.first position.

Since marrying Captain C, I’ve become well-versed in documentaries.  Waiting for Superman inspired Josh to go back to grad school to become a teacher.  Food, Inc. made us really become mindful about the purchases we made each week at the grocery store.  Forks Over Knives has sent me into not one, not two, not three, but four forays into a vegan lifestyle.  In addition, Josh’s Netflix queue is Ken Burns documentary after Ken Burns documentary {we watched this one on Memorial Day and have been enjoying this one for several weeks}.  Marrying a man with a film degree has definitely rubbed off on me.

Tonight while Josh worked on an annotated bibliography, I looked through his documentary queue and found this gem:  First Position.

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It was a gorgeous look into the lives of children who yearn to become professional ballet dancers.  It was intense and moving {twenty minutes in, I was sobbing}.  Even if you’ve never been to the ballet, you’ll appreciate the dedication, athleticism, and raw talent on screen.  Josh is not a fan of ballet by any means and he had a vested interest in each of the children.  I especially enjoyed the intimate look at the racial and gender stereotypes many dancers face when trying to gain scholarships or contracts with dance companies.  If you need something out of the ordinary, I’d highly recommend First Position for a weeknight in at home.

What are some of your favorite documentaries?  Have you ever seen something that inspired you to change a habit or become something different?  I found myself wishing I’d stuck with ballet!

XOXO,

Court

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.in summer.

I’ve noticed a horrific pattern in my blogging:  I’ll blog all Fall and most of Winter and then punk out the second it starts to warm up.  It’s possibly because March–May is my busiest time of year but it’s also possible that I go a little weak in the knees for warmer weather.  Either way, this Spring has been the busiest of my life:  working full time at school, coaching, writing copy for four campaigns, boots on the ground in one campaign, and still trying to maintain some semblance of a home//social life.  Pile on my brother’s wedding bookended by my brother-in-law’s wedding and I found myself on the verge of a major meltdown.  As always, I pulled through and have three glorious months to focus on my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

 

Setting goals seems to be part of my DNA.  What’s the point if we aren’t striving towards something?  This summer I want to…

1.  Read more.  I’ve always been an avid reader, but during election cycles, I find it hard to read anything except copy…lots and lots of copy.  My summer reading list includes:

Book1 Book2 Book3

2.  Spend more time outdoors with this guy.

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Because who can resist this face?

3.  Go to Lake Burton and turn off my phone.

A little slice of Cuz Club Heaven on Earth.

4.  Drink loads of tea.

Source {a great article from Garden & Gun}

5.  Take lots of naps.

Hint: I’ve already met this goal but I’m a total overachiever.

What about you?  Do you have lofty summer goals?  What books are on your summer reading list?

XOXO,

Court

P.S.  This granita sounds amazing…maybe pineapple & mint?

Medoc, France has been added to my bucket list.

I can’t wait to get my hand on this and this.

J’adore.

My Favorite Things: Makeup

Admittedly, I’m not well-versed in the art of makeup.  I tend to be incredibly basic:  foundation, blush, eyeliner, mascara, and maybe a smear of Chapstick and I’m good to go.  Lately I’ve ventured into contouring, but I really save that for special occasions.  I do have five products that I don’t leave my house without and they range from incredibly cheap drugstore finds to more expensive beauty counter products.  In no particular order, here are my favorite makeup products.

1.  MAC Face & Body Foundation {purchase here, $27}

My favorite thing about this water-based foundation is that you can build the coverage that you want.  I like to have a dewy complexion so a quick swipe with an angled foundation brush each morning does the trick.

2.  e.l.f Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer {purchase here, $6}

For my skin, primer is a must.  I love this brand because it’s clear, cheap, and it does the job nicely.  On days when I forget to use primer, my water-based foundation practically slides off my face.  P.S.  e.l.f. products are at Target!

3.  e.l.f. Studio Contouring Palette in St. Lucia {purchase here, $3}

This contouring palette is literally the best $3 I’ve ever spent.  The blush gives me a wonderful dewy, rosy glow and the bronzer is excellent when I’m in the mood to contour my face.

4.  L’oreal Voluminous Power Volume 24 Hour Mascara {purchase at anymore chain store, $7.95}

My mother got me hooked on this mascara several years ago when she placed some “Blackest Black” in my stocking one Christmas.  I’ve been using it ever since.  I have really long eyelashes and a few coats of this really makes my green eyes pop.

5.  Smith’s Rosebud Salve {purchase at major drugstores, usually about $6}

Realistically speaking, if I leave the house with, this is in my purse.  I also keep some on my desk at work, in my nightstand, and in my kitchen.  It’s been around for a long time and the company has never changed the formula or the packaging {which I adore}.  It’s like my lips, but better.

Are there any products you can’t live without?  What are your makeup favorites?

XOXO,

Court

My Favorite Things: Cookbooks

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a great cookbook.  I keep them in stacks on my nightstand and read through them like my favorite novels.  The best recipes are like love stories, full of both richness and sweetness and hints of bitter.  Here are my top favorite cookbooks:

1.  Mastering the Art of French Cooking by:  Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, & Simone Beck

As a worshiper at the throne of the Great Julia, this was an easy investment.  The recipes are detailed and methodical and Julia is just so terribly charming.  I’ve read both volumes from cover to cover several times over.  Order here.

Favorite recipes:  Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic, Chicken with Mushrooms, Port, & Cream

2.  Foolproof by:  Ina Garten

The Barefoot Contessa is my favorite after school program {no, really}.  Ina is one of my top role models {a political analyst turned home chef!} and when my brother-in-law gifted me Foolproof for Christmas, I instantly ignored all my other presents to read through this gorgeously detailed book.  Purchase here.

Favorite recipes:  Perfect Poundcake, Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Straw & Hay Pasta

3.  Nigella Kitchen:  Recipes from the Heart of the Home by:  Nigella Lawson

All cocaine charges notwithstanding, Nigella Lawson is an awesome home cook.  Every recipe is equal parts comforting, accessible, and sexy.  She’s delightfully entertaining to watch and she’s equally as entertaining in writing.  Many of the recipes in this book are quick and tasty.  Order here.

Favorite recipes:  Curly Pasta with Feta, Spinach, & Pine Nuts, Indian Roasted Potatoes, & Slut’s Spaghetti {no, really}

4.  It’s All Good by:  Gwyneth Paltrow

Set aside any preconceived notions about Gwyneth Paltrow & her goop lifestyle before reading this book and you’ll adore it.  The salad section alone is enough to feed us for the entire summer and the Captain goes nuts for the different dressing recipes.  This cookbook is especially helpful to anyone with Celiac disease or food allergies {like me}.

Favorite recipes:  The Best Chicken Soup Ever, Mexican Green Goddess Dressing, and Brown Rice Pasta with Tuna, Olives, Capers, & Parsley

5.  The Pioneer Woman by:  Ree Drummond

Technically I don’t own any of Ree Drummond’s cookbooks because I frequent her blog so often.  What’s more shocking than how comforting and simple her recipes are is the fact that so many people hate The Pioneer Woman.  Like, I’ve had other women harass me online because I’ve pinned her recipes before.  I think it’s because she’s not a trained chef and she sometimes takes shortcuts or maybe it’s because she’s built a profitable empire.  Either way, women tearing down other women online is not cool.  Ree is personable and her recipes are easy to follow.  You can access her recipes by clicking here.

Favorite Recipes:  Cajun Chicken Pasta, Salisbury Steak {no, really}, and Sunday Night Stew

What about you?  What are your favorite cookbooks?  Do you have shelves full of them like me or do you download ebooks on your iPad?

XOXO,

Court

…hello? Is this thing on?

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Just a quick note to the online world…we are in fact, still alive.  When I realized that last week was not January, it dawned on me that I’ve neglected this blog like a bad date.  We’ve entered the busiest season ever of our life together and things like websites just got pushed to the side.  Here are some comings and goings…

  • Josh is back in school and will be finished in December.  It’s tough…especially for me since I thrive on quality time and we maybe see each other one night a week.  So far he’s made the highest marks in his classes and he’ll be interning locally in the fall.
  • Atlas weighs 70 pounds and he’s still a puppy.  His tail is lethal and has a bad habit of knocking my La Croix off the coffee table every. single. time.  Still, he’s the most adorable thing in the world and we take him with us nearly everywhere we go.
  • I’m now the sole coach of the Varsity Football Cheer Squad at my school.  Scary, intimidating, time consuming, and loads of fun.  We recently had tryouts and I wouldn’t wish that process on my worst enemy.
  • We’re 45 days away from summer vacation.  Holy cow.  We’ve got the requisite two weeks at Lake Burton planned for mid-July and we’ll be wedding hopping {again} for most of the summer.  Traveling is different once you’ve got a dog…
  • We’re planning our summer garden and praying that the rain won’t rot away our tomatoes like last year.  Josh wants to add in peppers, zucchini, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers.  Daddy has the requisite asparagus, lettuces, carrots, broccoli, and kale.  Obviously Pop takes the cake with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, corn, Irish potatoes, blueberries, peppers, squash, zucchini, and probably a half dozen other vegetables I’m forgetting to name.
  • My brother is getting married in May.
  • Josh’s brother is getting married two weeks later.

Hopefully we’ll both have time to breath before the school year ends and holiday begins.  I hope to document our garden for the summer as well as both family weddings.

XOXO,

Court

P.S.

The Old Try is Josh’s new favorite.

The Joyful Life Library is worth checking out.

These Kate Spade earrings are on sale.

Emily at Jones Design Company has the sweetest hand drawn Easter clipart available.

Josh just received these note cards and he’s obsessed.

Resolution Update

It seems a little silly that we’re already updating about our resolutions, but I made a crazy amount of progress on our 52-week organizational challenge today.  I drew five very satisfactory lines through weeks one through five.  You read that correctly.  Today I spent the day completely overhauling my kitchen and even though it’s 10:00 at night and I’ve got horrific dishpan hands, the feeling of satisfaction is so worth it.  It felt great to pull out everything, sift through the growing pile of unwanted junk, and sanitize everything.  I even had Josh pull the stove away from the wall so I could scrub up everything that had been hiding {greasy dust is the worst}.

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My cheerful kitchen which coincidentally mimics a lot of Pantone’s 2014 color choices.  Follow me on Instagram @courtneycallicutt!

What about you?  What resolutions did you make?  Have you already broken any?  What keeps you motivated?

XOXO,

Court

P.S.

We’re prepping for the Daniel Fast along with my parents, so Mama and I will be updating with fast-friendly recipes.

I’m super excited about Laken’s 14-Day Healthy + Wellness Challenge {it’s not too late to sign up}.

I was up to my elbows in this cleaning set today and it was amazing.

We have the world’s laziest puppy:

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New Year, New Goals {2014}

2014

In the past we’ve always posted our goals separately.  Men and women are truly different beasts and as such, our goals typically differ.  This year we’ve made a joint decision to build new habits in order to make our home a more successful place to love and live.

2013 was tough.  We were away from home far too much {for this introvert’s taste}, we ate out far too much, and our home was far too messy.  We both coach during the fall {Varsity Football Cheerleading for me & middle school wrestling for Josh}, and our home just sort of spiraled out of control when the two seasons overlapped.  Laundry was done on an as-needed basis, deep-cleaning never happened, and clutter piled up at an astonishing rate.  Coaching isn’t going away and neither is our busy schedule {or the traveling}, so last night the Captain and I sat down and listed our daily, weekly, and monthly goals to keep our home running in ship-shape {his words, not mine}.

Building good habits takes time and we’ve reached the point where we’re ready to make a commitment to change.  We’re implementing a 52-week organizational challenge, keeping each other accountable to our daily, weekly, and monthly goals, and making a commitment to making us better.

Here are a few of our weekly goals:

  • Wipe down the counters each evening.
  • Put away random clutter each day.
  • Cook dinner each evening.
  • Prepare lunches the night before each workday.
  • Stick to a consistent laundry schedule {wash, dry, fold, and put away clothes each Wednesday & Saturday}.
  • Follow the chore chart.

Here are a few tools I’m using to keep me organized:

The Simplified Recipe binder {on sale for $18, buy here}.  My MIL gifted me this binder along with the organizer sheets for Christmas.  I’ve already started filling it with menu ideas, shopping lists, and old family recipes.  Everything that has to do with food is in one place and as an added bonus, everything is pretty.

The Simplified Life Binder {starter kit, $54binder, $24}.  I love this product because it’s easily personalized to tailor-fit your needs.  I’d recommend buying the binder separately and purchasing the refill packs that suit your needs.  I love these dividers, the t0-do sheet lists, these goal-planning sheets, and these monthly/weekly calendar sheets.  You can also access tons of free printables for Emily Ley here.

The best part about blogging is the accountability we’re burdened with.  When we talk about a goal or plan, we feel extra pressure to succeed.  In addition, when we fail, we strive for transparency by being honest about it.  In an effort to stick to our 52-week organizational challenge, we’ll be updating you each week via our Instagram accounts.  Just check for the hashtag #52Callicutt to see our progress.  In addition, we’ll continue talking more about our daily, weekly, and monthly goals and how we’re planning to build better habits.  In the end, our ultimate goal is grace, not perfection.

What about you?  What are your goals for 2014?  Are you losing weight?  Hitting the gym?  Let us know in the comments section!

Happy New Year!

XOXO,

Court

 

Style, 2014

I should preface this entire post by saying that I’m not particularly stylish.  Any color, style, or pizazz is injected by my incredibly put-together mother.  Left to my own devices, I’m an all black everything kind of girl.  2014 is going to be the year of staple pieces for me…a good black pump, a great trench coat, perhaps some diamond studs {hint, hint Captain!}.  Building a wardrobe that will past the test of time means making investments that continue paying out over the years.  Here are a few of my picks…

1.  A great pair of black cigarette pants {to make you feel like this}.

2.  A classic trench coat {to make you feel like this}.

3.  A well-tailored black dress for work or play {to obviously make you feel like this}.

4.  A great red lipstick {for the ups and downs of life}.

5.  Simple diamond studs {and hopefully George Peppard will buy them for you!}

XOXO,

Court

P.S.  Some runners up…

Great multipurpose bag…

The perfect bra…

Great slouchy t-shirts…

10 Books That Changed My Life

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1.  Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

When I First Read It:  Fourth Grade {no kidding}

Why I Love It:  I can be just as cold and calculating and manipulative as Scarlett O’Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Thankfully, I have a one thousand page manifesto on how to get stuff done without throwing away happiness with both hands.  Plus, Rhett Butler is my spirit animal.

How It Changed My Life:  Scarlett had everything and she gave it up for a washed-up, weak excuse for a man.  From the tender age of nine, I vowed that the same would never happen to me.

Hashtag:  #TomorrowIsAnotherDay #FiddleDeeDee #GreatBallsOfFire

First Line:

Gone With the Wind

2.  Animal Farm by George Orwell.

When I First Read It:  8th Grade

Why I Love It:  It proves my favorite talking point—Communism is a gorgeous concept on paper but the human {or animal, rather} element will always guarantee its ultimate failure.

How It Changed My Life:  At the age of thirteen, it provided a vivid depiction of the destructive nature of Communism.

Hashtag:  #FourLegsGoodTwoLegsBetter #SomeAreMoreEqualThanOthers #IWillWorkHarder

First Line:

Animal Farm

3.  Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 

When I First Read It:  Third Grade

Why I Love It:  My middle name is Anne.

How It Changed My Life:  More than anything else, Anne Shirley taught me that have an overactive imagination is a blessing, not an affliction.  Plus, Gilbert Blythe.

Hashtag:  #KindredSpirits #RaspberryCordial #BosomFriends #DressesWithPuffySleeves

First Line:

Anne

4.  Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

When I First Read It:  Third Grade

Why I Love It:  The idea that Wendy Darling got to lord over a dozen or so little boys was terribly captivating {and still kinda is}.

How It Changed My Life:  Wendy taught me that change is necessary, so it may as well be embraced.  Peter taught me that dating a man-child is a waste of time.

Hashtag:  #HookOrMeThisTime #Wendybird #ToDieWillBeAnAwfullyBigAdventure

First Line:

Peter Pan

5.  Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

When I First Read It:  Last year {and it took an abysmally long time}

Why I Love It:  Finishing and comprehending this book made me feel like I finally deserved to vote.

How It Changed My Life:  I finally realized without a shadow of a doubt that {like it or not} I am a cold-hearted Libertarian.

Hashtag:  #WhoIsJohnGalt #ReardenSteel #GaltsGulch

First Line:

Atlas Shrugged

6.  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

When I First Read It:  Third Grade

Why I Love It:  Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy gave me the chance to know what it would be like to have sisters.

How It Changed My Life:  At the ripe old age of nine, Louisa May Alcott taught me that sometimes life doesn’t go as planned.  People may die, the jelly won’t always jell, and your sister might marry the love of your life.  Regardless, you have to put on your big girl panties {pantaloons?} and deal with it.

Hashtag:  #ThereWereNeverSuchDevotedSisters #PickledLimes

First Line:

Little Women

7.  Mugged:  Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama by Ann Coulter 

When I First Read It:  Last summer

Why I Loved It:  It’s well-researched and quite tart in tone.

How It Changed My Life:  I never realized how far politicians will go insure votes.  I also didn’t know where the phrase “drank the Kool-Aid,” came from until reading this book.

Hashtag:  #OJVerdict #DrankTheKoolAid #AlGoresDadWasSuperRacist

First Line:

Mugged

8.  Emma by Jane Austen

When I First Read It:  10th Grade

Why I Love It:  I identify with Emma Woodhouse in a way that is both terribly frightening and enlightening.

How It Changed My Life:  Giving others very good advice while seldom following it oneself is a horrific habit.

Hashtag:  #AllTheSingleLadies #DearEmma

First Line:

Emma

9.  Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

When I First Read It:  Sixth Grade

Why I Loved It:  After years of being teased, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named finally made an actual appearance.  I also love the idea of Durmstrang and Beauxbatons spending the year at Hogwarts.

How It Changed My Life:  A year or so after reading about Harry’s fourth year at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I lost several people in quick succession.  It may sound lame to adult me, but thirteen year old me realized that if Harry could watch Cedric Diggory die at the hands of Voldemort, I could process scary real-life things like cancer.

Hashtag:  #SPEW #TriWizardTournament #QuidditchWorldCup

First Line:

Harry

10.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 

When I First Read It:  Freshman year of college

Why I Loved It:  I have a {slightly unhealthy} thing for self-loathing jerks and Mr. Rochester takes the cake.  {I could fix that man, really I could}.

How It Changed My Life:  Jane taught me to not be a doormat.

Hashtag:  #AlwaysMakeSureTheDeadWifeIsReallyDead

First Line:

Jane