New Year // New Goals

New Year // New Goals

Happy New Year friends!

As the first weekend of the New Year is underway, I’ve spent my week looking into what my goals for the New Year are and how I’m going to achieve them.

Below are several of my goals that are nearest and dearest to my heart for 2019.

GOALS FOR THE NEW YEAR // 2019

SAVE money = prioritize my spending.

⁃ Be DEDICATED to my nutrition, I want to decrease my body fat % & fuel my body with the proper micronutrients that are NOT filled with $h*#! Primarily cutting out fast food as much as I can!

⁃ Be CONSISTENT at the gym. Train hard, not be timid to lift heavy and not allow one day off to turn into a week. The gym has changed my life, my mental and physical health, I don’t want to lose sight of that this year.

GRADUATE cosmetology school! I want to be more dedicated to this craft than I ever have been before. I’m so eager for what this industry has in store for me. I just have to put in the TIME & WORK.

⁃ Show more GRATITUDE. I want to find something each day to be thankful for and never let the people I LOVE forget how thankful I am for them.

⁃ Keep my house & car CLEAN, all the time. I just need to tidy up a little each day to avoid the chaotic disaster that comes at the end of the week.

If you’re anything like me, you’re ready to be the best version of yourself. Take the time to reflect on what you want, wether it be long term or short term. Think about things you could improve on or want to achieve —things that will in exchange improve your quality of life. Narrow those things down into a couple realistic GOALS and start NOW.

Think of what the best version of yourself would do, make that a reality. You are so much stronger than you think you are. You also will more than likely learn so much about yourself along your journey to achieving your goals, it’s likely your goals may change- just know what you want and don’t be afraid to appreciate your failures and celebrate successes.

I hope my goals and inspirations for the year allow you to make some of your own. What are your goals for the New Year? How do you aim to achieve them? Leave your comments below!

Xoxo,

Courtney

WHERE I’VE BEEN- WEIGHTLOSS/FITNESS JOURNEY

WHERE I’VE BEEN- WEIGHTLOSS/FITNESS JOURNEY

WELCOME BACK, XO.

I wanted to share my fitness and weightloss journey with you all because it has been the core of all of the positive changes that have been present in my life over the last several months and is truly something that has changed my life. 

I apologize for my six month hiatus, I’ve missed you all and have so much to share. But I promise, I’ve been up to some great stuff!

BACKSTORY

I grew up very active, I was a multi-sport athlete throughout high school, I was never skinny but not fat, I had an athletic build and was on the curvier side. I was never very health conscious and my metabolism allowed me to eat the way I did especially while I was in sports.

Fast forward through my first year of college, moving back to my home state, going to a new college, getting into a relationship and landing my first full-time desk job, my physical health was put on the back burner.

I remember doing virtually nothing other than my full-time school schedule and my 40+ hour work week. I was unhappy, unmotivated, was not active, drained by my job, and was experiencing a high level of stress in my personal/family life. I was resorting to fast food sometimes up to twice a day, drinking almost zero water and my sleeping habits were on the fritz.

WHAT MADE ME WANT TO CHANGE

Clothes that once fit were no longer fitting, I had extremely low energy, my weight was at an all time high, I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin,  simply put- I was mentally and physically at my worst.

There was no specific thing or event that happened, I just remember one day looking in the mirror and truly wanting to make a change. I wanted to treat my body better and look better, which I would soon realize would manifest into ALL other aspects of my life.

I went to my best friend and boyfriend Jordan for advice, on how to kick-start my weightloss and fitness journey and he encouraged me to start meal-prepping for myself and to make working out a priority, even with my busy schedule. Due to my schedule, we decided that my one hour lunch break was really the only reasonable time to workout due to how long my work day was and adding in my commute. We have a free-weight set up at our house, but for some reason going to the gym was an added factor of accountability that really helped me, plus all of the equipment I didn’t have access to at home. 

WHERE IT ALL STARTED

After the talk I had with my boyfriend, countless hours of researching, finding Youtuber’s & websites to help me with my meal prepping and workouts, I went and got a gym membership, bought some wireless headphones, and went all in. 

I started to workout consistantly for about 45 minutes, M-Th for my first month, soon after I began to workout 5 days a week. When I started going to the gym I didn’t know much about which movements do due, how to target what, and how to use most of the equipment.

I would plan out my workouts the night before, pin or save the workout video incase I needed to refer to it and the gym and use that workout to follow the next day, this allowed me to maximize my time at the gym, especially on my hour break. I began with very low weights, as I had lost most of any tone I had and was very weak. I upped my weight at my own pace, always focusing on correct form and solid pumps/reps before attempting to up my weight. You will be surprised how strong your body is and how fast it can build up a tolerance, which is why it’s important to bring frequent variation to your workouts- push yourself! You don’t want to become stagnant in your workouts or your progress!

For my diet, I cut out all fast food, with the exception of my choice of cheat meal, for the week or a couple times a month depending on how strict I was being with my diet. I upped my water take to at least a gallon of water a day. I learned how to count/track my macros (I used the myfitnesspal app), and also began intermittent fasting. My diet consisted of high protein and healthy carbs/fats (*still does*). One of the biggest things that helped me was changing my portion sizes as well as understanding moderation, its important to read your nutrition labels and understand portion size. Prepping my meals and planning ahead also saved me a lot of money on groceries! Also, if you have to eat out, try and make the healthiest choice, there’s small substitutions that can make a huge difference in your macros. 

TRUST THE PROCESS

There were so many days when I felt like I wasn’t making any progress. It did take a lot of hard work and dedication with my diet and workout routine until I saw any results on the scale or in inches. I also tried my best to take progress photos of my journey, that way I would be able to look back onto where/why I started for motivation and accountability.  I was constantly reminding myself, that small progress was still progress. I think one of the best things was when people around me started to notice my hard work. Also being able to use myself as an example to motivate others to make their health a priority and help them understand that there is NO perfect starting point. I allowed my self several cheat days a month, and off/rest days from the gym so I was/am less likely to get burnt out or hurt. 

A quote that I found that really helped me a long the way: “It takes 3 weeks for you to notice a change. It takes 8 weeks for your friends to notice a change. It takes 12 weeks for the world to notice a change.”

THE PRESENT/ REACHING MY GOAL/CREATING NEW ONES

Little did I know that during this quest for better physical health that I would completely evolve emotionally and mentally as well. While I pushed through my workouts, it was strengthening me not only physically but mentally — every time I went, I was stronger and stronger.  I was less inclined to fall into old habits, wether they be bad sleeping habits, bad dieting habits or even falling into negative spells. I was able to channel my emotional stress and anxiety at the gym and was no longer stress eating.

I started my journey on February 13, 2018 and now six months have met my goal and lost 40 lbs. This journey has not been easy, if anything it has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but the outcome is priceless and the best part is the journey isn’t over yet! I no longer am intermittent fasting, but I do still track my macros. My diet has remained the same and requires a majority of meal prepping due to my schedule, being that I am rarely home.

I never knew it was possible to feel so good, mentally and physically. No doubt, there are still bad days, but its nothing a good pump cant fix. I am doing my best yet struggling recently to stay motivated, especially with my new school schedule, i’m hoping this post helps hold me accountable. I’m determined to start to build more muscle, I want to increase my strength and muscle definition — I’m focused on maintaining goals for myself and my body. 

My results didn’t come over night, there was no magic pill or drink- just blood, sweat, tears and well, lots of protein. I encourage you all to make your health a priority, start in small steps, move at your own pace, I promise, the benefits it brings are unbelievable. Push yourself, mainly because no one else is going to do it for you and because it feels so DAMN good! Also, your weight doesn’t define you- what defines you is how your treat yourself, how you treat others and your actions. Wherever you’re at, you’re absolutely beautiful.

Feel free to leave any questions & comments below. I’d love to hear about your experience/tips with fitness, weightlifting, dieting, etc.+ body image and positivity!

*remember to checkout my social media pages*

xoxo,

Courtney

Stuck in a Rut- Kicking Negativity Out the Door

Stuck in a Rut- Kicking Negativity Out the Door

We all have them, those days, those weeks, and sometimes even that month, of what seems to be a revolving door of well, shitiness.

I’ve came to realize there are a lot of things in life I cannot control, but there is one thing I have complete control over and that is my attitude. Recently I’ve been stuck in a sort of rut, while I’ve managed to get more active, take more time for myself and my relationship—I’ve felt a little, blah. I allowed one bad day to turn into a bad week and it was such a waste of energy to allow something else, an outside force to have that much control of my life. After a weekend of reflection I want to help you all kick as much negativity out of your life as you can.

I’ve learned that when life gives you lemons it really is better to at least attempt to make lemonade, than to let your lemons rot. When you allow yourself to be negative and dwell in your negativity it can tend to pour into all other aspects of your life. I realize that when I make comments like, “what’s next”, or “it can’t get any worse”—inevitably, it always does.

Another hard step is separating yourself from negativity and negative influences in your life. Separation does not have to be compared to abandonment, you can distance/separate yourself from someone in a loving way. You work hard to maintain balance in your life, you deserve to have emotional boundaries, and you have the power to deem what is acceptable and what is not. I think it is important that in the cases which you need to distance/separate yourself from someone in your life for these reasons, that it be done so with compassion.

So why do we get caught in these negative routines? Personally, I thought it use to be easier to remain negative, than to repair my attitude, change my mentality and stay positive. It hasn’t been a cake-walk to make a change, I never knew how negative I really was until I started to become more mindful of my thoughts and negative-like reflexes. While it might not have been easy, it has been completely worth it to see the change in the quality of my everyday life.

Kicking as much negativity as you can out of your life is key, stop being so hard on yourself, stop with the negative comments to yourself/others and consciously apply positivity to every aspect of your life that you can.

Here are a couple of steps I take to live a positive life:

  1. Be mindful – being mindful can be defined as being aware. When you are mindful, you are self-aware as well. Be mindful and aware of your thoughts, the things you say and the energy you expend. Mindfulness allows you to train yourself to be more present and positive each day, whether it be when you speak, eat, exercise, think, etc.
  2. Eliminate gossip– Stop with the gossip and speak kindly of others. As much of a cliché as this saying is, “treat others the way you want to be treated”. Don’t allow yourself to gossip to relieve boredom, or to make yourself feel better. Make a commitment to yourself to not gossip, even when the opportunity arises. Put a positive twist on the situation and change the subject, there is no need to apologize for not wanting to take part.
  3. See the glass half full, not half empty. You have the ability to choose whether you get stuck in something negative or to get up and see the positive in the situation. Our lives are a result of our choices, if there is something you do not like in your life, asses what needs to be changed and take those steps to change it.
  4. Let go– If you have pint up anger, resentment or even sadness it is important you deal with these emotions so that they don’t trickle down and affect other aspects of your life, like your happiness. Free yourself from old pain, old situations and losses. You have to let go of any resentment you have within to live freely. While this isn’t always easy either, you can take gradual steps in eliminating experiences and feelings that can hinder you from bettering yourself.
  5. Love yourself– accept who you are, physically, spiritually and emotionally. I have a blog post from a while back that speaks to the positive effects of self-love and the importance of being happy in your own skin. Loving yourself is truly one of the first steps in being happy
  6. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people. There are always going to be negative people or people who doubt your strengths, it’s simple, screw them. Surround yourself with people who make you feel happy and bring substance to your life.

This post was a long one, but one I feel is necessary.

I hope I can inspire you all to be positive, take control of your life and be the best version of yourself you can be.

Xo. Courtney

 

 

Laneige Overnight Water Mask

Laneige Overnight Water Mask

HAPPY SUNDAY.

Yet again I have managed to fall of the face of the earth. With the Fall semester starting and starting a new position at work, I’ve had virtually zero time to sit down and write.

This time I’ll be reviewing the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask  for you courtesy of Influenster.


I’ve had this product for about two weeks and have been using it religiously since.

I’ve never tried anything by the brand Laneige and I have also never used an over night mask.

This product retails for $25 USD at Sephora and is 2.30 oz/70 mL.

I was quite impressed by how reasonable the price of this mask was, especially considering the amount of product you get!

This product claims to be suitable for all skin types and provides a solution for dryness, dullness/uneven texture and fine lines/wrinkles. Laneige suggests that it be used after your face cream/moisturizer and applied evenly across the entire face. It is also suggested that the mask be rinsed off in the AM.

Personally with the seasons transitioning for summer to fall, I need all the extra moisture I can get. I have acne prone combination skin, most of my oiliness is centered around my T-Zone, and I tend to get dry patches around my chin area.

Lets start with the packaging– it looks and feels very luxurious. I love when a product has sturdy packaging. I always tell myself, “Don’t judge a product by its packaging Courtney…”, yet sometimes, I just can’t help it. The mask comes with a small plastic spatula to aid in getting the product out of the jar, I just use my fingers– but this will be great for all you guys & gals with long nails.


I like the consistency of this product, but do not be confused, this is not a substitute for a moisturizer.  I used this product several times at night without my moisturizer in fear of adding to much product to my skin. My advise is to perform your regular nightly skin care routine and apply this mask after your moisturizer has dried down.

The scent is very soft, not overbearing, very clean and crisp.

I found my skin looked the most radiant and supple the times that I used both my normal moisturizer and the Laneige mask- which is recommended on the directions. The mask does dry down to a slightly sticky consistency, but this doesn’t bother me due to the fact I am asleep for the time I have the product applied.


Overall, this mask is great, I will be repurchasing this due to the more than reasonable price and the added moisture it has given to my skin.

DISCLAIMER: This product was sent to me by Influenster, I did not pay for the product reviewed in this blog posts. While I did not pay for this product all opinions on the product are my own.

I hope you all are doing well and spreading kindness wherever you go. 

XO, Courtney.

 

Sunday Morning Thoughts 

Sunday Morning Thoughts 

This post is a bit of a ramble, but it’s been weighing on my mind. I hope you all have had an amazing week and are ready to bring in and embrace a new week. Remember, new week = new possibilities.

I have spent my Sunday morning reflecting on some things. Recently I have came across some really thought provoking topics, such as: not allowing social media to create pressure on your image and another wonderful topic- women inspiring women, especially women we don’t know. These two topics really touched my heart because I myself have fell short of judging women I don’t know, particularly on social media, and that is no way to uplift a person. I have also found myself comparing myself to other people due to their social media posts- such as comparing my body, the clothes I have, etc.

I was thinking how harmonious this world would be if we all set out to uplift one another instead of seeking to pick out one another’s flaws and judge one another’s decisions. I have too often found myself comparing myself, or bashing myself because I don’t have a “perfect” body, a boatload of money or a masters degree, all because I see have the shortcoming of comparing their life protrayed on social media to mine.
Although I regret making these judgements and allowing myself to lose confidence and compare myself to others, I have learned to embrace myself for all that I am. I also truly want to be a positive force in uniting women to motivate and embrace one another. Women of all shapes and sizes, ethnicities, educational backgrounds and walks of life.
Remember you all are beautiful inside and out. Forget societal pressures to be perfect and embrace yourself & LOVE yourself. Once you love yourself, loving others and appreciating their beauty will come naturally. Compliment other women, uplift them, find inspriration in their posts, their health, etc. We all have so much to learn from one another.
If this is something you have felt or experienced, you are not alone. I hope you all find beauty in yourselves and everything around you. Treat a stranger with a smile and stop being so hard on yourself and on others. I encourage reflecting, on things that happened during the week, on things you would like to improve and set goals for yourself. You will achieve them, I know it.

Xx, Courtney.

My Current Morning Playlist

My Current Morning Playlist

I’ve never been a morning person, but I am a lover of coffee and music–those two things seem to make my mornings much easier to endure. I typically like to sleep as long as possible before having to wake up and make myself look presentable, that usually takes about thirty minutes then I have about a forty-five minute drive to work!

I’m a lover of all music genres- here’s a couple of my recent favorites that are bringing life to my mornings!

Silence by Marshmello ft. Khalid

Now or Never by R3HAB Remix, Hasley

Dead by Madison Beer

13 by LANY

Space by Prince Fox ft. Quinn XCII

Feel Good by Felix Jaehn & Mike Williams

Vibrations by Maejor

Try by Vory

Imperfections by Starrah ft. Diplo

Broken Clocks by SZA

These songs have been on repeat for me, they’re perfect for the morning because all the beats just make me feel good!

I hope you enjoy, please share down below and of your current favorites.  Do you switch up the music you listen to with your moods or even with the time of day?

xx, Courtney.

 

 

 

 

Why I hunt?

Why I hunt?

As the date of my hunting tag draws near I have been overwhelmed with emotions. Especially since starting this blog because I intend to use it as a platform to share my hunting experiences, even if it isn’t a conventional topic of conversation. So I asked myself, how do I introduce this concept of hunting that is somewhat foreign to most people and especially foreign to most women? That question led me to another question, why do I hunt?

I grew up on cattle ranch, in a small town centrally located in my home state of New Mexico. Growing up in a small town, especially in a community that is largely influenced by farming and ranching, hunting came with the lifestyle. Hunting came with the territory, our culture. I grew up hunting smaller game, mainly coyotes, we aimed to keep the population down on the ranch because they posed as a large problem for our cattle, especially during calving season. It wasn’t until two years ago my boyfriend introduced me to big game hunting and I instantly became hooked.

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There has never been one definitive answer as to why exactly I hunt. There are a number of things that incline me to hunt, from my background/upbringing, to the outdoors and the animals we see deep into the back country, a world that is so untouched by the modern world. I harvested my first Mule Deer last fall, picture above. There’s controversy over the “grip-n-grin”, but the truth is, the picture is so much more, it’s a memory that will last me a lifetime and a memory to share with my kids.

There seems to be a bit of a stigma about hunting, it tends to be associated with this idea of barbaric, hillbilly like behavior, when in all reality, what we are doing is not only counting out the middle man (grocery store) by going directly to the source, we are playing our part in conserving wildlife. In my state, by law a hunter must take the edible portions of their harvest, which includes: all four quarters, 90% of meat taken (backstraps and tenderloins) and at least 75% of the neck meat. The hunters I know are not only educated on the animals they hunt but recognize the importance of conservation and how to hunt ethically.

One of the most rewarding parts about hunting and harvesting an animal is that the animal you harvest will feed you and your family. Earning and providing my family with organic meat, from field to table is an unexplainable feeling -not to mention it all tastes so good. There is no better feeling, how grateful you are to the animal, how humbled you are from the adventure and how connected you are with nature. There is something that is very instinctive and primal about hunting, harvesting and breaking the animal down, it is in our nature. I will be forever grateful for the animals I have harvested, the hunts I have been a part of, the time spent with family and all the hunts to come.

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When I sat down to write this post I knew I wouldn’t be able to cover it all in one post, so there will undoubtedly be more hunting posts to come. I encourage all of you to educate yourself on the topic, get outside and consider experiencing this world for yourself.

Here is a link to the Rocky Mountain Elk foundations article, “25 Reasons Why Hunting Is Conservation”. I encourage you to give this a read, it is full of facts and does a good job of explaining a little more about hunters and hunting.

http://www.rmef.org/Conservation/HuntingIsConservation/25ReasonsWhyHuntingIsConservation.aspx

Comment down below if you or anyone you know hunts? Questions about hunting, did I miss anything? Please leave a comment down below.

Until next time, Courtney.

100 Followers

100 Followers

THANK YOU.

Thank you, all 100 of you for following along on my journey of starting this blog.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting on my posts.

 ALL of your feedback means so much to me.

This has been an amazing journey to embark on and I look forward to creating more content and reading all of yours.

Please, please keep the feedback coming, I would love to write about stuff that you all want to hear. There is nothing better than opening up a post and it speaking to you personally. That’s my goal, to reach each and every one of you!

There is more to come, stay tuned.

xo, Courtney.

 

 

 

Self Love.

Self Love.

We all are at one point in our life faced with what feels like an overwhelming amount of chaos.

How you perceive or what you might call chaos is all subject to each individual but my chaos consists of juggling a full time job, a full time college schedule, maintaining a healthy relationship with my boyfriend, keeping up with bills/finances and attempting to have a social life.

What I have noticed lately is there are some really key things that I am missing in my life and that is focusing on myself, focusing on my happiness, my health and my overall wellbeing. The more I have thought about it, the more it occurs to me that everything else in my life will be much less chaotic and stressful if I was taking the time for myself, to love myself and appreciate myself.

Self-love and appreciation can be often confused as merely a feeling toward one’s self, where as I see it as a practice, an ongoing practice and constant thought of appreciating ourselves. A practice that eventually manifests into evert aspect of our lives allowing us to accept love, work and live to our full potential because we believe we deserve it.

Self-love and appreciation have come as a true revelation to me, it is changing me for the better and allowing me to live a fuller life in small steps at a time.

Even a couple months ago if someone would have told me, “stop being so hard on yourself” or “you need to love yourself more” it was immediately followed with an eye roll and a quick topic change. This is really no joke, SELF LOVE is all it is hyped up to be. That is why I encourage you all to begin, if you are not already practicing self-love and appreciation towards yourself and making it an unquestionable aspect of your life.

I am still learning more about myself each day, here are some things I have learned and ways I apply self-love and appreciation to my life.

  1. Be yourself, unapologetically yourself. If that means you don’t fit in who cares, or you lose some friends, do they deserve that relationship anyway? Take this one into consideration. Weeding out negative people in my life or even just separating myself from people who are not growing with me has changed my life for the better.
  2. Remember you are who you surround yourself with, I truly believe you carry the energy of who you hang out with. Pick your tribe, a tribe of people who love you, inspire you and motivate you to be the best version of yourself.
  3. Be mindful, of your thoughts and what you say, especially to yourself. Stop putting yourself down, take a damn compliment and forgive yourself, we are human, we make mistakes!
  4. Take care of yourself, self-care is huge and is one thing that is particularly important in my routine. Eat good foods, get good sleep, work-out or take part in physical activity, and treat yourself occasionally orrrr all the time. It is so important to meet your basic needs, so this needs to become a habit.
  5. Celebrate yourself, your accomplishments and your strengths. If you ACE that test or land a raise at work congratulate yourself, buy yourself a treat or just UP those positive affirmations!
  6. Most importantly, give yourself a break, take a day to yourself and realize that every day is not going to be your best day. Netflix & Chill with yourself or go for a hike and appreciate just how beautiful the world around you is.

I hope these help and that you are able to apply these to your lives. I find inspiration in blog posts daily, I love that we have a platform to share our thoughts and interests. Let me know in the comments how you practice self-love or if you have ever struggled with it before. Also, feel free to leave me any post/topic recommendations, I would LOVE to see what you all want to read.

xo, Courtney.

 

25 Facts About Meeting

25 Facts About Meeting

Hello loves, happy Tuesday!

I want you all to get to know me better, so here’s 25 facts about me!

  1. I’m 21 years old!
  2. I’m a firm believer in kindness.
  3. I love a good beer, especially a Porter.
  4. If I could eat one thing the rest of my life it would be TACOS.
  5. I’ve changed my major 3 times and have attended to 2 different colleges.
  6. I’m a Pisces, through and through.
  7. I love animals, I have a dog, Jaxx & a cat, Enzo.
  8. My bestfriend is my boyfriend Jordan.
  9. I LOVE makeup!
  10. I love doing hair– cosmetology school is definitely in my cards.
  11. My Mom is my hero.
  12. I have two younger brothers who are total teenagers.
  13. I love American Traditional tattoos.
  14. I have a small circle of friends & I love it.
  15. My favorite season is Fall, it’s so beautiful to watch the leaves change color.
  16. I’m meant to be my own boss– I can just feel it.
  17. I’ve watched every single episode of SpongeBob Squarepants- I’ll quote them all to prove it.
  18. Robin Williams will forever be my favorite actor.
  19. I once watched Orange Is the New Black for 19 hours strait.
  20. I’ve never been abroad.
  21. My middle name is Leigh.
  22. I hunt!
  23. I LOVE to cook and bake.
  24. I have an addiction to Pinterest.
  25. I have at least 3 cups of coffee everyday.

I hope you all enjoyed these!

I look forward to learning more about you all.

Comment down below facts about yourself!

Xo.

Courtney