Monday, August 31, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up No. 08

This week was my last week of freedom before my classes started up. *Long sigh* I'm always excited for a new school year and love the promise of new classes, but that doesn't mean I'm not sad to see lazy, summer days go. I have to say the closer I got to Monday, the more excited I got for a new semester!


Friday I started my weekend by doing a little bargain shopping around town. I got some goodies for fall at Dollar Tree, Walmart, and Dollar General. I checked out Rue21 for clothes and the local thrift shop for fun, but didn't have any luck at either place. Luckily, what I found at the first 3 stores I mentioned are great buys and I spent under $20. I got some fall decorations for both my planner and my apartment. I can't show you the decorations for my apartment, as I will be doing a post next week about how I made my apartment ready for fall :)

I made a delicious pasta for dinner, but I forgot to take a picture of it until it was too late. I ended the evening my watching some episodes of Criminal Minds and joining in on the #bdibNA chat. I had so much fun talking to these girls, so if you're looking for a new twitter chat, I would definitely recommend it!

Saturday I got some chores done around the house, enjoyed a little nap, and then did some blog reading. I read several posts from Shy Life Living, thisfunny and inspiring post from Emma Mack, and Gwen's planner posts. In the evening my friend and I ordered a pizza and watched The Break Up. Neither one of us had ever seen it all the way through before, so it was an emotional night for us.

The weekend ended on Sunday with some chores, crafting, and an SVU marathon before spending the evening with friends. We had a little end of summer BBQ and went to the fireworks show our university has every year the night before classes start. It's always so fun because they coordinate it to music.

And here's some pictures from the weekend:



If you want to keep up with my blog posts and what I'm up to throughout the week you can follow me  on TwitterBloglovin, and Instagram.


Check out the Link Up page to see all the places this post has been!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

20 Photo Prop Ideas

It seems like everyone styles their photos these days. From bloggers to Instagramers, who doesn't want their photos to look pretty? Here are a few props you can use to add that extra touch to your next photo.


20 Photo Prop Ideas from Courtney's Little Things


  1. Candles.
  2. Sprinkles.
  3. Flowers.
  4. Cell phone.
  5. iPad.
  6. Books.
  7. Small figurines.
  8. Confetti.
  9. Notepads.
  10. Word rocks.
  11. Pens or pencils.
  12. Green plants.
  13. Magazines.
  14. Laptop.
  15. Headphones.
  16. Pretty bottles of lotion.
  17. Perfume bottles.
  18. Coffee mugs.
  19. Candy: M&Ms, holiday candy, jelly beans.
  20. Tools you used to create a DIY project.
  21. Notebooks or journals.
  22. School supplies like a calculator, backpack, or textbook.
  23. Pretty cards.
  24. Project life cards.
  25. DVDs.


Did this list give you any new ideas? What's your favorite prop to use in photos?


Check out the Link Up page to see all the places this post has been!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thrifting Finds

I always enjoy seeing what sort of amazing finds people score at thrift shops, so I thought this would be a fun post to write and share with all of you. I sometimes dread the extra stops around town or think I'd prefer something new, but there's a certain charm these objects hold. These are some of my favorite thrifted treasures.

Thrifting Finds courtneylthings.blogspot.com


Spanish Plates
This set of plates from Hotel Reina Cristina in Spain were such a great find. I absolutely love the sayings on them and I like imagining the story behind them. How did these darling plates cross an entire ocean and have a continent?

Thrifting Finds courtneylthings.blogspot.com


Cozy Sweater
I found this in the men's section and I have to say it is the coziest sweater I've ever owned. I'm always interested in wearing more muted toned shirts so I can pair it with any jewelry or pattern, so this was a perfect buy for me. I kind of like imagining this poor guy being forced to part with his favorite sweater because it's "too old" only for it to find its way in to the closet of a 20 year old girl.

Thrifting Finds courtneylthings.blogspot.com


Books
I love reading, but books are expensive and it takes me forever to read one for fun in college. Buying books that have already been loved makes it a lot cheaper to grow my collection of books. I've found some books in Spanish, a book of poetry from around the world, and even the wonderful Maya Angelou (who throws out one of her books?!?).

Thrifting Finds courtneylthings.blogspot.com


Owls
I started a collection of owls in high school and some of the most unique ones in my collection have been found at thrift shops and flea markets. They just have a little extra character that adds to their charm.

Thrifting Finds courtneylthings.blogspot.com


Do you enjoy thrifting? What's your favorite things to shop for secondhand? 

Check out the Link Up page to see all the places this post has been!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up No. 07

This week was very calm and relaxed. I didn't have classes or any adventures like last week, so I spent a lot of time just doing my own thing and relaxing with my family. I caught up on some blog reading, got work done for my blog, enjoyed the nice weather outside with my family, and made my bed every day. It was just what I needed before a new semester begins (T-one week!).


Friday I woke up early to take a shower before heading out with my parents and brother for a 6 hour drive to help my brother move in for his second year of college. I rode part of the way with my dad and part of the way with my mom. My dad and I had some really nice conversations, so I enjoyed my time in the car on the way down. 

Once we got down to the town his college is in, we checked into the hotel we were staying at and shortly headed out to dinner. I hadn't ate since breakfast at 10, so I was starving! My dad was pretty set on BBQ, which is always tricky when you're a vegetarian. I ended up getting chips with salsa and queso for dinner while everyone else enjoyed their meat. We ended the evening with a short stop at the mall.

Saturday we got up around 8 and had breakfast at the hotel. Once everyone had showered and packed up their overnight bags, we checked out and headed over to my brother's college. We moved his stuff into his new dorm and put a few things away before going for a little walk around his campus. They have really nice landscaping with gorgeous flowers all over the place. We decided to grab a little snack before saying our goodbyes and leaving him to organize his new dorm. 

On the way home I enjoyed a nice nap which was wonderful since I had woken up a couple times in the night at the hotel (I've been having trouble sleeping lately). I finally got to eat a meal when we stopped at Subway for lunch at 2. I was so happy to finally get something substantial to eat! The rest of the way home felt like a loooong drive and I don't know how my brother does it by himself. When we finally got home, I checked on my turtle (who my teenage brother had taken care of while I was gone) and my mom made a delicious pasta for us all. Homecooked meals always taste better after a couple days away.

The weekend ended on Sunday with a relaxing day at home. I edited some photos and scheduled the posts for this week. They're going to be some good ones with some of my favorite purchases from thrift shops and prop ideas for your photos. I spent the day with my sister watching Bar Rescue and both Addams Family movies and lamenting over our allergies (they're the worst!).

And finally here's some pictures from the weekend:


Weekend Wrap Up No. 07
Weekend Wrap Up No. 07
Weekend Wrap Up No. 07
Weekend Wrap Up No. 07


If you want to keep up with my blog posts and what I'm up to throughout the week you can follow me  on Twitter, Bloglovin, and Instagram.



Check out the Link Up page to see all the places this post has been!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Summer 2015 Recap

It's hard to believe, but summer is almost over. I have one more week before the fall semester starts for me so I thought a quick review of how I spent my summer would make for a good post. From a couple of fun trips, to a concert, to all those little things that make a summer memorable - here's a look at how I spent my summer!




Even though it's summer, I still took 2 classes, American History and English Literature, to lessen my course load this fall. Going through a whole semester of class in 4 weeks was a bit of a challenge, but I made it out of both classes with an A!

My family and I went traveled to Colorado for our summer vacation. We enjoyed walking around the shops in downtown Estes, hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, and of course taking lots of photos. Colorado is so beautiful and always one of our favorite states to visit. I couldn't get enough of all the mountains, lakes, and green.




I was able to cross a few other things off my summer bucket list. I did a little shopping for stationary, spent some time at the lake with friends, and finally finished my 2014 scrapbook. I just started reading a new book last week, so there's a chance I'll be able to cross that off my list before summer officially ends.

I visited a friend in Kansas City and saw Idina Menzel from second row seats at Starlight Theater. It was amazing to hear her sing some of my favorite songs live (Defying Gravity, Don't Rain on My Parade, and Let It Go). She's such a funny person and I would absolutely recommend you see her live if you get the opportunity to!




This summer I also went on a little day trip with my brother to the Homestead National Monument, spent more time being creative with the #MakeYourMarkJuly challenge and making my own planner stickers.

It's also been a big summer for my blog. I had my 6 month blogiversary in June, which is also when I started to take this venture a bit more seriously by promoting it on social media, joining in on link ups and blogging chats, and reading up on how to be a better blogger. I'm so glad I have because now I really can't imagine life without this little space on the internet!



How about you? How did you spend your summer? Did you go on any fun trips, see a cool concert, or have any big moments?

Check out the Link Up page to see all the places this post has been!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Creating Your Best About Page

I just posted a new about page I've been slowly working on for the past 2 weeks. I did some research on how to write a good about page, wrote a couple drafts, and took some photos. Today, I'm just going to tell you how to create an about page on Blogger in case you don't know how and give you a few pointers for your about page.

How to create your best about page on blogger


Creating an About Page on Blogger
To create your about page, you'll click on the "Pages" section on Blogger. Once you get there, hit "New page." You'll be able to write your about page (or any other page you'd like to add), add photos, links, or anything else you might want on the page. You can save the page as a draft as often as you'd like and preview how it will look, just like you would be able to with any post you're creating on Blogger.

To add a link to your about page (or any page) on your blog, go to the "Layout" section. Click "Add a Gadget" and scroll down to "Pages." You can title this gadget anything you want and it will ask you to place a check mark next to any published pages you'd like to add a link to on your sidebar. To make this list into tabs on the top of your blog, you simply drag the gadget to the top of your blog layout. Once you've made the Pages gadget the way you want it, click save arrangement and you're good to go!

Why I Needed A New About Page
The biggest problem with my first about page was that it wasn't "me" at all. I tried to model it after one of my favorite blogger's and so it felt like I was trying to imitate what I thought a blogger should sound like when I read it. The writing style I used, the layout, and everything about it did not reflect who I am.

Another problem with it was that the description I gave of my blog was too broad. When I created this blog in December, I honestly had no idea what my "niche" would be or what I would be blogging about. So when I wrote what kind of posts the blog would feature, I just listed anything that I might write about. Basically, I had a list of blog post ideas for a description of what I was going to blog about.

Tips for A New About Page

Include a picture of yourself. I feel weird plastering my face all over the blog and don't like taking photos of myself too often, but it adds a personal element. Besides, don't you want to look at the person you're talking to?

Write it like your introducing yourself to someone. This is kind of a "duh," but from what I told you about my first about page you can tell I didn't know this. There's a lot of pressure to make a killer about page, but what's most important is to show who you are. If you're solely focused on writing an awesome about page and trying to make it seem "bloggerish," you might lose out on some of who you are. So instead of focusing on that, just write like you're introducing yourself to someone you hope to friends with.

Include some basic information about you, what your blog is about and why you created it, what your loves or interests are, and a few random facts about yourself.


Have you ever tried to imitate what you think a blogger should be? Do you have any tips for creating an about page? 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

10 Back to School Supplies for College Students

I'm embarking upon my senior year of college - YIKES! I can't believe three years have already flown by here, but it also means I've got back to school shopping for college down to a science. I figured I'd share a few of my most essential school supplies that I carry in my backpack.

10 school supplies you have to have in college

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up No. 06

This week I was all over the place! I spent a few days at my apartment, spent the night in Kansas City to see Idina Menzel (it was amazing!), and then back to my apartment before heading home for the next week and a half.

On the blog I shared a look at my new bullet journal, a deeply personal post on my feelings aboutlosing a friendship, and how to make a personalized planner on a budget.


Friday I took a bunch of blog photos for the upcoming week, packed, and made the trip back to my family's home where I'll be staying for a little bit. I caught up on some of my favorite blogs and listened to "Cool for the Summer" about 5 times in a row before sitting down to watch my new favorite movie Home with my mom and sister. It is such a great movie! If you haven't seen it yet you should definitely check it out!

Saturday was a bit of a work day. I ran some errands, did some work for my dad, straightened up my room, cleaned out Burt's tank, and did some laundry. I also spent some time at my Grandma's house where I caught up with my cousin and got to see her adorable little kids. They're 2 and 10 months so they are just precious!

The weekend ended on Sunday with an attempt to take some photos for the new about page I'm working on, watched Russell Brand: End the Drug Wars,  took part in a bloggers chat, discovered some great new blogs, and did a little laying around.

And here's some pictures from the weekend:


Other news: I've added a couple new social media accounts for you to follow me on this week. I'm on twitter now! Be sure to follow me there for updates on new and old posts, and to see what blog posts I've enjoyed reading that day. You can also follow my blog on Bloglovin here and see what I'm reading over here.


If you're interested in seeing how some other lovely ladies spent their weekend, be sure to check out Erin's blog for the Weekend Snapshots link up.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Academic Planner Set Up

It's back to school season and that means with all the homework, quizzes, tests, projects, and papers coming up it's time to get organized! I find the best way to keep up with all of this is to keep a separate planner just for school. This is actually a habit my school district taught us beginning in middle school when they gave us a free planner each year to write down all of those due dates. I've continued this into my college career. 

Now I have a great, budget-friendly way for you to create your very own personalized academic planner for under $20! I got most of my supplies from the Target Dollar Spot and you can still find similar items there! They get new stationery items in all the time so you can give your academic planner an update whenever you're in need of a bit of a change!



DIY Personalized Academic Planner for under $20

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lost Friendships

I'm sure everyone has lost a friendship before.

Some just fade away, some you out grow. You move on to different parts of your life or move to different states and things just fizzle out. Even though this is often sad and painful, it's easier for me to accept because I understand it's no one's fault - life just happens.  What does bother me - deeply bother me - is when a friend blatantly rejects you.

This is what happened to me with a friend I had had from the time we were in diapers together all the way through high school. We shared sleep overs, giggles, secrets, long phone calls, and fun times. Even though I could feel that we were growing apart our senior year of high school, as we were both choosing different paths for our lives, I was not prepared for her to simply refuse to talk to me when we started college.



I texted her several times the first few weeks. We had told each other when we were moving in and when our first day of classes was at the beginning of August, so I texted her on those big days to wish her well but got no reply. At first I thought it was just the business and craziness of the first few weeks of school, but as the weeks turned into months I realized it was something a little more. When we finally saw each other over winter break, it was the most awkward encounter I've ever had with a "friend" and it truly broke my heart to realize our friendship was really over.

It's been 3 years now since our friendship abruptly ended, and even though I don't think about it all the time anymore, I still feel really bitter, angry, and jealous when I see pictures of her and her new friends on Facebook. It's like it just twists the knife in my heart to see that now she's having fun and making memories with these new people after she threw away our friendship.

I wonder if they're better than me somehow. Are they prettier than me? Are they more fun to be around? Why wasn't I a good enough friend to keep around?

I still have no idea what ended our friendship. We had been talking right up to the last couple days before school started. We didn't have a blowout fight or any big catastrophe happen - she just stopped replying to my text messages and ignoring my attempts to rekindle our friendship over those first few months of college. You probably think I should just ask what happened, but I just can't muster up the strength or courage to ask for fear that it will break my heart even more.

I wrote this hoping to get rid of my feelings of bitterness, because it's really not healthy to harbor negative feelings.  I hoped writing this would help me sort out these feelings and allow me to let it go. Although it helps to get it out, I know I still haven't let it go. I just don't know how to move on from something that meant so much to me.

And I guess right now it worries me that it will happen again as I have a friend leaving to student teach next semester, all my friends will be graduating at the end of the year, and I'll be moving back to Nebraska to student teach. I'm worried that as they start these new adventures, they'll forget about me and I'll have to go through this heartbreak again.

See? It's not healthy to hold on to these feelings of hurt and bitterness. I'm taking what happened with one wonderful, close friendship and projecting it on to all of the amazing friendships I've made in college.

And I should know it's not true. I've had friends transfer and friends who attend school halfway across the country and even though we don't speak to each other daily anymore, we still send each other messages and love hearing from each other. We still value the friendships we've created with each other and still care about how each other is doing in life.

So I'll ask you, my lovely reader, have you ever lost an important friendship like this? How did/do you deal with it?

Related Post: Changes and Possibilities

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Peek Inside My New Bullet Journal

I showed you guys how I use my bullet journal in June. I moved into a new bullet journal in July and changed a few things which are working out great for me, so I thought I would share a peek inside my new with you all.



I decided to put my cute navy "leather" journal from Walmart to use. It was in the "Mother's Day" section, so I got it for $3 after the holiday back in May. They had some cute stationary items that would work for anyone being marketed as Mother's Day gifts, so don't be afraid to look around at holiday stuff and use it for yourself or at different times of year!



Dashboard

When I open up the cover I have my little dashboard set up. I've been participating in some challenges lately, so I keep a notecard with all the challenge prompts inside the journal. This is so much handier than having to search for the prompts each day. I keep a few loose star stickers upfront for my goal tracker, which I'll show you later in this post. I also have a few sticky notes and page flags I stuck on the cover page for convenience. I love the blue and white chevron design that is printed on the inside cover page - so pretty!



Cover Page & Key

I designed a cute page with scrapbook paper I got at Walmart and a label from Michael's. I somewhat simplified my bullet journal key by getting rid of a few "signifiers" I didn't use.




Monthly Pages

I mark my monthly pages with a blue tab so I can just flip it open. I find a cute little calendar each month from designers I like online. It's nice to have a quick reference to what the month looks like. I have an "important happenings" section to write down big events, birthdays, holidays, test dates, and the likes. I also have a goals section where I write down what my goals for the month are.




Goal Trackers

This has been such a great way to actually see how you do on the goals, instead of just going off of "feeling" if I accomplished a goal or not. I make a mini calendar and write the goal I'm tracking above it. I mark the days I accomplish the goal with some star stickers I got at Dollar Tree.





Daily Pages - New Headings
My daily pages are my favorite part. I love having one spot for all my daily to-dos and to mark down little notes about what happens that day. I've been doing a new heading for the past month. I draw 4 little rain drops underneath the date to mark how much water I drink each day. For every glass of water I drink, I fill up a rain drop. This makes me so much more aware of how much water I drink each day and motivates me to drink more water.



Another thing I added to the heading is a little spot with the temps and a doodle to tell me if it will be rainy, sunny, or cloudy that day. I haven't done this lately as it has been so god-awful-hot outside everyday (ugh!!), but it is so nice to be able to look and see what it's like outside and to know how to dress for the day (like is it acceptable to wear jeans yet?). Since the weather changes so much here, I just add this section in the night before when I make my list for the next day.



Lists I Keep

Usernames and passwords, recipes to try, watch list, projects to get done, self-care ideas, wishlist, and quotes.



Do you keep a bullet journal? Have you tried anything new in yours recently?


Related Posts: How I Use My Bullet Journal | Update

Monday, August 10, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up No. 05

I've (obviously) just started this series and so today I'm trying out a new layout/way of writing this post. Normally I just snap some photos on my iPhone throughout the weekend and then throw them all together to show you what I did over the weekend, but last Monday I didn't post a wrap up because when I looked at the pictures I felt they were such low quality that I just couldn't share them and didn't want to waste your time with a haphazard post I had thrown together.

Anyways, here is my new (and hopefully improved) Weekend Wrap Up No. 05:


This week was my first week off after taking a summer lit class. I got to spend it at home with my family and I was able to just relax - which is always wonderful.

On the blog I shared an update on my 2015 goals, how I plan for blogging, and what I ate all week.

Fridays was my birthday! I turned 22 and spent part of the day shopping with my mom. I went a little candle crazy at Kohl's and bought 2 summer scented candles on sale for $3, silver candle holders on sale for $1.50, and a new fall candle. I just couldn't say no! Then we went to Hobby Lobby where I got a little lost amongst all of the beautiful crafting supplies and bought a few stickers for fall (and some snowflake stickers).

In the evening everyone got home from work so we ordered some pizza from my favorite restaurant, I opened my presents, and we had some cupcakes. It was a nice, simple way to celebrate.

Saturday was a major blog day. I made a rough draft for a new about page I'll be posting soon, took a bunch of blog photos, read some blogging tips from Photo Pop! Box, and edited about a bajillion photos for Wednesday's post (can't wait to share it with you all!).

Sunday began with a quick trip to the lake on followed by breakfast with my grandparents. In the afternoon my brother came with me to my apartment to spend the night and we bought the movie Home (because we're both 20 year old adults) and LOVED it. It's so cute!

Here's some photos from the weekend:


If you're interested in seeing how some other lovely ladies spent their weekend, be sure to check out Erin's blog for the Weekend Snapshots link up.