Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Being an Adult Sucks: Making Friends

Hi, my name's Courtney and I'm an introvert. I enjoy being quiet and keeping to myself. Outside of my small group of friends, I tend to not let many people in.

Throughout my school years, I managed to befriend a great group of girls, in spite of my shyness. These girls had my heart and I knew that they would be a part of my life forever, and for the most part they have. Life pushed us to different places around the country, and we check in with each other often, but it's definitely not the same.

During college I piggy-backed off KJB and his friends became my friends. I lived at home and he lived in the dorms; that combined with the fact that he could make friends with any stranger meant he always had lots of new people for me to meet. Since I didn't have to make new friends on my own, I think I forgot how to put myself out there a little bit. Because even though I'm an introvert, I still need love and support from people around me, and that can only develop by making friends. 

While KJB and my relationship continued to blossom into it's magical self, we graduated, friends went separate ways, and the beginning of life as adults with big kid jobs began. At first it was all exciting and new and when our group would have time to get together, we would share all about our jobs and how great life was going. Those events became sporadic and pretty soon entire months would go by without checking in on each other. We realized that life was busy and that we each had dreams, and since they weren't exactly the same dreams, our priorities for each other moved further down the to-do list.

Now, six years out of college, most of my high school and college friends an hour away, married without children, and pretty content in my career, I've discovered a new feeling: lonely. Making friends is hard work for a shy, little introvert like me, especially as an adult. 

Externally, I'm just not as exposed to as many people, and when I am there is less expectation to actually develop relationships. People in my same season of life who are understanding, supportive and encouraging? How do you find that in a crowd of people? Internally, there's a fear to developing relationships. There's a vulnerability that's required and trust that has to happen to grow those friendship seeds. That doesn't happen over night.

I wish I could share a long list of things to do to make friends, but I can't. My only advice is to not give up. Get out there when you can. Meet new people when you can. Try to keep yourself involved so that feeling of "lonely" doesn't overwhelm you.

Have you ever encountered this problem? How did you overcome that lonely feeling?

(Also, if you're reading this and feeling lonely, know that you are loved. You are more beautiful than you know, more talented than you think, and more loved than you can possibly imagine. You have a Savior that gave his life for you and if you don't understand this or have questions, I welcome you to email me at courtney {AT} splendidactually {DOT} com.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


watching // the entire series of Dawson's Creek for the 5th time. i can't help it; i just love that show.

pinning // my most recent pins were inspiration pics for a wedding that just wrapped up over the weekend (photo above!).

wearing // the crap out of these new sandals from Target. their sandals in the store are currently on clearance, so rush over and pick up a couple pair to get you through the rest of the summer!

downsizing// my summer tote bag (which I still love, by the way) has been weighing heavy on my shoulder lately, so i've lightened it up with my Rebecca Minkoff mini MAC. loving the blue and white pattern and the condensed size!

looking forward to // traveling down to Tennessee for a wedding next weekend.  the brief change in scenery and the back-to-back three day weekend i will get because of it will be nice.

working on // a new service i've added to the business. a post will come a little later this week all about it!

writing // i've had quite a bit of "feels" going on lately and i've started writing them out. having to put my thoughts to words has never been the easiest task for me, but it feels kind of freeing to write about them. the series is titled "Being an Adult Sucks" because sometimes, it just really does. you will get the chance to read the first one tomorrow.

creating // lots of things using the Rhonna Designs app. i've used it to create chalkboard designs, signs, and plaques for all kinds of things. absolutely love that i can make things on my phone and turn them into something else later!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

wedding goodies S A L E

Working in the studio (also known as my kitchen table) late into the night I had a realization. I was work on an upcoming wedding for which I'm creating lots of goodies and I had a flutter in my stomach that I've felt so many times before. Those butterflies? That's my heart telling me it's happy. They come around when the original idea comes, they resurface when the project is coming together, and again right before the client reveal. It's that little-bit-nervous-but-so-excited feeling. And I love that feeling.

I've been fortunate enough to create some really fun things for the past couple of years for weddings of family members, friends, and people I've never had the pleasure of meeting. And regardless of that depth of that relationship, each piece is special to me because I know it's special to the person getting married.

I've shared some of these projects on the blog but rarely do I get the chance to show you the final product. Like those flowers above? The largest flower order to date and I was so thrilled with the outcome. Better than that, the bride was too.

A super stunning bouquet for a bride that had lots of gorgeous embellishment she wanted incorporated into her flowers. Brides who want those incredibly personal touches are the perfect match for me, because creating personal moments in a wedding is my heartbeat. The bouquet turned out like a dream.

To celebrate the last hoorah of summer (my last wedding of the season is next weekend), I'm offering 15% off all wedding items in my shop. Simply use the promo code SUMMER15 to receive the discount until August 23rd. Want something completely custom that you don't see in the shop? I'd still love to help you and extend the 15% off to that special project. Just drop me an email to courtney AT splendidactually DOT com.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Billy Bob Thornton

You know those shows that you turn on to have some background noise while you're doing miscellaneous things around the house? The kind of show that you don't really care too much about but could have something interesting in it and you don't have to sit down and watch it to know what's going on? For me, that show is Master Class on the OWN network. I started DVRing it when Justin Timberlake was on at the beginning of the season. It's the kind of show that reminds you that celebrities are real people and they have a life outside of what we see on the screen, which is kind of a no-brainer but when you watch the show you have a "whoa, that person is real" kind of experience.

Anyway, I turned on the Billy Bob Thornton episode earlier this week, not expecting a whole lot. But from the very first story he told, I had forgotten what I was doing and sat down to watch the whole thing. He told stories from his childhood that had me crying, his adventure moving to LA which had me wide-eyed and shocked, and his feelings on the world we live in today. And I found myself constantly nodding my head and thinking, "this is what I've been saying!"

There is a clip I will link below that expresses my recent favorite discussion topic about television. I would love to know your thoughts and reactions to Billy's statement. (Yes, we are on a first name basis now since I basically know his whole life.)

How do you feel about this topic? Never thought about it? Content with the way things are? Please share!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Fresh, New Carpet

Don't you just love to wiggle your toes into fresh, plush carpet? It's nearly as nice as wiggling your toes in the sand on a hot, sunny day... Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but when you spend four hours actually laying the carpet yourself, it sure feels nice to enjoy your hard work.

Yes, I laid the carpet myself. Along with my awesome dad, who brought his muscles over to help me position the ginormous roll of mocha frieze. (Which, can I just take a moment to mention that it's nearly impossible to move carpet? Seriously, every time we needed to move the roll half an inch, we over pushed it 20 times before it landed where we wanted it.)

It's pretty hard work but we were fortunate enough that we didn't need to pull up old hard flooring and we are on a concrete subfloor so we used glue instead of tack-strips. And since we choose a carpet with foam back, we didn't need to do any stretching.

Speaking of the old floor, here's a glimpse at what that looked like...

We always knew we wanted to change it because it just wasn't our taste. This kind of tile (known as VCT in the construction world) has to be stripped and waxed up to two times a year, plus regular maintenance. We wanted the room to feel cozy, especially when we use that fireplace this fall and winter.

I absolutely love simple home projects. Laying that carpet only took half of a Saturday, and I've already used the room three times as much as I did before. That makes the hard work so worth it.

Also, so sorry for the crappy photos. This room gets so much natural light, it's really hard to get get a decent photo.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Diamond Pinata

Today I wanted to share a really simple geometric pinata for party decor. Pinata making was something I was wanting to  experiment with, but lots of the DIY's I found either involved paper mache - which I didn't want to do, or were complicated shapes for a beginner like moi. A diamond shape sounded like a good place to start because I could add other geometric shapes and sizes to it if I wanted to cluster them together.

Gather all your supplies first. I used a sheet of copy paper to make my template. At the top of the paper, I measured to the center of the sheet (portrait orientation), then drew a line from that point to the bottom two corners. I cut off the sides and was left with the center triangle. I wanted to do four sides so I traced my pattern onto the cardboard four times.

Then I cut a 4" x 4" square out of the cardboard and punched two side-by-side holes in the center. This piece was my top. Then I cut four pieces that were trapezoid shaped, 4" on one side and 8-1/2" on the other side. These pieces would sit on top of the 4 triangles.

Tape together the four triangles so they layout in a curved line. (I used green tape simply so that you could see it easily in this post.) Tape a trapezoid to each triangle. Now you're ready to connect the two ends of the diamond. Your tape is going to move a bit - just make sure you press it all back down. Leave the top off for right now.

Next you start cutting strips of tissue paper. I cut about 5 strips out of a sheet, cutting length-wise. Then I created the fringe by cutting slits into the strips about 3/4" wide. This part doesn't have to be perfect. Working from the bottom to the top, start gluing the strips to the cardboard. The bottom point was a little tricky but I promise it turns out fine. Keep your strips of paper very close together.

Since I used only one color, I was able to keep my strips long which wrap around the bottom portion of the diamond several times. This helps to hold your pinata together as well. If you wanted to add a stripe or a chevron pattern, you would just need to cut your strips into smaller sizes. It takes a little more math but I think it would be worth the extra time to create a really fun pattern.

Cover the top piece with a few strips of tissue paper. If you are filling your pinata, now is the time to do it. Now add some glue around all four sides of the top and press it into place. Cut your ribbon to length and tie it onto the rubber band.

You're all done. I want to make a few more of these in different colors and sizes to cluster together. I think they would make a gorgeous dance floor center piece for a wedding.

What shape should I try next? What color pinata would you make if you were making one?

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Fun G I V E A W A Y

My dear friend Elise is hosting a really fun giveaway, so some other amazing bloggers and I jumped on board with her to make it happen. It also happens to be Elise's birthday so head on over to her blog or her twitter, to leave her some birthday love!

So, what are we giving away??? One luck person two of Elise's favorite things: a SIX MONTH women's subscription to Birchbox ($60 value) and a $25 e-gift card to Starbucks!

Please spread the love and go say hi to these lovely women! 
Also, good luck entering :)

Rules: Runs from 8/1 to 8/7. Winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter and notified via email. This giveaway is for a six month women's Birchbox subscription and a $25 Starbucks e-gift card. The winner will receive an email from Birchbox with the "gift" notification. It is the winner's responsibility to set-up their account with Birchbox and redeem the gift. The Starbucks gift card will be sent via email as well. Entries will be verified, so please play nice! US only.