.nightly routines.

nightlyroutine

By nature, I’m not a great sleeper.  I hear all the creaky noises and I notice when my cats are wandering the house with their noisy little paws.  We live near a main highway, so the people driving by at 2:00 a.m. blaring something abysmal {think Florida Georgia Line} automatically become my least favorite people.  And the coyotes…well, they sound like screaming babies that have entered some kind of Mad Max/Hunger Games alternate universe.

Tomorrow is my first official day of summer vacation and I plan to use my time wisely and really focus on my self-care {more on that later this summer}.  I believe that a major component of self-care comes from developing a nightly routine that lets my body know it’s time to unwind and relax.  Here’s my plan:

1.  Eliminate screen time.  Just run a search on screen time before bedtime and you’ll see that researchers agree that it’s pretty bad for you.  Scrolling through social media or even reading on your iPhone or iPad make it harder to fall asleep and/or stay asleep.  Not getting enough sleep can trigger a lot of other health problems like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.  My ultimate goal is to flip my phone to the “Do Not Disturb” mode around 8:30 every evening in order to let my body know it’s time to get ready to sleep.

2.  Remove my makeup.  I’m pretty religious about washing my face.  I love how relaxed it makes me feel when I combine hot water with the soothing scent of Noxzema {yes, people still use Noxzema}.  I use this moisturizer and I’ve been really pleased with the results.

3.  Slather up!  I have super dry skin and pretty bad eczema, so my moisturizing routine has to be pretty strict.  I use this lip balm every night and I love that it doesn’t get sticky throughout the night.  I use this moisturizer on my hands, elbows, and feet and I usually mix in a little Lavender essential oil.

4.  Diffuse something relaxing.  We use our home diffuser every single day.  Each night around 7:30 or so, we start diffusing a nice mix of Lavender & Stress Ease.  Just the scent of the oils lets my body know that it’s time to relax.

5.  Have a cup of tea.  My current nighttime teas are Tension Tamer {especially with a drop of Thieves!} and the old standby, Sleepytime.  Having something warm {and caffeine free} is yet another way to let my body know that it is time to unwind.

6.  Read a book.  I’m talking a real-life-can-still-smell-the-printer’s-ink-honest-to-goodness-book.  This summer I’m focusing on re-reading series that I’ve always loved like Harry Potter and Anne of Green Gables.

I am a creature of routine, so I know developing practices that help me relax will ultimately result in better self-care for both myself and Josh.  I’m really hopeful that this is a routine that can stick!

What about you?  Do you have a nightly routine that works for you?

XOXO,

Court

P.S.

These nightgowns from Target are my favorite.  The fluid knit feels so soft and stays cool all night.

These linen sheets from Restoration Hardware are on my future splurge list.

These are two great examples of bedtime routines:  link & link.

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.family supper club.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable, blessed Thanksgiving.  We ventured down to Augusta to celebrate with my Mama’s family.  After losing Mama’s stepfather and mother within 48 hours about two weeks ago, it was wonderful to be surrounded by family.

When Josh decided to go back to school in order to gain a teaching certificate, we knew our already hectic schedule would morph into this crazy monster.  I knew our precious quality time was going to be pushed aside for things like term papers, teacher work samples, and endless hours of studying for seemingly endless certification tests.

As someone who craves quality time, I was dreading Josh’s foray into graduate school.  By nature, I crave the quiet and the familiar.  Grad school + football season + wrestling season does not equal the time I desperately need at home with my husband and family.  Over manis and pedis, I confided in my mother about my concerns and she {as usual} came up with a most brilliant plan:

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Family Supper Club.  The concept is simple:  plan and cook meals with the people you love.  This isn’t meant to be a nightly dinner party or anything particularly fancy.  It’s a way to spend maximize quality time while minimizing both stress and grocery bills.  It also eliminates leftovers altogether, something that makes Mr. C very happy.

Our Family Supper Club has been going strong for nearly a year now and I cannot say enough about what a blessing it is.  Even during our most hectic weeks {those weeks where football season and wrestling season intersect…nightmare!}, we were able to sit down to home cooked meals instead of relying solely on fast food or take away.  Some weeks we rely heavily on Mama and Daddy and other weeks they rely heavily on us.  In the end, we typically have four to five nights plus a Sunday dinner together.

I cannot stress what a blessing my Mama’s little idea has been.  Instead of worrying over what to cook seven nights a week, I might cook three nights a week at a maximum.  It has also been a wonderful incentive to follow our chore chart each day to keep our house “company ready.”  Is it a perfect system?  No, but it’s a lot better than getting home at 7:30 in the evening and guiltily eating fast food.

plan

1.  Find Your People.  Does Family Supper Club have to be strictly for family members?  Absolutely not.  Find a core group of people that you love and you’re all set!  Our FSC consists of the “core four” of Josh, Mama, Daddy, and me.  Sometimes we include my Grandma and Pop in the mix.  Other times, my cousin Clay and his wife Lauren join us.  The most important thing to remember is that if you don’t want to cook for a group of twelve, keep it small.

2.  Plan.  This was the part of FSC that was most difficult at first.  If you don’t plan together with your group members, someone might screw up {or get their feelings hurt!}.  Mama and I sit down each Sunday either in person or via text to discuss our comings and goings for the week.  All members of the core four have access to one another’s Google Calendars so we know exactly when Josh and Daddy have fire meeting, I have cheer practice, or Mama has a board meeting.

After we’ve established the who and where, we plan the what.  I typically cook on Mondays and Wednesdays while Mama takes Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We keep Fridays and Saturdays open for date nights or whatnot.  Sometimes Mama and I go grocery shopping together and sometimes we don’t.  Regardless, we always have a plan in place before the work week begins.

3.  Prep on Sunday.  One of the best things we’ve ever done in our marriage is to go to the market and prep all of our meals on Sunday.  Anything that needs slicing, dicing, chopping, or marinating gets done on Sunday.  We also prep our breakfasts {chia seed overnight oats} and lunches {usually grilled chicken, a complex carb, and a roasted veggie} at the same time.  It’s such a relief on our scheduled nights when I can come home, play with Atlas, grab the gallon-sized Ziploc bag labeled Monday, dump the contents in a pan, and call it a day.

4.  Cook!  It doesn’t have to be fancy!  I love spending time in the kitchen and I especially love trying new recipes, but I’ve learned to save that experimentation for our summer holiday.  Mama and I both utilize the Crockpot quite often and we each have a handful of healthy, filling recipes that are both tasty and easy to prepare.

5.  If at first you don’t succeed, fry, fry a hen.  Just kidding.  Working out the schedules of a family in the 21st century is a little bit like origami.  Sometimes our most well-planned weeks fall to the wayside.  Sometimes life just happens.  Don’t let one bad week ruin something that is ultimately meant to simplify your life.

Would you ever start your own Family Supper Club?  Or have you already got a similar system in place that works?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy Holidays!

XOXO,

Court

P.S.  My favorite recipe ever.

This makes washing up after FSC a breeze.

If you want to follow our FSC exploits, follow our hashtag #familysupperclub.

.just checking in.

So, we’re still here.  We’ve been woefully absent from our blog, sweet blog, but football season morphed into this all-consuming mountain of work and though I love my cheer gals, spending that much time around twenty-four teenagers day after day doesn’t really cultivate a ton of meaningful blog topics.  I do know how to properly use the term bae, though.

Josh is now in the midst of wrestling season and we recently spent eleven hours at a wrestling tournament.  Have y’all ever been to a wrestling tournament?  I’m now an expert and I can tell you all about it.  At this particular tournament, the concession stand ran out of food before lunch, the youths picked the hospitality suite clean by noon, and a thirteen year old asked for my number.  When I told him that I’m “nearly” thirty and married, I thought he was going to barf.

A few things of note:

1.  I finished all of my Christmas shopping within thirty minutes of opening my laptop.  It was fantastic.  Major props to Pottery Barn, Marley Lilly, and Amazon for making my life that much easier.

2.  I read Gone Girl last month and we saw the film with some friends.  Holy Guacamole, Batman, both were mind blowing!

3.  I kept my mums alive for the majority of the pumpkin-decor season.  This is a first, y’all.

4.  We’ve been obsessed with How To Get Away With Murder and that last episode made me pee my pants a little.  HOLY crap.

5.  I’ve been using this nipple balm as chapstick and it has officially changed my life.  Weird?  Yes.  Do I care?  Absolutely not.

I hope everyone {especially those with the full week off like me} enjoys their well-deserved time off this week!

XOXO,

Court

.in defense of the summer hat.

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Recently I attended an outdoor wedding that took place in a large field.  The reception was held in an open-air tabernacle and it threatened to rain for the entirety of the ceremony.  I wore a simple J. Crew party dress with pearls and found that my outfit was still lacking.  I added a large, cream colored, wide-brimmed hat that accented the outfit nicely.

Upon arriving at the venue, I was immediately teased for being overly-dramatic.  What felt like confidence was soon squashed by eye-rolls or cutting remarks.  I eventually took off my hat because who likes to be teased?  I felt more than a little crushed and later I felt angry…why let naysayers rain on my parade?  And who made them {mostly men} the fashion police?

As a side note, I’d like to point out that my Daddy wears a hat to nearly every wedding or outdoor event he attends.  Nobody teases him or makes claims about him acting like a drama queen {king?}.  Instead, they remark on his taste.  Why the double-standard?

Exhibit A:  the man wearing the iPhone clip on his belt is praised for his style {no offense, Dad}.  If I wear a hat, I’m called a witch and burned at the stake {now that’s an excellent example of what being overdramatic really is}.

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I’ve never been one to really concern myself with the opinions of others, but being teased is never fun.  After developing a thicker skin {so necessary in the scorching Georgia heat!}, here are several hats I’d love to over-dramatically wear  outdoor events:

Aren’t they all just delicious?  We have several weddings left to attend this summer and I plan to wear a hat to each and every event.  If it’s good enough for Kate Middleton, it’s definitely good enough for me.

What about you?  Do you wear hats to weddings, church, or other events?  Why or why not?  If you knew people wouldn’t make a big deal out of it, would you wear a hat?

XOXO,

Court

P.S.

The greatest hat scene in a film ever, ever, ever.

The best hat of all time.

And the worst.

What Emily Post has to say about hats.

.a funny little habit//d-day.

Josh has this funny little habit he picked up from my Daddy:  regardless of where we are or what we’re doing, if he spots a veteran, he’ll drop everything to shake the veteran’s hand.  And on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I’ve had that habit replaying in the back of my mind all day.

A few years ago, we were having dinner at our favorite restaurant when a WWII veteran and his wife were seated at a table near us.  The restaurant is known for being especially dark and noisy, but Josh made a beeline for the gentleman posthaste.  After shaking his hand and thanking him for his sacrifice, the elderly gentleman nudged Josh with his cane and gestured towards me.

“That your girl?” he asked.

“Yes sir, that’s my wife,” Josh answered.

“I bet she can kick your ass with them boots, boy.  Best keep an eye on her,” the veteran laughed.

Our generation has much to learn from the Greatest Generation, especially about sacrifice.  I hope we never forget the cost of our freedoms, rights, responsibilities, and privileges because they certainly weren’t free.  I hope everyone in my age bracket can develop Josh’s habit…our veterans deserve far more than a handshake, but it’s certainly a start.

“If ever proof were needed that we fought for a cause & not conquest, it could be found in these cemeteries.  Here was our only conquest:  all we asked…was enough soil in which to bury our gallant dead.”  General Mark W. Clark

-Court

P.S.

All this VA Hospital mess is despicable.  If it concerns you, contact the White House or your Senator and let them know that Eric Shinseki’s resignation isn’t enough.

Josh’s favorite mini-series.

And his second favorite.

We just finished The World Wars.  Have you seen it?  I’m a certified Social Studies teacher {and Josh will be certified by December} and we both learned a ton about The Great War & WWII.  If you haven’t seen it, click the link to watch all three episodes.

I took Josh to this museum for his 24th birthday.  If you’re local, I’d highly recommend it.

Josh and his brother are running the Currahee Challenge in October to celebrate Josh’s 27th birthday.  I can’t wait to experience the 2014 Currahee Military Weekend.

.four.

We’ve been married four years.  Four.  We didn’t date all that long before we got engaged, so four years seems like a lifetime.

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Four years is long enough to know how he takes his coffee {black on weekdays, two creams & one sugar on Saturdays}.

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Four years is long enough to know that he’d prefer to binge on a Ken Burns documentary but will stoically agree to Sense & Sensibility {again}.

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Four years is long enough to know that when he makes me a cup of tea, he’ll deliver it in our largest soup mug instead of one of my dainty tea cups {because, caffeine!}.

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It’s also long enough to know that he’ll be silly when I need it and solemn when it comes to the important stuff.

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To my darling man, thank you.

XOXO,

Court

P.S.  Even though we normally stick with the traditional anniversary gifts, we didn’t want or need anything in satin or linen.  Josh ordered me this bikini and a 2015 Lilly planner in my favorite print and I’ve yet to get him anything {because he cannot make up his mind!}.

 

.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

.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.