west virginia weekend adventure

Hi babes,

Anyone else wondering where this summer went so quickly?! It’s almost August and I feel like it was just Memorial Day. Life truly is short.

Christian and I have been fortunate enough to spend quite a bit of our summer traveling, and we kicked off our adventures with a trip to West Virginia. We rented a little stone cottage on a farm in Reedsville complete with a sleeping loft, soaking tub, and fire pit. Baxter absolutely loved running around the farm and we loved the open night sky and the seclusion.

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After relaxing in our new digs on Friday evening, we woke up early on Saturday and drove to Thomas, WV. The drive itself was absolutely beautiful, but Thomas was where I left my heart. An artsy, hippie community along the Monogahela River, it was quite simply what dreams are made of. We spent our morning there sipping coffee, perusing art galleries, and antiquing.

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We then drove to Blackwater Falls near the neighboring town of Davis. There we hiked for a few hours, taking in the gorgeous West Virginia landscape and carving our own hiking trails to avoid tourists (Christian and Baxter’s favorite activity). The views and the privacy are always worth the off-roading.

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We rounded out our day by heading back to Thomas to enjoy some drinks, food, and fantastic live music at the Purple Fiddle, a local music venue complete with a dog friendly outdoor porch.

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On Sunday we wanted to take it easy, so we spent the day enjoying the farm. I got to meet and feed the horses, and Baxter and Christian loved playing frisbee on the grounds. Added perk: the owner of the farm is a chef and cooked us an insanely good farm to table brunch. Just about the best Sunday I could ask for.

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All in all, it was the perfect way to celebrate the start of summer and the last year of my twenties, surrounded by nature, good vibes, my hubby and my pup.

Hope you lovelies have been enjoying your summer adventures as well!

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

plant babies & bedroom update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I have no other excuse but life. Things have been beautifully busy, but I’ve missed my little creative outlet found in the light of my laptop screen. So here I am.

I’ve been meaning to post about our bedroom for a long time. Bedrooms have always been the last room I invest time into decorating — and when entertaining it’s the last space I show. But as time here in Pittsburgh has passed, our bedroom has come into its own. It’s our little haven complete with sunshine, and plants, and pattern and it has quickly become my favorite room in our home. And when you think about it, it is the room where we go to strip down, recharge, and wake up each morning — and I wholeheartedly feel that the peace and individuality I’ve brought to the space relaxes me each night and elevates me to take on the day each and every morning.

The first step I took to making the room feel like ours was to add some greenery. I headed to a greenhouse called Chapon’s and met the cutest little sleepy kitty who is lucky enough to call the place home.

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Sidebar: I am addicted to potting plants. There’s something so therapeutic about running your hands through the dirt, and so beautiful about giving this growing, living thing a new home. I’m completely captivated by the entire process.

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The rest of the room kinda created itself. Much of the furniture I’ve painted and refinished over the past year, and I found a lot of the vibrant textiles and rugs at estate sales or while traveling. Christian’s black and white family heirloom movie posters were the perfect eclectic wall accent for the space. I love decorating with and exposing my clothing and accessories, so the pipe garment rack Christian and I made is front and center, along with a hat wall I recently hung.

Lastly, my favorite part of the room may be the little hints of character that make the space unique to us. I’ve accumulated so many dream catchers over the years — one from a Native American reservation in Montana, one as a perfect gift for our wedding — so having those present throughout the room reminds me of so many special life moments. Christian’s Star Wars paraphernalia makes me smile every time I look it. This room truly is a reflection of who we are at the core, and the authenticity of that makes it feel so much more like home.

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And that’s it for today. I hope this inspires you to begin (or finish) the process of creating a bedroom space that encompasses all of the things you love. Trust me, it’s worth the work and worth the wait.

Happy Monday!

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

happy holidays

FRIENDS.

This is by far my favorite time of year and I just can’t contain my excitement. We’re hosting our first grown-up holiday party this weekend, and after stalking Pinterest for ideas, our holiday decor is shaping up pretty nicely, if I do say so myself.

Those folks coming this weekend will get to see it IRL, but here’s a sneak peek of our (almost completely) decorated abode.

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I tend to be a fan of more natural decor, so garland and boxwood wreaths played a big role in my overall vision. I also love warm lights and candles (so, so many candles), so those were bound to make an appearance, too.

Sidenote: This was the first year we cut down a real Christmas tree, and I have to take a minute to thank my Dad for sawing down those huge trees we wanted every year. Jeez, I tried to help Christian for all of 10 seconds before my arms gave out. Also, I was COVERED in sap. So Dad, thanks. I know you did many other wonderful things for me as a kid, but right now, this one really hits home.

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Happy Holidays, babes!

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

 

thanksgiving tabletops

It’s snowy here in Pittsburgh, and with Thanksgiving just two days away, I’m in a holiday season groove. That said, I have admittedly never been a huge turkey day fan. I don’t eat the turkey, and watching football has never been my thing. But I do love the fact that it brings family and friends together to celebrate gratitude, and I find that so much of the spirit of the holiday comes from sitting down at a table and sharing a meal together.

Which leads to the one part of Thanksgiving I can REALLY get into: the table landscapes. I’ve been drooling over some of the gorgeous tabletop displays I’ve seen lately and wanted to share what I feel are the prettiest and most organic themes when decorating your turkey day table:

1. Mixed Metals

Copper is totally having a moment right now, but I love the idea of mixing multiple metals and finishes in your dishes, flatware, and decor in order to bring some complexity and texture to the table.

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via House & Home
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via Beneath my heart

2. Darker palette

The deep, rich tones embody the feel of the season, but they’re totally unexpected when compared to the usual reds, oranges, and browns.

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via Sarah Sherman Samuel
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via House & Home

3. Earthy, natural elements

I love bringing color to the table by using natural, organic elements such as greenery, florals, and pumpkins. Don’t be afraid to mix in unexpected colors, such as navy and eggplant.

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via B.Lovely Events
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via Popsugar
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via Poppytalk

4. Tartan

Last but not least, I love incorporating the visual texture of tartan. The fabric is not just reserved for Christmas decor — it packs a mighty punch when used on your Thanksgiving tablescape as well.

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via Style Me Pretty
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via House & Home

And that’s it, friends! I hope each and every one of you enjoys a beautiful holiday with the ones you love.

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

 

barefaced beauty: skin edition

Hi friends!

I received some really positive feedback on my barefaced beauty make up post, and so I wanted to share my top paraben and cruelty-free picks for skincare. One thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that the more time you invest in your skin, the less time (and money) you need to spend on covering and concealing it. That means taking the extra five minutes to wash, tone, and moisture your face, but it also means skimping on concealers, foundations, and powders that are often chock-full of nasty chemicals anyway.

And so here is my curated list of go-to all-natural skincare products:

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1.) Face wash: Trader Joe’s Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil
I know I mentioned this product in my previous make up post, but I have to give another shout-out to Trader Joe’s for this stuff. Tea tree oil has been a holy grail for my skin. I’ll never go back to regular face wash again.

2.) Exfoliant: Pacifica Glow Baby Youthful Face Scrub
I’ve raved about this brand and their cruelty-free, 100% vegan products before, but their walnut face scrub is my favorite. A little bit goes a long way, and it does a stand-up job at exfoliating, brightening, and cleansing my skin. I use mine twice a week in place of face wash in the shower.

3.) Toner: Pixi Glow Tonic Beauty Elixir
This elixir is no joke. It’s been featured in Allure and Buzzfeed, and it does exactly what it says what it’s going to do — “tone, firm, and tighten” the skin, but it has also shrunken my pores to be virtually invisible. Even better: it contains all-natural ingredients (aloe vera, ginseng) and no alcohol (like most other toners).

4.) Moisturizer: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
I’ve tried many face moisturizers, and this one always takes the cake for me. It’s super moisturizing even in the winter months, and never makes me oily. I can feel the difference as soon as I put it on.

5.) Facial spray: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater
While spending money on “face water” may seem ridiculous, with this product, I promise it’s not. I usually spray this on after applying my make-up, and it gives my skin a natural, dewy texture. I also occasionally use it first thing in the morning when I don’t have time to wash my face. It’s the perfect pick-me-up. And did I mention it smells amazing?!

6.) Cleansing wipes: Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes
Last but not least, these cleansing towelettes are my go-to make-up remover. They remove even stubborn eye make-up, but they’re great for my sensitive skin. And when I’m too tired to actually wash my face, these are the perfect quick option. I always have them handy, especially when traveling.

And that’s it! My diehard products for clearer, healthier skin that look out for you and for the planet. Don’t forget to recycle the containers when you finish them. All of these puppies are recyclable (trust me, I’ve checked!).

Happy Monday!

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

creativity lost & found

Hi loves,

A quick post today, after what seems like forever of not blogging. I’ve admittedly been in a bit of a creative rut lately, triggered by work and life and excuses. But it seems that every creative rut I find myself in is always accompanied by longing and quite honestly, a lot of inner sadness. That ends today.

This past weekend, while traveling to the Adirondacks, Christian and I took a brief detour to Sugar Loaf, NY. We stopped in a candle shop that was featured in one of my first blog posts, just over a year ago. This time, we had the privilege of meeting the candlemaker, Peter, and observing him practice his craft. A fairly brief encounter, no longer than an hour or two spent watching and learning from him, but it left me buzzing on a creative high. Witnessing the beauty, pride, and personal joy this man had in working with his hands was invigorating. He revitalized me, and something clicked. It reminded me that no matter what else is going on in life, taking the time to invest in learning, creating, and experiencing is essential to our happiness. So embrace it, explore it, and share it, friends. It’s undeniably the most earnest thing we have.

Photos of the Sugar Loaf Candle Shop and our new friend, Peter, were all taken by my talented husband, Christian.

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P.S. Check out Peter’s shop. All of his candles are handmade with love, and he ships them all over the world. Or better yet, go visit him. He has so much life to give.

And that, friends, is all I’ve got for you today.

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

room upgrade: airy private porch

Hi friends!

I’m super excited to share with you another room upgrade I had the pleasure of working on with my brother and sister-in-law. With a new baby and nursery in tow, Andi & Andrew asked me to transform their front porch into a place where they could sit al fresco, rock Penny to sleep, and enjoy the fresh air while still maintaining some privacy. The front porch was previously unused so I was excited to get down & dirty in recreating and designing a totally new space.

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Quite a transformation, no?! The shades add some privacy, the greenery adds some life, and the furniture added the utility Andi and Andrew needed to actually use the space. Luckily, I finished it just in time for them to enjoy some Fall evenings with Penelope outside as a family.

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY