Your investment in health and happiness...

Hello dears!! Yes, it is Christmas-time and it seems strange that I would write about anything other than that, but it seems too good to even write about. Let me promise you that I am enjoying it immensely - it has always been my favorite time of year!

Now, on to the goods. I am a seasonal "cash register girl" at our wonderful Teavana store. I get to work with a couple of my closest friends, so I've dubbed us the Teavana Dream Team and we are legit to say the least. Although my first love will ALWAYS be coffee, these people have convinced me over the past couple years that tea can be pretty dang great. Here are some of the things I have been loving and that you should go out and grab asap.
This is a white tea called Youthberry that is literally the stuff. It's great iced, which doesn't work so well with my frigid nature, but it's worth the shivering.
White Ayurvedic Chai. Figured out today it's great with some warmed up soy milk...so cozy and delish. Nice and spicy. The Perfect Tea Maker!! This thing has made my life soo much easier. If you could ever envision yourself in the future liking tea, turn off your computer right now and go get one. It's also really fun just to watch it...why? You'll have to go buy one and find out!
As Cash Register Girl I am supposed to say "Your total investment in health and happiness today is only..." and while I could've been a punk about it I decided just to embrace it and start doing this right from the beginning. I've been made fun of a couple times, but it's all good and pretty entertaining to watch customers roll their eyes at me. It's all in the holiday spirit, guys.
Hope everyone is watching plenty of classic Christmas movies, listening to Delilah play Christmas music on the radio 24/7 and bein cozy.
p.s. I helped today with a group of women at church who are throwing a Christmas Cookie Party for single-parent families in the area and my part was to bake 6 dozen cookies. It was fun, but I would be happy to not look at another cookie or brownie for a good month or so...


Finding Fellow Foodies

With my newest obsession of foodie blogs, I am quickly discovering that I am not alone in my love of all concoctions involving oatmeal! My favorite blogger KERF has an entire section of her blog entitled "Tribute to Oatmeal" and this is where I discovered these ridiculous oatmeal pancakes.
1/4 c. oats
1/4 c. egg whites (or 1 egg)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp Flax Meal (optional)
1/2 mashed banana (or applesauce, or pumpkin, etc.)
Mix it all together, let it sit while the pan heats and then pour into pan.
They brown quickly and then you cover them with whatever your heart desires. The pictures have sliced banana & toasted walnuts/sunflower seeds. Delish!!
Go try it. You won't regret it for a second.

p.s. Kath from the aforementioned
KERF opened my eyes to the fact that you can actually "toast" nuts in the microwave! 1.5 minutes in the microwave and they'll come out piping hot, sizzling, and smelling wonderful. It sounds questionable, but just give it a try, trust me.


Say What?

It's full-on fall, my friends! And as is customary at this time of the year, I have donned my Ukrainian winter goat socks and retreated to the warmth of my kitchen where I have been cooking and baking much more than necessary. Acorn squash, pumpkin cookies, and now my newest marvel which I am here to share with you today:

Black Bean Brownies

What??? I know...craazzzy. I thought so when I first heard about it.

We did a test run a couple days ago and then I took it a bit further

in my boredom today, so try it out! You will die of shock/deliciousness:

1 box brownie mix (today's was Duncan Hines Ultimate Fudge)

1 TBS Cocoa Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon *Or add coffee! Both do wonders to enhance the chocolatiness*

1 can pureed black beans

1/4 cup mini marshmallows

Mix it all together, toss it in the oven and bake it until you can't wait any longer!

The best part is giving it to people and then waiting until they've devoured it to tell them your secret ingredient! I had a field day with it.



i took a trip on a train and i thought about you

happy autumn! i've spent the past 2 weekends (going on 3) out of town and have had hardly enough time to catch my breath much less contribute to this little blog of mine; however, before i head off to austin tomorrow (ACL here i come!!) i thought i'd leave a minor update.

here's a quick trip through the scattered mind of this ginger and the things that have been catching my eye:
..great little closet transformed into built-ins..

..our house is in a madmen rut and we find ourselves constantly
discussing how adorable betty draper is..

..vintage globes..

..i've been scheming up ways to refurbish a $1 headboard i bought at goodwill and
i love what this blogger did with just a pallet and old door..


When the moon hits your eye...

Whenever I think of spaghetti my mind immediately goes to an image of an infamous couple of dogs eating the same romantic little noodle...I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. With my new favorite vegetable, the horror music that your brain automatically plays at the thought of pasta can be put on mute. Now we can have our spaghetti and eat it too!

Let me introduce you to my newest obsession:

Spaghetti Squash!

I picked this mysterious vegetable at the farmer's market last weekend and finally brought myself to make something out of it tonight. I roasted it for 45 minutes and was ecstatic when it turned into exactly what everyone said it would - strands of squash that look just like pasta! The great thing about it is that it has a pretty neutral flavor, so that makes it a good palate for all kinds of delish pasta sauce. I had a bounty of basil and onions I needed to use up, so I simmered a homemade spicy (cue the jalapeno) marinara sauce for a couple hours and put it on top of my "noodles". SO GOOD! Any and everyone who reads this must try it. I can't wait to make it again.


I feel it...

It's coming!! Can you feel it?
Fall is almost here, people. Although the weather has been wavering between glorious and nasty for the past few days, i have tasted the first of the fall weather and it has gotten me all excited inside!
I'm ready for knit caps, leaves changing color, and being able to drink tea and coffee without breaking into a sweat ;]
I want to ride my [imaginary] bike through the adorable neighborhoods of Nashville, eat dinner on the patio without the accompaniment of bugs and just marvel in the beauty that is autumn.
Now who's with me?


My Dear Octopus

Dodie Smith, author of the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians (yes, it is a novel) once referred to family as "that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to."

Today has been a day of bittersweet appreciation of my dear octopus.
I feel fortunate to be able to say that I genuinely like my family. To love one's family is generally expected and required, but to like them...that's something special. After years of simply putting up with the various tentacles that make up my family, things have shifted. They are my friends. Wierd? Lame? I won't accept the assignment of such adjectives to this emotion. I am too busy being thankful that I have been blessed with a family who I am [almost] always sad to part from.
Speaking of parting, the reason I'm writing this is because my amazing younger brother moved to Los Angeles today to pursue his dreams. Good for him! I would never want anything less for him than the whole-hearted pursuit of his passions. However, selfish as it may be, I want that tentacle back! First the sister moves to Atlanta, then the brother moves to LA (taking the parents with him for the time being) and all of a sudden I am left alone. You cannot be an octopus if you are one lone tentacle! Has anyone ever seen such an octopus?! Never! So come back all of you...okay, but don't. Keep roaming and searching and living life to its fullest because I have and will be doing the same, and you wouldn't bring me back either, no matter how much we wish we could all be together.

Like your families. Cherish them. They're God-given and in your life for some reason, regardless of how crazy they are or how crazy they drive you at times.

I leave you guys with a memory from our childhood. One that surely none of you will understand, but this memory has been worth so much to me lately. Big Elephants. A game that we made up that consisted of starting out on opposite sides of the room and stomping toward one another until we collided, landing in a big noisy heap on the ground. Does it get any better than Big Elephants? As we say in our family, "No way, Jose."

I love you, my dear octopus!!


Ooh la la!

Hello there!

This ginger has had many adventures lately-from just down the street to a little bit farther. I'm almost completely moved into the new house! It's a cute house, but not yet a home...I keep having fitful nights of sleep imagining that either bugs are swarming it or (my personal favorite) homeless men are living underneath the house. It'll take time, but I'm enjoying it so far.
My brother and I recently took a road trip down to Atlanta to visit my sister and her husband. More pictures and details of that adventure later.

As a reward for my diligence in running lately, my lovely achilles tendonitis has flared back up (oh I missed it so!). It first showed up while I was dancing en pointe in high school and went away after a bit of time. I feel lazy since I can't run...I really hope it disappears soon. If anybody has any cures for my ailment, share the good news! I would love it.

Finally one of my favorite bloggers Elise, (the adorable author of the
pennyweight blog) has launched a vintage store online that you absolutely MUST check out! It's called Troubadour Vintage and she has been diligently seeking out the most charming vintage clothing and accessories out there so that she can provide them for us at amazing prices!
Here are some of my favorites:
Don't even get me started on these boxer-style shorts.
They're adorable! Where else will you find such charming shorts? Seeing as how I'm drawn to everything yellow lately, these yellow
wedges are right up my alley.

Despite the fact that I'm not a big fan of pink, I cannot help myself with this
precious pink and white plaid dress.

This green high-waisted skirt is chic yet daring. Love it!
Okay, so those are my favorites...for now. On that note, GO. BUY. ENJOY!


20 days of summer

10 things inspiring my happiness during my remaining days of summer...

  1. the new anthropologie and free people catalogs which arrived in my mailbox just radiating their loveliness
  2. wandering aimlessly - by foot, in my car, with friends, alone, in silence, with musical accompaniment
  3. my mom admitting to secretly disliking the song "jesus loves me" - she claims it's too repetitive! :)
  4. getting mail...in the mailbox...yes, that kind of mail.
  5. npr - little known fact: i love listening to npr!
  6. planning trips to visit my sister in atlanta - most importantly, the fact that we planned to go running; first thing we've planned that doesn't have to do with eating or shopping! this is a big step for us.
  7. early mornings
  8. the lovely sounds of French musicians Camille and Carla Bruni
  9. julie & julia - quite cute, but mostly it just made me want to go home and cook.
  10. planning & preparing for the oakland house - except moving couches in the gross humidity of august! not a fun time.

hope you all are enjoying what is left of summer!

the ginger


easy like {saturday} mornin...

although i delight in all things spontaneous and adventurous, i must admit i am simultaneously very much a creature of habit.
i love having my morning oatmeal, my mid-morning workout,
and my nightly in-bed reading. but my most recently established
routine is my saturday morning:
i roll out of bed and head to yoga class, making it back home
just in time to watch A&E's "Flip This House"
(with a cup of coffee and my beloved oatmeal, of course).
this is what i'm eagerly anticipating as i head to bed on this friday night.


courtney's morning oatmeal
1/2 cup uncooked oats
1 cup water
1 TBS flaxseed meal
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

put the above ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and nuke for 2 1/2 minutes.
top with 1/2 sliced banana and berries of choice (right now, it's "basketball-sized" blueberries)

i hope you all have a lovely saturday, with your own favorite routines (or lack thereof).


a few things...

one of several videos by choreographer kate jablonski that i have been enjoying immensely this past week. she choreographs beautiful dances to sigur ros, imogen heap, kate nash, etc. this one is just precious! makes me so happy to be a dancer. enjoy. :)

working at a book review company and editing reviews all day, i have accumulated a huge list of books i want to read, and here are two that i want to get started on as soon as i finish my current book.

i saw the movie made after this book, and thought it was great!

i'm even more excited about reading the book. :)


"What's goin on? what's goin on"

hello my dears!

it has been too long since my last post - i've been working, applying for other jobs, learning more about chemistry than i would like - but is apparently necessary for a nutritionist - and trying to spend time with friends and family.

the only progress that has been made on the house are the electricity and water bills that have come in the mail. oh well. it'll come together soon enough...right?

the highlight of the past week was my sister's 22nd birthday. she was willing to part from her sweet husband for the day to come up from atlanta and join our family in celebrating her life so far! (i have to admit i liked shopping for her presents almost as much as i liked the celebration...not quite, but almost). after a great deal of wandering around the entire nashville area (and surrounding cities) i decided to get our new tea fanatic some loose leaf tea, and some cedar planks for grilling on (she's always making superb dinners for husband). i had way too much fun wrapping them, adding on some sweet cinnamon sticks i picked up from a garden shop while i was wandering. she's such a blessing in my life and i wish i could see her and celebrate her more often - happy birthday sis!


"blinded by the light"

If I were to show you a snapshot of me over the past two hours, you would see me sitting in the middle of my floor surrounded by and struggling with wires galore and mason jars. I want to hang mason jar lighting from my ceiling, but after exploring the option of lightbulbs, I decided to go for a more electricity-bill-friendly idea, filling the jars with anything from candles to the beautiful dried bouquet i saved from my best friend's wedding. But that result seems far off at this point - although I have finished wiring my jars, I now have to install the ceiling hooks *cue ominous, dread-inspiring music*. I can't wait to show you guys the final effect, but until then here are some variations of what I'd like to end up with:

an inspiring lighting display found by
apartment therapy at (where else?) anthropologie

a diy project featured on design*sponge
i hope all of you had a relaxing weekend! now bring on that manic monday...


Here it comes...

Okay...ready, aim, fire. I give you permission to dub me whatever you want: nerdy, childish, obsessive, etc. I will gladly take the flack for my love for Harry Potter any day! I have been a faithful Harry Potter lover since the first book came out, and have just as faithfully followed the movies. The 6th movie - "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" - is coming out in just 4 short days and I am oh so excited!
I can't help but be amazed at how lovely and grown-up they all are now! I feel like I grew up right along with them. So scroll right past this entry, if you must, or just give in and enjoy these pics of Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Daniel Radcliffe, all grown up.

*On another note, we signed on the house today! Stay tuned for pictures of our new abode!*



Surely I was not meant to be born an American. These women make me impossibly jealous.

cate blanchett

marion cotillard

juliette binoche

penelope cruz in vicky cristina barcelona


Damsel in Distress

Check it out!
In preparation for moving into the house, I’ve been on the lookout for nightstands, bookshelfs, chairs, etc. I was planning on leaving behind the nightstand that I use at my parent’s house, but decided instead I would paint and distress it to fit my new room!
I read up on how to distress furniture beforehand and then went to town!
Turns out that banging on furniture with hammers and socks full of nails & screws is therapeutic in its own way!
Here it is before…
Three days later, after some trips to home depot, anthropologie - for the knobs, which I love - (and a side-stop to whole foods for some kombuccha) here is the finished project:

Keep a lookout for pictures of it in its new home!


Wing Tip the Spick

"She has a gift. It is her eyes. They are so blue,
such a clear light blue, the same as cornflowers
with blue raindrops shining and dancing on silver leaves
after a sun shower in any of the summer months."
-Carl Sandburg, from "How They Bring Back the Village of Cream Puffs When the Wind Blows It Away"

For the first time all summer I am actually enjoying one of my summer courses! For American Lit I'm doing a project on author Carl Sandburg and I stumbled upon his collection of Children's fairytales with an American spin. They are such darling stories! From Wing Tip the Spick who lives in the "Village of Cream Puffs" to a story about "How to Tell Corn Fairies If You See 'Em," I found myself having just as much fun reading them now as I would have fifteen years ago. Look for it next time you're in an old bookstore and hang onto it to read to your kids - or yourself for that matter!

On another note, now that I have had to swallow the payments for setting up both electric and water at our house (yikes...) it seems almost impossible that i will ever be able to comfortably afford these lovelies i've been eyeing:

i adore this one-shoulder dress from americanapparel

Lovemely has a great deal more where this came from!


Away We Went

I recently returned from a delightful week in California that I absolutely must document…it was a week of relaxing, swimming, laughing, and loving (among other things).

Highlights of the adventure:

>My mom’s entire side of the family (consisting of 30+ people ranging from ages 3-70) crowded into a fabulously dysfunctional little vacation home in the gorgeous Lake Shasta area.
>Early morning coffee and breakfast on the deck
>Reading for hours
>Attempted wakeboarding, tubing and jetskiing,
>Nightly games, from the most raucus game of Bingo you’ve ever experienced to Scrabble tournaments that seriously made me question whether I loved my own mother or not. (Let’s not even talk about the 3-day ping pong tournament that included two separate brackets: winner’s and consolation brackets)
>Enough fresh California fruit to fill me up for the entire week. I couldn’t get enough!

I was sorry to leave, but so grateful that I have such an easily loveable family. Spending this past week with them blessed me so much and I doubt I could be more thankful for each and every one of them.


Oh how I would like...

July 10th will mark the day that my adorable roommates and I will be the official tenants of our precious home! I’ve been focusing on finding inexpensive furnishings or recycling old ones, but here are some items I wish I could splurge on:
thank you, urban outfitters if you wish to see the genius that inspired my love for this bed...
(page 20-21)
this stovetop espresso maker would provide such a lovely morning wakeup