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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Video: Relax At The Beach-10 Minutes of Pure Relaxation

 

Take a 10 minute break with me to the beach in this relaxing video filled with soothing music and the ocean sounds.

 

*If you don’t see the video above you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2572OgzbyRA

You can use this video:

  • As background music while you work
  • During yoga practice
  • During meditation
  • To help you sleep
  • To relieve stress
  • To calm anxiety
  • To help you focus
  • To create an at-home spa
  • To just relax wherever you are.

Let me know if you have enjoyed this type of video and I will make more! Let me know which kinds of locations you would like to see.

Have a great day!

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Outfit Of The Day: South Beach Wine and Food Festival

Yesterday my husband and I attended the South Beach Wine and Food Festival here in Miami and it was a blast! I posted a lot on Snapchat and Instagram stories so if you’re not following me there you definitely should! I am getting a lot better with Instagram stories too. Woo!

Snapchat: courtney.val

Instagram: @courtney.val

I want to share my outfit from yesterday because I am really happy with how it turned out.  One thing I love about living in Miami is that ANYTHING goes when it comes to personal style. You can rock whatever look you want and love and (almost) no one will judge you badly. I think I did give some tourist a little shock as I walked down the beach yesterday and I caught someone snapchatting/taking a photo of me but it’s all good. I was actually really tempted to go over to them and say, “Hey, love my outfit? You can take a better photo if you want!”.

One guy on the street stopped me and said I looked like “a cute little pixie”. Hehe I will take that as a huge compliment, Sir because pixies are adorable!

The look I was going for yesterday was mermaid-inspired.  I paired neon pink fishnet tights with a pair of teal shorts as the main focal point of my outfit.

Details:

Top: Black Sleeveless chiffon top. This top was a gift from my mother-in-law a few years back but you can use any black top you like!

Camisole(under top): The black top was a bit sheer so I added a silky black camisole underneath. I am not sure where it’s from though because I took the tag out. Any black camisole will work.

Shorts: I found these shorts at Goodwill but originally they were from KimChi Blue. I snagged them for $4!

Fishnets: These Neon Pink Wide Mesh fishnets are from We Love Colors. $9.00

Shoes: My shoes are black sandals with a chunky 3 inch heel. They are from Christian Siriano.

Necklace: I decided to not wear any earrings and go for this long necklace with a prism pendant.

Sunglasses: These are from Betsey Johnson and I found them at Nordstrom Rack.

 

I want to do more outfit of the day posts like this so let me know if you would like to see that!

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

 

 

 

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Saturday Coffee Vibes

Happy Saturday!

I hope your weekend is starting off well. Every Saturday I wake up, make coffee, and then plan out my weekend on paper. I have recently started bullet journaling and it is life changing!

Here is a photo I posted on snapchat (That’s why it’s not high-res)

I will do a more detailed post and possibly a video about bullet journaling but I think I should keep doing it a bit longer so I have more to share.

On item on my list is to share with you my recent trip to NYC. My morning coffee especially reminded me of my NYC trip because while I was in New York I tried several local coffee shops that have made “Best Of” lists. One of those coffee shops is Dough. It’s actually a doughnut and coffee shop. They have a couple locations, one being in the lobby of the Row NYC Hotel, where I stayed. I would wake up every morning and go down to the lobby for an Americano. Their espresso is really smooth and more on the fruity side.

I am working on a more detailed review post about the different coffee spots I visited, so stay tuned. In this photo I am holding my coffee from Dough Doughnuts as I stare out my Row NYC hotel window. I had a great view of the city traffic (and the snow!). My sweater says “Best weather is kimono weather” and I completely agree! I found it at Marshalls. My maroon glitter lurex tights are from We Love Colors. You can get your own here: https://www.welovecolors.com/shop/lurextights.htm

I just wanted to pop in to say hello and now I will get back to my coffee and content making. Lots of new posts and videos are coming soon for you this coming week!

Have a great weekend!  Talk to you soon. <3

 

 

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Friday Five: My Favorite Affordable Lippies

 

Happy Friday,lovelies!!

I know my last post was a little heavy so in the name of balance I am bringing you a lighter post this Friday.  Ever since I was a little girl I have loved lip balm, lipstick (or “iptic” as I used to call it), and all lip related makeup items. I remember in high school during Model UN, which was my home room class, I would empty out my purse and my friends would count all of the lip paraphernalia I had.

Not much has changed. I still have a bunch of lipsticks in the bottom of my purse and I am constantly applying them all day. At least I’m consistent! Ha.

Of all the lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip balms I have had over the years there are a few that stick out (and one new favorite!) Bonus: They are all affordable! Check them out below and let me know your all time favorite lip products.

 

1. Dr. Pepper Bonne Bell Lip Smacker:

Serious has there every been a more majestic lip balm?! This is at the top of my list because for me this is nostalgia in a lip product. Lip Smacker lip balms are one of the first makeup items I ever got as a child/tween. The Dr. Pepper smell and taste of this lip balm is spot on. It also leaves just a subtle reddish tint on your lips for days when you just can’t fully adult.

This balm just brings back so many great memories from middle school and high school. I still have one in my collection and use it on occasion because it doesn’t matter how old you are, Lip Smackers will always be the bomb.

I am not completely sure but I heard that the company is closing so we will all just have to cherish the memories we have had with our balms.

 

2. Wet’ n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in Just Garnet

There are many lip products from this extremely affordable brand that I am in love with. One of them is from their Silk Finish line in the shade Just Garnet. It’s a beautiful blue-based red color that looks great on all skin tones. You can use balm or gloss to tone down the color if you want so sometimes when I travel this is the only lipstick I will bring. It’s that good.

You can buy it at many local drugstores or online here: http://www.wetnwildbeauty.com/lips/lip-color/silk-finish-lipstick.html#sm.0009r0cle17mdf6qtt312bnys5mlt

3. ELF Cosmetics Lip Stain

Again, from the ELF brand there are SO many lip products I just can’t get enough of that I will have to do a separate post with my favorites just from ELF. One of my favorite products is their line of stains. They are easy to apply and they give your lips a perfect amount of color that lasts a long time. Last year I did a video where I used one of these stains to make my lip color last longer. If you missed it you can check it out here:

My favorite shade is Berry Blush.

You can find these at Target and a select drugstores. Or you can buy it online here: http://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/essential-lip-stain?Dept=lip

 

4. Catrice Ultimate Lip Glow

This lipstick is like your own genie in a lipstick tube. It’s definitely a “throw in your purse and go” lippie.

My actual absolute favorite is the Catrice Ultimate Lip Glow Gloss but that is not yet available in the U.S. I bought one while in Germany a year an a half ago and I completely finished it. Yea, it’s that good.

You can buy it on amazon though here:

That being said the Ultimate Lip Glow in lipstick form is really amazing and I like it 99% as much as I do the gloss. It is a universal shade that when applied turns varying shades of pink depending on your body’s chemistry. I have to do more research but it could have to do something with your body’s temperature because I put it on my hand and it turned a different color than when I applied it to my lips. The name is really true in that it provides a nice glow of color and not something as opaque as a regular lipstick.

You can find it at Ulta or online here: http://www.ulta.com/ultimate-lip-glow?productId=xlsImpprod12831123

 

5. NYX Cosmetics Lingerie Liquid Lipstick

Up until now I never thought liquid lipsticks looked good on me, especially matte ones. I have tried a bunch of different kinds but it never worked out. Two weeks ago I was in NYC and I visited the flagship NYX store. It’s amazing, you should go if you ever get a chance! While I was there I saw this Lingerie line and I have seen it before but almost every single shade is always sold out. So I thought this was my chance to give liquid lipsticks another try. One of my favorite YouTubers, Bree Ashley (Check her channel out here and tell her Courtney Val sent you!)  mentioned in one video that she loved this shade, Embellishment and she seems to know her stuff when it comes to makeup.

Ok, girl. I’ll give it a try!

I was a bit hesitant but it applied so smooth and flawlessly that I think I literally did a double take of my own lips. It’s that awesome. It stayed all day too even after eating and drinking. This has become one of my new favorites and I can’t wait to try more shades.

You can find it at Target, Ulta, and online here: http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/lip-lingerie/NYX_315.html?cgid=lipstick

 

I hope you have enjoyed this post and it has brought even a little bit of joy to your life. Let me know your favorite lip products in the comments or on any of my social media sites below. Thanks so much for stopping by and I will talk to you very 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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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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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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