That Cortnie Girl

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Cookin’ With Cortnie // Vegan Dumpling Stew + Surprise!

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Dude. I did it. I made the best ever stew—with fucking dumplings! Check out the recipe over at Post Punk Kitchen and freak out over the deliciousness of what you make. 

Here are some things:

  • So I’m a novice cooker. I really don’t cook much, and I’m trying to change that. This was the perfect recipe to try out for the first time. I had such a blast. But shit, why does it take so long to chop things?! 
  • I put 1/2 TBSP instead of 1/2 TSP of paprika. Whoops. It turned out fine though.
  • If you don’t have a potato peeler, a butter knife works! Just make sure you wet the potato first—peeling after washing helps this.
  • I couldn’t find navy beans at the grocery store, so I used great northern and they tasted great!
  • I left it on a little longer than 25 minutes, added the dumplings (which were the easiest thing to make ever) and cooked it for another 15 minutes. 

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I was so freaking nervous to try this after it was done cooking. It looked delicious but I’ve cooked some gross ass things in my past, so I wasn’t sure if it’d be good. BUT IT WAS. I am so stuffed right now and can’t wait for leftovers tonight. Jen loved it, too!

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ps. Jen proposed to me on my birthday. I, of course, said yes, and we are now engaged to be married! I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life. Here are some pictures from our engagement. :-)

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Love and light to you all,

xo Cortnie

26 Before 27

I JUST TURNED 26 HOW WEIRD. 

I love lists and I’ve never had a bucket list, so here are 26 things I want to do before I turn 27 next year. :)

  1. get more comfortable on my bike. 
  2. blog more consistently.
  3. make a huge cross stitch.
  4. meditate more often.
  5. go on a road trip with no plans.
  6. publish an ebook of poetry and short stories.
  7. volunteer my time for something I am passionate about.
  8. fill at least two notebooks with my thoughts and doodles.
  9. paint something on a huge canvas and hang it up.
  10. work my hardest to find a full time career.
  11. color my hair a dark vampy color.
  12. stay vegan.
  13. submit writing to a major publication—even if it’s shot down.
  14. go on relaxing night walks.
  15. cut down on smoking.
  16. sleep in nature a handful of times.
  17. cook and bake.
  18. reduce and reuse and recycle.
  19. document my life through pictures more frequently.
  20. sell or donate half of my closet.
  21. learn how to play five songs on the guitar.
  22. speak up during instances of injustice—no matter how uncomfortable it is.
  23. learn to be more patient.
  24. smile and be sincere when talking to people I don’t really know.
  25. speak my truth and glorify my confidence more often.
  26. read at least ten books.

New Things Are Good Things // Going Vegan

I wanted to do it for so many years and I can finally say it: I’ve been vegan for eight months. I have held a passion for animals for as long as I can remember. I was vegetarian for a handful of years and hated that I never went all the way with it. My studies of feminism also lead to my wonder—I met many vegans along my journey through college and always internally clapped at their willpower. It wasn’t until I really sat down to think about why I hadn’t tried to be vegan that I became more curious. Once I watched the documentary Earthlings I realized the intensity of animal cruelty in our world—and I truly felt an urge to change my life. Through the story, I learned more than I could have ever imagined, and I recommend the movie to anyone and everyone.

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I used to look at vegans and be like, whooooooa how do you live without cheese?! but now I totally get it. I’m going to be completely honest right now—giving up cheese wasn’t that bad. Yeah, it maybe was a little weird at first. Like when I’d go to Chipotle and not douse my bol in cheese and sour cream. Or like when I couldn’t use regular butter. But, listen. I realized a few things. You can actually taste your Chipotle when it isn’t covered in white globs and Earth Balance is the bomb. Also, nutritional yeast is delicious. Google it. The whole dairy thing isn’t hard—except for when I get this weird relentless need for McDonald’s breakfast. It isn’t too terrible to get past those thoughts though, I simply remember what I know about how animals are abused, how my human body doesn’t crave dairy anymore, and if you want to disregard animals in this scenario entirely? I would probably barf everywhere if sour cream was anywhere near my lips. A huge struggle is reading EVERY SINGLE LABEL of EVERY SINGLE THING you eat. You’d be surprised at what foods have milk in them ie fucking crackers.

Being vegan has completely influenced my feminism. I realize that being vegan is a privilege. Not that fruits and veggies are an insane amount of money, but they are more money and more complicated than driving through a fast food restaurant and getting a cheeseburger for a dollar. While being vegan is a privilege, I am a recent college graduate with no full time gig, so I do have to be creative. More than anything, my feminism has expanded. Understanding the importance of all living things truly makes me care more for the entire world. This includes the people in it. I know that my future and my feminism will always include animals. Not surprisingly, people have commented on my vegan identity—asking if I’m on a diet. People have also “complimented” what they see as apparent weight loss and have had unsolicited discussions about my body. This has definitely made me analyze and really dig deep down into body politics.

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So how do I feel? Well, as I just mentioned, my body seems to be on display in an entirely different way—apparent weight loss. This is something I’m struggling with. Whether someone is commenting on my “shrinking” body in a positive way or someone simply tells me I’ve lost weight—it triggers me. I feel like it always will. I want people to know that I didn’t go vegan so that my body would change. I haven’t weighed myself in years, and I don’t intend to. This has definitely lead to self-reflection and realizations of my truth. Because of that, I am happy. So where or what do I eat? I eat a lot of Chipotle and Taco Bell. You’d be surprised at how simple it is to switch things at TBell to fit vegan standards. I recognize that these are huge corporations, but my lack of money makes it difficult to eat the way my politics sway. I also have been cooking more than I ever had before. I make a MEAN tofu scramble. I’ll make sure I post a recipe for y’all sometime. Meat was never a huge staple in my meal choosings, but dairy definitely was. I eat a lot of veggies—straight out of the damn steam-bag most of the time.

My future is definitely going to continue to include veganism. I plan on learning how to make more meals. I know that when I have my own animal again, it will be vegan. If I ever have a kid, she will also be vegan. I will continue to educate myself and others who are curious. I am happy to be an eight month vegan, and I can’t wait to continue on my journey.

Fat Girl & A Bike

I remember riding my bike when I was a little kid. I had so much fun riding around my grandmother’s senior living park place. It was so fun to act like I was a car—I’d stop at stop signs and everything. I might have been a nerd. Fast forward to a handful of years ago and there I was wishing I could ride a bike again. There wasn’t a specific situation that made me think of it; I woke up and had a weird urge. But there was a problem now. I was scared to get a bike. I was afraid I’d sit on it and it would look like someone put a torch to the metal from my body weight. I had this terrible vision that I’d start riding but the tires wouldn’t move because my body was too heavy. So, welp, I didn’t get a bike.

Earlier this year, though, something changed. I started my research, not without fear. My girlfriend and I went to Target and she road around on a bike for a few minutes. It was really tall, and I’m super short. I tried to get on it. There were people around, so I rolled it into one of the aisles with work out gear. I put my purse down. I tilted the bike down so I could swing my leg around, and of course it didn’t work out so well. I’m 5’2” on a tall day, and this bike was made for someone who was at least 5’6” or something. My leg ended up getting stuck and I fell into the aisle—knocking down the yoga mats and workout DVDs. I was humiliated. I felt like I was going to poop out my heart. I wanted to cry. I did a little. Did this mean I couldn’t get a bike? My anxiety surely told me that it was the end of the road for my bicycle journey. 

I didn’t give up. I knew what kind of bike I wanted and I was determined. I called all of the bike shops around Cincinnati, trying to figure out some prices. Then, something happened inside me and I grew a little more brave. I decided to go to a bike shop—without calling or anything. Jen and I walked in and it was like bicycle heaven. They were everywhere! And damn are they expensive! Even though I had student loans, I still couldn’t afford much. Then. Out of nowhere. I saw her.

She was this little cruiser. No gears. She had an adorable basket on the front. But she was pink. I’m not so great with pink. I was sad again. Was it just not meant for me to have a bike? Maybe it was Goddess’s way to tell me that I really would melt the metal with my body weight. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. I ended up getting a second wind and went to another location, about an hour away, where they had tons of the style bikes that I wanted. 

I walked in and holy god. I was so excited. There were two guys working there at the time, and I got nervous again thinking they’d be judging me or ask me questions about my intentions in getting a bicycle. But they didn’t. I took the bike outside for a test drive and I nearly wrecked it, but I didn’t care. I had to have it. 

I got it home and I road it around some more. I was doing it! I wasn’t falling off or anything. The next day Jen and I went to a bike trail and I wrecked. I fell right on over, into grass, and I cried a whole lot. I thought it wasn’t going to happen for me. It’s still really hard to do it, honestly. Jen’s really fast on her bike, and I’m a little snail trying to keep up most of the time. But I do it. We go to parks and ride around. We go on side roads and ride around. It might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but damn it’s a huge deal for me. It is one way for me to move my body without feeling intensely triggered with weight loss shit. I get sweaty and feel gross and can’t breathe but I feel empowered. I feel absolutely glorious and weightless on my bike. 

I haven’t ridden it in forever and I miss it a lot. I think I’ll give my bike some love tomorrow. 

I’ve been healing a bit after my stressful year of school. But—good news, I am completely finished. No more school for me. Ever. I’d rather spend my time learning how to do other things that I enjoy. Some of that includes writing. Some of it is reading. Some of it is collage-making. Some of it is making stamps. Some of it is needlepoint. Embrace what makes you happy, and good things will come.

The above are two of my most recent collages. The first one, Dead, was created with Mike Brown and Ferguson on my brain. My heart goes out to the people there. I will continue to create dialogue surrounding the horrific things the police around the US are doing to people of color and other marginalized people. The second, Social Anxiety, is about my own anxiety disorder. It reflects my urge to socialize, but how stressful and anxiety ridden that tends to be for me sometimes. So there’s that. I am so happy that I can do things that I love again, which includes updating this page. 

xo 
Cortnie

unsafe environments

Consent is required for whatever contact you decide to have with a person. Whether that consent is verbal or physical, it is necessary. Yesterday I experienced two men use me as a prop after making it clear I was uncomfortable and later on had to deal with men acting ridiculous at a show I was very excited about, pushing people violently and making nearly everyone anxious. I have also recently been dealing with men telling me to smile, grabbing my arm to see my tattoo, and showing that their needs are more important than mine.

I am completely uncomfortable being around entitled men because they apparently don’t understand that other peoples’ bodies are not there for them to use and abuse. I have also been having a really hard time vocalizing my issues with these men, and I’ve been struggling with myself and my identity because of it. Being uncomfortable really impacts whether or not you feel like you can say anything. I’m here to say that if you feel uncomfortable, you have every right in the world to vocalize it. I support you.

Sending you my love,
Cortnie

Crop tops for fat girls rule, okay?

I’ve had crop tops. I actually have three now with this lovely gothy addition. I never wore them in public unless I was also wearing some high waisted pencil skirt as well. Well, this week that changed.

I really love my belly. I try to give my belly all of the love that I know it deserves. This past few weeks though, I’ve been struggling. This is normal. I have to remind myself that this is normal. Shit happens in our lives that impact other aspects of our beings. I’ve had a stressful semester, I’m still not finished with graduate school, I have to rewrite my thesis, and I just keep thinking FUCK. I’m so out of control of that part of my life, and I’m down on myself. I try my best to stay positive, practice revolutionary love, and radical self worship but I still feel like I’m falling backwards sometimes.

Questions run through my mind. Who am I to talk about fat politics and self love when I’m falling victim within the same breath? I have to remind myself that self love is a process, a journey, and a lifetime commitment. One that I refuse to give up on. We are allowed to feel sad sometimes. We are allowed to not like our bodies all of the time. The messages we see or hear everyday are petrifying. I can be at work and hear an obscene amount of diet talk within an hour. I can turn on the television and see a commercial shaming my body. I can be walking in public and deal with internalized shit. Anything. Fat people deal with this garbage everyday and because of that there is not going to be a constant perfect vision of ourselves. We’re taught to hate ourselves. How do you rid your mind of all of that bullshit after so many fucking years? It’s a damn struggle.

I’ll be honest. I was fucking terrified to walk out into the world in my crop top. I was hesitant. I locked my apartment door and turned to my girlfriend, “should I go back and change? I should go back and change.” But I kept walking. We walked outside and she grabbed my hand and said, “see? Nothing happened, did it?” And she was right. Well, partly. Nothing happened to the people around me. But something happened to me that day. Never had I bared so much skin in public, even if it’s just my stomach. Never had I felt comfortable doing it. I had always longed for something cute and sassy like a cut off shirt, but I never had the guts to do it. But that day. That day when I walked out of that door. Something happened.

Forget God, I’m Worshipping Myself

Hello after a long hiatus! I am slowly but surely getting through my graduate program—I have less than a handful of weeks left, which is terrifying! I will definitely be posting more as things cool off. Right now I’m ignoring my thesis, so there’s that.

A few weeks ago, after seeing posts upon posts dedicated to Lent on my Facebook news feed (and realizing I knew a zillion Catholics) I was frustrated. Many of the posts I read were about weight loss, giving up certain foods, and the usual. I thought about it and wondered— does this God really care if you eat chocolate? Does your God notice if you skip out on red meat or chicken and have what is called a “meat-free Friday” by eating fish (ps that’s still meat)? I decided that I needed to hit replay on my radical self worship.

In this time of my life, I either engulf myself in school work, or I completely ignore it and act like it doesn’t exist. If I’m not doing either of those things, I’m obsessing over what I’ll be doing after I graduate—what if I can’t find a job? What if I can’t pay my student loans? What will happen? I’ve been a student for 7 years, 19 if we include my childhood time in school. I don’t know how to exist without being a student. Just like I am right now, I waterfall into all of these issues. We all know that none of these things are positive for my mojo.

I realized that I need to step back and forgive myself. Forgive myself for ignoring homework. Forgive myself for neglecting my cats from cuddles. Forgive myself for maybe eating too much ice cream. Forgive myself and apologize to my loved ones for snapping. Forgive myself for all of it and move on. In order to do this, I had to show myself some love. What do I try to do now?

I cuddle my cats more.
I take bubble baths.
I ignore outside negativity as much as I can.
I tell my girlfriend how much she means to me as often as I can.
I make to do lists for my school work and try my best to follow them.
I cook.
I practice more community love.
I hang out in the grass.
I ride my new bike (another post!).
I Netflix marathon when I need to.
I don’t let my anxiety hold me back from meeting friends at a bar.

Overall, I show myself the love that I need and deserve. And I feel better. A lot better. My anxiety is improved. My attitude is more positive. I smile more often. I check myself, ya know?

I hope you all can do this for yourselves as well. It seems so tiny, but the simplest thing can really impact the energy surrounding you. 

I’m sending you love. xo

I find it ironic to give up something I enjoy for over a month, so in the name of goddess I’ve decided to purposefully worship myself everyday for 40 days.

Don’t forget to like my Facebook page, y’all.

I find it ironic to give up something I enjoy for over a month, so in the name of goddess I’ve decided to purposefully worship myself everyday for 40 days.

Don’t forget to like my Facebook page, y’all.