Friday, July 13, 2018

Refresher



The best way to cool off during a summer scorcher is a sweet refreshing treat. This is the best recipe I've found for watermelon lemonade - my go to poolside drink.

4 cups blended and strained watermelon
1.5 cups fresh lemon juice
1.5 cups sugar (simmer in a pan with the watermelon til dissolved)
2 liter sparkling water

Once the watermelon/sugar mixture has cooled, add the lemon juice and water. Serve over ice with lemon slices for garnish. Also works well in a punch bowl!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Get the Look


Recently I came across this living room belonging to Texas blogger Katie Taylor, featured on The Everygirl. Katie's room has been remodeled within the past year (the new version on her blog) but I'm still loving this eclectic style. Searching for similar items was so fun and surprisingly easy! You could definitely recreate this look in your own home. All the products are linked below!

mirror | johnny cash art | oval canvas | willie nelson photo | digital graphic | sofa | furry pillow | pink pillow | glass side table | floor lamp | cart | table lamp | coffee table | candle | vase | sea urchin | rug | arm chair | leopard pillow | silver side table

Friday, July 6, 2018

Barbie's and Blue Skies

The stiff gray carpet is hurting my knees but I don’t notice. It’s that outdoor carpet that is rough and tough to handle muddy feet, so it’s leaving tiny indentions all over my chubby little knees. It’s also making it difficult to keep the floor lamp upright, but that could also be from the chipmunk hole underneath the carpet.

Beside me is a yellow and red suitcase with Big Bird on the front. Behind me is a hard lavender one with an image of a curly-headed blonde carrying a suitcase that looks just like this one. It is empty and turned upside down, the contents spread out in front of me.

It’s warm and sunny but I’m wearing my teal, Minnie Mouse raincoat and matching rain boots, just in case a sudden downpour hits and the men need my help covering up the kindling. Dark brown ringlets are piled up on my head with my favorite lace ribbon. Sitting under the canopy, I watch the other kids run off to the playground. Its dirty there, and the slide gets covered with wet sand that I cannot handle. Plus that slide is too high for my liking. Jordan broke his arm this past spring when he fell off the slide at school, and I’m not sure yet how I feel about being on one.

I pull the yellow suitcase closer and unload the rest of the living room furniture. The picture on the front of the TV is damp and wrinkled from getting stuck to my rain boot. Hopefully it dries out flat. I pick up Courtney and sympathize with her frizzy curls. The only way it looks good is up in a ponytail, so I decide to leave it. I find her favorite pajama’s, 50’s style, white with red polka dots, and put them on her. She looks cute in those so it is okay her hair is frizzy. The ugly, mustard yellow bathrobe goes on Barbie, but only because I know my mom made it in high school and I don’t want her to know I don’t like it.

On the other side of the tent, I hear my Nannie getting out the pans and the cooktop. We eat dinner foods like fried chicken and spaghetti at lunchtime when we camp, so that we can roast hotdogs at night around the fire. My aunt walks across from her campsite to see if we need more ice for the cooler. They are going to the bait shop to pick up a few bags.

The bait shop has delicious soft serve ice cream, chocolate and vanilla twist. I know that they will take me with them if I ask, but I don’t.  Talking to people isn’t my favorite thing; in fact it downright scares me. I’ll pass on the ice cream. Besides, Barbie just ordered pizza so I need to get Ken ready to deliver it.

I stay on the rug for hours, until Nannie tells me to go ride my bike for a while. My bike has new pink and purple streamers so I ride up and down the drive a few times. I can see Poppie scooping my dolls, the furniture, and their clothes back into the suitcases and I know he’s mixing everything up. I’ll have to organize them later, but I should have known riding my bike was a trick. He sits the picnic table on the rug and Nannie serves our lunch plates and makes me take off my raincoat. I was getting kind of hot anyway.

After lunch we go out on the speed boat. I hate the life vest because it covers up my face and I feel like I can’t breathe. But I get to sit in the front and the breeze feels good. Water splashes up on me and it’s cold but it feels good, too. When Poppie stops the boat, I climb up the back seat and jump in. I swim over to the ladder and Nannie lets me take off my life jacket for a minute.  Pop teases me that the fish are going to bite off my toes and I laugh. No way would a fish do that. As I tread water I consider that a shark might and I wonder if there are sharks in this lake. If there were, Nannie wouldn’t let me swim, would she? Better safe than sorry, I climb up the ladder and wrap my Little Mermaid towel around me. My bathing suit has a ruffle around my waist and it makes me feel like a baby.

In the glove compartment I find a pair of Poppie’s sunglasses and put them on. Nannie is laying in the front, sunbathing, so I stretch my towel out on the back seat and lay down to bake like her. Poppie turns on the radio to a country station and watches the other boats go by. The waves rock our boat and before I know it I’m asleep.

When I wake up we are docked and we have to walk back to the campsite. Nannie gets our shower bags and towels and I change into my shower flip flops. Down at the bathroom we wait for someone else to finish. There is a bench to sit on but there are spider webs with flies on them so I stand. Finally it’s our turn. Nannie tells me to step in, undress, then hand her my clothes. She reaches in and turns on the water then hands me a washcloth. I scrub my hands, feet, and elbows, strategically standing in the very middle of the shower because there are spiders and bugs on the walls. The rubber mat beneath my flip flops has holes in it and I wonder if a spider could craw up on my feet. I scrub faster and hand my wet washcloth out to Nannie. She gives me shampoo and conditioner mixed together in one bottle and I wonder why we only use that while camping.

Once I finish, I carefully dress in sweatpants and a t-shirt, trying hard to keep my clean clothes from touching the floor. Nannie showers next and I stand looking in the mirror at my hair wrapped in a towel on top of my head. Maybe when I take the towel off my hair will be a different color. That shower water could have a chemical in it. My hair could be orange or green. I contemplate that while Nannie finishes.

The sun is setting and someone has already started a fire when we get back. We drag our chairs over and I sit in front of Nannie while she brushes and braids my hair. Poppie made us hotdogs but he put ketchup on mine. He always forgets I like it plain. I scrap the hot dog on the side of the paper plate and am grateful he remembered I don’t like relish. My lawn chair is long, so I stretch my legs out and put my plate on my legs. I eat quickly because I know that marshmallows are next. Another relative brings over his guitar and starts strumming songs. He plays a song called “There’s a Tear in My Beer,” and I think he made it up because it sounds so strange to get tears in a beer. But I’ve heard him sing it so many times I know all the words. Everyone thinks it’s funny when I sing along with him.

The sun is completely gone and the stars are shining brightly now. I lay my chair back so I can see them all and I try to count them. Every time I get to 20 I lose track of the ones I’ve already counted. Pretty soon my eyes start to close and Nannie takes me to the tent. My bed is a blowup mattress with my sleeping bag and cuddly blanket on top. She zips me up in the sleeping bag and goes back out to the fire. I can still hear it snapping and popping as I drift off to sleep.


This art I originally made for my planner is sized for an A5. Feel free to download one for yourself here. A high-res print is available through my shop on request. This is for personal use only. If you want to get one for a friend, that's cool, just please don't distribute without checking with me first. This cannot be sold or altered without permission. xo, courtney

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

My Stella & Dot Experience

Today I'm sharing my experience as a Stella & Dot Stylist-in video format! Major apologies for my insane hair - this 90 degree weather we are having is wrecking havoc. Let's just give up and go to the pool. Who's with me?! Head over to my YouTube channel to watch the video with links to what I'm wearing OR just click play on the video below!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Best of Red Lipsticks

A red lip for patriotic holiday's in the summer season is a no-brainer for me! It's an easy way to look festive without having to go all red/white/blue. Do you have a favorite red lippie?

F-bomb | Toxic Cherry | Perfect Red | Romantic | Blake's Red | Extra

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Work Travel Style - Off to the Windy City!

Recently I went on a three day work trip for a trade show in Chicago and it was a packed few days. The weather was warm but breezy as it seems to always be. I was super proud of my packing for this trip - rewearing a few things but able to switch it up just enough to keep things looking fresh. As a preface, my work trip was business casual and comfortable shoes were a must. Evenings were casual, just a few dinners out.

Day 1
White blouse (similar), orange skirt, statement earrings, sandals, and initial pendant. These shoes were decent for walking around and the skirt was comfortable for a crowded trade show, where it tended to be a bit warm. For evening, I swapped out my skirt for denim and my shoes for nude heels. It felt good to be chill but the heels paired nicely with the white blouse to keep it looking nice.

Day 2
Navy top (similar and similar), statement necklace (similar), black ankle pants, wedges. These pants are the most comfortable work pants I own. They have a lot of stretch to them and the length is great for spring through fall. This top has pretty sleeves and I like to pair the nautical vibe with this older Stella and Dot necklace. For evening I switched over to this old, fancy sundress (similar and similar), bracelet, and heels for dinner out. I thought it would be nice to get dolled up a little. And since my feet survived the tradeshow surprisingly well in these shoes, the heels for dinner were completely doable.

Day 3
Button down, lariat necklace (similar), black ankle pants, wedges. Again with the pants and wedges because they worked so well the day before. It was a tad cooler this day, so the long-sleeved shirt was appreciated. Evening was super casual this day, so I went back to denim and sandals and this fun printed peplum top with tassel earrings (similar).


In addition to my packing list, I thought thought I'd share a few really good Chicago travel guides that I used on my trip.






Friday, June 22, 2018

Another Year

Is it something about growing older that makes you acutely aware of achievements/failures within the last year? The pressures of timelines and what you're supposed to be doing during various stages of life can really put a downer on a birthday if you're not careful. Last year on my birthday I moved from "being 30" to "in my 30's" which caused havoc with my emotions. This year, I've prepared myself a little and attempted to adopt the forever young mentality.


Download the forever young desktop here!

Through one of my pinterest rabbit hole adventures, I came across this website that determines your Secret Language Name which is based on your birthday. It was surprisingly and creepily accurate for me. My report looked something like this, edited for the parts I specifically relate to whether I want to claim them or not...

Traits: Enraptured, uncontrolled, critical, addictive, sensual, dictatorial

Report: Those born on June 21 are obsessed with life, with every aspect of existence. They thirst after the experiences of the world, and those who live in developed countries often come to symbolize all that is best and worst about modern capitalist society. Extremely success-oriented, they have a tendency to become autocratic and tolerate little departure from their own ethical codes. The fact that June 21 marks the summer solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year, symbolizes the rich worldly nature of this day. 

Addictive types, those born on this day are frequently workaholics and therefore carrying on normal personal relationships can be difficult, if not impossible. They can be highly demanding, making it hard for their mates, friends and children to relate to them. A quest for spirituality may be the only path that frees them from worldly concerns.

Health: June 21 people can be consumed by their desires and passions, and therefore must guard against burnout. Pacing themselves is the key. In addition, if any of one of their activities assumes an addictive cast it can crowd out everything else in their life, and require higher and higher “doses” to satisfy them. This kind of activity can lead to sociopathic behavior, or at least to alienation from family and friends. A vegetarian or semi-vegetarian diet, on the mild side rather than spicy, with an emphasis on grains and root vegetables, will help keep June 21 people grounded. Only very moderate physical exercise is recommended. Workaholics must beware of stomach and duodenal ulcers, as well as other secondary stress-related ailments such as lung disease resulting from smoking, or cirrhosis of the liver from alcohol.

Y'ALL.

HOW does it know me?! I definitely don't claim to be one living by the stars and following my horoscope, BUT THIS is pretty spot on. Well, dictatorial isn't necessarily on my personal list of traits, but I do have an immense desire to control outcomes and behaviors -I just sum that up to being a perfectionist. Now knowing this, and a fresh start on my 32nd year, maybe it's a good time to address some of these somewhat alarming traits.

Anyway, it's something fun to do, so head over there and check our your Secret Language Name.