My Travel Packing Guide

I love to travel, but when it comes to packing, I dread every inch of it. Trying to pack and organize my entire life into small bags is definitely a challenge for me. However, over time, I figured out the best ways to bring your must haves in an organized and “light” way.

~Toiletries and Makeup~

Let’s start with toiletries! They are the oh-so dreaded part of packing for me. I have so many lotions and potions that I can’t live without. For me, I try to pack very few products in my checked bag in case the airline loses my suitcase along the way. For starters, I always write down a list of what I use. I categorize it into my morning routine, shower, night routine, and products that I will use on the plane. After, I go through my products and decide what I need and what I can live without. I even check to see if they are sold in smaller sizes. If they aren’t, I’ll pick up travel size containers to fill. For any beginners, liquids, gels, creams, and aerosols that will be brought on the plane need to be under 3.4 ounces and carried in a one quart-sized bag. This may sound intimidating, but trust me, you can do it. Coming from someone who has SO MANY products, it is possible. I always over stuff and that is totally acceptable. However, one way to reduce the amount of liquids is by switching up products. For example, I always use the Batiste dry shampoo in the aerosol can. Instead, I checked my local Ulta and found that they sell a small container of dry shampoo powder. This takes away one less item to put in that baggy and ensures you will have it with you at all times.

With my makeup, I also try to cut down on the liquid foundations and bb creams. Changing to a powder foundation or stick product makes it easy to slip into a separate makeup bag and not have to shove it into the little plastic baggy. Also, consider using 2-in-1 products, like a cheek stick that doubles as a lipstick or eye product. There are always ways to get around the rules and switching formulas is an easy and efficient way to do so!

Airplane skincare is super important. The air when flying is extremely dry and harsh on the skin. Depending on how long the flight is will depend on what you will use and need. I recommend packing a few sheet masks to use while flying and a micellar water to cleanse. Any other moisturizers and/or serums should already be packed in your bag and good to go!

~Clothing and Accessories~

Now that we conquered all the beauty products and essentials, now it is time for packing clothing. The best way to save space and organize your suitcase is by using suitcase organizers. They are either cloth packs that come in different sizes or plastic seal tight bags. They keep clothing separate and clean.

Always pack your shoes at the bottom. If you are bringing a sun hat, pack it upside down and stuff it with underwear, socks, or swimsuits to optimize space. If it helps, keep polaroids of outfits in the suitcase for instant and easy ideas. Bring a separate bag for dirty laundry, so they do not touch clean clothes. If you forget, check your hotel room for a plastic laundry bag to use instead.

Keep in mind the kind of jewelry you will be bringing. I always recommend bringing inexpensive pieces in a compact jewelry case. I recently purchased one in Target and it has perfect compartments for earrings, necklaces, etc.

~Carry-On~

Now that we have the main two packing tips out of the way, let’s talk about your carry-on items. You are allowed one carry-on that will fit in the overhead compartment and a personal item, which will slide under the seat in front of you. I always bring a small duffle and a purse. In the carry-on, it is important to pack a few items. In case your checked bag is lost, your carry-on should have underwear, socks, pj’s, a bathing suit, and an outfit or two. It’s more of a safety precaution, but can also include a change of clothes depending on how long your flight is. If your carry-on is your only suitcase, then it will contain all your clothing.  In my purse, I’ll have a few entertainment items, my phone, headphones, a phone charger, books, snacks, water, my baggy of liquids that I’m bringing on the plane, and pills. It is extremely important that you always carry-on your medication, whether it’s Advil or allergy medicine.

~Entertainment~

This is the fun part! I obviously always bring my phone and have music on it, but lately I have been reading some great books and downloading a few podcasts. They make the time fly by!

~~~Books~~~

In a Dark, Dark Wood By: Ruth Ware
The Woman In Cabin 10 By: Ruth Ware

Here We Lie By: Paula Treick DeBoard

~~~Podcasts~~~

A Killing on the Cape

Up and Vanished

Unconcluded

In The Dark

Serial

I clearly love true crime podcasts and books in the thriller/mystery genre. If it is not your cup of tea, I recommend checking out iTunes for all the top podcasts and Amazon for the latest book releases and best sellers.

~Relax~

I understand that all of these tips and things to remember can be stressful. At the end of the day, it is important to remember to relax. I love to travel, but I hate the process of packing and actually being on the airplane. I can never get comfortable or sleep and always feel so antsy. For me, bringing skincare items and face masks are ways for me to create a “routine” (which I find comfort in) and do something that I love and that is relaxing to me. I also purchase ear plugs to block out the noise and adjust my ears to the pressure in the air. Anxiety is never fun when traveling, but is completely normal. The key is to find things that will relax you and help you get to your destination. These tips above are aimed to get you feeling organized and to take one less stress away. But reflect and think about what will make you most comfortable if you get travel anxiety. Whether it is writing, drawing, coloring, or watching your favorite movie, the little things is what will make you feel comfortable and have the trip running smoothly. Always engage in self-care and listen to yourself and what will make you feel best.

Happy Summer Travels

-XO Courtney

 

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2018

Mother’s day is around the corner, and we should celebrate all the mommas in our life! Every year, I am always in search of the perfect gift for my mom. She has such amazing taste and has definitely some fantastic items already in her closet. My go-to is always Nordstrom. They have a range of items for anyone’s likes and needs. Below are a few items from their site that I felt were perfect options for any and every mom out there.

1. Kate Spade New York Mom Knows Best Pave Charm Necklace

2. Home is Where Mom Is Accents Pillow

3. Voluspa Embossed Glass Chawan Bowl Candle

4. Sweet Dreams Short Robe

5. Embroidered Cotton Tee

6. Baublebar Gabriela Fringe Earrings

7. Kate Spade New York Thompson Street- Sam Fabric Handbag

8. Anastasia of Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette

9. Tory Burch Thin Flip Flop

Since it’s spring, I leaned toward pastels, florals, and soft elegance. My favorite is the floral robe. My mom loves pajamas, so something cozy for her to hang around in is perfect. I also loved the tassel earrings. For a mom that loves a pop and to spice up an outfit with accessories, tassel earrings are the perfect piece for her. There is always options for the home lover too, with the Voluspa candle or a cute decorative pillow specially personalized for mom and the day.

Not on the list is athletic wear, which is the perfect gift for a mom that is active and likes to get outside. With warmer weather coming, there are always fun, bright colors in workout leggings and tanks that are great additions to a mom’s workout attire. These items here and here are amazing options!

Celebrate your mom this year with an item that she will love! Happy mother’s day to all the moms out there!

-XO Courtney

 

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Flawless Skin Routine

This spring, my skin has been up and down. Some days it will be super dry, while other times it is great! With the fluctuating weather, it can be hard to maintain clear, flawless skin. But I have finally found the perfect skincare routine, makeup and all, so you can feel and look flawless.

As soon as I wake up in the am, I will rinse off any product or cream from the night before and let my skin breath. I feel like it just needs a minute to sit before applying any other lotions. In that time, I’ll usually eat breakfast or relax. Once I am ready to get ready, I’ll do my regular cleanse and exfoliate routine then move on to the important part: hydration. I never realized how important moisturizer was until a few years ago. It does take some trial and error to figure out the best one for your skin, but once you do, it is amazing. I’ve been using the Philosophy Purity Made Simple Ultra-Light Moisturizer, and it is amazing. After, I’ll spray a bit of Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir all over my face and fan dry.

For primer, I LOVE Origin’s Original Skin Pore Perfecting Cooling Primer. At first, the foam tripped me up, but once I began to use it everyday, I noticed such a difference. It’s light and makes your skin feel so fresh. After that, I go into my regular face makeup routine! Products listed below!

**Note: I use a Real Techniques Beauty Sponge for all of my liquid products, along with setting my undereyes!

L’Oreal Pro Matte Foundation

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer

Kat Von D Lock-It Translucent Powder

Benefit Hoola Bronzer

Nars Blush in Dolce Vita

Becca Cosmetics Champagne Pop

-XOXO Courtney

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Last Weekend In NYC

As I’ve gotten older, I love going on weekend getaways! Last weekend, I took a trip with my love to New York City! As usual, we saw plenty of sites, ate a lot of incredible food, and shopped (just a little)!

I had a list of things I was dying to do and see! Our first day, we arrived to extremely wet and windy weather. We pretty much just grabbed lunch and dinner and called it a day! If ever you are in the mood for some yummy deep dish pizza, Emmett’s is the place to go! Bill found it because he loves deep dish! The restaurant was small, cozy, and clearly a spot a lot of locals go to! It was a great way to begin the weekend!

On Saturday, the sun was shining, and I couldn’t have been happier! We walked over to Central Park where we had brunch at Tavern on the Green! The food was SO good, not to mention the restaurant was quaint and lovely. After, we enjoyed the Central Park Zoo, which is probably by far my favorite zoo! We continued to walk around the city some more, and of course, whenever I am there, I always need to stop in Topshop. But the highlight was definitely going to Magnolia Bakery by Rockefeller Center. I had been following them forever on Instagram and knew this was a stop that needed to happen. We tried their banana pudding, and it was life changing.

That night, we went to dinner with my uncle and walked around Times Square. This was definitely one of my favorite NYC trips! When we left, I immediately felt the need to go back. And trust me, I am already planning the next weekend there!

For those asking about my pink hat that I wore during the trip, it is from H&M. I’d been looking for that style for a while, but was not a fan of how most of them looked on me. Once I found this one, I knew it was meant to be. You can find a similar one here!

-XOXO Courtney

 

 

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My Valentine’s Day Wishlist with Zaful

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and love is in the air! Whether you’ll be spending the day or evening with friends or your love, it’s an opportunity to dress up and feel amazing! If you’ve been a follower of my blog for a while, then you know how much I LOVE Zaful! Their pieces are so trendy and fairly inexpensive. This year, Zaful’s Valentines Day 2018 pieces are cuter than ever! Zaful’s Valentine’s Day Sale includes incredible Valentine’s Day deals, perfect for that special day! Below is my wishlist of items that I am loving for this year!

  1. Cami Mini Summer Dress
  2. Pointed Toe High Heel Thigh Boots 
  3. Cold Shoulder Ruffle Backless Mini Dress
  4. Sheer Criss Cross V Neck Sweater
  5. Shawl Collar Heart Print Blouse
  6. Pointed Toe Embroidered Velvet Flat Shoes
  7. Metal Embellished Chain Flap Crossbody Bag
  8. Floral Sheer Crop Mesh Blouse
  9. V Neck Polka Dot Ruffle Hem Dress

Valentine’s Day is a holiday where I could feel like getting dressed up and glam or want to stay very low key in a cozy sweater. With Zaful, I am able to do both. The mini, satin red dress is simple, but very minimal. If you want to be a bit more girly, the pink or polka dot dress adds a feminine touch. The cozy, pink criss cross sweater is perfect with leggings for an easy and casual night. If you are looking for a top to wear with high waisted jeans, then the heart blouse and mesh crop top are perfect. Add a lace bralette underneath for an added sexy touch.

This are just a few of the many items I am loving from Zaful at the moment!

XOXO Courtney

 

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Fitness On Point

Fitness has become a huge part of my life in the past few years. I remember in high school, I would dread going to the gym, but once I got to college, I found it to be one of the best parts of my day. It is so extremely therapeutic and always lifts my spirits no matter what kind of day I have had. But no gym day is complete without a cute and comfortable outfit. With those fitness New Year resolutions happening, it’s the perfect time to step up your gym style and feel amazing working out! Below are a few pieces that I love!

Nike Pro Indy Soft Sports Bra

Zella Edge Seamless Top

Nike Presto Fly Sneaker

Adidas Originals Trefoil Logo Tee

Philosophy ‘Purity Made Simple’ One Step Facial Cleansing Cloths

bkr Spiked 16-Ounce Silicone Glass Water Bottle

Nike Sportswear Advance 15 Track Jacket

Alo Flex Tank

Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings

I love buying and wearing workout clothes in neutral tones. I find they are the most flattering on the body, but also make it easy to mix and match. One of my favorite trends is also anything with an open back, sides, or cool scrappy design. I think it’s fun to show off part of the torso and back while exercising. It adds a trendy and stylish look to a workout outfit, while also being practical and keeping you cool. My biggest tip would also be wearing sports bras and workout tanks WITHOUT padding! The padding can get so uncomfortable and be difficult to wash. Buy apparel without it and sports bras without it! If you need a bit of extra support, invest in a sports bra that is both shapely and has a bit of form to it. That way it’ll keep the girls in place, without adding any extra cleavage.

Have fun with your workout fashion! It’s a time to be comfortable, but also stylish!

-XOXO Courtney

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My 2017 Reflection and Recap

Overall, 2017 was a great year for me. School flew by, and I am now only months from graduating and becoming a “real” adult. I was able to travel some and spend the best quality time with my family. Most importantly, I learned a lot about myself and was humbled by the opportunities that I had to grow as a blogger and person.

Over the past year, my blog grew tremendously. I was able to work with brands that I never imagined, and finally felt that my hard work had been paying off. I started my blog in the fall of 2013. Five years later, I am still working toward my goals and improving my content and social media. I have been extremely humbled by the opportunities that I have been given from my blog and definitely do not take them for granted. Everyday, I work even harder to hopefully one day achieve my dream and goal of running a successful fashion and beauty blog.

While most of the year felt successful, it also posed some challenges for me personally. For years, I have always said that I would keep toxic people out of my life and only surround myself with positivity. Towards the end of this year, that motto got a little lost, and I felt myself personally let down by people who I thought I could trust. But throughout that struggle, I was proud of my maturity and realized that it takes those people and some petty drama to realign who you are and refocus your energy back to what matters. I was challenged with many situations, but through it all, I focused on what I felt was not only best for me, but also the people and situations around me. While I felt absorbed in the pointless drama, I always remembered the bigger things happening in the world and how grateful I am to have many others around me supporting me and loving me. As hard as it was, I had to push away those toxic people, as well as what they thought about me, which was the hardest part. I care how people perceive me because I want people to feel that I am treating them with the respect and love that I would want. When drama arises, you start to question what others think about you and even how you treat people. But I realized that I cannot overthink it. People can ultimately think whatever they want. At the end of the day, only you know you. Continue to love and treat people how you would like to be treated. Continue to respect others and yourself. I will never doubt myself again because I know who I am and so does the others that love me. And I want to personally thank my family, boyfriend, and close friends for continuously supporting me throughout my journey and loving me for who I am.

Being an adult is hard. The change that comes is scary, and I am definitely feeling that at the moment. With months to graduation, I am really beginning to see that the next five years can’t be planned. I have an idea of where I would like to be, but in the end, everything happens for a reason, and I know that if I continue to work hard, I will achieve everything that I am striving for. I will continue to manifest positivity, so that positivity will come to me.  I will continue to do things that make me happy and work through the hard times. I am ready for the challenges to come and cannot wait to go on this journey with you.

As you get older, time flies by. I am nervous for what is to come, but so excited for what the future holds.

I hope you all continue on this journey with me. Happy new year!

-XOXO Courtney

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New Year’s Eve Outfit Ideas

As 2017 comes to a close, I can’t even begin to think about how blessed I was this year and what 2018 will hold. With that in mind, I am extremely excited to ring the new year in! Especially in style. Everyone always looks for the perfect sequin dress, which I do indeed love, but I also think there are other ways to dress up in style, without all the sparkle.

Treasure and Bond X Something Navy Satin Tunic

Leith Faux Leather Skirt

Raye Aria Booty

Asos Prosecco Pointed High Heels

Lioness Chancellor Lace Top

AG Farrah Skinny Ankle Denim

Bardot Alex Wrap Dress

House of Harlow 1960 X Revolve Kristian Dress

Faux Fur Jacket

Rhinestone Star Tassel Drop Earrings

Nars Lipstick in Jungle Red

My favorite color lately has been red. The pop adds a beautiful contrast to neutral tones. Adding it to a simple black leather skirt in the form of a satin blouse is not only sophisticated, but also spicy. I’ll be sporting a pair of black denim with a long sleeve blouse, similar to the one above. Pair it with a set of tassel earrings and a cute booty, and you’ll feel comfortable, but formal. For the more traditional mini dress, I am in love with the velvet wrap dress from Revolve. It’s sexy, yet adds that perfect warm feel. To make the outfit pop even more, add a faux fur vest or jacket to cozy up and feel glamorous.

New Years Eve is all about feeling glam and celebrating a new year! Enjoy your night, and I’ll see you in 2018!

-XOXO Courtney

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Last Minute Holiday Gifts For The Home Lover

Christmas is nearly a week away, and if you are in need of a last minute gift for a home lover, I have the perfect items for you! These are items that are easy to get for last minute shopping, yet perfect for that home body!

  1. Nordstrom at Home Cuddle Up Faux Fur Throw Blanket
  2. Voluspa Vermeil Mini Tin Candle Set 
  3. Urban Botanics Book 
  4. Cathy’s Concepts Boss Lady Lacquer Docking Station 
  5. Nordstrom at Home Foil Print Pillow
  6. Smeg 50s Retro Style Five-Quart Stand Mixer 
  7. Rosanna Luxe Moderne Double Old Fashioned Glasses (Set of 4)

Being a home lover myself, these are items that I’d love if someone purchased for me, so I know they will be perfect for that special person in your life!

-XOXO Courtney

 

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Holiday Gift Guide for Him

In need of a gift for that special man in your life? Is he hard to buy for? Check my gift guide below for some great gift ideas! Whether he is into working out or comfort, these gifts are perfect for any kind of guy!

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  1. Nike Windrunner Colorblock Jacket 
  2. Adidas Originals Court Duffel Bag 
  3. Patagonia Better Sweater Quarter Zip Pullover 
  4. Bose Soundlink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker 
  5. Philips Freshtones Wireless Earbud In-ear Headphones 
  6. Poplin Lounge Pants
  7. Kiehl’s Groom with Greatness Collection
  8. MVMT Leather Strap Watch 40mm
  9. Ugg Byron Slipper 
  10. The Mixers Manual Cocktail Bible for Serious Drinker Recipe Book 

-XOXO Courtney

 

 

 

 

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