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

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

evening in spring garden

This past Friday, Christian and I ventured to the North Side of Pittsburgh and found ourselves in the small neighborhood of Spring Garden. Complete with a brewery, a craft whiskey distillery, and a residential, community block party that felt like it was straight out of a Rust Belt Americana music video. We spent the evening drinking beer, making friends, petting dogs, dodging little kids running around with sparklers, and listening to one of the best folk bands I’ve heard in a very long time (Pittsburgh friends, check out Brewer’s Row. You won’t be disappointed). In short, it was very likely the most enjoyable, spontaneous evening we’ve had in Pittsburgh thus far, and I left the night feeling like I was on a puffy cloud of music, community, and good vibes.

Here are some of my favorite shots of the intimate evening we spent in Spring Garden.

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 Happy Tuesday, friends!

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

honeymoon in belize

If anyone ever tells you that you won’t fall into a depression after you get home from your honeymoon, they’re lying. The best cure I’ve found — relive it hundreds of times through your photos, and share them with anyone who will pay attention.

And so, welcome to my honeymoon re-cap. Complete with tons of photos and happy memories.

Let me preface this post by saying how much we truly loved the country of Belize. When looking for a place to honeymoon, we wanted somewhere we could swim, hike, kayak, immerse ourselves in the culture — all while maybe throwing back a few beers by the ocean or a river. Belize offers every one of those things in an incredibly laid-back and welcoming atmosphere, not to mention it’s only a 2 hour flight from Miami. If you’re thinking of visiting Belize, give me a shout and I’d love to fill you in on our favorite spots (or just keep reading)…

So, here it goes!

We started our honeymoon off on the island of Caye Caulker, located a 10 minute (teeny tiny) plane ride away from the international airport in Belize City.

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Literally within minutes, we found ourselves among some of the most gorgeous blue water and skies we’ve ever seen. One of the coolest things about Caye Caulker — it has yet to be touched by the massive resort corporations and culture that have taken over much of the Caribbean. Instead, the entire island is inhabited by Rastafarians and hippies, with a motto to “Go Slow” through life. We immediately felt totally embraced by the community.

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While on the Caye, we snorkeled, swam, windsurfed, drank lots of beers at the Split, took a sunset cruise, attended a small wedding on a pier (new friends from our sunset cruise!), and attempted to adopt every stray puppy on the island (this was mainly me while Christian pulled me away). All in all, a perfect start to our Central American adventure.

After Caye Caulker, we flew back to Belize City, rented a car, and headed inland. Since we were driving ourselves, we had the freedom of exploring the country a bit — but for those who are not comfortable with off-roading and getting constantly lost (we had no service for directions, and basically used a paper map the entire time), I would recommend arranging travel through your hotel. We decided to go the adventurous route and while it was a blast, there were a few times that I asked myself what on earth we were doing.

One of those times was driving from the airport to Gaia River Lodge, in the Mountain Pine Ridge. We drove on bumpy, dirt roads for HOURS, but when we finally made it to our lodge, all of the off-roading seemed well worth it. Disclaimer, this lodge was ABSURDLY beautiful– almost too luxurious for us. But, not too shabby for our first few nights in the Belizean jungle.

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After swimming in the waterfalls below the lodge and drinking wine sent down to us on a freaking furnicular for an entire evening, we took a day trip to the Caracol Mayan Ruins. Another off-roading adventure, so far out into the jungle it’s barely made a priority by tourists. BUT NOT US. We got there bright and early, and had the entire archaeological site to ourselves. I’ve never seen Mayan ruins before, and was so overwhelmed by the history, complexity, and straight-up SIZE of them. It was by far one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

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For the last leg of our trip, I actually don’t have many photos. We wanted to spend a few days unplugged, which meant no wifi and no phones. I still snagged a couple photos of the huts at Pook’s Hill, though, where we spent two nights. The bugs in the huts were terrifying (tarantulas and scorpions galore), but the communal atmosphere and ecological awareness of the lodge were so unique to Belize. An incredibly enriching way to end our honeymoon.

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Last but not least, we spent the last day of our Belizean adventure hiking, swimming, climbing, and touring the Actun Tunichil Muknal, an ancient cave in the Cayo District that was recently named by National Geographic as the most sacred cave in the world. The Mayans viewed the cave as the entrance to the underworld, and trekked nearly a mile through the pitch-dark waters to practice their holiest rituals and sacrifices. And so we trekked that same distance, swimming in rushing waters, squeezing through cramped spaces (claustrophobic folks beware), and climbing up cave cliffs to witness the archaeological site (complete with ceramics, stoneware, and skeletons) dating back to 400 AD. Unfortunately, the site does not allow cameras — it would be nearly impossible to get an electronic device that far anyway — but it felt like a total shame to not give it a shout out since it was undeniably my favorite thing we did while in Belize. And unfortunately, google image search just doesn’t do it justice. I guess this will have to be something you have to experience to truly witness — which to me, feels like a very fitting way to depict our entire time in Belize, and a poignant way to end this post.

So that’s it, friends! A full re-cap of a time incredibly well spent in Belize. My heart is already aching to go back.

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

 

i’m baaackkk!

Friends,

I know I have had a significant blogging lull over the past few weeks. Turns out that planning a wedding, getting married, and honeymooning are haaaard work. 😉

Needless to say, I am back in Pittsburgh and am so excited to share my adventures with you all… and to get my feet back into my blog, my business, and my community. Stay tuned for posts about my wedding (and my amazing vendors), my honeymoon (Belize is #unBELIZEable), and some additional exciting projects I’ve been working on.

And for fun, here’s a photo of us RIGHT after we officially became Mr. and Mrs. Lichty!

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More soon, babes!

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

weekend in review

Hi babes!

I realize I’ve been on a serious blogging hiatus, and I can thank wedding planning for that. But Christian and I had such a fun weekend hanging out in the Steel City that I had to take a pause from vendor emails and thank-you cards for a quick post.

With the chaos of the wedding and the events leading up to it, it is insanely rare that we have a weekend at home, so we wanted to take advantage of it. Besides a TON of cleaning (my shower gifts and Baxter’s shedding fur had taken over our place), we took a bike ride over to the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland to sight see in the city we now call home. Christian was totally geeking out cause the entire place looked like Hogwarts, and I was simply geeking out cause the architecture was SO gorgeous.

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On the third floor there are “themed” rooms, which can only be described as totally awesome. I think I forced Christian to take a photo of me getting into character in each and every room (which I’ll spare the world from sharing), but here’s one shot of me in my favorite room:

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Like I said, really getting into character. But in all seriousness, the detailing in that room was unreal, and getting my meditation on is always, always, a welcome activity!

And that’s it for today! Check back later this week for a peek at our wedding invitation. And on Thursday I’m off to my bachelorette! I am so excited I can barely contain myself.

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

weekend in review

A short & sweet post today!

This weekend, we traveled home to the Poconos for my sister-in-law’s baby shower and Mother’s Day. It was family-packed, and because of that, I spent much more time interacting with loved ones than taking pictures. But I did want to share a few shots from the shower.

My sister-in-law, Andi, loved the idea of a tea party shower,  which framed the decor we used for the day:

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Table decor
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Tea cup favors made by my Mom
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My heart ❤

Doesn’t Andi look absolutely GORGEOUS?! Serious pregnancy goals.

And that’s all for today! Hope you all had a weekend filled with love!

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY