gym, on a desk in your classroom - anywhere.
2.Take a picture of it.
3. Send it to Caitlin at with a little story and see it on their website within 2 weeks.

So what are you waiting for? Get stickin' on the movement! There are too many messages that subliminally put us down and make us feel less-than, "fat" (whatever that means?), not good enough, not beautiful enough, broken and worthless. Let's spread ANOTHER message. A true message. A message without fear. A message that isn't lying. A message that doesn't try to get you to spend money or buy new things to "improve" yourself. A message that says you are beautiful exactly as you are.

Where am I putting my stickys? On the seat in front of me on the train, the gas station, and on the ATM.

Happy stickn'! :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And It's Hard to Dance with a Devil on Your Back... so shake him off!

Florence + The Machine – Shake it Out
Dawes with Mumford & Sons – When My Time Comes
Magic Latern - Somebody Told Me
Florence + The Machine – What the Water Gave Me
Clem Snide - Moment in the Sun

In Flowers

Stasia Burrington illustrations

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Accept Your Body - Change Your Life

image courtesy tqn.healing

This past weekend I attended an intensive seminar on Body Psychology taught by Erin Byron, director of the Yoga Life institute in Ontario, Canada and a yoga therapist who got her masters in studying the benefits of gentle yoga in treating post-traumatic stress disorder. It was 18 hours long spread out over the course of 3 days and it was... intense. AND truly one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. (I'd say it's one of the top 3 peak experiences I've had so far!) We did slllooowwwwwww movement, breathing, lots of resting and relaxation, journaling, creative drawing exercises, body scans and visualizations. We shared our experiences in large and small group activities. It was healing on every level (physically, mentally, psychologically, and spiritually) and it was great to be honest with and connect to others about our journeys in accepting our bodies and our pain.

It's hard for me to explain what I experienced this weekend, even though I have pages and pages and pages of notes and journaling activities and drawings (we drew images of what the pain in our bodies looked like from the inside.) What I learned this weekend was through direct experience and therefore no words I have can adequately capture the healing that took place. Much of what I learned though was trusting how wise and all-knowing my body is and has always been since before I even came out of my mom's belly. We often to do not listen to our bodies. In fact, we are programmed to not listen to our bodies. Yet, our bodies are so much more wise than our minds, than the collective mind (otherwise known as - "what everybody else is doing")! And after this weekend, I realize that ignoring my body is what causes mental sickness and illness. Likewise, thinking and holding negative thoughts about my body causes physical pain in my body.

image courtesy Dove Campaign, Love Your Body

Our bodies are our greatest teachers; they already hold within them the wisdom we need. We do not need to search outside of ourselves for anything; all of the information we need is already in our cells, our organs, our tissues, our internal worlds. Accepting our bodies and listening to our bodies is paramount to our health. Our bodies are always whispering to us, pay attention and listen closely.

YES, we are more than our bodies and our minds - lots more. Our deepest Selves (the Truth) transcend our physical sheaths and our mental turbulences AND we have bodies and minds. Can we accept this? We must. We must accept this truth, that we go through life having a body and a mind AND that our deepest Self is beyond body or mind. Trusting that life is deeper and greater than what we can think of or touch or smell or feel or taste or see or look like or wear, is important to our health as whole beings. We are not yet beams of sunlight wafting through the air, we haven't left these bodies. For now, they are our homes. So we are here to nurture them, take care of them, cradle them, protect them and listen to them. We must accept these simple truths:

We have bodies.
We have minds.
Our bodies experience pain WHEN our minds churn with negative thoughts.

Try this. Say the statement below outloud or quietly to yourself three times or more.

"I deeply and profoundly accept my body and its functions."

How does that feel in your body? To say that? Maybe you do not believe that statement yet but it is ok. You have planted the seed and the seed will grow in time, with practice, patience, loving kindness and nurturing. Write it on a piece of paper. Tape it to your mirror or right beside your bed in a place you can see it first thing in the morning.

image courtesy

Be aware of all the negative thoughts and beliefs you have about your body, what has happened to your body and what your mind does to your body. Just simply be aware. Be aware of what it feels like in your body to think negatively and try replacing the thoughts with kindness. Kind thoughts create peace. And inner peace is our true Self. Stay connected to your true Self by regulating and staying aware of the mind's thoughts.

We often have the thought, "when I look like the models in the magazines, then I will feel at peace." This is not true. Or, "if I look perfect and like a movie star, then I will be loved or feel loved." Or "if I get all straight A's then I will get a high-paying job and afford nice things and then people will love me and I will be happy." This is not true. It is not true because love and peace and happiness are not emotions that anyone or any one THING can give you. It is self-generated and comes from the Self.

No one can make you feel lasting peace (or lasting sadness for that matter.) Certainly not some guy or some girls that tell you you are beautiful or become your friends/boyfriend simply because you "look good" according to one body structure. Those people are wrestling the same alligator-thoughts in their minds because, and here is another truth, each of us has a different body structure. And yet the magazines and the models all fall within the same category of body structure. Are you willing to accept that? Are you willing to accept what Hollywood and Haute Couture and the media are trying to brainwash you into believing? That ONE body structure is beautiful? Hell. No. Protect your body. Protect your mind. Wake up to the truth.

image courtesy Dove Campaign, Love Your Body

Just like you choose healthy foods most of the time, CHOOSE to consume health, truth and wholeness. Surround yourself with those who have a healthy attitude towards beauty. Have and share meaningful experiences. Try something new that isn't exercise related. Do gentle hatha yoga. Breathe. Enjoy and relax around food. Let go of perfection. Let go of control. Allow yourself to soak in the richness of simply being. There is nothing you need to change. Nowhere you need to go. There is nothing "wrong with you" that needs to be "fixed." You are whole and perfect as you are right now. That is the Truth. Whether you believe it yet or not, it is true.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Food for Thought

photo courtesy

How plastic water bottles can be used as lightbulbs

Honest sex education in highschool *psst, if you're from the area it's about a high school near the Main Line

Life and death at this moment

Would you dare?

Have you forgotten who you are?


A gorgeous one shoulder dress (2x on sale!)

Attention Knitters: Penguins need sweaters

A tree tunnel

*I must note that some of these links were sent to me by dear friends and wonderful people. If you guys are reading THANK YOU for letting me spread the cool news you found. Feel free to e-mail me interesting links/information you find that you would like me to post.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You know I know how....

To make 'em stop and stare as I zone out... (the club can't even handle me right now.) So that's why I created this sauced up mix. So that I can jam out and dance in the privacy of my parent's basement. Which I do. Frequently. Alors, on danse!

Alright - Pitbull ft. Machel Montano
Alors on danse -Stromae ft. Kanye West
We Found Love Remix (DJ Reidiculous) - Rihanna
Bon, Bon - Pitbull
Mr. Saxobeat - Alexandra Stan
Waka Waka (Estos Es Africa) - Shakira
Loca (Spanish Version) ft. El Cata - Shakira

Friday, November 11, 2011


How funny is that video!! On this awesome day I wish you all double rainbow happiness!! :) :) Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Weekend Bits

Wall, NJ sweatshirt that Sam let me borrow :)
The Neely's Chocolate Molten Lava cake that we made
Seashells from the seashore
Bike riding

Chocolate Molten Lava cake all dressed up
Apple Butterscotch Sweet Rolls from King Arthur's "The Baking Sheet" magazine

Cousinhood of the traveling pendant :)
Beach scenes

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Mental Map

Anne Emond
I've never been to Europe. I've never been anywhere outside of the country besides St. Croix and the Dominican Republic. But I have been to all the places above - hundreds and hundreds, even thousands of times. Currently am in some of those places. But the place I'd really like to be (yes even more than Europe or in the warm ocean of Jamaica) is the floating down the River of Pleasure in the Small Things... always. And do you know what? it's possible to be floating along that river MOST of the time. I'm still trying to figuire out how. But last night in yoga I got to experience a taste of it.

My teacher began the class with an allegory from a story in the Upanishads (which are, basically, ancient Indian texts full of stories that try to figuire out what the "true self" is) and it goes a little some like this (insert a little rap jingle here)...

The allegory is that the SELF (*not to be confused with your mind's conception of your "self" or your ego)  is a rider in a chariot. It does nothing but witnesses and enjoys the ride. The Body is the chariot in which the Self rides and resides. The Intellect is the charioteer. The Mind is the reins. The five Horses are the five senses.The paths of the chariot are the sense objects.

This means that the charioteer/driver (the INTELLECT) is in control of the reins (the Mind.) Sometimes it feels as if we don't have control over our minds or the thoughts and feelings we have but we do. The intellect is something deep within us. In school I thought the word "intellect" meant the same as the word "intelligence." This is because I overused the synonmym button on Word to write papers faster and according to Word's synonym button "intelligence" and "intellect" were the same and whenever I overutilized one, (see what I did just there?) I would use the other word to look smarter. I thought that since intelligence was something certain kids were, like Scott who, poor guy, had elastic at-the-bottom fake jeans but who was absolutely brilliant in science because he knew EVERYTHING in our textbook, then intelligence was something you had to work at. Intelligence/intellect meant studying history, writing papers, doing algebra etc. etc. But intellect isn't something you learn in a textbook. You can't memorize intellect. It's not a matter of being "smart enough" to have it and it isn't something that someone else tells you.

The Intellect is something deeper than the concept of intelligence that I thought it was and is, in this case, closer to wisdom. It is an intuitive knowing and internal compass that rests at the bottom of our spines and knows all, understands all and is good. We can trust our Intellect (or whatever word you would like to describe it - intuition may work better for you) to control our minds from thinking negative, fear-based, untrue thoughts all of the time. Sometimes when I become distrustful of myself it's because I don't think that anyone is really in control here. I feel like I am just this body and then separate from that I have this crazy mind that produces thoughts. And my conception of my "self"? Well it's just images that my mind churns out, images from facebook, images/feelings/thoughts from childhood et cetera. But the SELF is beyond the mind. The mind can't grasp the Self because the Self is much deeper. The mind tries to make words and images to understand the Self but the Self is wordless, image-less and greater. The Self is beyond anything the mind can produce.

Always remember that a deeper wisdom beyond your conception is always in control. A good wisdom. A knowing wisdom. A wisdom you can trust to control your mind. A wisdom that wants you to enjoy the ride of life. So what are you fighting against? Go with the flow of life, float on the river of pleasure in the small things.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

OMG Mindy, I heart you

Will someone PLEASE be my friend and block my computer from Mindy Kaling's blog? My work productivity level just dropped about an average of 10000 points.

Actually, lets just all be unproductive together, cyberly (is that a word?) ... prepared to get sucked into the Mindy vortex... muahahah (evil laugh)....

I give you.... my current KrYpToNiTe (aka, Mindy's blog)



Weekend Bits

Light-up Halloween necklace
Closest to Italy I will come (this month) - an authentic Venetian mask! from... wait for it... Pier 1!
Snow on pumpkins and mums is almost as weird as snow on sand at the beach, yeah?
Glittery fake eyelashes from Halloween Adventure (*that were seen by me and only me.) Thanks, snow.

Poley on his way to a Masquerade Ball (he's cooler than me, did you know?)
Ma petite fleur, Alina!
"Snraining" (snowing/raining)
A beautiful Halloween card from 2 very special people :)

A mask & a gift for Sara Liz's Mischief Night Birthday Party! (masks were required)
Opa in an Obama mask (See above^)
Home-made pumpkin protein bars from Mama Pea (mine are darker/grainier because I used scottish oats)

And in the spirit of Halloween, one of my favorite Broadway songs from Phantom of the Opera, "Masquerade"

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Goodbye to the Age of Prince Charming, Hello to the Age of the Warrior Princess

"Growing up is not an absence of dreaming
It's being able to understand the difference between the ones you can hold
And the ones that you've been sold
And Dreaming is a good thing cause it brings new things to life
But pretending is an ending that perpetuates a lie
Forgetting what you are
Seeing for what you've been told

Truth is stranger than fiction
This is my chance to get it right
And life is much better without all of those pretty lies"

- Jewel, "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland"

I love fairy-tales. I love animated movies. I love Disney. I LOVE Pixar. I love children's story books. I love the idea that Prince Charming exists to come sweep me off of my feet. I love how all fairy-tales begin with "once upon a time" and that the turning point of the story always begins with, "until one day..."


And it's a really big BUT. And maybe this is something you already know? But... fairy-tales aren't reality. I'm going to say that again because I am a slow learner and apparently I have trouble with this truth: fairy-tales are not reality.  The problem is that I have always assumed that once I meet "The One", he will sweep me off my feet, we will get married and everything will be just perfect. I like to believe in magic. I like to believe in quick or instant fixes. I like when someone else takes control. Why? Because I don't trust myself. Somewhere inside I have a flawed conception that, if left to my own devices, something very awful and terrible and catastrophic will happen and I will not be able to turn back. I have a fear that if I let myself  run my own life, then it will surely end in disaster. A disaster I will never be able to un-do or remedy. I'm not sure why this is or where it comes from. Maybe it's the fact that if shit does go wrong (or doesn't work out, as life has a way of doing) then I don't want to take the fall for it. I'd like to blame someone - anything, the world, the moon, mercury retrograde - on it not working out the way I wanted it to instead of having faith that maybe it's all working out exactly the way it's supposed to or meant to work out.

I think when you stop believing in fairy-tales you start believing in God. And by God I mean whatever it is that isn't tangible, whatever it is that helps us trust that what permeates through life and gets life going is ultimately, unquestionably and 100% GOOD. Just last night my therapist said to me,

"Wow. When you put all of your energy into believing in a fairy-tale, real life is pretty awful huh?"

What she is referring to is the fact that I - recently - built an elaborate fairy-tale in my own mind and when it didn't work out and all came crashing down, I hit the lowest of lows. I had the thought that "everything sucks. Nothing is working out right. Everything is wrong." And, when you believe in a fairy-tale and it doesn't come true, that is the way the world might look.

After talking to my therapist, I felt better. It's funny but in that one hour of talking to her, my perspective and thought pattern shifted and I felt better. I guess that is magic then, right? It only took an hour. But it wasn't magic, and it wasn't magic because what happened was that I, COURTNEY, showed up to that session. Even though I did not want to be there and even though through the first half of it, I was sitting there sulking and crying and giving a death glare at my therapist, I was still listening to her. I was taking in what she said. I let her comments penetrate my negative force-field enough to actually hear what she was saying and let it sink in. I responded to her questions (albeit with one word at first) but I still responded. And together, we fought our way through my heavy fog and got to the other side of the dark forest together. No Prince Charming. No White Horse. Just me, my therapist (my guide) and a long, dark journey. But I - Courtney - was there, getting myself through it. So reality is not as bright or easy as a fairy-tale, but let me tell you something it's a hell of a lot more rewarding to get through something on your own two feet. And do you know what is better than pretty pink dresses and "perfection"? Honesty. Courage. Self-reliance. Humility. Compassion. Bravery.

Oh and P.S. -  if this subject interests you I urge you to watch the documentary "Seeking Happily Ever After" which explores the notion of prince charming, marriage, fairy-tales and how this sets up a lot of little girls for disaster. Visit the website here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Recognize Yourself as a Friend

A few weeks ago, my cousin Sara Liz and I went to yoga and then out to lunch at one of my favorite restaurants nearby. Afterward, she dropped me off at my apartment and we sat in the car and chatted for a little while. Before getting out I noticed that she had a tub of colored chalk in the passenger's seat. We decided right then and there we would like to play with the chalk. It just so happens my apartment has a giant, empty parking lot. We decided to decorate 2 parking spaces. And what did we draw? Oursleves. We decided - rather spontaneously - that we would outline eachother. We then started coloring our outlined selves. I chose to fill myself up entirely with blue greenish yellow colors. It was so healing, almost like I was constructing a positive voodoo doll of myself to heal. And it reminded me of a part in the book Eat, Pray, Love:

“This is what I find myself writing to myself on the page:

‘I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you…There is nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.’

Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship- the lending of a hand from me to myself- reminds me of something that happened to me in New York City. I walked into an office building and dashed into the elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glimpse of myself in the mirror. In that moment my brain did an odd thing- it fired off this split-second message: ‘Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant, of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page:

 Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”

~pp. 54, "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Bits

Butternut Squash & Dried Berry Quinoa based off of Daily Garnish's recipe
Orange, Lemon & Pistachio macarons from Georges Perrier's Art of Bread
Daisies! at the train station

Purple flowers
Chicken quiche, salad & pastry from Art of Bread
Halloween party!
A handful of sweetness

Chef Court-Ah-Nee! (my costume for the Halloween party)
Best ever Sangria & Veuve Clicquot at Serafina with Sam <3
Spooky Halloween bar


Have you heard of Haleigh Walsworth? She's A Silly American in Paris who writes, photographs, blogs, works and is AWESOME. Whenever I vist her blog I feel as though my insides are being lined with velvety pink flower petals. It's like insta-happiness. Her blog is so refreshing, creative, inspiring, sweet, intriguing and informative (hey, if I can't live in France atleast I can do my best to live like a French woman.) I also love the way she sees the world, captures it and puts it to music. She made this video of her time in Basilicata, Italy and I think it's beautiful. The only problem with her blog? It makes me ill with wanderlust.

I have never been to Europe though I studied French for 9 years. I was supposed to go to Paris for a semester abroad in college but got too scared. I worried I would run out of money, not understand anything and get into scary situations. I now regret that decision with every single fiber in my body. (*Note to self: I will never let irrational fear hold me back from doing something ever again.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

5 Years Time

Life has been feeling pretty heavy and icky for me lately. So I thought I'd share some things that remind me that life can still be fun. Make sure you listen to the music as you scroll through the pictures!


baby bunny

baby owl


baby sea turtle

baby seal
crush from Finding Nemo

baby turtle


baby elephant

snakeskin nine west heels

candy wax bottles with yummy juice inside

I think this is my favorite dress ever

baby penguin meets baby dolphin

this movie
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. Listen to his song here.