About Courtney Out Loud

I have always been jealous of those people who knew what they wanted from an early age. Those individuals who had a guts and drive to achieve their goals and dreams. I am what I think qualifies would call a "professional coward". So I played everything by a pre-determined route; a route that led me to get three academic degrees in five years from Stanford & spend the last 10 working in high-tech marketing and event planning. In the winter of 2010, I found the courage to do two things: (1) quit my job & (2) apply to culinary school. Surprisingly, I got into the CIA Greystone and even more surprising is that I decided to pack up and move to Healdsburg, CA to see if I could make a go of being a professional chef. August 23, 2010 marks the day that I begin this new journey and begin to live my life out loud.

Motivational Monday: Holiday Cheer …

Edna Ferber Quote

I was talking with a few friends and they all agree that for some reason Christmas this year just does not “feel” typical.  It’s like putting on your favorite cashmere sweater only to find out that it’s too small, itchy & uncomfortable.  Something seems to be off and I am determined to figure out what it is.  This week, I have given myself a mandate – find your joy.  Find your bliss.  Find your inner Santa.

Whether it’s with families and friends or at the bottom of a mug of spiked egg nog, the mission is simple – get out of my head and get into the season.  I need the “holiday magic” – it’s better than any anti-depressant.  I am in desperate need of some “Christmas Prozac”.  So I am putting on my PJs, cranking up the holiday tunes and immersing myself in babies, baking and boozing. I figure one of the three should make this Scrooge McGrinch smile…..

[photo credit:  aubrie pick]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Christmas Play List …

I have a horrible, dark secret to share…..

I am not a fan of Christmas music.  I spent my fair share of holidays working retail in my younger days.  When you are subjected to holiday music starting in October that is on repeat from anywhere to 4 to 12 hours at a time, you start to develop tics.  To this day, I break out into a cold sweat when “A  Holly Jolly Christmas” comes on the radio.  But I also know how incredibly important music is to setting an overall mood, so I asked my assistant Michelle to help me curate a playlist that could lift my spirits but not leave me in a state of music PTSD.

Working from her favorite Spotify music selections Michelle created a playlist that was both naughty and nice; a healthy dose of indy rock punctuated with some traditional tunes.  It’s just want this Grinch needed to finally get himself 100% into the holiday spirit…..

[click here or on the image below to start playlist]

Song Collage

Okay, I am off to run those errands that always seem to creep up at the last minute but at last now I have a sound track for the day!  Have a great weekend and good luck with last minute shopping!!!!

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Decorating for Christmas with SheKnows.com …

I know I am a lucky boy to have a garage (aka ample storage) in the city.  Walls lined with shelving is what helps me to keep my hoarding…errr collecting tendencies in check.  It also allows me to keep a nice little stash of holiday and other seasonal decor at my finger tips.  However, what happens when storage is at a premium and the thought of sacrificing precious closet space for Christmas ornaments is too much to bear?

Well that is exactly what we are talking about this month for my SheKnows.com column…..

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Matter of fact, what would you say if I said with some smart shopping, thoughtful planning and upcycling your year-round home decor, you could fit everything you need for Christmas into one box, including the a tree? Honest!  To get everything to fit into a box, think outside the box…..

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And what if I told you to forget about holiday florals?  Don’t want to waste the money on temporary arrangements?  I am all about ditching the poinsettia for something more hip and perhaps even permanent…..

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So are you tempted to learn more about my Christmas decorating secrets?  Well go visit SheKnows.com to find out how you can have a fabulously decorated Christmas that won’t burst your bank or leave you bursting at the seams!

[photo credit: photo by adza//art direction & styling: courtney lake ]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.