.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

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.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.

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