Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 recap

sitting at work friday, i looked over to check the date on my cute owl calendar. the year is almost over and i can hardly believe it. we have dubbed 2012 as the year of change. this post is mostly for myself, so that i can remember all of the wonderful things that happened this year. from new years day to new years eve... here is my summary of the year of 2012.

  • wonderful friends helped us ring in 2012
  • we mailed out save the dates for our wedding
  • indy put on a great lead up to the superbowl that including concerts by bret michaels, here come the mummies, dj pauly d, and lmfao
  • i wedding-crafted my heart out
  • yoplait yogurt apple turnover came into my life and i ate it for nearly every meal
  • the gym became my friend; my three day a week workout became a five day a week workout
  • i fell in love with Lisa Congdon's 365 days of hand lettering
  • i misspelled february 29 times

  • my girlfriends and i spent an evening pretending we were cowgirls at a rodeo
  • that wooden ladder came into my life
  • i designed a 30' long board room table
  • this song played on repeat

  • some lovely ladies threw a bachelorette party and bridal shower for me
  • i bought A LOT of things for our new apartment and our upcoming wedding
  • i successfully made my nephew a bow tie, and i sure did pat myself on the back
  • after years and years of waiting "for the perfect moment" i decided it was time to show obedience and be baptized... then i wondered why, oh why i waited so long
  • after a six year relationship, my honey and i tied the knot and moved into an apartment together
  • we had leftover flowers for days
  • i started the long process of changing my name and getting used to words like "husband", "wife", and the most strange "mrs. bell"
  • the hubster and i treated ourselves to a cruise to celebrate our marriage
  • i turned 26 and immediately felt old. to anyone older than me, sorry, but i do
  • we started to settle into a routine together and enjoyed each others company in a new way
  • sweet tea and sunshine ruled my world
  • the pool and i got to know each other
  • i tried to make our little apartment feel more like home
  • my hair got "ombred" at the salon. this was a big deal for a hair color virgin like me
  • i made pickles. this was also a big deal for me
  • my sister and i threw a dino-riffic second birthday party for my adorable nephew
  • i still tried to make our apartment feel more like home
  • pretty little liars became an obsession
  • the song pop game became an obsession
  • we traveled to kentucky for a family reunion and enjoyed the pretty outdoors
  • i instagrammed a lot of food
  • #shereadstruth became a part of my daily life and that makes me happy
  • KJB started a new job adventure
  • after four years, i resigned from my job and accepted a position at a construction firm. this was scary and exciting (it still is!)
  • along with my dear friend Monica, i got outside of my comfort zone and went to a conference that changed my walk with God
  • i met some amazing women + discovered a little bit more of who i want to be
  • i started listening to my heart more and realized that life doesn't have to be perfect
  • the splendid actually shop opened for online business
  • i continued to build a home in our little apartment
  • inspiration came to me from new places and i felt a new confidence in my work
  • duck dynasty became my new favorite show
  • #30daysofthanksgiving reminded me to be thankful for even the smallest things in life
  • pinterest and i rekindled our friendship + i started bringing more and more pinterest ideas to life
  • #20acts and #26acts ruled my twitter and instagram feed as i felt a strong desire to help others after the horrible shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary
  • the ombre in my hair went away and some red came in. this was a big deal for me
  • kjb & i celebrated our first holiday season as a married couple
  • we made goals (not resolutions!) for our life together in 2013
To anyone reading this, thank you for your support of my blog over the years. 2013 is sure to bring more goodness as my shop expands, and I start working with some amazing people.
Happy New Year, my friend! Have a safe and fun celebration.
xo, courtney

Friday, December 28, 2012

my 365 project

for the past few years i've followed some amazing 365 projects and i've always wanted to do my own. i'm going to share some links below to some of my favorites.

as a designer, i'm "supposed" to know about color and i'm gonna be honest: I DON'T. i know what looks good together but actually making color palettes and knowing why colors work for certain spaces....


yeah. so, starting January 1st, i'm going to kick off 

365 days of COLOR!

the 365 project is going to be shared on my blog, but will not replace my normal posts. i will still be sharing inspiring spaces, favorite products, fun finds, and lifestyle posts like usual. but to continue growing as a designer, i think it's important for me to try to tackle something i'm not great at. to follow the project, check out the label in the right side bar and follow the hashtag #365colors on twitter. i will also share a link on Facebook weekly.

now, for a few of my favorite projects...

 Lisa Congdon's Handlettering

Thursday, December 27, 2012


this is me yesterday. at work the day after christmas with a blizzard outside. hence the "i'm at work" face. but my outfit was cozy + comfy, so i thought i would share the deets.

my favorite summer dress is ancient but similar here | waist beltblack leggings | socks | boots | sweater | similar bag | necklace |

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

30 outfits

hanger after hanger of blouses, trousers, sweaters, denim, blazers... the list goes on. picking outfits can sometimes stress me out. my closet is full but i find that i always pull out the same things over and over again. i took a hint from this and decided to take out some of my favorite things and really see how many outfits i could come up with.

y'all. i couldn't believe it. with 14 pieces of clothing (to be exact: two skirts, two dresses, a pair of slacks, a pair of denim pants, a blazer, two cardigans, three blouses, and two tshirts) i created 30 outfits. and really, i stopped at 30 because it's a nice round number. i see at least three more outfits here.

did you read that? 30 outfits. that's a whole month! i could basically clear out the rest of my closet (with the exception of some seasonal trades). anyways i had to share this with you guys because, well, that's what i do.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19

 3, 11, 16   |   3, 12, 15, 17   |   3, 5, 9, 16, 19   |   10, 16   |   4, 7, 14, 15, 19
5, 8, 13, 16   |   1, 7, 9, 16, 18   |   3, 11, 16, 19   |   2, 14, 15, 17   |   6, 9, 15

7, 10, 15   |   1, 13, 16, 18   |   5, 11, 16   |   6, 8, 12, 15   |   4, 9, 16, 19

3, 5, 9, 16   |   7, 8, 14, 15   |   6, 13, 16, 17   |   5, 10, 16   |   2, 12, 14, 19

6, 8, 9, 16   |   4, 13, 16   |   3, 7, 12, 16, 19   |   11, 16, 17   |   1, 14, 16, 18, 19

2, 3, 13, 16, 18   |   4, 7, 9, 16   |   3, 14, 15, 17   |   6, 10, 16   |   5, 8, 12, 15

Friday, December 21, 2012

holiday carry-in

first of all... HAPPY FRIDAY! for majority of us office folks, it's a four day weekend!

this week i've been pondering what dish to take to a holiday party this weekend. and pinterest always shows me what i want, so i went there and found some super yummy looking recipes. if you're in a conundrum like me, here are some dishes and drinks i would love for you to bring to my house for our next carry-in :)

Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies   |   Mushroom, Goat Cheese, & Rum Crostini   |   Panera Mac & Cheese   |   Pomegranate Sparkling Wine

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


in moments when i feel helpless, i turn to giving. so when i saw Ann Curry (goodness i adore her) come across my twitter feed talking about 26 acts of kindness to pay tribute to the 26 little babes and teachers that lost their lives last Friday, i knew this was something i wanted to do.

throughout the year i try to occasionally coffee elf (as Jacin says) while in the drive through, or take some groceries to someone i know needs them, or send a happy note to someone who is down because i can. the beautiful verse from Matthew 7:12, "so in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets," encourages me and motivates me to always treat my peers in a way i would want them to treat me.

to honor those children, i will be sharing what i can with whom i can. follow along with my heart as i participate in #26Acts on Twitter. just following the hashtag makes my heart a little warmer. maybe something i do will inspire you to join in. wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone in the world - or even everyone that reads this blog post, did something for someone else today?

Monday, December 17, 2012



friday's tragic event left me looking at life a little different, as i'm sure it did many people. however, it has not affected everyone, and that was made evident by an experience i had on sunday.

the jewelry store at the mall was steadily busy and a woman with three kids walked in. in a snappy manner, she said "i'm just looking". the two young boys about 9 and 7 sat down and the older girl, around 12, followed her mom around the counter. the youngest of the boys peered into the gemstone case and said, "mommy? what is your birthstone?"
"yellow," she snapped.
"what color is mine?" he asked.
"you know what color it is! it's the same as mine," she answered grumbling.
"oh. okay," he smile deflating.
the girl leaned over the glass and started to point something out when the mom yelled - and i mean yelled - "DON'T TOUCH THAT GLASS" to the girl.
i glanced at the girl and immediately felt sorry for her. her face turned a shade of scarlet and she took a step back and put her hands in her pocket.
the mom stopped at a mirror on top of the diamond case and fluffed her hair. "just some advice," she said, "don't ever, ever return jewelry that a guy gives you. no matter how mad you are when you break up! get off those chairs boys, you'll probably break them." and she rushed out of the store, her kids trailing at her heels.

everyone has bad days. everyone expresses emotions differently. and i try to not judge people and the way they raise their kids because i know that raising kids is a difficult job. but the way this mom treated her kids made me sad. and especially after friday, i would think all parents would be extra loving to their little ones. and it made me mad. part of me wanted so badly to say, "are you for real lady? your kids are people too, and you are hurting their feelings and embarrassing them. would you want someone to talk to you the way you just talked to them?" but i just kept to myself and couldn't help but wonder how she would feel about her actions and words if something were to happen to them.

and now i ask you, my dear friend, how do you feel about your actions? are you satisfied with the way you have treated each person you love? or could you offer up an apology, a smile, or a hug to make things better?

i think we all could love a little stronger.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

spread joy handmade swap

that was a squeal ^
first, i never post on sunday so you can just thank Miss Ernestine Edna for this one. second, i LOVE bloggers. seriously, they are just the nicest people in the world. so when i saw this handmade gift exchange, i knew i wanted to spread some love to a fellow blogger out there.
now i get to share the gift that i received from the awesome WIFEY SINGER! i was so excited to see her name on the return line because i knew there was a good chance i was gonna be getting something from her adorable shop.

[i know it's been almost 7 months, but i still love seeing my new name ^_^]

boy it's like she knows me! accessories + coffee = my BFF. WifeySinger, thank you for my wonderful gifts! [p.s. did you make this darling pouch?!]

Friday, December 14, 2012

on being a wife

every year at this time i get sentimental. everyone does to an extent i think. and lately i've been thinking about what it means to be a wife. on the surface, a wife is a woman who is married that, stereotypically, keeps the house nice, cooks and bakes meals, and does sweet things for her husband.

i've been listening to K-Love and Moody Radio a lot recently. yesterday i caught a bit from a woman who learned how to be a wife from her grandmother. i found it interesting that she used the word "learned". there are a lot of things we learn from our family and i've always said that KJB and i have some great examples of marriages and relationships from which we can learn. but i have never actually thought about learning to be a wife. so i turned the volume up and let myself absorb what this woman had to say.

this woman's grandfather was nearing the end of his life and she got the feeling that he was waiting on something before he passed. the family kept praying that his pain would be removed and that God would take him home, because there was nothing else that could be done for him here. he slept the majority of the day and could no longer eat or drink. one day the woman brought her grandmother to see her husband, as she was living in a nursing home and could not see him every day. the woman moved her wheelchair close to the bed and laid her head under her husband chin and cried for him. she whispered to him how much she enjoyed her life with him, how she loved being his wife, and that it was okay for him to move on. and when she did that, the man opened his eyes, shed a tear and kissed his wife. the man passed away later that day, and the woman knew that her grandfather had been waiting for his wife to tell him it was alright. she said that she had watched her grandmother be a servant woman to the Lord and the kind of wife God wanted her to be. she was supportive of her husband, and loving most of all.

so it was decided, right there in my car while driving down the highway, i wanted to be the kind of wife that women could learn from. God wants me to be a wife that is supportive, subjective, respectful, and loving. and so that is what i want. am i going to screw up? inevitably. there will be times i don't like his decisions. there will be times when i get frustrated and angry. and that's okay because God didn't make me perfect. it will be with failure and grace, and failure and grace that i will do it.

a photo from last night's December date

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

holiday polish favorites

for the holiday season, my go-to polishes: Sally Hansen Commander in Chic, Essie Good as Gold, Sally Hansen Midnight in NY, Essie Wicked, Essie Trophy Wife, Zoya Daul

what are your favorites? tell me below so i can add them to my shopping list ;)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Outfit of the Day

missoni for target scarf (buy it for an outrageous price here)| banana republic blouse (similar) | hudson jeans | wifeysinger necklace (similar) | cardigan (similar) | bracelet | call it spring boots (similar)

a typical work outfit for me: jeans, boots, a cute blouse and sweater.

Monday, December 10, 2012

gift wrap DIY | fit to be tied

as we near the big day (15 days!), my dear friend Megan has a wrapping paper DIY you're gonna love. she was inspired by this idea and this idea, i'm loving the outcome.

time: 5 minutes                                      cost: $9, includes tons of kraft paper + twine but 8 doilies

step a: wrap up your box real purdy. layout the doily on the corner of the box and crease the edges. fold the extra "triangle" underneath the back corner to keep the edge looking nice.

step b: if you want your letter perfect like Megan did, print out your letter (Times New Roman looks really nice and clean), slide it under the doily and trace it. then fill it in. it's a requirement that you stay inside the lines. if you want.

step c: tie the twine around the box. i love how Megan wrapped it multiple times both directions.

this look is so classic and pretty. that pop of red against the white and brown IS christmas if you ask me. the best part of working with Megan? i asked her what she called her creation and she shot back this list:

"brown paper wrapped up in string"
"a string for your thoughts"
"doily a day"
"fit to be tied" - obviously my favorite since i choose it
"megan's awesomely easy prezzy gift wrapping"

isn't she just awesome?

Thursday, December 6, 2012


holiday guests, take note

 A carefree lifestyle, that’s what I try to live. Just ask anyone.
–What’s that? They didn’t agree? Oh, right. Ok let me rephrase, “I’m all about a strategically-planned carefree lifestyle”.
Did they agree now? Thought so.
It’s true, I plan things a lot. I work hard to make plans that work for everyone involved, and I go out of my way to make something convenient for someone just because I want them around. Visions of a perfect party float in my head weeks before the event and I try my darnedest to make those come to life. Setting myself up for failure? Basically, but it doesn’t stop me from trying. That’s just part of who I am.
So when I work super hard to make something successful, that means the last five minutes before “start time” I’m doing little things like lighting candles, fluffing flowers, hiding electrical cords (gosh those things really ruin a pretty picture). And then I sit, watching the clock, ready to greet the first guest and ready to pour the first drink. And I wait… and wait… and wait.
A realization: people are never on time. Once the word got out about being “fashionably late,” it all went downhill. Now don’t get all defensive on me. I know that sometimes, life just gets a little crazy. You drop your coffee cup right before you walk out the door. Your kid has an accident that calls for a bath. You get stuck by a train or behind an accident on the highway. Life happens.
But I’m going to take a wild guess and say that those things are rarely the reason you’re late. I’m gonna guess that most of the time when you are late it’s simply because you didn’t allow for enough time to get ready. Or you decided last minute to pick something up at the store. And when you show up at my house twenty minutes late (and you don’t have one of those disaster stories I mentioned), it’s like you walk in saying “Hey guys! Thanks for waiting on me, I just felt like your time is not worth as much as mine.” And with a smile, I take your coat or hand you a drink.
This holiday season, while you are getting ready to head out the door to a party, think about your hostess.  At this moment she’s probably sitting out hors d’oeuvres, checking that there are enough hangers in the coat closest, starting the coffee pot, and waiting on her guests. She (or he – guys can host parties too I suppose) has spent time and money on making this a fun event. Show her that you are grateful for her efforts by showing up on time and being a great guest.
For more etiquette tips, see this post that Mackenzie made for me back in June.
images 1 and via Rue. image 3 via matchbook.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

free photobook!

today while browsing MyMemories for some new scrapbook kits, i noticed a banner that they were having giving away photobooks with the purchase of their software download. (don't know about MyMemories? see my first post here.)

so a free photobook?! that's pretty awesome! especially when you consider i'm also sharing with you a $10 off code right here: STMMMS69667. That's $10 off the software and a free photobook! Plus, that same code will get you $10 off their store, so pick up a few of your favorite kits/themes while you are there.

iPhone Christmas art

when i first saw this app, i knew immediately i wanted to make my gallery wall more festive with some photos from my iphone. -and yes, i'm completely aware that this space super cluttered, but we had nowhere else to put our stockings!

supplies                                                   time
iphone app                                              15-20 minutes depending on how many you make
printer cardstock
black picture frames, $1 each
command strips. $4 for 4 sets

step 1: download the app.
open up the app store and search "photo combine xmas". install that puppy on yo phone!

step 2: make the art.
insert your favorite holiday/instagram photos and choose which color background you want (i'd go with red or white for the holiday look).

step 3: email + print.
email the photo to yourself. print it whatever size you like. i printed mine at 8 x 10, 5 x 7, and 4 x 6 sizes.

step 4: frame.
if you already have a gallery wall you could pop these pictures in your existing frames for the holiday season to make it super easy. if not, pick up a couple of inexpensive black frames. i got mine at the dollar store.

step 5: hang.
command strips are required at my apartment, but they are also a really great option for holiday decor because they don't damage the walls (if used properly!).

super easy. super cute. super festive.

Monday, December 3, 2012

gift wrap DIY | personalized packages

you know those people that can take the simpliest idea and turn it into something awesome? Mackenzie is one of those people, and i knew when i came up with the idea to do a wrapping paper series, she would have one of those no-brainer, brilliant designs. and her project didn't fail.

time: 10 minutes                              cost: $9, and that gets you a mega huge role of craft paper

step 1: measure out your kraft paper to your box. fold the paper over the top edges and crease to make the name placement easier. 

step 2: lay the paper out flat and write out the receiver's name. go over the word a few times to make sure the paint is opaque and bold. then let it dry a few minutes.

step 3: wrap the package. it's as easy as that! a bold, personalized look that is creative yet simple.

try the look out in different colors. i like the metallic sheen on the green paint myself. another spin on this design is to write song lyrics, a phrase, or a verse.

mackenzie's inspiration came from this image here. i kind of love the idea of the black and white option for a super modern look.

if you were to try this out, how would you personalize it? colors? different words?