Monday, August 17, 2015

No More Comfort Zone



If you asked me a few years ago if I wanted out of my comfort zone I would have told you no and laughed at the idea. After having a quarter life crisis, freaking out, and now at 24, I will admit I'm tired of living in my zone. I want a change of scenery, a new route, a new path; I want a whole new comfort zone. I want to challenge myself, try new things, and have fun. Don't get me wrong, this will be really difficult for me due to my anxiety, social anxiety, and fear. I know I will have to push myself and do things that aren't comfortable for me (to a degree). Everyone's definition of comfort is different; your definition might be to try bungee jumping,  for me it's getting on a roller coaster or traveling somewhere new on my own.

I've created lists, like 101 Things in 1001 Days, and I've pinned numerous things, but nothing has happened. So, I'm going to create new challenges. First, the Pinterest Challenge, where I will try a new idea everyday for a month (because let's be real, you and I both know we pin and pin all those crafts and DIY's and they never get done). 

Second, I'm going to tackle 25 ideas from my 101 Things in 1001 Days list (25 ideas to equal my 25th birthday next year). I'm going to tackle these ideas for a year, until my 25th birthday on July 2, 2016 (you can view my list here). And finally, a challenge I found online today called the Hey Eleanor Challenge, which is all about getting out of your comfort zone. 

Are you ready to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone? Come join me for one or all three challenges! I'd love to have you! 

xoxo Courtney

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Update

I know I've sort of neglected this blog and I'm sorry for that. Life and laziness got in the way; but here's an update on my life.


  • My grandfather passed away on July 4. I was very close to him, so it affected me a lot. 
  • I turned 24 on July 2 and it was the worse birthday ever. 
  • I've decided that I'm going to culinary school but...
  • Culinary school is REALLY expensive. I mean, I'm just learning how to cook, not how to do brain surgery. So due to the expenses, I decided to set up a GoFundMe Campaign, which can be found here or on the side of my blog. And I would really appreciate if you could help me in my dream and journey; I appreciate any amount. 
  • If culinary school doesn't work, I'll become a preschool teacher. 
  • My boyfriend is becoming an uncle to a little boy soon! Since we plan on marrying in the near future, that makes me a honorary aunt soon! His name will be Jimmy Ian and he's due in September. 
  • I went to a wedding in North Beach, MD back on May 26th! My cousin got married at this beautiful private beach. I spent 2 1/2 days with my dad family by traveling to and from; it was crazy, but the wedding was beautiful. I haven't been to a wedding since I was 12! Post coming soon! 
And that's about it! 

xoxo,
Courtney


Monday, December 15, 2014

What's Cooking Good Looking? Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta

Brussel sprouts. You either hate them or love them. There's no in between. I used to hate them. My mom would make them for Thanksgiving with butter, bacon, and bread crumbs (the 4 B's!). Then one day, the food gods sent me a recipe in my dreams (ok, so I saw it on TV; it's the same thing). Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta. I made them and I was in love!

This one skillet meal is super easy to make. Trust me when I say, if you hated brussel sprouts in the past, you will love them now after trying this recipe. I made this for my parents and boyfriend and they loved them! I'm made this dish for Thanksgiving this year and it was a hit!


First, cut up your pancetta in small, bite size pieces. Next, in a medium to large non stick skillet, put 2 tbsp of olive oil followed by your pancetta. Cook them for 10-15 minutes until they're nice and crispy. For me, it only took 10 minutes to get them crispy. Once done, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and put them on a piece of paper towel to drain the oil. 


Next, with the same oil and pan (you should have the original 2 tbsp of oil remaining, if not add a little more), put your brussel sprouts faced down in the oil to brown. I used frozen sprouts, but you can use fresh ones as well. Cook them for about 3 minutes or until they have a little color (I like to turn them over once to make they get a nice color all over). Next, put in your 1/2 cup of water, cover the pan, and let them steam for another 3 minutes until tender. Once done, poke them with a toothpick or fork to see if they're tender. If not, keep them cooking until they are. If the water evaporates before they're tender, just add some more. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and put them on a piece of paper towel. 


Next, get rid of the oil from the pan (dump it into the sink or somewhere else); you don't want the oil in your glaze). Now, put a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar into the same pan (remember no oil in there!) and let that reduce down for about 2 minutes, until it's syrupy. After it's reduced, add 2 tbsp of butter into the vinegar and let that melt. Once melted, add the pancetta and brussel sprouts back into the pan and coat it with the balsamic glaze. Season with salt and pepper.


Viola! You now have a simple and easy one skillet meal. Serve this at your next dinner or holiday party or just make it for dinner for your family. Even the most pickiest eaters will love these! Sweet, crispy, and oh so delicious.

Bon Appetit!

Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta
From Dinner At Tiffani's 

2 oz of pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
10 oz Brussel sprouts (about 18 medium sprouts) trimmed and halved through the core
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to

Directions

Heat the pancetta and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy 10-inch straight-sided saute pan over medium-low heat until golden and crisp all over, 10 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the drippings in the pan.


You should have about 2 tablespoons of drippings left in the pan; if not, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Measure out 1/2 cup water and set aside. Put the pan over medium-high heat and arrange the sprouts cut-side down in a single layer. Cook until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the water to the pan, cover immediately and simmer until the sprouts are tender when poked with a fork or skewer, about 3 minutes. (If the water evaporates before the sprouts become tender, add more water 1/4 cup at a time.) Transfer the sprouts to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Return the pan to medium-high heat. (It is fine if any water remains; it will boil off with the vinegar.) Add the vinegar and a few grinds of pepper and boil the vinegar until lightly syrupy and reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the butter and stir until melted. Return the sprouts and pancetta to the pan and toss to evenly coat with the sauce. Season with salt and more pepper.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Autumn Tag


1. Okay, we're talking coffee. What is your favourite seasonal drink from Starbucks/Costa/Cafe Nero?
I hate Starbucks nor do I drink coffee. 

2. Accessories - What do you opt for - boots, scarf, gloves?
Scarves. I do wear Uggs, but I hate them. They feel like moon boots; but I wear them because I take public transportation and NYC winters can be brutal. 


3. Music - What do you love to listen to during the Autumn?
I pretty much keep the same playlist, but I'm always looking for new music. Lately I've been listening to Swedish artist Tove Lo. 

4. Perfume - what's your favorite scent at this time of the year?
I don't wear perfume much. If I do it's from Bath and Body Works and it's a nice autumn scent,  like apple or something. 

5. Candles - which scents will you be burning this season?
Omg, I love candles! Right now I have a Pumpkin Spice and an Apple  candle out. 
  
6. What do you love most about Autumn?
Everything! The scents, food, leaves, colors, Halloween, etc.


7. Favorite make up look?
I hardly wear makeup. 

8. What are you looking forward to most during this season?
Halloween. I'm planning a Halloween party for October 24th with my therapist. It's for her, me, and her clients.  I can't wait! It helps that I'm being certified in event planning and I'm glad she asked me to help. 

xx Courtney 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Currently


This week: 
opening, bookmarking, wearing, trying, listening, and going

I'm currently opening, well re-opening, my Etsy shop and making crafts for my shop, Sundresses and Songbirds. 

I'm currently bookmarking a ton of recipes and crafts on Pinterest. I'm always saving things on there and forgetting about them. 

I'm currently wearing a purple short sleeve t-shirt and gray shorts. 

I'm currently trying to do the 21 Day Project, where for 21 days you commit to a certain task; like exercising, reading, crafting, dieting, etc. 

I'm currently listening to music. Nothing in particular; lately nothing has really caught my attention. I haven't found any new music, I've listening to top 40, and just flipping through the songs. Which is unlike me. I used to find new music everyday and listen to underground music. 

I'm currently going nuts trying to find a job. 

xx Courtney 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

What If I Won The Lotto

Helene in Between Blogtober

If I won the lottery, I would travel the world. I'd go to all the states, England, Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Dominican Republic, Australia, Canada....I think you get the picture. 

I would also move out of my parents house and buy a house for Jose and I. Maybe if it's enough money, I'd quit my job. I'd give some money to my parents to help them and some to my future mother in law. 

I'd buy a dog, new clothes, a car, and anything else that caught my eye. I would also use it to pay for my wedding. 

I'd go to culinary school and give money to Jose to go back and pay off his debts. Maybe I'd even start my own bakery or restaurant.

Gosh! There so many things I would do, I can't even think of them all! I did the win the lottery once, though. Not a lot, just $10; but it was on my birthday and I was pretty happy.

xx Courtney 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blogger Men Tell All

Becoming Adorrable


Here's my cute as can be fiance, Jose :) We met and made it official on January 1, 2013. He's 25 and I'm 23, but who cares, right? He's a Criminal Justice major and the best fiance a girl could ask for. He's sweet, kind, loving (of course), funny, short like me, and my soul mate. He's also a city boy with a country soul. Yesterday was actually our 1 year and 9 month anniversary! Anyway, enough about us; here's what he had to say. 

1. If you had a blog what would you call it and what would it be about?
Intellectual Blog. All about everyday life. 

2. If you could live inside any videogame, which would it be?
Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. 

3. Who is your best player on your fantasy football team this season?
Peyton Manning. He's his favorite player. 

4. If you could play for any professional sports team, which would it be?
Denver Broncos. I want to play with Peyton :)

5. What do you typically do with an hour of free time?
Spend time with me :), listening to sports radio, listening to music, and research. 

xx Courtney 
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