July 17, 2018

Summer Coffee Date Style {With My JORD Wooden Watch}




I'm not sure if there is anything more quintessentially "summer" than white t shirts, sunkissed skin (after sunscreen of course), and iced coffee. Sometimes in between errands, Jade and I will stop and have a little coffee date. Although *I* get the coffee and she gets some kind of snack, I pretty much always end up sharing my coffee with her. She is a girl after my own heart! 

I wanted to share a new accessory that I am loving. JORD makes the most beautiful and classic wooden watches. There are tons of styles to choose from, but I loved the sleekness of the Cassia Ebony & Sable design! It can be styled with anything, from your most elegant outfit, to your every day jeans and t-shirt look. 


I won’t lie, I am a sucker for product packaging. When my watch arrived on my doorstep, it came in a beautiful wooden box with the watch elegantly wrapped around a cushion. It also came with a custom cloth and cleaning solution to keep it in the best shape possible. I love when brands not only make quality products, but when they also put thought and care into the packaging and presentation of their product! 

           
I paired my watch with this white anthro tank (on sale) and jeans. Jady Bug is wearing this adorable Osh Kosh jumpsuit that I wish came in my size. ;) 


Can you guess if Jade is laughing or screaming in this picture?? 



JORD is being so generous and is offering one of my readers $1oo to put towards a watch of her/his choice! Simply choose your favorite watch, fill out this form, and JORD will randomly select a winner! One person will win, but anyone who enters will receive 10% off an order! The contest will close on August 12 at 11:59 p.m. 


Which watch is your favorite? Good luck! 

xx,
Court

**In collaboration with JORD**
Photography: Photo by Levi







Wooden Wrist Watch

June 08, 2018

We're On Our Way To Being Debt Free: Tips For Staying Focused On Your Financial Goals




We are doing it. We are getting out of debt. 

And while this process has seemed endless, we have been so diligent to pay off our student loans as fast as possible. I am pleased with our diligence and how far we have come. Thankfully, we do not have any other debt. We are not credit card users and are only renting an apartment right now. Our cars are paid for (though we will be needing a new one soon). Basically, if we can avoid more debt, we do. Debt enslaves you and prevents you from living your best life. I LOVED my college experience, but I don't know if I would say that it was worth the thousands of dollars of debt it brought, when there were cheaper options available.  


We had almost $100,000 in student loan debt. It's sickening. But we are on track to have it ALL paid off in August, which means it will have taken us 6 years to pay it all off. It has become so normal in our society to spend YEARS, even lifetimes, paying these things off. But it IS possible to pay them off quickly, even on a pastor and teacher's salary! Is it easy? No way. But it's possible. I love how Dave Ramsey says, "If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else." We are doing things a bit unconventionally. Technically, we are a two income family, but we are choosing to live on one income until we are out of debt. We have been married for eight years and have a little girl, but we are choosing to wait on our dream for a house and to live in a modest apartment. We are doing these things so we can have the FREEDOM of not owing anyone anything in the very near future! 

Here are some tips that have helped us stay the course and what I would recommend to anyone who wants to get out of debt as quickly as possible: 

1. Track your progress. Write down how much you pay off each month, either in a planner or on some kind of visual that you will see often. Progress provides more motivation to keep going and it will be exciting each month to see that number dwindle down. 


2. Decide ahead of time where you want your money to go. The point of this is having complete control over your finances. I love using Every Dollar because it allows you to set up a budget with categories and determine what percentage of your monthly paycheck you wish to put towards each category. It's a completely free tool! The point is to be aware of where every single dollar is going, so you're not shaking your head at the end of the month wondering where your paycheck went. You control your finances, not the other way around. :) 


3. Find some side hustles that you are passionate about. Chances are you're already working full time, so find some other ways to make extra income that are FUN! I worked a retail job during my first full year of teaching...it was hard, but every paycheck went to help us get out of debt. The company also offered a few free items that I otherwise probably wouldn't have bought due to trying to live frugally. It also offered a discount for when shopping was in the budget. Maintaining that second retail job wasn't realistic for me long term, but I'm glad I did it temporarily. Right now, I blog and am a consultant for Rodan + Fields, which are things I love doing anyway AND they offer extra income, discounts, and occasional free products. 


4. Celebrate reaching milestones along the way. Determine the milestones that you want to celebrate. Whenever you reach that milestone, creatively and frugally celebrate that milestone. Make room for these celebrations/rewards in your budget! Maybe each time you pay off 10% of your debt, you take your significant other on a special date. Just find something to celebrate your progress so you will be motivated to keep going!  


5. Accept that you are going to be "behind" for a little while. Getting out of debt as quickly as possible is going to require some sacrifice and intensity. You will watch everyone around you "move up" in their lives by buying beautiful houses and nice cars. You'll see them take regular exotic vacations. It can be hard to feel like you are behind. Don't fall in to the comparison trap. Everyone's journey is different. Plus, we only see a small portion of people's lives on social media. We have no idea what other struggles they have... I guarantee their lives are not all fun and games. The point is, we don't know, we can only focus on our own progress and goals. Society and social media will tell you that you're behind. Be okay with it for now. Remember that it is temporary. Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later. 

Getting out of debt quickly is possible. Make it one of your top goals and don't stop until you get there. Trust me, if we can do it, anyone can. You just have to want it badly enough! 


Do you have any other tips for getting out of debt? I would love to know! Thanks for reading!! 

xx,
Court



May 04, 2018

Free People Tank & Bralette




This is the time of year for layering. When Brian saw this outfit, he said "Yep, this is the 'skipping-through-meadows' free spirited hippie Courtney that I know." I don't find this look super bohemian, but the comment made me smile. 



I'm loving the contrast between the blueish/purple with the black! This long cardigan is from Loft, but I received it several years ago from a friend, so it is no longer available. Same with these pants...I bought them a few weeks ago on sale at Abercrombie & Fitch. I'll link some similar styles below! 



It's just not realistic for me to only wear "new" things as a blogger. Even if I had the funds for it, I wouldn't want to! Isn't the point of buying something because you love it and want to wear it for years to come?! I can't imagine how crowded my closet would be (and how measly my bank account would be!) if I was only wearing new things. I am baffled at the bloggers who are always showcasing brand new things...I'm just like, "but where do you store it all?" Or, "Don't you get sad only wearing it 1-2 times?" All of this to say that my cardigan and pants are old and no longer available, and you'll find me re-wearing things time and time again on my blog. 



I've always been a fan of Free People, but they can definitely be pricey. I love that this flowy tank is only $20! It runs large so size down. I am normally a medium, but sized down to a small. It is slightly cropped, so be aware of that. I'll be living in this with some high waisted shorts this summer.


The bralette I'm wearing is also by Free People. It looks so pretty layered underneath just about anything! 

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

xx,
Court

Shop  The Look:


April 30, 2018

30 Before 30


1. Run my first marathon
2. Pay off all of my student loans
3. Create more fashion/styling content
4. Potty train Jade
5. Read more books 
6. Spend more time working my Rodan + Fields Business


7. Buy a reliable car
8. Protect my skin from the sun
9. Drink more water
10. Wake up earlier for some alone time before the work day
11. Minimize


12. Make prints of family photos and hang them up
13. Make business cards
14. Host a Rodan + Fields event
15. Put together a capsule makeup collection
16. Make homemade pop-tarts for Jade


17. Visit my best friend in Chicago
18. Go to Cedar Point
19. Strive to blend gentleness and firmness in motherhood
20. Listen to more podcasts
21. Start a Bible study
22. Surprise the people around me with random gifts/cards to brighten their day
23. Get another ear piercing


24. Try an Orange Theory Class
25. Eat less dairy
26. Do more day trips and weekend trips to Michigan
27. Actually sit down to eat good breakfasts
28. Learn about and use more essential oils
29. Make homemade blueberry muffins
30. Get out of my cooking rut and be more adventurous with family dinners

I turned 29 back in February and made a fun little goal/bucket list of 30 things I want to do/experience/grow in before my 30th birthday. Some are actual big goals, others are just small fun things I want to try. Some of these I've already tackled (like running my first marathon, yay!), some of these I'm in the process of doing, and others I have not started yet. I just thought this would be a fun, but realistic "bucket list" of 30 things to do before February of next year. If you have anything on your bucket list, I'd love to hear!

Thanks for reading!

xx,
Court

April 11, 2018

The Coziest Tee You Need In Your Closet Right Now




As a busy mom, when I'm not at work, this is typically the kind of outfit you'll find me in. When I tried on this top at Express a few months ago, I was immediately sold. Not only is it drapey and flattering, but the material is incredibly soft. It feels like being wrapped up in a blanket...so besides being tempted to crash and take a nap at 1:00 on a Wednesday afternoon, it is amazing. ;) 



I paired it with an older style of Zella leggings (similar style linked below) and my pink Adidas flashbacks. The style is longer in the back so if you like to have your butt covered, it's perfect! 



I've also paired this with jeans and booties as well as high waisted black pants and dressy flats. Five gold stars for versatility. Basics are so faithful like that! If this top was a number on the Enneagram, it would be a loyal 6. 



I also wore my Free People bralette underneath. The neckline is looser so you can drape it over your shoulders if you have a cute detail that you want to highlight. See? Versatile. 

Okay...being wrapped in this cozy tee is too much. Going to nap now. Just kidding...kinda.

xx,
Court

Shop The Look:

April 04, 2018

Oh-Two-dles! Jade is two!



We recently had Jade's 2nd birthday party. Let me tell you guys, I don't love planning or hosting parties. Oh, I love to attend cute parties, but I get overwhelmed with the details when I am in charge. I realize that this is something I am just going to have to get over as a mom, but it's still not a strong point for me. However, there is nothing like seeing your little one be so happy and feel so special. She had a blast with both sides of Brian and I's family. I am extremely appreciative of them for making the trip up and for helping make the party happen. Seriously...my mom made almost all of the decorations (cricut for the win!), my sister-in-laws helped me with the food, my mother-in-law hauled both of her waffle makers up, and it took all of our hands loading and unloading everything. We did a Minnie Mouse theme since Jade loves "Mouse" and had a bunch of Minnie things. 

These are just a few i-phone pictures from her party. I posted more on my Instagram (as well as a video face diving into her cake). 






This was the end...she was so tired, haha! She definitely slept great for her nap right after!

"Two" is proving to be a new challenge for this mama. I'll have to do another post on what life is like in that aspect sometime. 

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

xx,
Court















April 02, 2018

Crazy Stripes On Crazy Sale




As we transition into Spring, the weather is pretty up and down. It's still pretty chilly in NW Ohio, though it's bearable if the sun is out. I'm not exactly wanting to wear my winter coats, but it's not warm enough for typical spring attire. 




Cue bright, springy sweaters. I absolutely love the rainbow stripes that are trending right now! Gap has a ton of these and they're all on sale! This sweater is on sale for $25 AND I'm always getting emails from them to take an additional percentage off my purchase. (note: Never buy anything full price at the Gap. There's always some kind of promo going on.) When I bought this, I got an additional 40% off and bought some items for Jade in the same print. Such a good deal! 




You'll also find me wearing these shoes all. the. time. I love that it's actually cool to wear athletic shoes with normal (not just athleisure) clothes right now. This trend is making all of my mom dreams come true. These shoes come in a ton of cool colors... but I am partial to the pink. :) 




Are you digging the rainbow trend as much as I am? How about athleisure shoes? 

Thanks so much for reading! 

xx,
Court

      
Shop The Exact Look:      

   

Budget tips: For designer denim, check places like Poshmark or Clothes Mentor. I got these Mother jeans at Clothes Mentor a couple of years ago! These adidas shoes can also be found at Amazon...the prices change and vary, so always check back periodically to make sure you get the cheapest price! As for the the sunglasses, I found mine brand new on eBay (for a fraction of the price) a few years ago, so check there. 


More rainbow styles I am loving! 


March 30, 2018

Are You There, Spring? It's Me, Courtney.



Dear Spring... long time, no see. We're ready for ya. My wardrobe is ready for ya. My child is ready for ya (helloooo cabin fever). Feel free to arrive anytime now! K? K. 

I love this top because it's pretty enough to be a special occasion piece, but comfy enough for everyday. I actually wore it out for my birthday date with Brian and a few times since then. It has some real spring vibes going on. It's flowy, feminine, and ON SALE. It's under $20 and an extra 40% off right now. The sizes are going to sell out fast! 


   


                                                                           photos by Lylah Rose Wolff Photography 


Another great plus is that this top is machine washable. Can I get an AMEN? I get so annoyed with dressier tops that I have to hand wash or get dry cleaned. Honestly, who has time for that? 

Because it is still so chilly out, I paired this top with my Kaitlyn Pan OTK boots. They are pretty much the exact replica of the infamous Stuart Weitzman ones. 



Have a wonderful Easter weekend!


xx,
Court

Shop The Look:
(my top and jeans are exact, my exact boots are linked above and similar boot and bag styles are linked below)

March 28, 2018

Vintage Leopard Coat





I've had this leopard coat since I was very young. I've been wearing it out since at least 5th grade (okay, at that time it was as a Halloween costume and it was rather large on me, but still). I received it from my grandma. To be honest, I'm not sure what decade it originates from (though it has some real 60's vibes going on with the way it's cut), but it is my absolute favorite wardrobe piece. I love the concept of vintage pieces and the history they carry. Not to mention, I have always been a leopard print fanatic since I was small. Since this coat is so old, it's very delicate. I've had it re-sewn several times. But I will hold on to it and keep wearing it because it is so classy. Maybe Jade will want to wear it one day, too.

I've rounded up some leopard coats to shop below. The great news is that since winter is "technically" over (even though it's still freezing here!), most of these are on sale. Which one do you like the best?!

                
Thanks for reading! 

xx,
Court

March 27, 2018

Favorite Children's Books For Spring



Jade has a pretty great collection of books. My mom has a deep love for children's books and has contributed significantly to Jade's large collection. I've heard that one of the ways to develop a love for reading in a child is to have several books on hand. I love that I often find Jade looking through her book shelf, flipping through pages, and the fact that she will now pick out the ones she wants to read. We have a bookshelf we keep in her room with most of her books, but I find myself bringing out seasonal books to the living room. Here are some that we have in our living room for easy spring reading access. These would be great if you are still putting together your child's Easter basket. 


The Country Bunny And The Little Gold Shoes

This is a classic with the most beautiful illustrations. I remember reading this at my grandma's house when I was little. Also, the country bunny is total #momgoals ;) 

Here Comes The Easter Cat
This cat just can't let the Easter Bunny get all of the attention...so he devises a plan to put the attention back on him!

Duck & Goose, Here Comes the Easter Bunny!

A quick read that is great for toddlers. 

You Made Me A Mother

A sweet book for Mother's Day that will make you feel all the feels with your first born. 

Too Many Carrots

This is a book about the dangers of hoarding and will convince your child to live a life of minimalism...just kidding...kind of. It's super cute. 

How Fletcher Was Hatched

This book is so SWEET (especially if you've ever owned a dog and know just what big, jealous BABIES they can be). Fletcher the dog is jealous when baby chicks on his farm hatch and his owner, Alexandra, gives them the attention needed. So he and his friends create a giant egg that he can "hatch" from. The giant egg becomes the talk of the town and Alexandra finds her beloved Fletcher when he hatches at the end. 

A Beatrix Potter Treasury 
This is a compilation of several Beatrix Potter stories with Peter Rabbit, Tom Kitten, Benjamin Bunny, Mr. Tod, and more. I read these when I was a little girl and had an accompanying video that I watched with all of the characters. These are classic stories! 

The Easter Egg

All Hoppi the bunny wants to do is help the Easter Bunny deliver his goodies on Easter morning. To do so, he has to create the best Easter egg. After not much luck, Hoppi does a great act of kindness that catches the Easter bunny's eye. 

Daisy-Head Mayzie

A classic with all kinds of Dr. Suess silliness!

The Bunny Book

This is about a little bunny family who dreams of all the different things their tiniest bunny may grow up to be. 

Do you read any of these? What books are you and your little ones loving for Spring?


xx,
Court

January 04, 2018

To The Cheesy Little Girl On The Messy Kitchen Table...


JadyBug,

Yes, you...the cheesy little girl on the messy kitchen table. I absolutely adore this picture of you. I love it so much that I am going to have it framed. It's not the normal picture I would get framed... it's not neat, put together, or planned out. In fact, the clutter of the kitchen table kind of announces my failure to live minimally and organized (I'm really working on that). Your wiggly self is not entirely in focus. Some people would cringe that I let you sit on the table, feet and all. But this picture of you is oh-so-perfect in my eyes. 

On this day, we baked Christmas cookies, a tradition we will do for years to come. We made snickerdoodles with red and green sugar. I was prepared for a chaotic mess of ingredients everywhere, but you were surprisingly careful and orderly during the process. You let me roll the dough, then you dipped it in the bowl of cinnamon and sugar and placed each ball of cookie dough on the pan. I know that you're having fun any time your chin puckers out in that irresistible under-bitten smile. That sweet dimple on your cheek and those squinty eyes tell us that you are thrilled. 

Your little life has already revealed so much. You've shown us our strength and resilience, yet at the same time, you've shown us our utter dependency on Christ to sustain us. We have laughed a lot harder than ever since you've came into the world (seriously...you are freakin' hilarious). We have balanced and juggled more. We have learned to live more selflessly. And if I can really sum up why I love this picture so much, maybe it's because you've shown us that life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful. Our lives mirror the messiness and joy shown in this picture. 

I look forward to baking with you again soon. In the meantime, I trust that you will help me find the perfect place to display this picture of you. 

Love,
Mama