Post

Rainy Day Tunes

Leave a reply

I’m one of those weird people that absolutely loves the rain, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out that today was the first day of a week long downpour.

I was somewhat dreading my drive home from work this evening, as drivers tend to panic when the ground is wet. So I turned my iPod on shuffle and it was as if it knew what I wanted to listen to… I couldn’t have chosen better music for driving in the rain. Nothing was ever skipped or started, my little green iPod just played these exact songs back to back. Plus, isn’t it the best when you can rediscover music that you already have? I had to share the amazingness.

p.s. I’m sure there’s a way for me to create an actual playlist, but I wanted to get these songs up here as fast as possible, with out going Google crazy for playlist how-tos. :-)

Enjoy!

“Videotape” by Radiohead


“Do You Realize?” by The Flaming Lips


“Ibiza Bar” by Pink Floyd


“Here is No Why” by Smashing Pumpkins

Post

Chop it off!

6 comments

I change my hair almost as often as I change my underwear. I’ve been a brunette, blonde, red head and every shade in between. My most recent look has been long blonde hair. Nothing too exciting, but I haven’t been blonde since I was 18 and I don’t usually have patience for growing my hair too long. As much as I had been anticipating having long hair, once I had it, it didn’t really matter.



It annoyed me more than anything with it’s weight and ability to always get in the way. So, I decided to cut off a good 8 inches. I thought I would feel regret and be sad that more than a years worth of growth would be gone, but that was not the case. My head feels 5 pounds lighter and it’s great!


I kept the blonde at first, but I took the plunge and went back to what feels the most me, red.



I’m thinking I should make a little series about my new hair adventures. I haven’t had my hair this short for a long time and I’ve never had very impressive hair styling skills, so now is the time to figure it out!

Post

Thoughts on Having a Job That You Love

6 comments

For the first time in my life, I have a job that I absolutely love. I never thought it was possible!

I’ll put this out there, I’ve had a lot of jobs… I mean… A LOT of jobs. I went through this phase at 18-20-ish years old that I would just change jobs like I would change my underwear. Have a bad day? Just quit! They didn’t give me the day I requested off? Just quit! Felt a little tired at the end of the day? You get the idea.

Anyway, I’ve had long term positions since then that have been fine, but they always felt like a job. You all know what I mean, you get a little grumpy on Sunday night because you know an entire week of that place you collect a check from is quickly approaching. That was me.

In Orange County, I worked at medium sized company with about 80 people. At first, I enjoyed it because it all felt so new to work at a big place at what seemed like an important role. The politics and the surplus of personalities made for an interesting place to work. Everything got old rather quickly. The customers, the product, the company, I just didn’t care. Two years in, I came home crying almost every day in one week, just pure frustration. I was done. I was very lucky though, I lived with a man that loved and supported me 100%… and he ended up getting a job offer in San Diego a few weeks later anyway! Perfect timing!

I had a job in San Diego that was, by far, the worst job I had ever had. The owner was the most disgusting man I had ever met. He would belittle, bully and scream at his own employees. I noticed his “character” during my interview, I should’ve saw the signs! I was being interviewed by these two lovely women that actually pumped me up for the job. They liked me enough to where they wanted me to meet the owner. He reluctantly came into the conference room, as if he was being so inconvenienced. They happily explained my qualifications to him and asked him if he had any questions for me, all he said was “Uh… no. The job’s not exactly rocket science.” Then he walked out. They laughed and then asked me if I’d accept the position. I assumed that if they laughed, he had to have been kidding!… right? I put up with that place as long as I could, but then I realized how ridiculous it was to make money for this man. No notice whatsoever, I came in one day, told him that I don’t want to work for him and left.

Enough of the bad and the ugly, here’s the good. I found a place I love and it was completely unexpected! I work at a family law firm, where every day is a little different, the clients are crazy and my co-workers are even crazier (in a very good way). This job challenges me, I don’t do the same dull tasks that I’ve been cursed with in previous positions. I work for two unbelievable attorney’s that trust me enough to throw me into a project I never would have dreamed to do. Of course there’s stressful days, angry clients and hectic schedules, but that’s what keeps us moving. The fact that the most intense days don’t break me, just shows that this is the job for me. Will I be at this firm forever? Probably not, but I love it now and it makes every day at work a good day.

One thing I have learned, is that the one thing that can make or break any job is the relationships you build. I’ve made great friends at both the good and bad jobs. Those are the people that help you get through the bad days and make the good days even better. I’m lucky enough to work with the most amazing 5 women and it’s the best feeling to look forward to being at work during the morning commute.

Post

Photo Excursion in San Francisco

3 comments

For as long as we have been together, my boyfriend Chris and I have had this thing for driving somewhere nice and taking photos. Even though we’ve had numerous photo excursions throughout our relationship, we’ve decided that it’s going to happen more often! It’s something that really brings us together and it’s a great excuse to capture beautiful sights.

Yesterday was our most recent adventure. We drove up the San Francisco, stopped at The Presidio, headed over to Baker Beach, drove across the bridge to Sausalito for dinner, then made our way back home. I suppose this is the part where I quit my babbling and post some photos! :-D

SF-2

A quick shot of Chris heading into the Presidio trails with his gear.


SF-6

We set up the tripod, in hopes of getting a nice photo together, but we ended up laughing at each other and being silly for pretty much every shot.

SF-2

This photo makes me laugh because it looks as if he was creeping up on me behind some bushes (which he totally was).

SF-4

Baker Beach was beautiful! Great view of the bridge… and naked dudes. No seriously, look at the photo, three bare assed men in this photo alone. haha

SF-7

We found these neat looking bunkers, all boarded up and rusted, but they made for some great photos.

SF-17

We even managed to get a nice photo!

SF-24

While we were driving away from Baker Beach, we saw the most perfect light coming through these trees! Amazing photos will now ensue…

SF-10

Messing with his settings.

SF-25

Chris was going for a “300″ movie feel, he definitely accomplished it!

SF-12

I couldn’t help myself, such a stud muffin.

Post

Southern California vs. Northern California

6 comments

Having lived in the Bay Area for a year now, I get asked this question a lot… “How do you like it?” It doesn’t take me long to respond, “I like it a lot!” It’s true, I do like the Bay Area quite a bit, but more than Southern California? That’s a tough call. Some may think that it’s still California, it couldn’t possibly be that different! That’s where you’re wrong, there are many differences that I would like to share.

Griffith Observatory

The view of Los Angeles from Griffith Observatory.

I was born and raised in Ontario, California, also known as part of the Inland Empire, the 909 or that city near Riverside with a lot of cows. I didn’t stick around much longer than necessary, I moved to Hesperia (High Desert, Hellsperia) with my older sister when I was 19. From there we moved to this beautiful cabin-like home in Wrightwood, 6,000 feet elevation into the glorious mountains. I eventually made my way over to Orange County, I liked it, but it was somewhat stale. Then San Diego happened(I miss it). So, I guess you can say that I know my way around Southern California!

Ano Nuevo

Seals and a creepy house in Ano Nuevo State Park.

My boyfriend and I ventured up to the Bay Area at the beginning of 2013, it’s been an interesting year. Being away from my family and best friends has been a challenge, but there have been many visits and Skype conversations. We live in the South Bay, but have visited and explored every inch of the Bay Area. It’s been an adventure checking out all of the restaurants, hiking trails, parks, touristy points. That said, I feel as though I can now make a relatively plausible comparison of the North and South. I shall go through the points that stood out to me the most.

Food:
NorCal – I’ll give the Bay Area some credit where it’s due, there’s endless possibilities with eating establishments! There’s always a new place to try, plenty of options in every little downtown area (even in the South Bay). One of our favorite things to do while living here is checking out new places to eat.

SoCal – As exciting and new everything is in the Bay Area, I still catch myself missing certain places in SoCal. Pho Ever in Vista, Port in Corona Del Mar, Flame Broiler, Zovs in Irvine, Trattoria I Trulli in Encinitas, Claire’s in Solana Beach… just some amazing places! I would say it’s easier to find a variety of great places in the Bay Area, but I’ve had more memorable meals in SoCal.

Traffic:
NorCal – Ok, I will say this without hesitation, I HATE NorCal traffic! I’ve never been around such slow, scared, bad drivers in my life… this is coming from someone that’s been in L.A. traffic her entire life. Even the freeways are different, the carpool lane is only the carpool lane during rush hour times during the week (5am – 9am and 3pm – 7pm). Most freeways only have 3 lanes total, including the temporary-carpool lane. This is my least favorite thing about living in NorCal. I used to love driving, now I cringe at the thought of it. Ugh! *shakes fist at NorCal traffic*

SoCal – Driving in SoCal is a dream after living in NorCal, traffic included.

Things to do:
NorCal – Obviously NorCal has San Francisco, which is pretty much one of my favorite cities ever. It’s so beautiful and unique compared to every other large city. I find something new to explore every time I head up to the city. There’s so many awesome day trips around here! Napa is a big one, Lake Tahoe, Reno, Yosemite, Santa Cruz. These are all a given, but even the smaller cities have a lot to offer. Bike trails that go on for miles, rolling hills to hike, parks galore, street fairs all the time, it’s pretty amazing up here.

Redwoods

An outing in the Redwoods.

SoCal – As someone from the Inland Empire, I know very well that you have to drive to get to anywhere interesting. I still stand by this. Yes, Southern California has a lot to offer, but only in certain areas. Most of SoCal is suburbia, simple as that. My family lives close to Mount Baldy, but you still have to drive 30-60 minutes to get there. Los Angeles has great museums, San Diego has beautiful beaches and Orange County has some decent shopping… but you have to drive to all of these places. Even if you’re lucky enough to live in these locations, the “sights” get old and you’re left driving somewhere new for something interesting. I love SoCal, but NorCal has kept me more entertained. :-)

Mojave

Camping in the Mojave Desert with my dad.

Living in general:
NorCal – Holy overpriced housing, Batman! Chris and I are living in a house out in the boonies because we wanted something nice, but within our budget. I’ll put this out there as well, we gave ourselves a hefty budget… and it still barely cut it! We could afford a sprawling estate with land and still have money to spare in the Inland Empire, with the budget we gave ourselves here. Buying is just as scary, luckily we don’t plan on buying anytime soon, especially in the Bay Area. If you want a modest family home in a relatively safe area, it’ll be about a million dollars. I’m not even kidding. I honestly thought San Francisco would be bad, but didn’t expect such madness in the South Bay! Aside from the horrendous cost of living and rage inducing traffic… it’s pretty great up here. There’s always something to do, something to see, something to eat. We’ve enjoyed our time here very much and look forward to the continuing adventure.

SoCal – Oh, how I miss thee. I remember thinking “there has to be something better than this place.” I was consumed with trying to find somewhere that could blow SoCal out of the water… I have yet to find it. Southern California definitely has it’s cons and is far from perfect, but I guess that’s why I love it so much. It’s home, it’s honest, it’s a crazy place that gives me the warm n’ fuzzies. I miss the beaches, the easy going people, the huge freeways, the Griffith Observatory, the variation in neighborhoods/towns but most of all, I miss my family and my friends. There’s nothing better than calling SoCal your home, it feels like it’s yours.

Lake Elsinore

Lake Elsinore from Hwy 74.

Beach

Running along a SoCal beach.

Perhaps being a Southern California native has a big influence on my comparison of the two, but I guess that’s just the way it goes. It’s home and at the end of the day, it’s about the feeling you get when you’re in the right place.

Post

New Year, New Blog and New Beginnings

9 comments

As many of my readers have noticed, my blog entries are far from consistent. It’s not because I don’t love baking or blogging, it’s mostly because I get lost. I’m one of those people that is interested in everything! I feel the urge to share multiple things with you all, but this is a baking blog, which means I should just bake, right? Well, things are going to change around here.

I’m no longer going to just be a pair of hands rolling cookie dough. I want to step out and make a more personal blog. I’d like to share big events, as well as little tid bits in my every day life. Don’t get me wrong, there will still be baking! I just want to share my other interests with you as well. I hope this doesn’t disappoint my current readers, as your support is very much appreciated.

Without further ado, my new blog… OhCourtney.com. The domain name has been purchased, entries are ready to go up and I’m very excited. I want to keep theovenmitt.com web address for a little while longer, just to ease the transition. The new blog was supposed to be up n’ runnin’ before the holidays, but alas, it didn’t work out that way. As you can see, she’s still a work in progress, but it’ll get there shortly!

I’d like to kick off my more personal blog with 20 random facts about myself. I would love to know more about you all as well, definitely leave me some facts about yourself in the comments!

1. I’m the middle child and it’s true, we’re freaks.
2. My absolute favorite color is green.
3. I LOVE dinosaurs.
4. The Griffith Observatory is one of my favorite places to go.
5. I have a thing for late 90s/early 2000s rap and hip hop.
6. I order a plain cheeseburger at In N Out.
7. I’m 5’4″.
8. I became an aunt when I was 12 years old.
9. If I’m not wearing chapstick I will bite the skin off of my lips.
10. I prefer cold, gloomy weather.
11. I travelled to Scotland, England, Paris, Germany and Amsterdam with my mom, as a graduation gift.
12. My celebrity crushes are Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba and Jake Gyllenhaal.
13. My first job was at Costco.
14. My favorite thing to bake is cookies.
15. I’m my father’s twin. We look exactly alike and act alike, reserved, weird and handy.
16. I could eat breakfast food all day, every day, forever.
17. My first concert was Trust Company, Disturbed and Korn, when I was 14.
18. The song “Wishing” by A Flock of Seagulls always makes me cry because it makes me think of/miss my Mom.
19. My favorite tv show is “Breaking Bad.”
20. I get very angry when someone/something scares me, as you can imagine, I’m not a fan of horror movies.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Post

Neapolitan Cupcakes

24 comments

I was feeling particularly cupcake deprived, when I realized that the Oven Mitt hasn’t seen cupcakes for a while! I knew the exact cupcakes I wanted to bake too… well, sort of. I’ve had “Neapolitan Cupcakes” in my head for ages, I just wasn’t sure which route I wanted to go with them. Vanilla cupcakes with strawberry filling and chocolate frosting? No, I’ve already made vanilla cupcakes with strawberry filling. Strawberry cupcakes? Chocolate cupcakes? I couldn’t decide, when it finally hit me. I was going to put vanilla and chocolate into one cupcake, with strawberry frosting. This recipe made 12 cupcakes.
Neapolitan Cupcakes

Ingredients for vanilla cupcake portion:
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup flour
• 34 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350F

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, then add the egg and vanilla extract.
Vanilla portion

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture, pour in the milk and beat until smooth.

Now whip up the chocolate batter!

Ingredients for the chocolate cupcake portion:
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 cup flour
• 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 egg
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into one medium bowl.

One at a time, add the egg, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Beat the batter on medium speed until smooth.

In a small sauce pan, boil the 1/2 cup of water and add the cocoa powder to create a chocolate sauce. Add the chocolate sauce to the cake batter and mix well.

Prepare your cupcake liners in a muffin pan or a regular pan. Pour the vanilla cupcake into the liner about 1/3 of the way, then pour in the chocolate batter another 1/3.
Combine vanilla and chocolate

Bake the cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While your cupcakes cool, it’s time to prepare the strawberry frosting!
Slice strawberries

Ingredients for strawberry frosting:
• 1 1/2 cups of sliced strawberries
• 1 cup butter
• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 cups powdered sugar

Beat the strawberries in a blender on high for about a minute or until there’s no more large chunks.

Pour the blended strawberries into a sauce pan, bring them to a boil on medium heat.

While stirring often, continue to heat the strawberries in the sauce pan for about 20-25 minutes. The longer they reduce, the more of a fragrant strawberry taste you will have. The puree will end up being about half the amount that you originally poured in.

Once finished, set the strawberry puree aside to cool.

Sift powdered sugar
On medium/high speed, beat the butter in a mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar and the vanilla extract to the butter until just blended.

Reduced strawberries
Now pour about a teaspoon of the strawberry puree into the frosting mixture, then alternate with another cup of powdered sugar. Repeat until all ingredients are combined. If you desire a stiffer frosting, add more powdered sugar.

Frost your cooled cupcakes and you’re all set! I stored my cupcakes in the fridge to keep the strawberry frosting on point. :-)
Flower-like