Reflecting On Yoga At The Raleigh Hotel And The Week

 

Happy Thursday, Babes! I hope you have had a great week so far. In this post I want to check in with you, share some of the meals I have had this week, and reflect on a great yoga class I took last night at The Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach.

I am feeling absolutely amazing so far this week. After just a few days of more focused nutrition and increased exercise my body is thanking me big time. I have more energy, my stomach is less bloated, and I feel happier overall. I think meal prepping has really played a big part is the success so far of my week. Every morning I reach into my fridge, grab my breakfast, and lunch and off I go! Dinner is the one meal I am struggling with. As you all know I suffer from chronic migraines and one remedy I am using is a combination of herbs given to my by a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. They seem to be helping with my headaches but if I take too much of them they kill my appetite for dinner. That combined with a certain level of laziness to prepare food after work (haha) makes getting in dinner difficult. This has also allowed me to reflect on what I was eating for dinner before. Usually I would grab a random combination of things like hummus and crackers, cheese, olives, random veggies, or whatever was quick and easy. Now that I am back to following my nutrition plan I am realizing the meal I should be focusing more on is dinner (or M5 if you are on the plan).  That will be my goal for next week.

The two main meals I have been eating everyday are overnight oats and a avocado quinoa bowl. I have a couple recipes for overnight oats which I did a blog post on a while back. You can check it out here: http://coffeewithcourtney.com/5-overnight-oats-recipes-to-try-this-week/

The avocado quinoa bowl is so satisfying and combines quinoa, chick peas or black beans, diced zucchini, sliced tomatoes, jalapeño (optional), and then is topped with a little salsa and sliced avocado. If you love Chipotle or Mexican food in general you should try making this type of recipe. You can these ingredients over a bed of lettuce or eat a salad on the side for extra greens. So tasty!

The one successful dinner I had this week was actually prepared by my husband. He made us seared ahi tuna with a salad of arugula, kale, cucumber, tomato, and carrots. He also drizzled a little low sodium soy sauce over the tuna to give it a sushi-restaurant taste. I am very lucky to have such a great partner in life. He is being very supportive of my journey and that makes all the difference.

If you are working towards a goal, share it with your family and friends and ask for their support. You are guaranteed to be more successful if you have the love and support of those around you.

Last night my friend Anela from Nelly’s Life (Check out her blog here!: http://www.nellyslife.com/)  invited me to a yoga class at The Raleigh Hotel here in Miami Beach. It was part of a monthly even called the Leggings Lounge. The vibe of that hotel is pure paradise. Everything from the waterfall to the music in the pool/lounge area was on point. The class was hosted by Christa from Bliss Fit Life Miami. Check out her Instagram and leave a comment on a photo and let her know “courtney.val sent me”. She is so sweet and her passion just radiates. You can really see her desire to share her knowledge and build up this community. The class was more challenging than I thought. I did a workout in the morning which may have played a role in my shaking legs but it was a great challenge. She gave options if people were struggling to stay in one pose. After the active yoga portion of the class she had us meditate and reflect for a bit on the intention we had set for the class. I was thinking very hard about this journey and what I want to accomplish. Then all of the sudden I felt someone poke the inside of my foot really hard. It made me jump a little so I opened my eyes. No one was there. The instructor was on the opposite side of the room. I am not sure how to take this. It could have been a muscle spasm but the spiritual side of me thinks that maybe I was analyzing things too much and it was a little poke to draw my attention back to the present moment and focus on the now to be able to focus on the future.

 My leggings are from We Love Colors  . They are Style#6101 and color #7205.

My intention for today is to do just that. Focus on the present moment and live in the here and now. We cannot change the past and we cannot predict the future so our actions here in the present are what matter. Our actions of today will shape our future and become our past.

I hope you have a great Thursday and let me know in a comment what your intention is today.

Let’s support each other more on social media. You can follow me at these links and we can talk in the comments!

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/CourtneyVal
Instagram: https://instagram.com/courtney.val/
Snapchat: courtney.val
Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtneywval
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/courtneywval/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyValYT

Email: courtney@coffeewithcourtney.com

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My Life Is Changing In Just 8 Weeks!

It’s time for a change. A BIG change!

Yesterday I started an 8 week journey to makeover my life for the better and I am sharing EVERYTHING with you. The main part of this challenge is the Tone It Up Bikini Series which is an annual fitness and nutrition challenge hosted by my two absolute favorite health and fitness experts, Karena and Katrina from toneitup.com.

I found these girls when I was going through a time when I never thought I would be in great health or love my body. I was silently suffering behind diet soda and lean cuisine meals. Then, I came across their YouTube channel one night and something about their kindness and genuine desire to help other women made me realize that there was still hope for me. At that time I was suffering from a constantly bloated stomach, fatigue, headaches, acne, mental fog at times, feelings of depression, and just overall I didn’t feel amazing. Then again I didn’t really know there was another way to feel. I joined the online community and found a whole world of women supporting each other. It was and is unconditional support, motivation, and love. I explored all of the content on their website and followed everything I possibly could. In 2013 I took the leap and bought the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is not just a meal plan but basically it’s an educational course on nutrition and how food and exercise effects your body. Once I started applying the principals of the plan I instantly felt better and I never looked back!

That being said, over the last year I have had too many moments where I let things slide and now I am not feeling like I used to. My headaches and migraines are getting worse and something has to change. I also want to build lean, toned muscle to just be strong and feel confident in my skin. I will  be sharing my meals, workouts, progress photos, tips, DIYS, and more related to the challenge!

My first Tone It Up Instagram photo

I will be posting multiple times a day on my Tone It Up Instagram-@liveloveandtiu so you can follow me there also if you like. That Instagram is a very raw and unedited look at my life.

I will also be posting daily here on my blog, making frequent YouTube videos, and posting on my main Instagram (courtney.val), Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter. I want to take you along on this journey every step of the way!

But that’s not it! (Cue game show host voice) 😉

I also want to take these next 8 weeks and examine other areas of my life that I want to improve.

These include goals related to:

  • Career
  • Friendships
  • Finances
  • Organization/Decluttering
  • Expanding my YouTube channel, Instagram, and Blog
  • Travel and Summer plans
  • Self Care
  • Volunteering and giving back

If there are other topics you would like me to address leave me a comment and let me know!

Another goal of this challenge is to help, motivate, and inspire others to achieve their goals. I started following blogs and watching YouTube videos because they helped me so much so I want to contribute and make content that is going to help others too.  If there is a specific goal you are working on let me know and we can help each other! I’m not trying to be cheesy but I truly believe that there is no goal you cannot achieve if you really want it. So, let’s do this! Let’s take the next 8 weeks and make our dreams come true!

One last thing….

Throughout this challenge you are going to get to know me better than ever before. To be honest, I have been holding back a little bit. There are many posts and videos I wanted to make but I was afraid of what people would think.

“What will they think about my ugly kitchen?”

“My skin is a mess, I can’t go on camera with no makeup.”

etc….

We all have insecurities, I know but I am ready to take that leap and be ALL IN!

If you are all-in too and want to join me, subscribe to my blog, YouTube Channel, and follow me social media so we can stay connected.

This is going to be an amazing journey, I can feel it!

Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the internet. I hope you have an amazing day and I will talk to you soon! <3

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/CourtneyVal
Instagram: https://instagram.com/courtney.val/
Snapchat: courtney.val
Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtneywval
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/courtneywval/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyValYT

Email: courtney@coffeewithcourtney.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Easy Juice Recipe For Increased Energy, Clear Skin, and Boosted Immunity

Happy Friday!

Let’s cheers to the weekend with a juice recipe that you can make in just a few minutes and doesn’t require a juicer! This juice is packed full of healthy ingredients to give you a natural boost of energy, clear up your skin, reduce inflammation in your body, and strengthen your immune system. Bonus: it doesn’t contain a ton of sugar!

What you need:

3 ripe grapefruits

Ground or fresh ginger

Turmeric

Water

32 oz mason jar or container of choice

Tall drinking glass

Strainer

To Prepare:

Slice the grapefruits in half and then squeeze the juice into a glass. You can just use your hands or a hand-held citrus juicer.

Then place the strainer over your mason jar or hold it above the container you will use to house your juice.

Strain out any pulp or seeds.

Fill the rest of the jar up with fresh water. For extra benefits use an electrolyte water like Smart Water. This will also help with hydration, energy levels, and can calm headaches.

Add in 1 tbsp of turmeric

Add in 1 tbsp of ground ginger or finely grated fresh ginger.

Shake it up and place in the fridge.

Serve it cold in your favorite glass and share with a friend!

Vitamin C in the juice has a natural brightening and clearing effect on your skin so if your skin is acting unruly or just looks dull, you might consider adding more Vitamin C to your daily nutrition. Vitamin C is also essential for a strong immune system. Ginger is great for digestion and circulation which will help give you natural boost of energy and keep your stomach happy. Ginger is also said to reduce headaches and migraines because of how it improves circulation in your body.  Turmeric is an amazing anti-inflammatory which helps reduce headaches, acne, swelling of the joints, and help your skin glow. The reason we add so much water is to cut down the sugar content and help provide additional hydration. Electrolyte water will provide a dose of magnesium and potassium that can reduce headaches and improve hydration as well.

I have not really tested this juice fully to measure its effectiveness on headaches so I’ll need to drink it on a daily basis and then let you know how I feel after a week or two.

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you try this recipe at home! Have a great day and I’ll talk to you soon. <3

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Spring Renewal

Happy Spring!

Today marks the first day of Spring (and my dad’s birthday!). This time of year always makes me think of new beginnings and fresh starts. Just about one year ago I moved to Miami so I am reflecting on what has happened over the last year, the goals I achieved, the mistakes I made, and where I want to go from here.

Many people start new goals in January but for me, a fresh start feels more natural around Spring time. This past January I made New Year’s goals mainly out of obligation but I haven’t felt extremely motivated to focus on them until now. I think goal creation takes more time than most people realize because you have to evaluate your life on a few different levels to really know which goals you should be striving for.  I say “should” because there is a difference between the things we should be doing and the things we want to do. There are many goals I want to achieve but I need to take a step back and look at what is truly best for myself, my relationships, and the direction of my life. For example, I want to attend Playlist Live in Orlando in May because I feel that will help me network for my blog and YouTube channel. When I really take a closer look what I should do is focus more on networking in my local community. I don’t have to wait for a specific conference to network and collaborate. Miami is full for content creators who want to collaborate and there are many opportunities to network here. I already have a few new collaborations in the works so stay tuned!

That is just one example but this same idea can be applied to any goal you have. This Spring I want to take a closer look at what is truly important to me and focus my goals around those things. I attended a South Florida Bloggers meet-up this past weekend and the speaker said a few things that stuck out to me. She asked us to ask ourselves why we blog and make content. The reason I have this blog or create any content that you see from me is to help people. I want to help others be happy, healthy, and enjoy life to the fullest. I created this blog and my YouTube channel as a form of self care and as a therapeutic outlet.

I know for certain that I want to focus my content more on wellness and create a space online (and in real life) for people to come and just enjoy life and be happy. I want to create an online vacation from the stressors of life.

Those are my few thoughts for this Monday morning. Let me know if you are doing any Spring goal planning or organization and we can help each other with our goals!

 

Have a beautiful week and I’ll talk to you soon! <3

 

 

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Friday Five: 5 Songs To Make You Feel Happy

 

Hey friends!

I hope you all had a great week. This week just flew by for me. I blinked and it’s Friday. One thing that stood out to me this past week was the impact music has had on my mood recently. I rediscovered some great songs this week that always put me in an amazing mood so I want to share them with you in hopes they will make you happy too!

I have been talking a lot on my blog, YouTube channel, and social media about self care and I really think music is a great way to practice self-care. You can create a Self Care playlist to listen to whenever you feel stressed, overwhelmed, or just want to take some time to yourself.  The following 5 songs are definitely on my playlist.

Have a listen below and let me know which songs always make you feel happy because I am always looking for new songs to add to my daily work commute playlist!

  1. Can’t Stop The Feeling-Justin Timberlake

2. Celebrate-Mika

 

 

3. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough-Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

4. Cosmic Girl-Jamiroquai

 

5. Shake It Off-Taylor Swift

 

Thank you for stopping by! Check out my other social media sites here:

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/CourtneyVal
Instagram: https://instagram.com/courtney.val/
Snapchat: courtney.val
Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtneywval
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/courtneywval/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyValYT

Email: courtney@coffeewithcourtney.com

 

 

 

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Setting Intentions Vs. Setting Goals

 

Good morning!

I hope your day is going well so far. I hope you had restful sleep and are ready to take on the challenges of the day. I woke up this morning thinking about intentions and goal setting.

As you may know from reading this blog, I really love setting and reaching goals. The best way to keep myself motivated is to set a new goal, no matter how small, and then achieve it. Everyday when I create my “To Do” list I set a bunch of mini goals for myself and as the day goes by I get a lot of satisfaction from crossing off the goals I achieve. These can be as simple as, “Don’t forget to take vitamins.”

This morning I am not focusing so much on goals but more on intentions. What’s the difference? A goal is something you are going to complete in the future and an intention is something you are aiming to complete right now in this present moment.

For example:

Goal: I will clean my house tonight.

Intention: I will clean up as I go right now.

In the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about these two ideas very much and how they can be applied to my life. I set a lot of goals but maybe I should shift my focus to setting more intentions?

The example I just gave about goal vs. intention is action based but let me give you another example that is more thought based.

Goal: I want to be a more positive person overall.

Intention: I will think more positively in the present moment and stop negative thoughts as they come.

This example is more along the lines of where I am focusing my energy. If we can stop negative thoughts or doubts in the present moment and as they come then this intention will lead us to our bigger goal of being a more positive person overall.

Intentions are truly the starting point you never knew existed for your goals. I believe when you focus on setting your intention you will be more successful in achieving your goal. It’s like preheating your oven. You could probably put cookies in the oven and then heat it, but it will take a lot longer for the cookies to bake. If you preheat the oven those same cookies will bake a lot faster and probably taste better.

Take a moment today and set your intention for the day. My intention today is to be mindful and aware of everything around me. The goal I have associated with this intention is to enjoy the day more through the practice of mindfulness.

I live in a big city (Miami) so sometimes I push mindfulness to the side because there is so much to take in around me, it can be overwhelming. I think the key is being aware but knowing what to take in and what to let be.

I am going to get ready for work now and continue my day. I hope everyone has a great day and let me know your thoughts about goals and intentions! You can chat with me on any of my social media sites listed below:

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/CourtneyVal
Instagram: https://instagram.com/courtney.val/
Snapchat: courtney.val
Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtneywval
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/courtneywval/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyValYT

Email: courtney@coffeewithcourtney.com

 

Talk to you soon! <3

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Health and Fitness Collab!

FullSizeRender (1)

Good Morning ladies!

I just posted a video on my YouTube channel where I share with you my health and fitness routine. My video is part of a collaboration with 5 other YouTubers. Below are links to check out each of their channels.
Cherie: http://www.youtube.com/user/livelovelatte

Deb:https://www.youtube.com/user/debwanderson

Clara: https://www.youtube.com/user/claraslate

Tina: https://www.youtube.com/user/frugalfunfab

Annie: https://www.youtube.com/user/Anniesimplelife

 

In my video I shared two recipes that I love to make on a regular basis. Below you will find the complete recipes. I really hope you enjoy these recipes and let me know if you would like to see more recipes or cooking videos in the future.

 

3 Ingredient Cookie

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 10.17.15 PM

Ingredients:

2 medium ripe bananas

1 cup of oats

1 scoop of protein powder

Chocolate chips-Amount it up to you!

* You can also add in nuts, nut butter, chia, flax seed, or dried fruit.

 

Instructions:

  1. Mash bananas really well and then mix in all ingredients.
  2. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Cool and enjoy!

 

Spaghetti Squash

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 10.16.34 PM

Ingredients:

1 ripe Spaghetti Squash

Pasta sauce of choice

Optional: You can add in ground beef, ground turkey, tofu, Morning Star crumbles, shredded cheese, or any protein you like.

 

Instructions:

1.Carefully cut the squash in half length wise

  1. Take microwave safe dish and add about 1/4-1/2 inch water.
  2. Place squash open end down into the dish.
  3. Microwave on high for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Take out and let it cool for a minutes and then use your fork to scrape the squash, starting at the top and scrape down vertically. It should look like angel hair spaghetti noodles.
  5. Top with your sauce/protein of choice and serve!

*leftovers stay good in the fridge for about 3-5 days.

 

 

Check out these links to some of my other favorite Tone It Up recipes:

https://www.toneitup.com/recipe/no-bake-almond-joy-protein-truffles/

https://www.toneitup.com/recipe/avocado-toast-5-ways/

https://www.toneitup.com/recipe/black-bean-quinoa-chili/

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and my video. STAY TUNED for my next blog post where I share my workout music playlist!

 

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and watching my video!

 

Have a great day and follow me at the links below to stay connected!

 

 

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/CourtneyVal

Instagram: https://instagram.com/courtney.val/

Snapchat: courtney.val

Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtneywval

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/courtneywval/

Email: courtneywval@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyValYT

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Brown Rice & Flax Bread Recipe

Good Morning!

I hope your week is starting off well. I have a new recipe to share. Last night during my Sunday prep I decided to make my own version of the popular Ezekiel bread.

 

First, I don’t have an actual bread pan so I had to use this dish. I would recommend you use an actual bread loaf baking pan for best results. Ideally an 8 x 4 inch pan works best.  I’m going to buy one soon so I can make this again properly.

Ingredients:

Small batch 6-8 slices
1 1/2 cup of brown rice flour
1/3 cup of flax meal
3/4 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup of cashew milk (almond or dairy could be used)
2 eggs

Large batch 8-12 slices
3 cups of brown rice flour
3/4 cup of flax meal
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups of cashew milk (almond or dairy could be used)
3 eggs

Optional ingredients:
1-2 Tbsp of agave nectar for a sweeter bread
1-2 Tbsp whole flax or chia seeds.

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a large bowl whisk together all dry ingredients so they are mixed thoroughly.
3, In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients.
4. Mix wet and dry ingredients together with large kitchen spoon.
5. Oil your bread pan.
6. Bake for 60 minutes.
*Optional: Sprinkle flax seeds on top before baking.
7. Let the bread cool for 20 minutes and then slice.
8. Store bread in a zip lock bag in the fridge for up to a week.

Let me know if you make this and how it turns out. Have a great week!

Places to connect:
YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/user/TheImperfectpearl
Instagram: https://instagram.com/courtney.val/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtneywval
Blog: http://www.imperfectpearl.blogspot.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/courtneywval/
Email: courtneywval@gmail.com

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5 Overnight Oats Recipes To Try This Week

Yesterday I posted a picture on my Instagram (follow here) of some Sunday prepartions I did for my busy work week. I am trying to get into the habit of preparing meals, setting out clothes, and planning activites each Sunday to make life much easier during the week. One of the things I always do is prepare breakfasts for the week. Last week I made the health muffins and this week I prepped Overnight Oats.

If you are a Tone It Up girl then you will be very familiar with this recipe. It is so easy to make and personalize with the ingredients you like. The base is 1/4-1/2 cup of quick oats and unsweetend almond milk (you can use any milk you like). To prepare you just add your ingredients to a mason jar or small container and then cover everything with your milk,sti, and leave it in the fridge while you sleep. I would add a generous amount of milk because the oats will soak it up overnight. Hence, Overnight Oats. Some people like to eat them cold straight out of the jar but I like to heat mine up in the morning. It’s all up to you.

Here are 5 of my favorite Overnight Oats recipes:

Double Almond
1/4 cup of  oats
1 scoop protein powder
Dash of cinnamon
1 pkt of stevia
1 Tbsp of almond butter
Almond milk to cover oats

Chocolate Covered Coconut
1/4 cup of oats
1 scoop PB2 chocolate OR any chocolate nut butter
1 pkt stevia
Coconut flakes
Coconut milk to cover oats

Blueberry Muffin
1/4 cup oats
1 Tbsp protien powder
Dash of cinnamon
2 tsbp of agave nectar
Handful of blueberries
Almond milk to cover

Chia Strawberry
1/4 cup of oats
3 strawberries, sliced
1 tsp of chia seeds
1 pkt of stevia
Almond milk to cover

Banana Nut 
1/4 cup of oats
1 pkt of stevia
1/2 banana, sliced
1 handful of walnuts
Almond milk to cover

These are just 5 of my favorite recipes but the possibilites are endless! Let me know your favorite quick morning recipes.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!


Places to connect:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheImperfectpearl
Instagram: https://instagram.com/courtney.val/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtneywval
Blog: http://www.imperfectpearl.blogspot.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/courtneywval/
Email: courtneywval@gmail.com



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Healthy Breakfast Muffin Recipe

Good Morning!

I hope everyone’s week is starting off great. Today I want to share a recipe I made while doing my weekly meal prep yesterday. I am really trying to get into the habbit of prepping all of my meals for the week each Sunday. These muffins are a combination of a few different recipes I have seen, including the amazing Tone It Up protein pancake recipe. (find it here) I also got inspiration from Sarah fit (find her recipe here). Below is the final recipe I created. These are paleo, gluten-free, low carb, high protein, and low fat. Yippee!

This makes 4 big muffins or 8 small muffins.

Ingredients:
~2 medium bananas, mashed.
~2 Scoops protein powder of your choosing (I use a plant based one)
~4 tbsp flax seed meal
~4 tsp of cinnamon
~4 egg whites or 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg
~2 tsp of baking powder
~1 1/2 tsp of baking soda
~Pinch of salt
~1 Tbsp of almond milk (you could use any milk you prefer)
~1-2 Tbsp of agave nectar or honey. This depends on how sweet you want them.
~Add in your favorite fruits, nuts, or seeds. In the ones above I used golden raisins and sunflower seeds.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (176 Celcius)
2. Combine all ingreidents except the agave nectar and fruit/nuts.
3. Mix well.
4. Fold in nuts/fruit.
5. Add agave nectar and mix again.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes, checking them every 20 or so minutes. When a tooth pick comes out clean you are good to go.

These can be stored for 2-5 days in the fridge. When you are ready to eat them just pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds.

Enjoy!

Other places to connect:
Instagram: https://instagram.com/courtney.val/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtneywval
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheImperfectpearl
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/courtneywval/
Email: courtneywval@gmail.com

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