Graduation Weekend (according my iPhone)

IMG_5958 IMG_5941                                    In our not-so-cute gowns                                         Our “party” cab on the way to the reception

These past few days have been chaotic and amazing. Josh and I spent Memorial Day Weekend at my family’s home as we wedding venue hunted and attended a graduation party for my best friend Sasha who also graduated from law school. Yesterday, I graduated and I cannot believe I made it! It’s so cliche, but I could not have gotten this far without the support of my family and friends. My parents believed in me despite my downfalls, were proud of me no matter what, and called to check in and tell me they loved me everyday. Josh withstood tons of meltdowns and tears, told me I was still beautiful despite my puffy crying eyes, read to me when my vision got blurry, and made me dinner and forced me to eat when I was deep into finals. And my law school friends, especially my library ladies, kept me sane as we spent late nights laughing in the library, talked about constitutional law on our late night walks home (Marissa), printed me over 50 pages of outlines when I freaked out because I broke my printer the night before an exam (Lindsey), and showed me that it’s okay and totally normal (at least between us) to cry to our men (Elyssa). As Josh said, we all deserve this JD!


A DryBar blowout and champagne before our graduation


Lots of celebratory food, including this from Sasha’s party (and way more at Sarabeth’s with my family)


We did it!






Five Things

A few weeks ago, my friend Katie tagged me in a blog post to share 5 things about myself. I share many of my favorite things on, but besides my few favorite topics that I discuss again and again, I thought it would be fun to take it to another level. So without further ado, here are 5 random things about me…

1. About 75% of the time, I’m running late.  If I know I have to be somewhere, I’ll force myself to get ready extra early. But then while I get ready, and know that I have extra time, I allow myself to get distracted. A phone call. A Sex and the City rerun on tv. Ahhh, it is such a problem. When Josh and I make plans, he’s started to tell me the wrong time (15-30 minutes earlier than actuality). Its worked so far! Ish.

2. I’m a nerd. A major nerd. I love to read. And when I have free time, usually in the summers, I read at least a book a week. I love getting lost in a made up world and it’s definitely less shameful than watching a Real Housewives marathon (which I have been known to have).

3. My middle name is Starr (not my last name). When I was little I was so embarrassed of it and I really wanted a normal name like Samantha or Jen. But as I grew up I started to like it more and more because it makes me a little bit different!

4. I’m afraid of every kind of insect except butterflies. I know its irrational, but I cannot stand them. I can’t kill them myself either and I may or not freak out until I get someone to kill it for me.

5. I’m terrible with any technology (other than my beloved laptop). I often have issues working our remote control (for our television). I think I’ve broken my printer 3 times. I haven’t broken my camera ever but I always think I did, then I remember to turn it on.

Thanks for tagging me, Katie! And now I want to know, what are five things about you: Amy, Hitha, Lucy, and Mara? And also, my readers, please share some funny things about yourself in the comments below!



josh - man behind the blog girlavantgarde

I talk about Josh in about 4/5 posts. I just love him. A lot. Since starting my blog I’ve received countless requests by many of you for some photos of him. But I mentioned, although he’s my biggest supporter, he’s totally camera shy. I did sneak some photos in this post, and let you in on 50 things about us here. But finally, finally, I persuaded him to be featured. (A little bit of whining and a puppy face while wearing his favorite sweatshirt, and the guy couldn’t say no. Okay, fine. A lot of whining.)

Anyway, what better way to introduce you than with a feature in Victoria’s “Man Behind the Blog” column. If you don’t know Victoria’s blog vmac & cheese, well then you must go check it out. It’s one of my favorite blogs. Ever. Period. Without further ado, click here to meet Josh and see his thoughts on blogging.


Sunday was the happiest day of my life. I’m still crying every half hour when I think back to it. (If you think you see an ogre in NY, don’t worry. It’s just me. Disguised behind really puffy crying eyes.)

A few weeks ago Josh told me his co-worker got engaged and we were invited to his engagement party at the Central Park Boathouse on Sunday, April 14, at 1pm. The reason for no invitation…”we are last minute invites.” What’s the wedding registry…”we’re last minute invites, and the actual wedding is in Florida, so he insists we don’t give a gift.” But Josh “purchased” a Bloomingdales “gift card” anyway.

As I got ready in the morning Josh went out to pick up a gift bag and card. I wrote out the card when he got home and he even insisted I sign it Josh and Courtney (not Courtney and Josh).  All the details. There were no signs!

Then we were on our way. It was such a beautiful day in NYC. Low 60s, incredibly sunny. Actually as we walked to the subway I sang this song to Josh. And he just held my hand and laughed with me.

When we got to the park Josh led me in, what he said, was the direction of the boathouse. I didn’t think twice about looking up directions myself because I trust Josh with everything I do and never think twice. (Apparently, we were nowhere near the boathouse. Little did I know).  As we walked and held eachothers’ hands he pointed out some pretty cherry blossom trees at the top of the hill and asked if I wanted to take a picture there really quickly. I immediately thought about a blog photo opp, obviously. So, yes!

We climbed the hill, my heels dug into the soil, and when we reached the top we stood beneath the most beautiful flowering tree and Josh got down on his knee and proposed! He told me he wanted to be together forever, forgot the rest of his planned speech, and asked me to marry him. I gracefully responded, “Is this a joke? Are you kidding?” As he pulled the most beautiful, sparkling perfect ring out of the gift box he answered, “Is that a yes?”.  YES!!! And we cried and embraced.

Then he said he had another small surprise and led me downtown about 8 blocks. While I floated there next to him (because floating on clouds is the only way you walk 8 blocks painlessly in heels), I asked him if our parents knew. He said no, but we’d call them when we got home. While we walked, all I could think was that I would not tell them on the phone. We’d have to visit all of them today. I don’t know how we’d do it but we would. Then we walked into the restaurant, and SURPRISE! Both our families were eagerly waiting. Including his mom and sisters who flew in from the South. I cried. They cried. We all cried. Josh made a toast over champagne and we all talked about the future.

I cannot wait to be married to my best friend and love of my life. And as I write this, here I go again crying and my eyes are puffing up and I look like Shrek. But it doesn’t matter because we’re engaged. And so so so very happy. And I cant wait to share all the special moments along the way as we plan our wedding together.

Love, Courtney

P.S. Regular posting will resume next Monday. Taking the week off to come down from the clouds gracefully.

we're engaged

girlavantgarde engagement

courtney girlavantgarde engaged


cherry blossom tree

Something big happened yesterday beneath this cherry blossom tree in Central Park. I’m still floating on cloud 9. So you’ll have to excuse me while I take the day off from Girl Avant Garde today. But, I promise, tomorrow’s post will make up for it completely. COMPLETELY! I can’t wait to share!