Happy Halloween!

Here’s a little tune to get you in a spooooky mood!

I’m tucked inside finishing some schoolwork, but I won’t let that get me down!

So I am reading about renal failure and waiting for those Trick or Treaters! I love Halloween!  One day I want to have a SUPER scary house where I can do a lot of makeup and sit outside so it looks like I am a statue or some other decoration, then JUMP OUT and scare the kids.

Ah, dreams.

Happy Halloween and to the luck few of you that live in Nevada – HAPPY NEVADA DAY!!! HOO-RAH BATTLE BORN!!!!!

How to live a more majestic life….

Here at Adventures in CourtneyLand, we (I) aim to enrich the lives of our (my) readers with every post.

[note: I don’t know why I like the plural form when discussing my blog…maybe I will list Zoey as a co-contributor.]

Today’s post focuses on living more majestically.  You too can live a magical, glittering, majestic life, with only ONE QUICK STEP!!!

Be a unicorn for a day.

Look at that! One step and I’m majestic!!!

Its a dream come true really.

Obsession.

Friends.  I am obsessed.

I am currently in love with Teardrop Trailers.  This is an all-consuming love.  They are all I think about… I have stopped hanging out with friends because I don’t want to spend my time away from the trailers… I just sit and daydream about me and the trailers and the mountains and the open road…aaaahh, serenity.

For those of you who do not know, these lil’ babays have been around for a long time.  See evidence below.

See? That’s a pretty old photo.

What is special about these guys, is that throughout the Teardrop history, people have been customizing them.  They have never really been a trailer you just buy and use.  Teardrop connoisseurs have built them themselves or refurbished them according to personal preference and style.  They are unique, portable, and pretty adorable.

For the camping fans out there, they are small enough to fit into small sites.  Size restrictions be damned!  These little guys can do it all.

They have a cozy bed inside, storage available for clothing (so not bulky bags needed); the hatchback usually opens to a small cooking area where one can install or store a camping stove and supplies (utensils, cooking gear).  They are small, but organized and mighty.

Look at this guy.  He’s lovin’ it.

Ladies???

Personally, I love the wood-paneled ones.  They are so beautiful.  I imagine myself and sweet Zoey cruisin’ through the forest with one.  Just seeking out the perfect little spot to set up camp.

I’m thinking that getting and finishing one of these may be on my future “Forty before Forty” list.

Until then, I’ll just keep dreaming of them.

❤ Happy Sunday!

Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Mamacita!

Happy Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful and soulful Mama, Merri.

My mama is an amazing lady who raised up these two little sassafrasses:

I love my mom, she listens and supports me.  She has faith in me to make my own decisions and just loves me along the way.  She is a continual source of love and sunshine in my life.  She is always teaching me (and reteaching me) to be myself and to let my light shine – just as she does.

I am so grateful to have her as my Mama.   She is incredible and I hope she has a WONDERFUL Mother’s Day.  (She’s in Florida working at the Player’s Tournament – because she’s awesome).

I love you Mamacita! Have a beautiful day!

What did I tell you – a couple of little sassafrasses.

succulents!

In one week, I will be officially done with my first year of nursing school.  This means that in the next four days I have to take a couple of beastly cumulative finals that can make or break my grades…  So what I am doin’ about it?!  Making an indoor succulent garden of course!!!

You see, likely non-existent blog reader, I work super hard for the entire semester.  By the time finals come around, I am burnt out.  My learning capacity has been maxed out temporarily and I need a break.

Last semester, I was so burnt out I got real sick then camped out in front of the Hallmark Channel watching Christmas specials as I made an excessive amount of decorative paper chains….

Like I said, an excessive amount of paper chains…

This semester, my mind has moved from holiday cheer to sunshine and summer.  So this morning, in leu of putting my nose to the grindstone, I went to Lowe’s.

Inspired by this post on the blog – A Beautiful Mess, I decided to bring some greenery into my bedroom.

I settled on repotting a Christmas Cactus – gifted to me from my nursing mentor Betty, planting a leafy indoor plant, and making a small, succulent garden.

The entire process was much easier than I anticipated.  I’m not sure why I thought it would be difficult…but it wasn’t.

Look at those little beauties!  Succulents are the perfect starter garden for horticulturally-challenged individuals.  They don’t require much watering, just once a week or so.  They enjoy a sunny window, so no need to worry about frying their little leaves.  They also love each other and are happy to share an 8″ pot!

I used a special soil for cacti and succulents that doesn’t hold water, so the dry-loving plants don’t drown when someone may or may not forgets to water them for two months and tries to compensate by dumping 1 gallon of water into their tiny pots at once….but who would do such a thing?

I used the same soil for my non-cactus/succulent plant as well.  To protect that plant from overdrying, I just popped a coffee filter into the bottom of the pot.

Succulent shopping is great since you can get some serious bang for your buck.  Each little one was only $2, so I got four.  I tried to get ones with different heights, colors, and textures to make it more interesting.

I wanted a big, leafy plant to join my happy little succulent bunch, so I settled on an Umbrella Tree.

I chose the Umbrella Tree for several reasons:

  1. Its big and leafy
  2. The name is adorable
  3. I loved the TV show “Under the Umbrella Tree” and hope that one day, mine will grow so large that myself and some happy, muppet friends may live together beneath its branches.

But for now, it is just a baby.

The whole project only took me like 7 hours complete.  1 hour to wander around Lowe’s.  30 mins to pot and repot my plants. 5 and a half hours to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine.  Altogether, it was lovely.

Aaaand I got to buy this super cute watering can.

My indoor garden is now settled happily by a sunny window.  The room looks and smells fresher with the plants in it and my brain got a nice break on this beautiful Sunday.

I hope you have had a nice day as well.  If not, start it over.  Say a prayer.  Get a succulent.

14. donate blood

Check check, checkity check.

I am checking off my first item on my 30 before 30 list!  It is numero 14.  Donate Blood.

Now, I have always wanted to donate blood (well, not always.  I mean, I wasn’t like a 4 year old dreaming of blood donation, but still the desire to do it has been around a while).  I have also always been pretty skittish when thinking about it.  I knew it was a good thing to do, that it would be easy and that it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought.  Buuut, I also knew that each time I really thought about it I would get shaky, my hands would become uncomfortably moist (uncomfortable for me and anyone around me sharing pens/doorknobs/gloves/etc.) and all of the blood in my arms would shunt into my torso out of sheer terror.

Pretty ridiculous, right?  I thought about it and I have been under general anesthesia five times!  Then, three of those were also multiple night hospital stays.  So I have had IVs before.  I’ve had tons of blood drawn! (Not literally, that would be horrifying if a TON of blood was taken…..and impossible…i think?)  Anyways, my point is, needle sticks aren’t new, but still, I was nervous.

I kept hearing about this large, annual blood drive the local radio stations put on with United Blood Services.  It sounded pretty awesome.  There would be food, prizes, raffles, a photobooth…. Awesome.  And especially awesome if you are a lady on a tight budget like myself.  And of course, apart from all of the recreational reasons, I would be doing something good, something that would help not just one other person, but three.

So I did it.  I was still nervous, so I asked for help.  I put the call out to some friends and had so much support!  As silly as I felt telling people how nervous I was, it was true.  When I was honest about my feelings, friends told me about their experiences, both positive and negative.  Then two others joined me the day of to participate.  One friend has already donated over ten gallons of blood!!! Holy moly!  It was so comforting being with a pro.  My other friend was a newbie like me, but much less nervous.  She stayed by me, distracting me while I pretended that I didn’t have a left arm and didn’t want to look to my left and didn’t think that anything existed on the left side of me anyways so why would I even want to look over there?!?!?!

I may have been a little dramatic….or silly.

Anyways, the happy chat was great and in 9 minutes, my pint bag was a STUFFED with my happy, healing blood and I was free to enjoy some super kickass refreshments.  I’m not talking about just juice and cookies here.  There were sandwiches from local delis, bagels and schmear from Einstein’s and the tastiest mini buttermilk bars ever!  My friends and I snacked and then took a photo in the photobooth to commemorate the occasion.

So I have to say, not only were my friends great, but the pro’s at United Blood Services were awesome.  They were all cheerful and funny.  I ran into three friends who all work there.  They encouraged me some more and we got to joke around.  The guy that inserted my needle and tube was crazy good!  Seriously.  I barely felt the needle prick my skin and in like 12 seconds I was taped and donating away!

I will absolutely donate again.  It was such a positive experience, made better by good friends and skilled phlebotomists.

My actual reaction!!!

I am thrilled to kick off this 30 before 30 experience with this!  It was just something small, but was scary for me and it feels great to take that first step.  So that’s how I’ll do it, just one step at a time.

Courtney

Beat Down

Why do we do it?  Why do I do it?  


Why do we put ourselves down so much?  I can find more flaws in myself and my life than if the entire population of Turkey did.


Sidenote: [props to Sarah who is in Turkey right now!]


I can give myself a soulful beatdown harder than Manny Pacquiao ever could.  And he is feisty.


And you know what? I don’t think that I am the only one.  In fact, I know that I am not the only one because I hear you do it too.  


I was at the gym the other day and overheard one girl talk about how fat she thought she was.   Her friend was next to her and instead of discussing her friends obvious body issue, she just says that she too is too fat.  Both of these women were over 5’7″.  Both were under 120 Lbs.  Guaranteed.  So not only was it upsetting to hear this girls put themselves down so falsely, but neither of them tried to support the other by telling her that she is not fat.  Who does that help?


Now clearly I know, certain things are important: we should be healthy, we should have goals, we should care about our lives progressing in a positive manner.


But if I am taking care to maintain my life in a positive direction, why am I filling my mind with negativity?


What if I were sitting with 4 year old me?  Could I have the heart to critique her by saying all of the things I say to myself in one day?  

[you are perfect just the way you are girlfriend.]
[PS you are rocking that tutu.]

No, I couldn’t.  I wouldn’t be able to sit there and tell her that she didn’t do enough in one day, that she should have pushed herself harder and harder.  I couldn’t ignore all of the good things that she accomplished and just focus on what she didn’t.  



So why do it to myself?  


Sometimes life is a little hard.  I do not need to make it harder for myself, or for anyone else for that matter.  


I don’t want to make someone else feel bad about themselves.  Let’s lift each other up.  Let’s encourage one another.  Because most of the time, we are all doing our best and just need a little support. 


So go out there, rock that tutu and run the world.  Here are some videos for good ole soulful inspiration.  

Go get ’em tigers!!!! 
 

School Supplies

A random list of life’s sweet, simple things:

 
-finding money in the pocket of a winter coat during the first wear of the season
-the little happy dance zoey does when I get home
-chai tea from bibo
-really good dreams
-brand spankin’ new school supplies
Zozo McCutiePants
Sweet delicious Bibo Chai
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oh yeah.  School supplies make the list.  Something about the smell of paper and the satisfaction that my pens will not run out of ink for months gets me sooooo excited.  
 
Now as many of you (possibly nonexistent readership) know, I am in love with Autumn.  Now I am not just in love with pumpkin-flavored Autumn or adorable layered scarves Autumn; I am in love with every cinnamon-scented nook and cranny of Autumn!!!
 
I do love scarves (Oh do I love scarves!!!!) and pumpkin-flavored things (all things really, if a pumpkin-flavored Prius I would eat it) But I also love the rest.  I love crisp mornings, the hovering sense of pressure to decorate for holidays that haven’t arrived yet, the need for a hot beverage, the sense of renewal of a whole, new school year and yes; I love school supplies.  
 
My good friend Melissa knows I love school supplies so much she gave me a coupon to Office Max.  I have been staring at it on my desk for WEEKS now, just imagining the kind of organization I will have come the Fall semester.
 
Anyways, in order to further prepare myself for impending Nursing School (dun dun dun, scary music plaaaaaayyyys) I purchased a lunch bag.  It is top-o-tha-line.  And you betcha, did it get me excited about school.  It is insulated, it is adorable and it has separate compartments!!!!  
 
Here it is:
 
 
Oh yeaaaah.
 
That sweet lady is the Rachel Ray Tic Tac Tote.  It is going to keep my nourished and happy throughout the year and I cannot wait for it to arrive!  Now, I have to note that I did not initially understand why it was named the Tic Tac Tote.  But after saying out loud many hours after my purchase, I realized it.  Now I like it even more.  
 
So I hope the rest of you (maybe pretend blog readers) are enjoying the rest of Summer while anticipated sweet Autumn as I am.  We are only a few iced teas away from a yummy, hot pumpkin-spice latte.

Box of Awesome

I organized my workstation today.  I hammered and affixed and unpacked.   Once all of the pieces came together it was time to decorate.  So I pulled out my hatbox.


My hatbox contains a mishmash of past goodies.  There are ticket stubs from concerts, museums, comedy shows, plane/train/bus rides;  there are greeting cards filled with warm and fuzzy messages; there are some old photos tucked in there too.  I’m pretty sure the photo above contains a four year old me in a sweet petticoat. [my mom has tried to explain to me that the petticoat look was “in”, but I’m pretty sure my sister and I are the only ones whose childhood photos look like they’re from Little House on the Prairie.] [I must say I kind of love it especially since scenes from the book On the Banks of Plum Creek was my reoccurring daydream growing up.]


I love this box.  I reread messages from friends and family and refelt all of the goodness each one contained.  I also got to reflect on how awesome my loved ones are.  I have one card that I’m pretty sure I will never throw out.  It was given to me for my birthday by B-Dave when we lived together in Pi Phi. There is a picture of a girl on a carousel riding a giant chicken.  It reads “Its your birthday, ride the wild chicken!”


I know it isn’t my birthday, but today, I think I will go ahead and ride the wild chicken.  And I invite you to join me.