Kicking Off Summer with Femme Luxe

I’m so happy that there’s warmer weather on the horizon. Even though I’m not physically going out, I’m still on the hunt for fun spring/summer pieces. Femme Luxe, a UK based women’s clothing store, reached out to see if I wanted to try some of their pieces. I was hesitant at first because I’m very picky with my style and clothes, but I was excited to try a new brand and share my thoughts with you! Thank you Femme Luxe for partnering with me on this post. The pieces included in the post were gifted to me by Femme Luxe.

Not going to lie, I am not one who tends to show a lot of skin with my clothing choices. I keep my style pretty classic with trendy and practical pieces. I stepped out of my comfort zone with their Black Tie Front Organza Mesh Sleeve Crop Top. This black crop top gives the right amount of coverage without feeling too overexposed. With a tie front design and an organza style mesh sleeve, it pairs perfect with a light pair of high-waisted jeans. It was giving me major 80’s vibes, which is why I think I liked it so much.

The white top I received unfortunately did not fit… which brings me to my thoughts on their sizing. I ordered everything a size up because I had no idea how their UK sizes compared to US sizes. Even with the size chart, I was still very confused, so I ordered everything bigger, hoping it’d fit or I could take it in. The White Ribbed Off The Shoulder Crop Top did not fit at all. I couldn’t get it over my head or on my arms. I would say sizing isn’t very consistent, so I’d recommend going up a size to be safe. I wish the white top worked because it would have been perfect to pair with a comfy pair of sweatpants.

My favorite item by far is their White ‘Beverly Hills 1990’ Oversized T-Shirt. During this time, I love the biker short look, and this oversized t-shirt is the perfect item to pair with it. The fabric is so soft, and I ordered the largest size, so it could hang longer. It’s the perfect shirt to wear working from home or if I am just lounging around the house.

Overall, Femme Luxe’s prices are pretty reasonable and shipping is relatively fast. Since the items were coming from Europe, I was expecting the package to take a few weeks to arrive, but it came in less than a week and a half. The clothes arrived in a cute pink sleeve and everything was packaged nicely.

If you’re on the hunt for some new summer pieces, give Femme Luxe a try! Hope everyone is staying healthy and safe!

XOXO Courtney

How I Maintain My Eyebrows

With salons closed, it can be tough to maintain our beauty regimens. I’ve definitely been missing getting my nails and hair done, but luckily, I can still keep other parts of my beauty routine going at home. I’ve been doing my eyebrows at home for some time now and found a routine and system that works for me. It doesn’t involve wax or any crazy at-home kits. It’s easy, simple and keeps my brows in order.

I started getting my eyebrows waxed when I was younger because I was one of those kids with a persistent unibrow. Fast forward several years, and my brows started to take shape and no longer needed the constant attention. While I still had the ‘fuzzies’ on my brow bone and in the center, I felt I no longer needed to wax and instead starting cleaning up my brows at home with an eyebrow razor and tweezers. Here is the eyebrow razor and tweezers I use!

Eyebrow razors and tweezers can be intimidating because you don’t want to start removing too much hair. My tip is if it looks like its ‘growing back,’ then it can go. If you look at your brows in a mirror, you can tell the difference between your brow hairs and the excess that grows in the middle and below/above the brow. If you don’t want to risk touching the eyebrow shape, no problem! Just simply remove the unwanted hairs in the middle.

What I like to do is take my eyebrow razor and lightly shave the stubble hairs from below and above the brow. I always hold the skin taut and make sure to use just the point of the razor, so I can have complete control. I’ll then take tweezers and remove the tiny hairs that I couldn’t get with the razor. Those are usually the thinner hairs closer to the eyelid. The middle of the brows tends to be the easiest. I still use the corner of the razor for complete control and will remove the unwanted hair. I personally NEVER trim the length of my brow hairs with scissors. I’d rather have longer strands than risk cutting the entire eyebrow off!

I like the eyebrow razor because it allows for easy hair removal and maintenance. They’re more commonly known as facial razors and can remove other types of unwanted hair, such as the upper lip. I don’t find the hair grows back any thicker or faster compared to other methods.

Remember to never share eyebrow razors and always clean your tweezers with rubbing alcohol before and after use. I also recommend replacing your brow razor often, as the razor can become dull and irritate the skin.

I hope this makes maintaining your eyebrows at home easy and pain free!

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I know it has been a hard past few weeks for everyone, and I hope you are all staying healthy and safe! Maintaining your beauty routine can provide a sense of normalcy, but growing out your hair and nails and letting your skin breath can also provide great benefits. So don’t stress and take this time to connect with your loved ones virtually.

My At-Home Workout Essentials and Tips!

I’ve been getting quite a few questions lately on how I do my at-home workouts. In all honesty, it’s been quite the adjustment, but it’s also been super convenient to be able to just go into my garage and get a solid workout in. In fact, I’m finding that I’m working out harder now than I did in any gym setting.

I personally don’t follow any fitness videos or virtual classes. I do think they are great, especially if you were previously going to classes at a fitness club or gym. I do workouts/circuits that I learned from my personal training sessions. They work for me, and I love getting creative and switching them up to make it more challenging.

I don’t have any heavy or crazy gym equipment. I use resistance bands, sliders, my yoga mat and a pair of 6 lb weights. If you don’t have any of that, no problem! You can just use the weight of your body or supplies you have laying around your house.

I find that what has also been motivating me to get up and workout is putting on some cute workout clothes. Some of my favorites are from Yvette Sports. Their leggings are so soft, it feels as though you are putting on a pair of comfy pjs. I usually don’t workout in makeup, but lately I have been putting on some mascara before I go to exercise. Since being at home, I haven’t been wearing much makeup, so even just a tiny bit of mascara before working out has made me feel not only more like myself, but has brought a bit of familiarity back into my life.

I hope this helps you create your own at-home workout routine! Stay healthy and safe!

XO Courtney

What I am Currently Reading, Listening to and More!

There’s been a lot going on the last few days and weeks. I think it’s safe to say everyone’s anxiety has been up as we all try to process what is going on and how we can stay healthy and safe. I’m finding that while this down time can be hard to adjust to, it’s also a great time to dive into some new books, podcasts and more. Below is a list of books I’ve been reading, podcasts I’ve been listening to, as well as some other fun things to pass the time and relieve stress.

~Books~

I think I read this book in a matter of days. Lisa Jewell’s Then She Was Gone is a page turner like none other. Not only is it a quick read, but dives into the dark story of a mother trying to cope with her daughter’s disappearance. Definitely a must read!

I just started Watching You by Lisa Jewell. Like her other book, you are immediately immersed into the lives and perspectives of her characters. So far, I can’t put it down and have a feeling the ending may surprise me.

~Podcasts~

I wasn’t a fan of the other Monster podcasts, but this one caught my attention immediately. DC Sniper reinvestigates the beltway sniper
attacks, sharing the stories of those who were involved and what happened during that time in the DC and Maryland area.

I was skeptical of this podcast, but ended up loving it. Radio Rental, narrated by The Office’s Rainn Wilson and told by Up and Vanished creator Payne Lindsey, tells bizarre, real life stories. From encounters with serial killers to experiencing an alternate reality, these stories will really get you thinking. The overall concept is super creative, and I cannot wait until season two is released.

~More~

Shows I’m binge watching!

At-Home Workouts!

I love to workout, so it’s been challenging to find a new routine that doesn’t involve going to the gym. I started using my garage, since I don’t have the space inside my house and use my yoga mat, weights, resistance bands and sliders for a complete workout. I’m also trying to get into going on more walks or hikes, since the weather is slowly getting nicer by the day.

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I think the most important thing at the moment is to relax and stay calm. It’s been very hard for me, especially with social media and the news. To keep my mind healthy, I’ve stopped watching the news for a bit and also kept off social media. It’s important that you not only remain physically healthy, but also mentally healthy. Make sure you implement self-care and do things that will make you healthy, happy and stress-free.

XO – Courtney

Finding Balance

I started out 2020 promising myself I would blog more and create content that I am passionate about. Fast forward a few weeks into the New Year, and I found myself in a ball of stress for many reasons. I kept thinking to myself, I thought 2019 was the bad year, when is 2020 going to give me a break?? And to be honest, it hasn’t. I’ve definitely been dealing with a lot of personal stress, hence the reason I have been absent from my blog and not fulfilling one of my goals for 2020. There have been times that I just wasn’t in the mood to sit down and write or even come up with a fun post for Instagram (I know that’s a shocker). But as I have taken some time to reflect and cope with the stresses I have going on, I’ve realized that I need to find balance.

Balance is important with everything. Whether it’s focusing on your health or a relationship, everything goes back to making sure you have balance. For example, eating healthy is important, but I’m obviously going to eat that chocolate cake once in a while because I love sweets. In my opinion, I have lacked balance for a while, but I am finally taking a step back and realizing that I need to make a change. I need to make more of an effort to take care of myself and leave other thoughts to last.

I’ve come to terms with my need for balance because at the end of the day, it’s my hobbies, health and more that will make me happy, so why not make sure they take priority?

Make sure that you take the time to reflect and focus on the things that are going to make you happy and healthy.

XO – Courtney

New Year, New Workout Wardrobe

A lot of people make resolutions when they enter a New Year, however, I like to create general goals. One of my goals is to continue to exercise and stay healthy in 2020. It helps having cute and sleek workout wear to keep you motivated and hitting the gym. Thanks to Yvette Sports, my New Year workout wardrobe is covered.

My workout staples are black leggings, a great sports bra and a comfortable shirt or hoodie. These Yvette Sports Shift Light leggings are so light-weight, soft and guarantee coverage. I don’t have to worry about bending over and having my bottoms ride down or them being see-through. Their sports bras also provide incredible support and control. They offer a number of low, medium and high support sports bras in many different sleek styles. My favorite is the black Anywhere Criss Cross Light Support sports bra. It is padded and has a strappy criss-cross back.

My favorite piece at the moment is this blush Shift Light Ocean Print hoodie. It’s comfortable and has the cutest beach graphic on the back. I’m not one to normally buy nice hoodies, but this is such a staple in my workout wardrobe and everyday attire. I find myself wearing this hoodie with leggings to run errands or go to a movie.

If you’re looking to give your workout attire a boost in the New Year, use my coupon code Courtney10 at checkout for a 10% discount! Thank you to Yvette Sports for gifting me these items.

For more on Yvette Sports, check out my previous blog.

Hope everyone continues to have a great start to the New Year!

Last Minute Holiday Card and Gift Ideas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but also the busiest time of year. With holiday parties, decorating and hosting family on the mind, it can be tricky putting together your holiday invitations/cards and getting last minute gifts for your friends, mom, sister, etc. But don’t worry! I have the solution for you!

Forget the printed invites and holiday cards and go the digital route! Paperless Post is a provider of customizable online invitations and cards. They have partnered with several world-famous designers and lifestyle brands, including Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler, and my personal favorite Rifle Paper Co. This holiday season, they are offering festive options for any party or family holiday card.

Each invitation or card is purchased via the website’s coin system and allows you to control your budget when creating a custom piece. Coins can be purchased once your account is created and do not expire. It’s an easy way to send out those last minute invites and cards without having to wait for traditional mail delivery.

Now for some last minute gift ideas… Check out a few easy options below for that special woman in your life!

From left to right:

  1. Kendra Scott Didi Rhodonite Earrings
  2. Ugg Genuine Dyed Shearling Single U Earmuff
  3. Nest Reed Diffuser – White Camellia
  4. Nordstrom Rack Dipped Faux Shearling Throw
  5. Block Letter Monogram Necklace
  6. Blushing Flutes – Set of 2
  7. Kristin Ess 3-in-1 Flat Iron – 1 1/4 inch
  8. Adidas Cloudfoam Pure Sneaker

A big thank you to Paperless Post for partnering with me and gifting me coins, so I too can create holiday cards of my own! Hoping everyone has a safe and happy holiday!

Workout Wear with Yvette Sports

I started working out consistently around 4 years ago, and it has changed my life significantly. Not only has it made me feel healthier, it has also given me more energy and has been such a stress reliever. Through my years of working out, I’ve found that finding workout wear that fits into my routine is tricky. Workout clothes are either too expensive, not comfortable, do not fit properly or are poor quality. That’s why I am teaming up with Yvette Sports to share comfortable and practical workout wear. All products featured in this post was gifted to me by Yvette Sports.

The two pieces I am in love with are their Shift Light – Women’s Light Support Leggings and their Sculpt Women’s High Support Sports Bra. The leggings are high-waisted and made of advanced lycra fabric, which has strong elasticity with stretch-ability of up to 600% and are not see through (SO IMPORTANT!) The leggings are also breathable, making it comfortable when working out and sweating. The sports bra has Cool-max Technology, a stylish red ribbon at the back and anti-skid shoulder straps, which are perfect if you lift weights. It also contains smooth elastic bands that resist chafing.

The sports bra is perfect for girls looking for some extra support. While it is slightly padded, the bra itself isn’t stiff. I would recommend going up a size, if you tend to be larger in the band area. I don’t wear sports bras by themselves when I go to the gym. I always have some sort of t-shirt or tank over them. This bra doesn’t feel uncomfortable under layers and moves with you. The leggings is what I was most excited about because it is rare you find great workout leggings. These have the softest fabric, making it perfect for the gym and also hanging around. They do ride down slightly, so just be mindful when picking a size. This is a pair that I will need to get in black!

Now for the best part! Yvette has given me a coupon code to share with my followers! Use code kaner10 for a discount on your next purchase. Their workout apparel makes a perfect gift for a loved one this holiday season or a gift for you! They are also holding several Black Friday deals, so be sure to check out their site for additional discounts.

Workout wear doesn’t have to be uncomfortable! I finally feel like I have found pieces that fit and work with my workout routine.

 

My Aruba Travel Guide

Recently, I traveled to Aruba with my family to get away from the cold, dreary weather and to decompress for a bit. It had been a while since I traveled on an airplane for a trip, so I couldn’t have been more excited to pack my summer clothes and spend a few days on the beach.

Flight

We took a connecting flight to Aruba, stopping in Miami for a layover. If you ever choose to go, I definitely recommend taking a direct flight. It is around 4/5 hours direct and many airlines, such as JetBlue, travel direct. We spent around 6ish hours traveling in total, and it ended up being a lot, especially since we had to get up at 3am. We arrived in the late afternoon, and by that time, I wanted to just relax for the evening and start fresh the next day.

Where to Stay

In Aruba, there are two main tourist locations: Eagle Beach and Palm Beach. Eagle Beach, which according to one of our cab drivers is practically Palm Beach divided up, is the condo area. Palm Beach, on the other hand, is the ‘sky rise’ area with all the major hotels. We stayed at The Ritz-Carlton, which is located at the far end of Palm Beach and is the last hotel on the strip. Even though The Ritz tends to be on the pricier side, I definitely recommend looking into staying there. Not only did it have fabulous amenities and great customer service, it was quiet because it was situated on the far end of the beach. The rest of the strip felt congested with hotels on top of each other.

Excursions

This trip, we decided to balance both relaxation and sight-seeing. We did two excursions, which in my honest opinion were just okay. The one excursion that I do recommend (with a warning) is the jeep or UTV tour of the island and Arikok National Park. Aruba is a desert island, which at times was hard to believe since it had incredible ocean views. The tour takes you around to see both the caves, rock formations, natural pool and coastal cliffs. We ventured up to one of the highest points of the island and were able to see the northern coast of Venezuela. According to our tour guide, Venezuela is about a 15 minute flight from Aruba. However, do not expect to visit the country while you are on the island. Aruba has strict immigration and travel rules when it comes to Venezuela. Anyway, this excursion sounds great, right? Yes, but WARNING, it was VERY bumpy. We were pretty much off-roading, which was extremely rough on the body. If that does not sound appealing to you, I would skip it. We were in the open-air jeep, and it was a hard ride to get through. For the second excursion, we took a catamaran to a few areas to snorkel. I would personally skip the boat tour altogether. Since Aruba is outside of the hurricane belt, the weather is nearly perfect, however, they do get a lot of wind. Because of the wind, the waters were rough and made snorkeling uncomfortable and dangerous. Take the extra day and relax on the beach instead!

Food

Now to the best part.. FOOD! I am a big foodie, especially on vacations. While I wasn’t going crazy over Aruba’s food, there were some spots where we enjoyed delicious meals:

  • Flying Fishbone – If you can, try to get a table in the water and preferably at sunset.
  • Madame Janette – If you’re looking to enjoy your meal without being surrounded by large families or kids, try making a reservation later into the evening at around 8pm. You also need to leave room for dessert (their Snickers cake was amazing.)
  • Yemanja – This was by far one of my favorites. Not only did they have an expansive menu filled with vegetarian and vegan options, but their drinks were great. I recommend the Sweet Passion.

Shopping

In regards to shopping, there wasn’t a whole lot. We stopped at one store for t-shirts in the downtown Oranjestad area. You’ll notice that many people will choose to buy their luxury or designer items while on vacation in Aruba. That is because there isn’t a luxury tax on the island, so designer items are cheaper than they would be in the states.

Overall this was one of the most relaxing trips I have had in a long time. It was nice to get away and soak up the sun! Now back to winter…

My Manchester, Vermont Travel Guide

Long time, no blog? I always says this, but it’s been way too long since I’ve posted content on here. There’s been a lot of changes the last few months, and I finally feel like I’m getting into a new routine and new mindset! I’ll explain those changes soon, but I first wanted to share my recent weekend getaway with you all!

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I ventured up to Manchester, Vermont for a little weekend getaway. It was MUCH needed after the week I had. I couldn’t wait to see the foliage and feel the crisp fall air, since it hasn’t gotten that cold here in MA yet. I had first heard about the area from another blogger, Caitlin Covington, and took some inspiration from where she stayed, ate etc!

First thing I noticed when booking a place to stay is that the hotels were PRICEY. So we decided to check out Airbnb and found what I think is the cutest place we have ever stayed. We were 10 minutes from downtown Manchester in our quaint A-Frame for the weekend! Our hosts were fantastic, and you can actually find them on Instagram with the handle @thevermontaframe. The home was cozy, convenient to the area and had everything we needed, including a wood burning stove. Not to mention it was aesthetically pleasing and perfect for that Instagram photo-op.

On our first and real full day, we packed in a lot! I’m usually not one to get up early, but I wanted to get in everything we could. We first enjoyed breakfast at Up for Breakfast, which was delicious. It is small so I recommend going before 10! We arrived at 9 and only had to wait 15 minutes. After, we drove to Equinox Pond. We picked the perfect day to go with clear skies and the sun illuminating the mountains and foliage. THIS IS THE ULTIMATE PHOTO DESTINATION. If you’re staying at the Equinox Resort, it is a quick walk up from behind the hotel, but since we had a car and weren’t staying there, we just drove up one of the dirt roads.

We then decided to check out the designer outlets. There are several that line the main road in the center of town. From Theory to Kate Spade, Michael Kors and more, it was definitely worth checking out. I also recommend stopping in the country stores! Those are always my favorite, and you can buy little nips of Vermont maple syrup! Yum!

After our shopping, I was in the mood to change, so we headed back for a quick break. Once we returned to town, we visited Zoey’s Deli for a late lunch. The line was out the door, but for a good reason. The sandwiches and chips are so good. I got the Granny Smith, which I could have easily split with my boyfriend, but my eyes were bigger than my stomach that day. Their chips are homemade, crispy and still soft like a potato.

We really didn’t have many plans after that, so we decided to check out the Orvis outlet and flagship store. Everything in Manchester is extremely dog friendly and Orvis was no different. I don’t shop for outdoor items, so I secretly went in just to see all the pups. The flagship store does have several ponds in the back where you can feed the fish and take a nice stroll. Fly fishing is also a big activity up there, and they also have a school for it next door to the store.

Before dinner, we grabbed drinks at Seasons. I think next time I want to try them for dinner, as their drinks were just okay. For dinner we ate at Ye Olde Tavern, which I recommend 100%. The restaurant is in an old historical home and you get to enjoy your meal by candlelight. This felt like a multi course meal. We first started with fritters, then I split the Brie with my boyfriend, we both had salads and bread, then our entree and I of course couldn’t pass up pumpkin pie for dessert! It was probably my favorite meal while we visited.

After a cozy night in the A-frame, it was time to enjoy our final morning and head home. Since it was Sunday, brunch was a must. I had seen a lot of reviews for the Copper Grouse and had to check it out. Located in the Kimpton Taconic Hotel, the restaurant serves, brunch, lunch and dinner. We sat next to the fireplace and in classic brunch fashion, tried to order everything! I got the basic breakfast and my boyfriend enjoyed the pastrami smoked salmon. We also split the blueberry pancakes because they were calling my name. I definitely recommend splitting the pancakes and also making sure to order the home fries.

This was probably one of the best getaway weekends I’ve had in a long time. It was perfect, cozy and filled with yummy food.

I’m hoping to post more come the next few weeks and share an update on where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to.

Until next time!

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