Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Time Out

Splendid Actually is happy to announce a season of hibernation. Before I get into the what/why/when of this season, let's first talk about hibernation in the general sense of the word. According to LiveScience, mammals are recognized as hibernators, an adaptation that allows for energy consumption because of a natural drop in body temperature and metabolism, developed by lack of food sources. Obviously humans do not need to hibernate in the literal sense of the term because we have access to food and, well, life just continues and as active members of society, we are obligated to participate.

So what does hibernation look like for me? The month of February will be silent, no blog posts, Twitter activity, and very little Instagram activity. My time and energy will be focused on a few things, which I'll share later. When I return in March, I'll pick up my normal publishing schedule of Tuesdays and Fridays. Also at this time, a mini re-brand is coming to the site: a new logo and a new way to search for content. My Spring art collection will launch in March as well, which I'm super excited about.

Why February? This time of year is always super busy for me. If you're not aware, my husband and I host a basketball and cheerleading league for over 100 young athletes. This means 3 hours every weekday and 9 hours on Saturdays of practices and games. I help to coordinate volunteers like coaches, clean-up crews, and concession stand workers. Social media postings, announcements and all communication with parents is also my responsibility, as well as implementing an end-of-season celebration. All of this is done on top of my full time job, creating content for the blog, volunteering on the Praise Team at church, and teaching a Bible Study. Needless to say, I'm worn out by the end of the season.

Please don't read into this as a pitty post - we are super blessed to have lots of help, both with the league and at home. We have someone to clean the house, groceries get delivered, and occasionally we are treated to dinner out by family members trying to lighten the load. This year, I want to conserve a little energy by taking the pressure off of creating two posts a week. This will allow me to adjust my normal schedule, to fit in my workouts and time to play with my art releases. I also hope it allows me to sleep a little later in the mornings (when I normally do SA work) and catch up on my reading list.

The month will fly by, and I can't wait to be back, sharing new content. x's and o's, courtney

eye mask | pillows | blanket

Friday, January 25, 2019

About Face

Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil & Gimme Brow: This power couple is changing the brow game for me. In the past I've shared my love for the NYX Control Freak, which is still a product I use and love, but when I'm puttin on the ritz, this product is my go-to. The tiny pencil gives me the perfect hair-like lines and the gel adds a little color to really pack a punch and control those wild hairs.

Bare Minerals Clear Radiance: Bare Minerals does no wrong when it comes to blushes, powders, and eye shadows IMO. I find their products to be long lasting and so complimentary to my skin. The Clear Radiance product is not really a blush, not really a bronzer, and not really a highlight, but kind of all three in one. It has a lovely sun-kissed look to it with a natural shimmer. I apply it like a blush, on my cheekbones, but then I carry it up my temples and blend into my hairline. The look it gives really works well year-round.

Too Face Born This Way Concealer: For years I used another product and I'm not sure if my skin changed or if the formulation changed, but over time I found it didn't give me the coverage I needed. I have hyper-pigmentation around my mouth and very dark circles around my eyes, and I find that this does the job perfectly.

it Cosmetics CC Cream + SPF: My go-to foundation for over a year, this CC cream gives me a super natural look, additional SPF coverage and comes in a decent range of colors for those of us with light skin. I prefer this applied with a beauty blender, but I find that it doesn't look streaky when applied with a typical foundation brush either.

concealer | brow pencil  + brow gel | cc cream | blush |

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Rabbit Life

Juicing has become my new thing. I'm obsessed with trying out flavor combos and determining what they can do for my overall health and immune system. Since me and veggies tend to not be super acquainted with one another - it's an off and on, love/hate relationship. I'll have moments of motivation to try new, experiment, and actually enjoy the taste. Then those taste buds hibernate and I can't stand them anymore. But for some reason in the juice variety, I'm 100% on board with the flavors.

Juicing for me is also a love/hate but because I know I need the vitamins from the veggies, I handle a little mess. Right now I'm using a blender and straining through a nut bag - both of which are products I love and work wonderfully for me. It's just the mess! My dream world consists of a gadget that would make my life easier: the Omega Nutrition Center. This is the mother of all juicers IMO and I would LOVE to have one on my counter top.

One juice I've been making is the easiest recipe ever: celery! If you're using a blender, chop your stalks into four pieces, dump them in, and puree. Then dump your puree into the nut bag and squeeze out the liquid into your glass. One bunch of celery will make one large glass.

Another juice to try, which has a completely different taste, is a carrot/apple/celery juice. For multiple veggies/fruits, I recommend blending and straining each item individually. In reality, that takes longer than just adding all the items in at once and if you're not a morning person, you probably aren't going to take the time to do it like that. However, I still find I need to do two batches because of the quantity my blender holds. For this drink, you need 2 large carrots, 1 green apple (cored), 3 celery stalks with leaves, 2 handfuls of parsley, and 2 handfuls of spinach. You will always get a different amount of juice from each fruit/veggie so this is an estimation. Pre-chop your carrots, apples, and celery because these are hard veggies and your blender will need the extra help.

A couple more tips I've learned while giving this experiment a try that I thought I would pass along to you:

-Your juice tastes better and holds more nutrients when you drink it right after juicing.
-Drink your juice on an empty stomach. It allows the nutrients to go straight to your bloodstream. Supposedly juice can upset your digestive system if you drink it after eating.
-Green juicing is a science: do some research prior to starting your journey. There's a smart way to rotate your greens and give your body a balance of nutrients. I'm actually not a fan of green juice, so I tend to stick to juices that mix veggies and fruit.

blender | nut bagjuicer

Friday, January 18, 2019

52 Week Organization Challenge

Good morning friends! I must have woke up on the right side of the bed today because there's a pep in my step and my mood can be seen in my hot pink lipstick. If that's not bold for January, I don't know what is. But from the moment my eyes fluttered open, it was a good day full of smiles and productivity. Not everyone would see productivity as a good day, but nothing feels better to me than checking off a list.

Which, conveniently transitions perfectly to the point of today's post. Let me start with a disclaimer: I have no idea if this idea has been presented before. In fact I'm sure if you took to Pinterest, there would be a dozen or so versions of this floating around. I came up with this idea while laying in bed last night trying to go to sleep but couldn't shake all the things floating through my mind, so I pulled out my phone and made a list. Before I knew it my list contained organizing half of our house in a 36 bullet-point list. Organically, this list became a 52 week organization challenge for me and my husband, who may or may not realize he's involved in this project at this time. Ahem.

If you decide to tackle this challenge yourself, the first step is creating your list. My notes app on my phone is one of my most used tools, and one I find most people tend to underestimate. I love how the app allows you to jot your thoughts, create a grid/chart, add check boxes, or draw with pen. For this list, I added the check boxes and numbered one through 52. I added every closet, cabinet, drawer, etc to the list. If the area is large or will just be a more time consuming task, I divided it. For example, my nine-drawer Alex drawers is too much to tackle, so I split it into two categories.

Being 100 percent honest with myself in how much I can tackle at a time, is going to be key to making sure this works for me. My chest of drawers has 6 drawers, so I'm going to work on it one drawer at a time. Other projects, like the shed clean out, is going to have to be something KJB and I both work on, so it's one project. It may take half a day, but it's totally do-able with two people.

Another thing I considered on my list was if something would need done multiple times. Our seasonal clothing is going to need purged twice to make sure excessive apparel from one season doesn't accumulate more than another. I added a box for summer and a box for winter. Same concept for our freezers, which I am ashamed to admit often gets overlooked.

Hopefully this post auspicates a slurry of organization; I know I'm super excited to undertake these spaces, little by little, over the next year.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Fierce Female

She's not afraid to go big with her sunnies, hoops, and decisions. She's not afraid of color on her body or in her house. She's not afraid to make a statement in her wardrobe or when sticking up for someone.

My vision of a fierce female has changed a little over the years though. In addition to all these things, she loves hard, will drop anything to help someone she cares about, gives generously, speaks out on the topics she's passionate about, and has a killer smile. She recognizes that peaks come with valleys and that looking out for one another is a path to happiness and fulfillment. She is the fierce female.

hoops | sunniescoat | boots | bag

Friday, January 11, 2019


Quite a random combination this time in my favorites, but that's the most genuine kind of favorites there could be! Each of these gems are currently winning a spot in my heart.

Our Passerelle chairs have always been some of my favs but recently I've spent a lot of time in the lounge reading next to the fire and I really enjoy the wide seat so I can curl up.
These hair ties are like magic. I'm probably late to the party when it comes to these but if you haven't tried them, go, run fast.
 My Return to Tiffany bracelet and ball earrings have been on basically nonstop. They are pretty much classics and go with everything, which is why I made them my go-to the past month or so.
The K-Cafe was a Christmas gift that I'm obsessed with. Starbucks who? No excuses to go out for coffee when this puppy is in my kitchen.
Young Living Cool Azul has been in my diffuser constantly since I stopped using the Christmas Spirit scent. I also use it after a workout because it has a nice cooling sensation.
Lastly, my go-to brow product has been the Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil. It has a super fine tip that makes it easy to fill in sparse areas without being too bold.

chair | hair tie | bracelet | studs (similar) | coffee maker | cool azurl oilbrow pencil

*affiliate links used in this post, but as always, rest assured that I only share my favorites.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Gallery Wall: Hollywood Glam

About this series:

Gallery wall can be a scary combination of words. There's stress around selecting the right pieces: coordinating the themes, colors, sizes. There's stress around framing: all the same frame or a variety and to mat or not to mat. And of course, the worst part, putting those nails in the wall to actually hang. If your layout isn't pre-planned you could end up with holes you didn't want. Have I thoroughly stressed you out? 

Finding great art online is a fun hobby for me; I could browse instagram accounts and shops for hours looking at all styles, mediums, and collections. While some designers have very specific taste in art, I think every piece of art could be used somewhere, it just needs the right setting. What I love about gallery walls is how it gives the home owner a chance to show their personality and style. This series, which I'll share throughout the year, will hone in on a decor style and find images that would look great in a room together. My hope is to inspire you to seek new sources and curate a style that uniquely reflects your personality. Have a style you want me to focus on next? Be sure to drop it in the comments below. Also, check out my insta-stories where I'll occasionally use a poll to curate my next post.

This Hollywood Glam vibe features a stunning, tufted sofa in a lovely dusty blue shade with thin gold legs. Not quite mid-century, not quite a chesterfield, this sofa is the perfect choice for a Hollywood Glam room. The gold legs encouraged a warmth in the art work and a art deco flare. For this room, go for brass and black frames - simple in profile to let the artwork shine. bring in shades of white to keep it light, and shades of blue to compliment the sofa. This large marble piece sets the tones and anchors the collection. Balance the other pieces by considering the main color in the image and dispersing them around the center piece.

sofamarble | capiz art crystals | palladium theater | crawling lights | katrina portrait

Friday, January 4, 2019

Starting New

Recap of 2018 Resolutions

Drink More Water | I'm really proud to say I've worked hard on this. 2018 started out with just a generic goal of upping my water intake and I did pretty well at the beginning of the year, but then, as typical, fell off somewhere around March or April. Then during my kidney donation testing, it was determined I really needed to focus on drinking 67 ounces of fluid a day with a concentration on water. Considering I'm making a huge decision to donate an organ, I also need to be serious about keeping the rest of myself healthy. Now, I use the app My Water Balance to track my intake of all fluid. My notifications are set to remind me each hour to take a drink, because frankly, I still need the reminder. It's not quite yet a habit.

Tackle Debt | Another proud moment came when I was able to pay off two credits I had. You will see a repeat of this resolution for this year, and I will be setting some monthly goals to do even better than last year.

Paint the Ceilings | This seemingly random resolution was much more specific than the other two, but again, I'm happy that I did paint the ceiling in our dining room and the main hallway. Guys, I'm telling you this made such a huge difference in our home. Our dining room no longer feels like a cave which is pretty spectacular. We still have other ceilings to paint (all the bedrooms) but we are planning to repaint the walls in those rooms as well, so we will make a point to do the ceilings during those projects.

 2019 Resolutions

Time Off | This year I hope to be much more intentional with my time off work. My day job is a rewarding and fulfilling part of my life that I'm grateful for, and I have a tendency to not use up my PTO until the last second, before they expire. This year, I'm going to make sure to set aside my time and plan out how to use it. Those days off don't have to be full of spectacular plans or goals, but spacing them out and giving myself breathing room throughout the year would be a great mental vacation.

Expand my Comfort Zone | Last year when traveling to Ecuador, I put myself in a position of unfamiliar territory. In a new country, spending my time talking to complete and random strangers, I found that I was a little more bold. One of the things I loved about Pelilo and the other Ecuadorian towns was how receptive the people were of others. This openness was comforting and not one bit intimidating. While intimidation isn't something I thought I feared before the trip, I realized afterward that I often times feel intimidated.

Tackle Debt | I told you this resolution would be repeated this year. While I consider 2018 to be successful, I've set stricter budgets for 2019 and have specifically put some things on my no list to help myself save money here and there.

What is this no list I speak of? Wanting to be more intentional with my goals during my planning, I came across Lara Casey's 2019 Goal Setting Series, which includes a deep evaluation of your life, your dreams, and what your goals have done for you in the past. The entire process was really therapeutic for me and allowed me to dive into the daily decisions that are making up my life and determine if each one is good or bad for me in the grand scheme of my life. I'm not going to share the entire process with you, but I do encourage you to head to Lara's website and check it out yourself, and I'm going to share my yes and no list for 2019 with you. Please help hold me accountable!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


May this year be the best year yet! Cheers to choosing love and kindness in 2019.