Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mid-Month Must Haves

I love the end of the month "monthly favorites" videos, but I always miss them in the middle of the month. So I thought I'd switch it up and start something new--Mid Month Must Haves.  This is basically the same thing, a random compilation of my favorite things this last month, only in the middle of it :) 
& sorry this wasn't up yesterday but my computer crashed!!  It's pretty devastating but hopefully I can still fix it...If anyone know how to fix a Mac grey screen--holla because it's still broken :(

1) Apple cider vinegar
I might do a whole post about this because I have been loving it SO much! I use it topically on my face and it has been such a game changer! I struggle with deep, hormonal, cystic acne and ever since I started using this, my skin has completely changed! All I do is mix this with some water (about 1:3) and use it morning and night with a cotton ball.  Literally nothing fancy.  I even got the Heinz brand because you know what, it was cheaper and they had it at Wal-Mart.  So there.  This stuff has been awesome!  The quickest change was that my makeup looks totally different-it stays on better, applies smoother, and doesn't oxidize throughout the day.  It's also prevented any new pimples and evened out old marks.  I could go on and on...   

There isn't an Ulta really close by where I live (luckily!) but when I was home recently I stopped in with my sister to look for a good highlighter (for her, not me).  I spotted this and tested it in the store. NOTHING that allegedly covers up dark circles has ever worked for me.  I have deep eyes and no matter how much sleep I get, very dark circles.  The moment I put this on one of my eyes, my sister looked up and told me I had to get it.  It has a salmon-y, orange-ish undertone which counteracts the blue/purple very well.  It also has coconut oil which helps moisturize and reduce fine lines and settling.  It took me a few days to figure out exactly how to use it, but if I set it with a mattifying powder, it looks great and stays all day! Definitely a staple from now on.     
Words cannot express how much this product has changed my hair's life!!  I think it may be safe to say this is my favorite hair product I've ever used.  The best way to describe it would be that it makes your hair feel rough...in a good way.  Does that make sense?  I feel like it gives me that "second day hair" curl ability even on freshly washed hair.  And the HOLD! omygosh.  It's not designed as a hairspray but it hold my curls better than anything else I've tried.  All I do is curl my hair, comb it out, and spray a ton of this on both sides (top and bottom) and style/shape it with my fingers.  It's seriously amazing.  I'm sure there are a million billion other things to use it for too, but so far I'm loving this. 
4) Hummus
More specifically...eaten with raw onions.  So this is weird but I've been super-de-duper obsessed with hummus this past month.  I've been making wraps for lunch, having it with veggies for snacks, I just cannot get enough.  There are tons of varieties but I get the Roasted Red Pepper because I like the spice.  PS-I get the Aldi kind though because it's cheaper :)
5) Planner (DIY)
Not embarrassed to admit that I legitimately fan girled over my planner.  I am loving it so so much and I hope to post about it soon! Let's just say, if I had to pick between my planner and the teasing spray (above) it would be a difficult decision. BUT I could just write in my planner "Buy more teasing spray" sooooo...decision made!  If you want my planner cover see THIS post :)

Even though it is darn cold out, I refuse to wear my jacket already (okay I did once!).  Instead, I love wearing my simple white puffy vest I got on extra double super clearance from Land's End (dude, have you checked out their sales?? Killer).  I just ordered this one (above) from Wal-Mart for *drumroll please* 9.88!! Seriously a steal considering the one from JCrew that has basically become a cult favorite on the web, is around $120-$150.  I know they're not the same but for 140 bucks, I can pretend! See...
^This is Caitlin from Southern Curls & Pearls.  I adore her style!!

So, Wal-Mart carries really cute statement necklaces now...for only $10! I noticed them a few weeks ago when I was home...and maybe I bought three, so what? Whoops #mybad.  But the white one (middle) is "on hold" for a Christmas gift.  I thought it would look cute for any upcoming bridal events! :)  They are really cute and fashionable and for $10, the quality is great!  I love pairing a bold necklace like this with a basic white tee, skinny jeans and boots or flats for fall.  Throw on that puffy vest and it's Wal-mart for the win!!

8)  Alexandrea Garza (YouTube and blog)
This girl.  I think I found her when I was searching for a wedding binder video.  She does a lot of makeup and style videos and she is just too adorable!  I was quickly drawn to her because we're both Midwest girls who love makeup, fashion, hair, Disney and Lilly Pulitzer, and we're both getting married next spring!  She seems super down to earth and I feel like we have similar styles.  I love her #weddingbelles series (of course) but seriously, all her videos are great. Go check her out! 

I've seen this floating around Pinterest for a while, but I didn't seek it out until just this past month.  As I kind of mentioned above, I've been working on my Wedding Binder and I thought this stuff would be perfect.  Well, it is! It's a really gorgeous shade of gold and it was only $4.88 from...you guess it, Wal-Mart!  It's super easy to use because it's removable.  It doesn't flake off like a lot of glitter papers so glitter doesn't go everywhere and it's self-adhesive.  I seriously love it and just watch, everything I own will be gold glitter by this time next month.    
This show is so funny! We actually started watching it because I joined my first ever fantasy football league (so fancy) this year.  It's hilarious and totally not all about football, which is good.  The characters are awesome and the writing is just top notch.  One of those shows where there really are no bad episodes, you know what I mean?  It's a lighthearted comedy that I love watching on relaxing evenings.  It's on Netflix so check it out! 

And that's all folks! See you soon :)
<3, court

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lilly Inspired Planner Cover

Let's be honest, I've been drooling over the Lilly Pulitzer planners since they were launched.  They are just so preppy, bright and beautiful, but at $17-$34...a lil' bit out of my price range.
I plan to do a whole post about my planner (which I am LOVING) but for now, just a peak at the cover I made: 
It was seriously so easy to make! And exactly what I wanted-bright, fun, preppy, and Lilly-but at the price I needed-FREE! 

And because I'm a dork, I made a matching lock screen for my phone:

 If you want your own, just leave me a comment and I'll customize it for you! The only price you'll pay is to re-pin THIS pin and share my blog on any of your social media accounts.  
Thanks and love!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Welcome September!

New month, new computer desktop picture.  It's something I like to switch up every month or so, to keep things fresh and interesting at work.  
Makes me feel inspired and renewed.   
I'm trying to hold on to the last bits of summer here (even though I love fall!) so I picked something bright, fun and summery. 

I also love that it's got that "vintage" feel to it, since summer is winding down it just feels right. 

You can download it fo' free here

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sale (& new obsession) Alert!

Totally & completely UH-bsessed with our new comforter. 

It is so cute and, yes, very summery as we go into the winter months-but I don't even care!  
I saw it online a few weeks ago on sale for around $75, which I thought was okaaay but when I went into my store it was full price-$99.99... 
so I passed. 
Sorry I'm not sorry.

But TODAY!... having already accepted the fact that I'd never have my dream comforter, I was wandering aimlessly through the bedding and saw it...  
on sale for (get ready for it) $45! 

Needlessly to say, it came home with me.
*It's on sale online for $55.98. It was $45 at my local target though, so check it out. 

  It did come out of the bag pretty wrinkly but I'm still in love.  To be fair, the pattern does stop about halfway up and the comforter is just pure white.  It doesn't look exactly like the picture (at least the king size).  But that actually just makes me love it even more!  It makes our small bedroom bright and happy.  
So I'm happy.  

Get yours here and enjoy summer all winter.  

-I'm hoping to do a full bedroom post (we have a very small bedroom) soon! 

<3 xo

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fitness Friday-Disney Princess Half Marathon!

I am SO happy it's Friday.  Although I am terrified because I'm trying my very first spinning class this evening! #nervous!

Today's Fitness Friday is about the Disney Princess Half Marathon! In case you didn't know, it's this weekend! No, there is no way in HECK I'm running it-seeing as I can only run about 15 minutes on a good day...embarrassing/true.  But (announcement time!) I do plan to run it next year! I've heard so much about it and I think it would be so much fun, and such a huge accomplishment!!

On the runDisney website, they have several training programs for all of their races, and for all levels of athletes.  Jeff Galloway-the runDisney spokesperson, makes it sounds so easy...
I'll obviously be following the beginner's plan :)

I'm just so excited for this race! I'm going to register as soon as it opens (July 2014) so there's no backing out!  I absolutely cannot wait already!!  It'll be just 2 months before our wedding, our last "dating" anniversary, and a month after I turn 25-what a great celebration!    

Now to find some other races to enter this year!
Have you ever run this race?? Tips, tricks, inspiration?? 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cheap Valentine's Day Party Ideas

 Heyo! So have I mentioned how much I  Valentine's Day?! Well it's coming right up and this year I am hosting my "second annual" GALentine's Day! 
This is just when all my girlfriends come over and enjoy treats, pink wine, and great company.  Remember all of those healthy treats I shared? Yeah no-not last year.  Here's some things I did for the party last year-it was so much fun!  And literally Pretty [&] Cheap.  
see what I did there ;)

Melted Almond Bark was legit my best friend. It's only $2.50 at Walmart.
 Oreos! I love the little heart sprinkles (also from Walmart).  These were SO easy to make! Just dip and sprinkle :)
*Can you tell those are Walmart brand Oreos?  When you're dipping them in delicious almond bark, who cares? :) #savingmoney

 Pretzels! Just dipped 'em and added sprinkles. Would be so fun to do with kiddos!
 Also, pink wafers.  Any chance to add pink-obviously. 
*rolls eyes at self
I put everything in adorable heart bowls that I got for $1 at the Dollar Store!
 This precious candy heart box was $1 at the Target Buck Stop-score!! 
Obviously had to fill it with candy hearts (my fave!!!)
I just put the long pretzels in one of our (conveniently) red cups.  That cup went into a bowl filled with even more pretzels.  
Which I made like this: Step 1) spread them out on a cookie sheet
 Step 2) Slice almond bark and into the oven. Literally no work. Done.  
Here's what our table looked like:
 [napkins from the Dollar Store]

 I love this shot! The adorable wreath around the bowl is from the Dollar Store as well.  

Honestly, this party was SO much fun to host!  We had a blast and I spent maybe $20, including the adorable decorations, which I'll be using again this year.  
I can't wait for Friday's party!  What are your plans? :)

♥, courtney

Monday, February 10, 2014

Healthy Holiday: Valentine's Day

So...I may have mentioned [again, and again, and AGAIN] I am trying to be really healthy!
[I swear I'm not trying to make this a health blog...]
 The holidays can be such a difficult time to keep up with a diet, and if you're anything like me, you can't limit yourself to ONE cookie-that's just crazy!
I thought I'd share some of my favorite treats that you can enjoy until your heart's [no pun intended] content!  Delicious and guilt free! 

Peppers are an amazing snack, aren't these just adorable?!

This pepper is adorably stuffed.  I love how nature gives us the color we want for Valentine's Day! :)

This idea is SO easy, but healthy and cheap! WIN WIN WIN!

Another simple fruit idea:

How adorable are these little Valentines for a class?

Or maybe for a special cutie in your life :)

I need to find a heart cookie cutter STAT!

Again, SO unbelievably simple, delicious AND healthy!  Even add a little whip cream-YUMMY!

Who else loves avocados? Power food!

I've also been obsessed with cherry tomatoes! This one might take a little more time, but definitely worth it!

What's your favorite way to stay healthy during the holidays? Please share!

, court

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fitness Friday: 10 Things to Know Before Your First Hot Yoga Class

First of all, HAPPY FRIDAY!! & welcome to what I hope becomes a more regular "series" on my blog!  
SOO I may have mentioned that I'm doing this thing next April called getting married!

I really want to lose weight and get toned for our wedding.  It's important for me on several levels (something I can talk about another time) but mostly I want to feel like I've done everything I could do to enter into marriage as "my best self".  

I've recently changed my diet and started incorporating exercise into my regular routine.  Growing up, I was a dancer so I never really needed to "workout"-it was built into my dance.  In fact, until about my junior year in high school I didn't even realize kids my own age worked out, like went to a gym.  It shocked me, and when I went to college/stopped dancing, I realized how important it is!

Last week, two of my coworkers invited me to attend a Hot Yoga class with them.  It was free so I figured, why not?  Now, I've only done yoga a few times before...Would I recommend Hot yoga for a beginner like me? Nope! Did I do Hot Yoga as a beginner? Yup.

I'll tell you a little bit about my experience, and share some tips.  

1) First of all, it was early.  Our class started at 6am, we had to be there at 5:45, so I left my house at 5:25.  I normally wake up at 6, so it wasn't terrible but my tip #1 is:
Especially for first timers [like me], lay out your outfit the night before!  Try everything on, make sure it fits and you're going to be comfortable in front of other people.  This saved me time, and stress, in the morning.

2) Speaking of clothing...The website for my studio said "wear as little as you feel comfortable in" and people did! There were men Speedo-like shorts and women in sports bras, so honestly-wear what you feel comfortable in, but obviously be respectful, people take it very seriously. 
*note, Lululemon not required to practice yoga.
Choose your outfit carefully.  Tight leggings or shorts, tanktop, no socks.  I wouldn't recommend anything of sweatshirt material-nope, too sweaty.   

3) YOU ARE GOING TO SWEAT! a lot. Like unreal amounts of sweat. 
[^^see they all have towels^^]
Bring at least one hand towel to have in the room with you .  There was literally sweat dripping in my eyes (gross/true) and I'm so glad I had a towel with me during class!

4) Also...
Bring a big *bleep* water bottle into the class with you [everyone does]. 

5) And more water...
and more, and more, and more.  My instructor was so amazing and told us the importance of staying hydrated the 24 hours after a hot yoga class. Honestly, I could not drink enough water that day.

6) Take it easy and don't push yourself too far. 
^^she was a beginner once too^^
Everyone had a first class.  I definitely couldn't do all the poses but I still got a GREAT workout.  Do what you can and focus on the experience.  It's not a competition and no one expects you to master yoga in one day.  You can also use stretch bands or straps, or even your towel, to help you with some poses.    
7)  My instructor also warned us not to over exert ourselves.  She said to just STOP if we felt lightheaded or dizzy.  Also, do not crouch/squat down.  This interferes with your circulation and when you stand, blood will rush to your head and people faint.
Just be still if you need to.  I stopped when I felt like I was crossing "that line" and it was perfectly fine.  Just be aware.

8)  I personally got a headache later in the afternoon (around 3pm).  Several things could have caused it (lack of sleep), but I'm just throwing it out there.  That being said, I would still definitely do it again because I felt SO AMAZING after the class. 

9) On the morning of my class, it was 1° outside.  It was 101° in the studio.  And for all you math geniuses out there, that's a 100° difference.  
Bring extra clothes to layer (remember, you'll be WET you're so sweaty) and bundle up! Take time to adjust to the cooler temperature as you exit the class.     

10) I had a WONDERFUL experience.  Honestly, just enjoy yourself and be refreshed.    

I personally didn't have any time to research Hot Yoga before attending my first class, but here are some articles I've found since that I've really liked:  

The health benefits of practicing hot yoga

Sweating out Toxins 

10 Things No One Will Tell You About Hot Yoga 

Thanks and have a great weekend!