June Goals

June Goals

Hello everyone!

How did your May go? If you set any monthly goals, did you get to accomplish all of them? If not, did you complete any of them? If you’re even slightly disappointed about not reaching a goal, don’t be too hard on yourself. We all have times we leave certain goals uncompleted. When I posted my May goals, I wanted to be sure that I kept it real with you guys about my success in completing each goal. If I’m going to post about my successes, surely I can post about my failures. No one is perfect and I am not even going to attempt to portray that I am. With that being said…

Here are last month’s goals:

  • Finish reading The Girl on The Train  
  • Successfully complete my content calendar  
  • Workout at least 2x every week
  • Be in bed by 11pm every week night (…tee hee… uh… about that…) 
  • Set aside 1 hour at least 2x a week to study something
  • Edit my resume

… >.<

Goals: 1 | Me: 0

So the month of May was not my most productive month… While I am not too happy about all of the goals I didn’t accomplish, I will say that last month really showed me what I need to perfect about my method of goal setting. My mantra for the goals I decided to set for this month was “Be Specific!” and that I was. Here are my goals for June:

  • Get at least 700 total blog views for the month of June

In January, my total views for the month capped at 665. April’s views capped at 370. Going into May, I had this unspoken goal to at least get more views than I did in April but aim to get more monthly views than January. To my excitement, the total blog views for the month of May capped at a total of 697 views! Time to get a new goal!

  • Complete 2 books.

I really want to fill my leisure time with things that actually benefit me in some way. At the end of May, I received a few books related to personal development and adulting and I am super excited to read them!! This month I hope to complete at least two.

  • Workout a total of 10 times this month.

I figured that a countdown number of workouts will keep me motivated enough to make time to workout.

  • Complete June’s Content Calendar.

Last month’s content calendar proved to be a success! There were a few quirks, so I made this month’s content calendar a tad more enhanced. I have included dates and times for certain photo shoots, editing posts, and times for social media. I’m hoping this will give me a clearer head so whenever I am not blogging I don’t have to worry about blog related things.

  • Come up with a budgeting plan between 6-2-17 and 6-16-17.

Before I get a job I really want to make sure I have a budgeting plan. In no way do I want to start making money without a plan for how to best utilize what I make. I’ve been very careful about spending any money for the sake of making the wisest, most beneficial monetary choices as right now I’m extremely anal about that.

Do you have a routine or particular method you use when you set goals? If so, I’d love to know about it!

 

 

 

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5 Items You Need In Your Summer Wardrobe

5 Items You Need In Your Summer Wardrobe

*this post contains affiliate links 

The official first day of summer is fast approaching for some and for others (like those in Texas) it feels as if it’s already here. I feel pretty behind as far as my shopping endeavors go since my closet is completely VOID of key summer pieces.

Typically when I go shopping for summer clothing, I’m scrounging through thrift shop isles or the clothing racks at the mall. This year I’m doing something different, embracing the millennial trend of doing shopping online. Truthfully, with the online shops I’ve found, I don’t think any of the stores I have around me can compare in price or available styles. With that being said, within this post, in the titles of each of the items listed are links to the coolest online shops I know you can find these items at! A lot are on sale for super great prices, so I had to share them with you guys!

 The following items are absolute must have pieces in a summer ready wardrobe!

5 Items

  1.  Cover-Up’s

These are perfect for trips to the pool and beach. Not only are they easy to slip on and off but they’re sold in so many cute styles. The crochet scalloped one in particular catches my eye because of the scalloped edges. It’s design is a mixture of vintage and tropical, which I love. Not to mention the fact that white always exaggerates tans. So yeah, I’m planning on grabbing one of these pretty soon.

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2.                                     Maxi Dress’s

Maxi dresses can be considered a little formal at times, but in my opinion it’s all about how they’re worn. Since they can be dressed up or dressed down with a simple change of hairstyle or shoes, Maxi dresses can be suitable for various summer occasions. If you search for them online, you’re bound to find several styles (and even colors of the same style) you love.

3.                                         Rompers 

If you don’t try on a romper at least once during the summer, are you even doing summer right? Rompers can be kind of hard to shop for since there are many different body types and only a small variety that cater to each. Once you find one that has that perfect fit though, it’s an investment worth making!

4.                                           Sandals

A no brainer. The beauty of summer is that it’s hot enough to the point that whatever skin you can afford to leave uncovered, you are allowed to leave uncovered. This includes your feet. Summer is sort of an unspoken no-socks season.

5.                                          Summer Hat’s

Straw hats are such a classy touch to a summer outfit. They look amazing paired with a maxi dresses, rompers, and shorts or capris and a nice blouse. Pretty much any summer outfit you can imagine putting together, these hats are the cherry on top to.  I couldn’t complete this list without them!

What do you consider a staple summer wardrobe item for you?

12 Ways to Unwind After a Stressful Day

12 Ways to Unwind After a Stressful Day

Picture this. You’ve spent an interminable, busy, difficult day at work and you are exhausted. All you want to do is lay down and for just a few hours, forget all about your to-do’s and relax.

You just don’t have it in you to do anything else… but you know that somehow, someway, you’ll have to scrounge up a little bit of drive. Things still need to be done. The world doesn’t stop just because you’re tired as I don’t know what.

I can bet you that wasn’t too hard to picture. It probably sounds like the day you had yesterday, or last week, or even today. Most people spend the precious free time they get to relax watching Netflix, but! Can you believe that there are actually more effective ways to deal with all of that stress?

I know! It’s insane.

There are indeed more effective ways to unwind and release all of that stress build-up. Here are 12 beneficial ways to do so!  unwind after (1)

#1- Drink Some Tea & Read a book.

There’s a reason I didn’t suggest coffee here… Turns out tea, more specifically green tea, has qualities that are scientifically proven to reduce stress.

From its aroma, to the process it takes to make it, to the calming effect of its amino acids, Tea is definitely a good go-to if your goal is to chill and be chill. Coffee, in moderation, is said to be a stress reliever as well however, too much can actually result in stress increase.

Just like tea, reading has it’s fair share of health benefits as well. These benefits include exercising your brain (a no brainer), increased vocabulary, and you guessed it: Stress relief. Studies have proved that those who read have a significantly lower amount of stress compared to other avenues of stress relief.

You could see how the combination of the two makes for the perfect oasis.

#2 – Start an art project

Painting, pottery, photography, and pretty much any DIY project gives you something to focus on. It provides you with a mute button for the thoughts in your brain, making you feel calmer as you center on your project. An added bonus to working on an art project is the sense of accomplishment you feel when you finish. It’s worth considering.

#3- Eat Some Dark Chocolate

Find yourself raiding the fridge when you feel stressed out? The good news is you don’t have to trade-off junk food for stress eating salads! Settle for some dark chocolate. It reduces levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and catecholamines (fight or flight hormones).

#4- Meditate

Apps such as Breathe, Headspace, Simple Habit, and Abide provide you with meditations and meditation series that you can use on a daily basis. These meditations are anywhere from two minutes to 30 minutes but you can choose to meditate as long as you’d like. All promote using headphones to give you a full, calming experience. You can also choose to YouTube some guided meditations or google them. There are so many helpful ones available.

#5- Get some fresh air

The outside air can clean your lungs (hence clearer and all around better breathing!), and according to research, make you feel happier. Serotonin, which is basically a natural happy pill, is increased when oxygen is increased. Therefore when you take a walk, sit outside, or do some sort of outside activity, you are increasing your sense of happiness and well-being while decreasing stress.

#7-  Bubble Bath

A nice warm bath is a timeless, age-old stress reliever, even though it wasn’t always the most hygienic in its history… Bathing in a bathtub relaxes any tension and because of the items you can add to the water (bath bombs, oatmeal, lemons, etc.), improves your skin as well.

#8-  Listen to music

Music can actually alter your brain wave speed, allowing you to fall into a meditative state. Music can also reduce the intensity of pain, increase happiness, increase motivation, and provide stress relief. This isn’t necessarily specific to genre either, so whatever music you enjoy should do the trick! Here’s the playlist I choose to wind down to.

#9- Laugh

Laughter really is the best medicine. Lucky for us, technology offers several avenues to get comic relief if there is no one in person to offer any (although that route is always preferred). Laughter eases muscle tension, gives you a relaxed feeling, and increases your oxygen intake.

#10- Take a Nap

It’s no secret that lack of sleep and enact a wide array health problems. Stress is always listed as one of the most common results of sleep deprivation. Making time to rest improves your memory, energy, focus, youthful looking appearance, and attention while decreasing levels of anxiety and depression. It’s important to incorporate naps into a daily or weekly schedule if you know that sleep is something you have a hard time getting.

#11- Planning

I know it sounds strange… most people associate planning with stress (I know I did!) but there are two ways you can do this. One is to plan a trip somewhere you hope to visit one day. You won’t actually be going on the trip anytime soon so there is no time restraint. It’s a more detailed form of vision journaling.  The other method of planning is daily planning. This increases motivation and allows you to properly prioritize your tasks so as you get them done, you feel accomplished, like you have clearer direction, and a greater sense of ease.

#12- Cuddle up and listen to a podcast.

This method is a combination of music and reading, which produces the same benefits as both combined. Grab a warm blanket and listen to a podcast! There are several available on a variety of topics. A few one’s that I enjoy are Having it ALL: Conversations about living an Abundant Loving Life, How I Built This, and TED Radio Hour.  

If you find that you’re going through a stressful program or day in and day out schedule than maybe you can try each of these methods and see which one works best for you! Do you have a relaxation ritual you use to un-stress?

-Courtney</3

 

 

Chill Playlist

Chill Playlist

I created this playlist after listening to Cashmere Cat’s newest album, 9– which I love! The songs on the album are so different from the everyday music. 9 features artists such as Ariana Grande, Ty Dolla $ign, and Khalid and well… as you can see… I love the way the songs they are featured on were orchestrated to tailor to their individual musical styles.

I originally intended this playlist to be one I fall asleep to, but sometime’s I’ll use it as a cool down playlist after a workout or something to play while I study.

 

Enjoy!

A Sneak Peek of My Dream Handbag Shelf 

A Sneak Peek of My Dream Handbag Shelf 

There is something about a handbag that accentuates an outfit and makes it look complete. Whether the style is edgy, urban, or classy, as long as the handbag complements it in some color or shape, it adds a cute feminine touch.

 The following handbags are the types of handbags I’ve had my eye on for a while but have yet to attain! Behold, my dream handbag shelf:

#1: Cute & Casual Backpack

z-joyee-sky-blue

These super fashionable backpacks classify as handbags now, and I adore them. I love the colors of this particular one, although I could see myself buying an assortment of colors. Pair this with some blue jeans, and it could really dress it up.

#2: Leather Tote Crossbody Bag

black-brown-cute-bag

Usually I’m not a big fan of the black and brown color combo. This bag is one of the few exceptions. I could definitely see myself using this timeless tote as my daily go-to.

#3: Vintage Backpack

vintage-trend-backpack

When I first saw this I immediately had googly eyes! I love vintage styled anything so this bag is right up my ally. I can’t resist.

#4: Little Bow Handbag

coofit-black-handbag

Out of all the purses on my list, this one I’ve wanted the longest. Dressy or casual, it doesn’t matter. This handbag adds a sophisticated style with a subtle cutesy flare to anything you pair it with.

#5: Artsy Chic

 

The overall look of this purse is very striking. It’s easy to envision pairing it with an urban looking outfit.

What’s on your handbag wish list?

Essential Light Packing Guide For A Day On a Boat

Essential Light Packing Guide For A Day On a Boat

I’ve neglected the travel section of my blog for a quite a while.

It’s not like I travel all of the time BUT even so, it’s not like I never go anywhere either (especially since I’ve had this blog)!

I figured since summer is fast approaching and it is practically already swimsuit season, I’d throw it back to last summer’s surprise boat trip and even offer a packing guide compiled of things I wish I would have brought as well as things I’m thankful I brought!

IMG_8768 (1)  Surprise Boat Trip?

I was completely clueless about what I wanted to do for my 19th birthday. Actually… It’s pretty typical of me to be clueless about how to spend my birthday’s in general.

So last year, as a partial birthday surprise and partial just-for-fun outing, on the weekend of my birthday my family and a few friends got together to spend the gorgeous yet hot summer day by the lake!

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The best panorama I could capture of a dock that overlooked the lake at the back of the cabin we visited.
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Beautiful lake-side houses we passed as we went further away from the shore.
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It was so hot that day. We kept putting our hands outside of the boat just to feel the water that the boat was kicking up.

If you ever get a chance to spend your day (or maybe even a few day’s) on a boat, here are a few things to take with you:

What to Pack

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Clothing

  • Bathing Suit: A given. Whether you jump in the water or not, you will get wet to some degree.
  • A summer cardigan or cover-up for your bathing suit: When the sun is blocked by the clouds or/and it’s a windy day, it doesn’t get cold but it does start to feel a little chilly (especially if you’re wet from being in the water). You will feel ultra prepared and very happy when you’re able to pull out your cardigan if you ever feel chilly.
  • Towels: Duhh.
  • An extra pair of flip-flops/sandals: Better to be safe then sorry.
  • Shade providing hat: It can be a baseball cap or a sun hat, not only will it look adorable, but it’ll help you gain a little shade.
  • Sunglasses: To help you see when the sun is blaring in your face.
  • A pair of clothes that you can put on over your bathing suit: Even if you chose to stay in your bathing suit after the boat ride, again- better to be safe than sorry.
  •  A Large Bag: To hold everything in of course!

Food

  • Snack Bag: Anything you typically eat poolside should be fine! We packed fruit, a couple frozen water bottles to keep the bag cold, water and tea, chips, and granola bars. Oh! And some napkins, plastic cups, and plastic plates of course.
  • Trash Bag

Electronics

  • Camera: A given!
  • Backup batteries: If you’re anything like me, while you are on the boat you’re going to want to take pictures! It’s the absolute worst when you position yourself for the perfect shot and all of a sudden your device powers off. Bring a portable charging port for your phone or tablet and extra batteries if you want to bring devices that need them.
  • Cell phone: Wouldn’t want to forget that..

Entertainment:

  • Bluetooth Speaker: It doesn’t matter what kind of music you like, it really enhances the experience.
  • On Deck Games & Water Game Equipment: We took tubing equipment and that was pretty much it. If it weren’t the only thing available to do on the boat, I probably would have opted out of tubing. I was terrified to try it! I am glad that I did, but it would have been nice to have other things available to do on the boat.

Other Essentials:

  • Sunscreen: The sun is a great natural tanner but it lowkey adds a few years to your unprotected skin.
  • Bug Spray: It will save your life.
  • Hand Sanitizer: For dealing with food on the boat.
  • Hair Clips/Ties: One of the things I wished I had more of. The more you have, the more convenient styles you’re able to accommodate.

     

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It was such a fun, relaxing, and very much so needed trip! Especially since around this time I was always locked up in my room studying for exams.

Do you guys have any exciting plans for this summer?

– Courtney</3

 

 

 

May Goals

May Goals

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetHappy Friday friends!

It feels like just last week I was pondering what goals I wanted to achieve in 2017 before the new year hit, and yet here we are five months into the new year already! I did enter this year with a list of goals I wanted to achieve in 2017, but haven’t set any monthly goals since January… It’s about time for me to get back to it!  Now that we are in the month of May I’ve been feeling this urge to be more organized and intentional with my time. More than I have been anyway! With that being said, here is a list of goals I want to achieve this month:

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  • Finish reading The Girl on the Train

I started reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins two months ago. I told myself that I would read it and then rent the movie when I was finished foolishly thinking that I’d be done reading it within a few short weeks. I have been itching to see the movie soo bad, but I refuse to let myself watch it before I read the book! This month I’m determined to see that movie!

  •  Successfully complete my content calendar

I’ve made a content calendar for this blog before but shamefully never really stuck to it ( I got a little too ambitious and as a result, unrealistic). At the beginning of this month, I carefully thought and planned it out. Now I have no excuses 😛

  • Workout at least 2x a week every week.

It’s easy for me throw myself into a really intense week of working out, but hard to keep it up every week. It’s better to be consistent about at least a little activity than to be on and off of fitness high’s.

  • Be in bed by 11pm every week night.

My sleep schedule has incredibly improved from what it used to be, but I’m still shaking my nocturnal tendencies off.

  • Set aside 1 hour at least 2x a week to learning something new/studying

I procrastinate way too much when it comes to setting aside study time. Then again who doesn’t now-a-days. Regardless of how many struggle with it, I know I have been trying to change my mindset from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Growth mindsets are willing and even craving opportunities to learn, therefore this is an avenue I can exercise that in.

  • Edit my resume

I am graduating this month (Aaaat laaaaaast!!) and taking a much-needed gap year during which I will (hopefully) be working/traveling. I can’t start applying for jobs until everything concerning graduation has died down, so this is something I can have prepared before then.

Do you have any goals you want to accomplish this month?