New Skincare + First Impressions Video

Hi Friends!

A new video is now live on my YouTube channel! Check it out below to see the new skincare products I have picked up and I’m also sharing my first impressions! Let me know your favorite skincare products and suggestions in a comment on the video.  Have a great day and I’ll talk to you soon!

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Friday Five: My 5 Favorite Pins From This Week

Happy Friday!

Are you on Pinterest? I am! Follow my Pinterest page here to see pins of crafts, diys, style inspirations, beauty loves, and of course BUNNIES!

Today I want to start the week with 5 of my favorite pins of this week. Whenever I want to feel inspired or relax I browse Pinterest and a whole new world of ideas opend up for me. I just love it! If you are having a stressful day, Pinterest is a great place to go. You can find everything from cute animals to recipes!

Here are my top pins from the week!

  1. This board I created. I love inspirational quotes and motivations so every time I see one I like, I pin it here and I often look back at them when I need a little boost.

 

2. I saw this one the other day and I really want to try these because I am a huge LUSH fan but I am also a huge fan of DIYs and personalizing cosmetics as gifts.

 

3. You all know I am a Tone It Up girl and this booty workout is easy to follow and really works. My booty feels instantly tighter the next day.

4. This purse and anything pearlescent. I literally type “Pearlescent” into the Pinterest search and just browse all of the beautiful shimmery pearl-rainbow things. I have been obsessed with mother of pearl things for as long as I can remember. When I was little I had this jewelry box with mother of pearl inlay. It was enchanting!

5.  If you follow me on Instagram then you know I am heading to NYC this coming week and I really love packing life hacks to make traveling easier and stress free. I might make my own packing tips video and post so stay tuned!

Let me know your favorite things to look at on Pinterest! I hope you had an amazing week and that your weekend is relaxing.  Talk to you soon! <3

 

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Healthy Mini Muffin Recipe

Happy Monday, lovelies!

I hope you had a great weekend full of relaxation. Yesterday morning I spent a little time prepping meals for this week so I will have healthy options ready to go. My doctor recently recommended I eat small meals every 3 hours instead of 3 large meals. She feels this will help with my migraines. I realized quickly that in order to stick to that meal schedule I will need to be way more organized and prepared. So, I made a batch of these healthy mini muffins to keep on hand at work this week. They are small and easy to munch on at my desk. This recipe makes about 24, depending on the size of your bananas. I used 2 large bananas.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1 whole egg or 1/4 cup of egg whites OR 1 flax egg (vegan option)
  • 2 Tbsp of protein powder. I use the Nutribiotic Brown Rice protein powder.
  • 1-2 Tbsp of whole wheat flour. You can use rice or coconut flour if you’re gluten free
  • 1/4 tsp of baking powder
  • Splash of unsweet almond milk
  • Blueberries

 

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.While the oven is preheating mash the bananas well in a medium size mixing bowl. Then add in the egg and protein powder. Mix with a fork until all is well blended. Add in flour and use almond milk as needed to keep texture from being too thick.

3. Spray mini muffin pan with coconut oil spray (Or whatever cooking spray you have on hand).

4. Scoop muffin mixture into pan. Each muffin takes about 1 Tbsp of mixture.

5. Place 1 blueberry in the center of each muffin.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

7. Let cool and then store in the fridge for best freshness.

8. Enjoy!

 

You can really play with this recipe to make different kinds of mini muffins. I like to make chocolate ones or add in nuts/seeds.

Let me know your favorite on the go snack to take to work because I could use some suggestions! Thank you for stopping by and I’ll talk to you very soon! <3

 

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Friday Five: 5 Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

TGIF friends!

I hope you all had a great week! In today’s Friday post I want to share 5 easy exercises you can do just about anywhere.

I work in an office and while I would consider my job and active office job I still have to do a lot of sitting. If you saw my Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017 video then you will know I have low blood pressure. One way to combat low blood pressure is to get your blood pumping through movement and exercise. This is one reason why I like to incorporate these quick exercise moves into my daily routine. The other reason is simply to improve my overall health and motivation. Bodies in motion stay in motion! So let’s get moving (a little).

  1. Squats- I do squats anywhere and everywhere. You can do them in your office bathroom, at your desk, or anywhere in your house. I like to do them in sets of 20. Every time you visit the restroom do 20 squats and you will really feel it in your tush after just 1 day.
  2. Lunges- I love lunges. They give you a really good leg stretch and they are also good for your booty and thighs. Make sure when you lunge that your knee is not over your toes. Your knee should be in line with your toes.  This will prevent injuries. I also like to lunge and then pulse or hold it for a few seconds for an even better stretch. Try doing 3 sets of 10 for each leg.
  3. Shoulder presses- You don’t need a set of weights to do shoulder presses. Just sit up straight and hold your arms out, forming a “U” shape with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Then press your shoulder blades together and squeeze. Do 10 presses. Rest a moment. Do 10 more. This is great for toning your back.
  4. Knee lifts with a twist– This is another favorite of mine because it works your mid section and that is one area where I really struggle. For this one all your have to do is stand up, lift up one knee and then touch your opposite elbow to your knee. Make sure you are really twisting your core. Do these 20 times each side.
  5. Stretching- Take a moment every 2 hours of your day to stop and stretch your body. If you work in an office like I do, sitting all day can make you stiff and tired. Taking a few moment to stretch helps improve your blood circulation which will make you more alert and your body will feel better. My go to stretches are:
  • Half Sun salutation (See here)
  • Toe touch
  • Ankle rolls
  • Gentle neck stretch

Don’t be afraid to do any of these in public. I used to be scared too but now I just don’t care. If people judge you then that is their problem. You are doing something good for your body and that is nothing to be embarrassed about. Who knows, maybe seeing you taking a chance and doing these exercises in public will inspire someone else to start an exercise routine. 

Let me know if you have suggestions for other exercises that are easy to do in the office, at home, or while traveling.

Thank you so much for stopping by and I’ll talk to you soon! <3

 

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New Viedo: 3 Easy Ways To Relieve Stress

Hello friends!

Feeling stressed out from the hustle and bustle of the week? Check out my newest video where I share 3 easy ways to prevent or eliminate stress. My plan is to do more self help and self care videos in 2017 so let me know which topics you would like me to cover. I have a lot of professional experience helping people who are in crisis, feeling stressed, or dealing with a difficult time in their lives so I would really love to share the knowledge I have through my YouTube videos.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and YouTube channel so you never miss a post or video. Thank you so much for stopping by and I will talk to you very soon! <3

 

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Tip Tuesday: Be More Productive With This 1 Tip!

Happy Tuesday, friends! Tuesday is said to be the most productive day of the week so today I am sharing 1 tip to increase your overall productivity at home, work, school, or wherever you are!

Set aside time each night to complete small tasks to be overall more productive the next day. 

This can include:

  • Preparing your lunch and your children’s lunches
  • Prepping breakfast for the next day
  • Making To Do list/ important reminders list
  • Preparing work/school bags and setting them by the door
  • General tidying around the house and
  • Laying out clothes for you and your children

Challenge: Stick to it! If you make these tasks part of your nightly routine it will be easier to stick to this form of organization.

Additional Tip: Give yourself a time limit to complete these tasks. Set a timer for 1hr (or more depending on how much time you need) to make yourself even more efficient.

If you are like me and are more of a morning person then you could wake up early and complete some of these tasks in the morning. The whole idea is to set aside a designated time to prepare and get organized. This pattern of being organized will carry over into all other aspects of your life, making you more efficient and productive.

Let me know if you have any other tips for being more organized or productive! Talk to you soon.

 

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Coffee With Courtney Live

Hi friends!

Last night I did a live stream on my YouTube channel. Every now and again I do these as part of my “Coffee With Courtney” series. Since it was at 8:30PM I actually wasn’t drinking coffee, I was drinking a tea. In one of the last live streams I did a few people asked me where they could get the tea I was drinking so I found it on Amazon here:

               

You can also find it at Whole Foods and possibly at some local health store you have in your area. I was drinking the chocolate flavor but I have seen other flavors like hazelnut. To me it really does taste like coffee so if you are looking for an herbal tea with a coffee taste you might check this out!

It was so great having a few of you at my Coffee With Courtney live but if you missed it then you can watch it below! Head over to the video and leave me a comment letting me know any video requests you have and also let me know if you would like to see a weekly Coffee With Courtney Dollar Tree haul.

Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you soon! <3

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1 Tip For Keeping Your Closet Free Of Clutter

Clutter happens.

I am very guilty of having little piles of clutter in my closet, on my vanity, and underneath my bathroom sink but I am working on it. One of my 2017 new year resolutions is to get rid of clutter and material things that are weighing me down. I did a big clean out where I donated things to Goodwill and gave my co-workers a big box of beauty products that I wasn’t going to use.

I have also been reading this book called Clear The Clutter, Find Happiness, which provides really quick and easy tips for removing clutter from your home/life. Here is a photo of the book in case you are interested.

I got this book at Barnes and Noble  but I also found that you can buy it on Amazon here:

This book offers a lot of different methods for not only clearing clutter in a more strategic way, but also quick cleaning tips you can do on a daily basis.

The 1 tip I want to share today in this post is really simple too. For every 1 new item you bring into your closet, take out 2 items until you have a closet full of clothes you absolutely love and wear on a regular basis. The idea is not to just throw out items randomly but rather to get rid of items you are not using or don’t fit well. I am guilty of buying pants that are too long and I tell myself I will get them hemmed. That almost never happens. Now that I think about it, I should really learn to hem my own pants. Since I haven’t mastered that skill yet I am making a pledge to just not buy pants that do not fit me 100% perfectly since I know myself and I probably won’t get them hemmed. This past Saturday I went to a sale at Old Navy and they had a bunch of pants on clearance, specifically petite sized pants. Woo-hoo! They all fit like a dream and came in some really unique and pretty colors. Score! I walked away with about 7 new pairs of pants (5 everyday and 2 for working out). So now I have the challenge to get rid of 14 items in my closet that I never wear.

My plan is to go through this big pile of t-shirts and winter shirts I have because many of them are not being used and since I live in Florida now, I don’t need a ton of winter clothes. I will keep a few for when I visit back home of course but I think I can donate several of those to a better cause like the Goodwill or Salvation Army. I know for sure I can donate about 10 t-shirts too.  There is a donation center just down the street from where I live so there really is no excuse for me not to donate my unused items for someone else to love.

What do you think of this tip? Is it too extreme to bring in 1 thing and take out 2? Let me know in a comment and I would love to hear your quick tips for organizing or clearing out clutter.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and I will talk to you very soon! <3

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Mini Motivation of the Day!

Happy Monday, friends!

If you follow me on Instagram then you saw this photo that I posted with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. This quote is a great reminder that we all have the power within ourselves to achieve great things. Take a moment today and think about what you want to achieve this week.

What goals do you have?

How will you use your inner strength and knowledge to reach those goals?

I also think this quote focuses on living in the present moment.

You cannot change the past or predict the future.

You can work hard to make the present the best it can be to achieve your goals.

 

I’ll keep this post short for today but let me know if you would be interested in more posts or videos about mindfulness, achieving goals, and harnessing your self esteem.

Have a great Monday and I’ll talk to you tomorrow!

<3

 

 

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Friday Five: 5 Ways To Relax This Weekend

Happy Friday! It’s time to kick off your shoes and let down your hair. The weekend is here!

After a hectic week full of work, school, meetings, and chores I think it’s important for everyone to take time and just relax. Self care is something we often feel guilty for doing but it’s vital for our productivity, mental, and physical health. We need time to rest our mind and body so they will be able to perform at their highest level.

Today I am sharing 5 easy ways to relax and take care of yourself this weekend.  These activities are the exact things I am doing myself this weekend to unwind and practice self-care.

1. Escape to your happy place. Maybe your happy place is a physical location you can visit this weekend or maybe it’s a place you visit in your mind through meditation or reflection.

I spent 25 years of my life living in the Midwest so I am trying to take full advantage of living by the beach now. I love to wake up early on Saturday morning, pick out a Spotify playlist, and walk the 1.5 miles from my house to the beach. Walking is great exercise to get your blood pumping and endorphins flowing. Once I reach the beach I like to just sit for a while and watch the water. The ocean is so big that it makes all of my problems seems small. This is a great way for me to gain perspective and re-evaluate what is important in life.

2. Pamper yourself a little. A salon or at home pedicure and manicure is a classic way to pamper yourself.  I also find the act of picking out a new nail color very therapeutic because it gives you a chance to be someone new. You were neon pink last month and this month…maybe you’ll be red or navy or bright purple! At home facials and bubble baths are also two of my favorite ways to pamper myself. I have been loving bentonite clay face masks and baths using my Lush Strawberry Fields Forever massage bar. That massage bar is amazing if you have those little bumps on the back of your arms. If you want to get extra fancy you can add essential oils and dried flowers to your baths to create the ultimate at-home spa session.

3. Read something. Pick up a book or magazine and read a little this weekend. Your head and heart will thank you. Reading helps improve your memory no matter what you are reading. The top Jeopardy champions attribute reading a wide variety of books and publications to their ability to remember even the most random facts. Reading a book also helps improve your empathy skills. When you read a book you have to use your imagination to create the picture of what’s happening and by doing this you unconsciously (and sometimes consciously) put yourself in the shoes of the characters or people you are reading about. This will help you empathize better with others once you step out back into the world. These skills will be even more improved if you choose books that are about other cultures or societies.

I read quite a bit of non-fiction books and news articles throughout the week so on the weekend I like to sink into a good fiction book. This allows me to escape reality for a moment and discover worlds and situations unlike anything I experience in my everyday life. Specifically I love mystery and dystopian novels.

Here are the three books I’m working on this month:

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg- This book is written by the famous YouTuber, Zoella so I bought it out of curiosity to see what kind of story she wrote.

Control by Lydia Kang- This is a teen dystopian fantasy novel about teens who live in a society where your DNA determines you fate. I haven’t started it yet but I have a feeling it has a similar theme to the movie GATTACA.

Clear the clutter and find happiness– This isn’t a fiction book but I am really loving it. This book is more of an advice or self-help book about how to reduce the material items you have in your life that are causing undue stress.

4. Spend time with friends or family. Talking about your week and listening to others is a great form of self-care and is extremely therapeutic. I talk a lot to people about “validating feelings”. This may sound a little weird but every single person on this planet needs and wants their feelings to be validated. Sometimes we get that validation from ourselves and sometimes it feels good to have our friends or family validate our feelings. It can really take a lot of weight off of your shoulders when you talk to someone about a specific problem or concern you are having at work or home. This will help you start your new week with less stress knowing you have a good support system.

It’s also just great to spend time laughing and having a great time with those you love!

 

5. Make errands fun and relaxing. Yep. That’s right.  I said the words “fun” and “errands” in the same sentence. I like turning hours worth of usually boring tasks into a mini vacation. First, you have to get into the right mindset. Think of your grocery purchases a gifts to yourself. The food you buy and consume will either give you more energy and make you a happier person, or it will drag you down. Every healthy food you put in your basket is a small gift to yourself. Make sure to throw in some treats though, for good measure. 😉

Other ways to turn weekend errands into a more enjoyable and therapeutic experience:

  1. Wear an outfit that makes you feel comfortable yet fabulous. Maybe you have a strict dress code throughout the week so this is your chance to wear your favorite casual wear. I have a favorite pair of yoga pants I always throw on that make me feel great!  Or you can simply wear your favorite lipstick or accessory.
  2. Create an errands playlist of your all time favorite tunes and crank it up as you drive.  You can also bring earphones and continue listening in the grocery store. You can even make a playlist of soothing music to turn any location into a spa. I do that sometimes on my way to work.
  3. Treat yourself a little. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to treat yourself to a simple pleasure. As you may guess I usually choose a coffeeshop coffee as my treat. I take time to really enjoy each sip and be mindful that I am fortunate to be able to buy this cup of coffee. Life is good and everything will be ok. In those calm moments between sips I am able to reflect a little on my life and set my intentions for the upcoming week. Not into coffee? Treat yourself to something else small like a lipstick, lunch out, or your favorite beverage.

Those are the 5 tips I have for you this weekend and these are the things I most often do to relax each weekend. I didn’t include one about content creation or blogging but for me, that is another outlet I use to relax.

I do also want to point out something about these 5 tips I have just listed. I don’t have kids so I don’t know how possible these things would be with children. Let me know because I am curious and would love to update my post with advice from moms.

Let me know how you relax on the weekend in a comment on this post or head on over to my Facebook page, Instagram, or twitter to leave me a comment.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and I’ll talk to you soon! <3

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