The assembled supplies:



If you know me, you know that I hate cell/mobile phones and think they are basically not necessary. And for many of the past 10-15 years since they have become popular and then basically necessary, I have resisted the pressure to get one--there was that one brief blip when living overseas. Now all these years later, I have caved. Not only have I caved, but I have caved so thoroughly that if my house was on fire the one thing I would grab is my mobile. So this is the lovely model that I purchased:

Mind you, I'm not grabbing it for my ability to stay in touch or be in touch via phone or text--hardly use or bother with those. No, the reason I can't live without it is the aps!. Instagram, Goodreads, Lose It!, Pinterest, LDS Tools and Library, Score Mobile, Mint.com, Ted, and don't even get me started on the google maps ap that is so beyond cool for my travel missing self. Sigh, I really don't know what has become of me, but please don't try to separate me from my mobile these days.



Looking for for a great Christmas present for your favorite book lover? Well, Ally Condie, fresh off her latest book tour, thought it would be fun to get some local authors together for a pre-Christmas book signing at my local library. Among those authors are, Kristen Chandler, Ally Condie, Bree Despain, Jessica Day George, Nathan Hale, Jed Henry, Brandon Mull, E.J. Patten, Rick Walton, Dan Wells, Robison Wells, and Tyler Whitesides. As an added bonus, books will be on sale at a 20% discount. Hope to see you there!



There are books that I have loved and that I would love to read again, but...there are so many books out there that I do want to read and that list is just getting longer and longer. That has been my thinking for a long time, but this fun little essay from the New York Times has me rethinking that silly little excuse. I'm now trying to decided which to read again first: The Harry Potter series or the Lord of the Rings trilogy.


My copy of LOTR has him on the cover:



I would like to take a moment to interrupt this incredible streak of not blogging to say:

Did you see the new  lineup for the 2012 Utah Shakespeare Festival?

I don't believe I've seen any of the 3 Shakespeare plays (so yeah for new-to-me stuff), am quite excited about the prospect of To Kill a Mockingbird, and who doesn't love Les Mis? 

The only thing that could make it better would be putting Stones in His Pockets (one of my favorite plays ever at the Festival) in the Summer lineup.

Oh well, I guess I will just have to go twice next year.



What does one do when one has an aching ankle that prevents one from getting around much or sleeping at 2 o'clock in the morning? Two things: first, one reads and second (at 2 o'clock in the morning) one watches that Texas Book Festival on C-SPAN2. 

The result is a few books being added to my GoodReads account. But let's just stick to a few of the books I've added as "read."

Gorgeous book in verse that follows a Vietnamese family who flees Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War and ends up in Alabama. I love, love, love books in verse and this one was just splendid.

The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak
Reminded me something of Hemingway in both style and content. Only about 200 words but packs a powerful and touching story.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
What is there to say that hasn't already been said about this book? It was simply amazing in pretty much every way.

Leaping by Brian Doyle
A collection of essays--"Why Write" and the section entitled "Grace under Duress" are must reads. (If you ever get the chance to hear Doyle in person you must take it--he is so fantastic and dynamic)



Fall is my absolute favorite time to go shopping for clothes. It is my favorite season and coincidentally it has the cutest clothes. Before I tumbled down my stairs I was getting out and about a bit and have these awards to give:

Worst Dressing Rooms: Target

I love Target (if you could count the number of receipts in my wallet from Target you would understand) but their dressing rooms are miserable places that make me took fat and hideous.

New favorite skirt:

Haven't actually worn it yet but I'm super in love with its flowy softness.

Latest "must have" as spotted on Pinterest:

Forget everything above but the coat (actually no need to forget everything as it is all pretty nice). That coat is to die for.

Latest obsession that I haven't let myself indulge in (yet): boots

New Favorite Store: Express

There is one very simple reason for my new love of this store: I wear a size 4 in their jeans. They sure do know how to make a girl happy.


I count myself quite fortunate to have climbed on board the Adele train way back when she released first album in '08. Lately I have found myself absolutely obsessed with her recent album and with "Someone Like You" in particular--as in scanning radio stations (the downside to not purchasing a hard copy) looking for the song (fortunately a lot of other people must also be obsessed with it as well because I can usually find it). She is just as gorgeous as her voice and this particular clip of the song is just stunning:



So my sister Janel, who has her own very nice fashion blog here, has been telling me that I need to put more me in my blog--specifically more pictures of me. So I decided to take advantage of her up-and-coming camera skills and have her take some pics at a recent family pumpkin picking outing. Of course I felt completely awkward posing for the pictures so I did what I always do when I feel awkward: I grabbed a niece or nephew or two:




How sweet is my nephew in that last picture--I don't look particularly stunning but I just had to include it.


Saturday night I monumentally failed at walking down a simple set of stairs and have now spent the last two days flat on my back with my bruised and sprained ankle raised and wrapped in bandages. With nothing else to do, today I have firmly planted myself in front of the television with laptop (naturally) in my lap. After a few hours of browsing blogs, Pinterest, and watching daytime TV, I've been forced to resort to doing something I've been neglecting for a little while: blogging. To kick off this new run of blogging, I thought I'd start by not showing any gross pictures of my ankle (you are most welcome), but by instead sharing a little something that has already made the rounds of popular blogs--sorry for the repeat but it is just so much fun:

Up next: either a look at a recent weekend photo shoot, an introduction to my new favorite store (if I were mobile today I'd be showing off my new favorite jeans), or maybe a little book review!

Anyone local have a pair of crutches? I casually blew off an offer to look for a pair a couple of days ago and am now regretting that silly, silly decision.



I've been eating Chinese food a lot this week (yes I said this week!) and check out my fortunes:

Fingers crossed that they come true and hurrah for "real" fortunes as opposed to those stupid advice fortunes some places try to hand out--who wants advice? I want promises of money and miracles and love!


Saw this over at French By Design today:

Totally agree.


This weather (yesterday and still today) plus the sad wet-hair day that it created

happily resulted in the first hot chocolate of the season

which nearly made everything better.



I'm going to see my very first ever 3-D movie! And while it may be true that The Lion King is not one of the top 10 movies one must see in 3-D, I'm still awfully excited.



...and it is even beginning (at certain times of the day) to start to feel like it. 

I'm looking forward to:

1. Pumpkin Anything

2. Sweaters, Sweaters, and more Sweaters

3. Gorgeous Leaves

4. The World Series

5. Cocoa and Hot Apple Cider

I'm also in the process of looking for a great Fall movie (old or new) and take a decent Autumn picture.



I've just recently finished a book (the book itself is really not that important) that has me aching for a cross-country road trip. More specifically, I want to drive Route 50 (the loneliest road in America), then find lots a great dinners, and visit Graceland. I so badly want to do this that I have decided it is time to create a bucket list. Here goes:

Courtney's Bucket List:

1. Travel Route 50

2. Visit Graceland

3. Travel Route 66

We'll it's a start anyway.

image via



...and it is about time I said something about it because it was pretty nice (the weather was beyond perfect and made it very hard to come back to our dry nearly 100 degree heat).

We went to Chinatown (except there wasn't much to it except these gates where I pretended I new how to pose:

And to Voodoo Donuts which has some supremely wonderful donuts (which we waited 30 minutes in line for) including a maple bar topped with bacon (I am not even too embarrassed to say that I had two of these while in Portland) and this magnificent creation whose name includes language I don't usually use but would use again in a heart beat to get my hands on another one:

And to Powell's Books which is just about my favorite place in all of Portland:

And the Rose Garden which was much busier than this picture indicates:

And had the most divine grilled cheese sandwich in this Double Decker bus:

And traveled to Multanomah Falls:

We also visited the zoo, a couple food trucks (so much fun), the water front (during Portland's Beer Fest--maybe not so much fun), and hit Burgerville for their to-die-for milkshakes (4 times).

Really, the only thing missing was a trip to the coast--next time...



I've been back for a full 24 hours now and somehow I am still living out of my suitcase (because 2 weeks of doing that just wasn't enough). Actually, it all kind of sort of makes sense--or at least it does in my little brain. You see, while on my fantastic 2 week vacation (more on that tomorrow if all goes well) living out of a carry-on suitcase I had a grand epiphany: I am quite happy--happier even--living with fewer belongings. This idea has been growing and growing over the last two weeks and  so of course I returned home, dropped my bags and began working on my new "project." How I began is like this: I started on one side of my room with the intention of moving from one side to the other until I was done. I began by sorting stuff into various piles (keep, donate, throw away) as well as some sorely needed dusting. Sadly, I dropped my bags on the side of the room I haven't gotten too yet so they have yet to be sorted--except I did do laundry today.

Anyway, all that is to partially explain why I'm not giving a recap of that fantastic vacation today. Instead I thought I'd share a couple of great videos. The first I wish I had seen before I went to Portland so that I could have taken lots and lots of photos and copied this great creation. The second I have no hope at all of ever recreating but I still love it to pieces.

spotted at Black Eiffel


Hello!!! Goodbye!!!

No I wasn't kidnapped by aliens, I didn't move to Mongolia, and I didn't even forget my password (thank goodness). And no I haven't even been particularly busy. That isn't, of course, to say that I've been sitting around doing nothing. For example, I've had a very good time eating foods that come on sticks:

(frozen cheesecake drizzled with chocolate)

And I've been trying to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe (with some excellent help from friends and family):

(please send me your favorite recipe so I can try it too)

And while I must honestly say that it was really, a little bit, quite nice to have an unplanned break from blogging, I have missed it and missed you.

Sadly, though, this post is primarily being written to let you know that tomorrow I'm flying to Portland to help my sister move and I probably won't be doing much blogging for a little while longer. But when I get back, I'm going to be back big time!



First up, find my brain. Really I don't know where it is. Twice today I've had to look at the keyboard to find a key (first "L" then "F"). These are keys I do use all the time! I don't know what is going on.

Second, on finding my brain hopefully I will remember who I need to email. I had 3 personal emails that I needed to send out today. I wrote and sent one, discovered that I don't actually have the email address of the second, and now haven't the slightest idea who the third was going to or what it was to be about.

Third, make a few batches of cookies in a new quest to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie (which I have been craving all week).

And fourth, hit the carnival!
photo via my sister (who takes a great photo) and her really cool fashion blog--don't worry while I may not have any fashion sense, she does.



I'm not really a big fan of water parks or even of generally hanging around a pool or on a beach in my swimming suit. Give me a great street, a few fab shops, plenty of great food all in a great city and I will call myself well satisfied. However, there is just something a little wonderful about a water slide that sends you right into the Mediterranean Sea:

And with that one picture I am sold and ready to pack my swimming suit!

hotel: here (Sicily)
spotted at a cup of jo



My favorite blog for free printables (Wisker Graphics) has a fantastic new free printable just in time for Father's Day:

I especially like her coupon suggestion: Hour of Silence

Printable available here.


Dare I?

Here is the pretty lovely weather report for my area:

( I don't even mind the Thursday storm cause just look at that temp--no snow!)

So the question is, dare I believe it? Dare I believe that Spring has actually arrived--I mean, sure, it is June and all, but this year that just doesn't mean a thing. I took the last "winter" blanket off my bed last night so that must mean I believe. Let's hope that Mother Nature doesn't crush my tender little beliefs.



Remember when I was fantasizing about moving to Paris? And it was consuming my every waking hour? And I was obsessed with this blog (still am)? Well, Jordan, of that blog, is giving away a 7 day trip to Paris. 7 days! Visit here for all the details. I won't win (never do) but maybe you will. 

photos by Paul Ferney via Oh Happy Day



I'm certainly looking forward to relaxing (wish I could say sleeping in as well). Only wish I were relaxing where ever this pic was snapped. In the meantime, Utahns head on over to my friend Ruth's new collaboration blog for a chance at winning a free one-hour style photo shoot--or non Utahns head over and check out her fun look at fashion style. I haven't got any style to speak of but I noticed that Facebook has (without my permission) posted a series of camp photos across the top of my wall and, really, this has just got to be changed.

photo via Connor Clark



Saw it for the second time last night (at my new favorite theater which sells $3 reserved-seating tickets, $1-2 treats (including cupcakes!!!), and shows movies via film projectors--a plus or a minus, I suppose, depending on the type of movie but it just makes me feel so very nostalgic and happy). Instead of boring you with a review that just won't do the movie justice, I'll just tell you to go. Go!!! Loved it even more the second time.

I'm thinking I just might have to do a Colin Firth weekend (where are those cold rainy days when you really need them?)



Well, not actually with Gwyneth Paltrow...but with her new cookbook--which is really fantastic even if all you want to do is read it: gorgeous pictures, fun stores, good tips (do you do that? read cookbooks? I totally do). So far I've dabbled in a few side like her roasted cauliflower and her maple-dijon roasted winter vegetables (to die for!) but this week I'm hitter her full force. Last night was her stir-fried chicken (which made for an amazing lunch today--in fact everything I've tried has reheated beautifully and has me looking forward to lunch) on her fried rice with kale & scallions (I quite like kale--who knew). Today is her turkey bolognese and then tomorrow is her chicken Milanese. Why all the Gwyneth recipes all at once? It is a library book and it has to go back so more people can enjoy it (so sad). Of course the cure for these blues is to just get myself down to Borders and buy my very own copy that I can sit down with every night. Until that happens, though, I'm really going to enjoy my week ala Gwyneth.



Okay, so I'm not sure that any of you have ever thought of me as being cool, hip, with it, etc. However, just in case you were so disillusioned, this post is going to change your mind. I was driving over to my food co-op at the ridiculous hour of 6:30 A.M. on Saturday listening to the radio when this over-the-top sexy voice came on encouraging me to eat beef.

Who was that voice?

I'm sure you know the answer.

Matthew McConaughey.

And oh my goodness it was sexy. I'm pretty sure it ranks among the best work he has done in years if not in like forever. Upon hearing this ad I immediately had two thoughts (this is where you will realize how not "with it" I am): First: I must share this on my blog. Only, when I got home and googled the ad I discovered that McConaughey has been doing this since 2008. How did I possibly miss this for nearly 3 years? I like to think that it can all be attributed to my channel surfing ways when it comes to commercials, but the more likely explanation is that I just wasn't paying attention to the "important" stuff. And second: I must find some beef. Fortunately the saner part of my brain stepped in, acknowledged the sexiness of the ad, and then insisted I stick with the slightly-healthier turkey burger on the menu for Monday's in-the-kitchen BBQ (booo rain).

Just in case you are as out of touch as I am, here is similar ad (with pics added by funny or die):

I wonder what McConaughey would be like as an audio book reader. Annoying or able to suck you in to the most boring topic possible?



(i had oatmeal too)

And an extra special hello to the frosting--which set swimsuit season back at least 2 weeks.

recipe: here via not without salt
note: i found the frosting a tad salty. next time i'll probably not add any salt into or on top of.



Last week a few friends and I sat down and did a couple colour (personality) test just for the fun of it--a few matched up pretty well and then there were others that just didn't. And then I picked up a book that randomly mentioned the favourite colours of a few American authors and I immediately realized that I must step up my colour choices--make them a little bit more snappy and interesting.

Here are some examples of how cool American poets can be:

Ezra Pound: Purple, Ivory, Jade
T.S. Eliot: Eggplant, Sable, Mustard
William Carlos Williams: Blue, Yellow, Tan (okay, so maybe not so much that one)
Robert Frost: Teal Blue, Slate Gray, Blood Red
Wallace Stevens: Vermilion, Chartreuse, Wine

And here is an example of how cool I am not:

Courtney: green, yellow, orange, red, gray

I am now on the hunt for some cooler favourite colour names. So far I am going with Claret, Citrine, and Slate Gray (cause I'm not sure you can cool up gray). Any suggestions for green and orange. Or care to share your faves?

Citrine comes via inspiration for this chair that I am absolutely in love with right this minute:

You know, I possibly shouldn't adopt British spellings in a post about American poets...

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So it turns out the not all of my recent suffering is the fault of the cottonwood tree across the street--not that I'm letting that tree off the hook for any and all suffering it has and will impose on me. I am allergic to dairy (please join me in some quiet sobbing).

Fortunately there is an upside: I'm not deathly allergic to dairy. Which is a great relief because I'm pretty sure I would choose death by dairy than life without it.

The downside: dairy is murder on my skin (for most of my life I had just been attributing my dry skin to my living in a dry location--I suppose I should have considered the blatant fact that my dry skin didn't go away entirely when living in humid environments like Boston and Ireland in dispelling that myth a little sooner in my life (and there goes my claim of being an observant person). 

Anyway, in a small attempt to relieve my red, flaky, itchy skin I am trying to cut down my dairy intake. Here is how it has been going so far this week:

Sunday: had Parmesan cheese on my pasta, Havarti cheese in my swiss chard strudel, and a bowl of ice cream

Monday: had frozen yogurt

Tuesday: had nothing!!!! but it is still early

Good thing I'm not deathly allergic.



Don't you just love the rain?

I do.

It is my favorite.

And it looks like I may get 2 more days of it (unheared of in my desert).

But only 2 because then I have a trip to the zoo
and an outdoor wedding.



spotted here



Okay so it may not feel exactly like it is just around the corner (only 60 degrees today--remember those cold days of Winter when 60 degrees was just a dream? Now I'm putting words like "only" in front of it!) but really summertime is almost here. And while I am not ready to be jumping into a swimsuit this weekend, I sure wouldn't mind having one of these in my dresser right about now:

on sale here
retail store in American Fork, Utah (if you're local)
use coupon code "GTU20" (online or in the store) for an extra 20% off today and tomorrow (May 4 and 5)



I have absolutely zero self-control when it comes to these:

Which is really rather sad because it pretty much rules out my ever having one of these (her figure):

But on the upside, I have discovered that I have mastered total self-control over these:

Which quite possibly means I might be growing up just a tad.

recipe and picture here (cause I was too busy eating to bother with my camera)



...only on April 30th I'm just really not in the mood:



I am an absolute sucker for a good wedding so of course I was well prepared to watch this one--or at least well prepared to watch a replay of this one (4 AM is just a wee bit too early for me). And I must say it did not disappoint in the least.

Kate was beautiful:

Pippa nearly stole the show (in a very classy understated way). I imagine we will be seeing wedding trends mirroring both Kate's and Pippa's dresses:

Beatrice (on the right) somehow NEARLY made this work:

Sadly Eugenie (on the left) was also a bit off.

Of course there were a few more rather sad mistakes such as this tent from Victoria Beckham who apparently thought she was attending a funeral in October rather than a Royal Wedding in the Spring (I'm told it was actually navy blue but it sure didn't come across like that on TV):

And Harry's on-again (?) girlfriend Chelsy Davy who somehow just looks a bit trampy (and with all the amazing hats in the world to choose from, why on earth did she pick that one):

All in all, I'd call it lots of fun and a smashing success.



So you thought last week's Real Salt Lake Soccer game was big? Well tonight's is even bigger.

And just so that you don't feel that I have entirely wasted your time by writing this post, check out this really cool looking exhibit coming soon to the BYU Museum of Art:

Yep, that sculpture is made out of books! The exhibit is call "Matter of Words" and is opening at the Museum next month.

And just in case I haven't had a chance to tell you in person, last Saturday's Doctor Who was brilliant in every possible way.

picture: here
more info: here



I've got a new 9-pound nephew:

It is amazing to me how one day he is just some unknown floating around in my sister's belly and the next day, without even seeing him, I am filled with so much love for him it would hurt if it were possible for this kind of love to hurt.




It has been on my calendar for a month now. People are stopping me at church to share in my enthusiasm. And I've just found out there are recipes. RECIPES! No, I haven't confused my dates. I am fully aware that Wills and Kate are not getting married in two days. What I am talking about here is Doctor Who. He's back and I can hardly wait.

Those fantastic scenes were shot in my very own state of Utah. And I didn't even head out to the shoot to do some stalking. It is called restraint, my friends, an immense amount of restraint.



See, even our worstest enemies (I refrained from booing during a few particular bits) think so and are wishing us luck:

And please don't even think of trying to contact me tonight during the game.



Okay, so I don't usually get ideas in the shower (I tried to pay attention today to what it is I do think about in the shower and it could mostly be summed by a list of what I'm doing and need to do next--as in what body part I'm cleaning and what body part I'm cleaning next--I do love a list) however I'm strongly considering having some (perhaps if I increased my shower time) so I could write them down here:

found here
spotted here