Saturday, January 30, 2016

Remembering a Good Friend

I worked at an assisted living home for about 4 years from high school and into my college career. I loved getting to know my residents and there were quite a few I regarded as a kind of grandparent. I loved hearing their stories and learning about them. One of the most amazing people I got to know there was Earl.


Remembering A Good Friend | from Courtney's Little Things


Earl was over 100 and still rocking. He would walk in (and eventually roll in in his wheelchair) to the dining room where I worked as a server in a plaid button up shirt and cardigan. It was like his uniform and I loved how classy he looked.

He'd always greet you with a smile and usually a little joke. He was so positive and friendly. Earl is one of those people who I looked forward to seeing each day and brought a lot of joy into my  life.

I also loved talking to him. Sometimes I'd work as the front desk assistant and I'd have more time to interact with the residents. I loved sitting down and talking with him about his life. He had grown up in the area and could tell me stories about our downtown with dirt roads and women hiking up their long skirts to keep them from getting muddy. He'd tell me about going into town in a little buggy with his family. He told me about going on dates and you're dad would give you ten cents to take your date out for ice cream and a movie. He told me stories about his wife Vivian, their life together, and the twenty years they spent living in Colorado.

I stopped working at the assisted living home a while ago and while I always meant to stop in, I just didn't do it. I'd give myself excuses like "Oh they won't remember me" (which they do and I get told to stop in) and "I'll just do it next weekend when I have more time." So when he passed away in November, I shed a few tears and was truly heartbroken. I feel so guilty now that I didn't make time to stop in and see the man who influenced me so much. I just always thought there would be more time.

Today would be his 103rd birthday and I can't help but think about all the great memories I have of him. He was a great man who inspired me to be more positive, look forward to aging instead of fearing it, and a man who I truly loved to see each day. I'm so grateful that I got to know him so well and that I've had someone in my life who has had such an impact on me.

I also want to encourage you not to make the mistake that I did of assuming there will be more time to visit grandparents and loved ones. Time is precious and it's important to spend that time with the people who are most important to you. Even taking 15 minutes out of your day to go visit or call will make a difference and brighten up both of your days.

I also can't recommend enough the benefits of volunteering or working at an assisted living or nursing home. The people there have lived great lives and have so many stories and advice to give you. You can always volunteer to visit a resident at one of these places who maybe doesn't get visitors often because their family lives far away or are busy - we can all use more friends whether we're young or old!


Do you have anyone like Earl in your life? Who's been a huge influence in your life?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Valentine's Day DIY Art Prints

February starts next week which means it's time to dig out all things hearts for Valentine's Day! I decided to make a few watercolor and gold art prints to decorate this year. They're so simple but so cute and I'll tell you just how I made them!


Valentine's Day DIY Art Prints | Watercolor and gold DIY art prints for you to make for Valentine's Day


All you need to make them is...
- Watercolor paper
- Watercolor paints
- A paintbrush
- Water
- Gold paint pen

For both prints I used 3 or 4 tones of pink and red to paint a few rows of hearts. I just did it free hand, but you could always draw them out first with a pencil.

For one I just painted 2 light pink hearts and then outlined those hearts with the gold paint pen.


Valentine's Day DIY Art Prints | Watercolor and gold DIY art prints for you to make for Valentine's Day


For the second one I waited until the watercolor dried and then wrote X's and O's inside the hearts with the gold paint pen.


Valentine's Day DIY Art Prints | Watercolor and gold DIY art prints for you to make for Valentine's Day

The X's and O's print is my favorite. I just think it's so pretty and for some reason I am all about the XOXO this Valentine's. Anything I see with those letters is mine!

When the paint had dried, I put each in a frame. I just used a black frame, but I imagine they would look great in a gold frame!

Valentine's Day DIY Art Prints | Watercolor and gold DIY art prints for you to make for Valentine's Day


How pretty is that finished product? The best part is this whole project took less than an hour. Watercolors and paint pens dry quickly and have about no clean up so it makes for a great little evening art project.

Do you like to use watercolors? Are you planning on making any decorations for Valentine's Day?




Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blog Notebook Tour

Lots of people talk about keeping a little notebook for your blog to write down post ideas and record stats, but they don't always show you what that looks like. So today I'm giving you a peek into what sort of things I keep in my blog notebook and how I use it to keep my blog in tip-top shape.


Blog Notebook Tour | How I use my blog notebook and what I keep in it. from Courtney's Little Things


I use a regular, medium sized notebook I've had around for awhile.  I keep it in a folder with a few other things I use to keep my blog organized.

The first few pages of my blogging notebook include some useful tips and tricks I've learned/read along the way. I have a page with tips on how to write a DIY post, general blogging tips, and photography tips.

I also have a page with some fill-in-the-blank post titles I copied off an infographic I found on Pinterest. 


Blog Notebook Tour | How I use my blog notebook and what I keep in it. from Courtney's Little Things
Blog Notebook Tour | How I use my blog notebook and what I keep in it. from Courtney's Little Things


Next I have a Blog Stats page I made. I record my stats each month. I write the date and record the monthly pageviews for my blog, number of followers on my social media profiles, and the most and least popular posts from the month (according to pageviews). 

For me this is a nice page to have since I can see how my blog has grown each month as well as what you guys like to read.


Blog Notebook Tour | How I use my blog notebook and what I keep in it. from Courtney's Little Things


I have a page with photo prop ideas that I add to when I get some new ideas and I recently went through and added in some items I've been using recently in my photos.


Blog Notebook Tour | How I use my blog notebook and what I keep in it. from Courtney's Little Things


Of course, I also keep a page of blog post ideas. I wrote a new list of post ideas for this year and am marking them off as I write them. I have the post ideas color coded (I'm telling you, organization is my thing). Blue is blogging post topics, green is how tos, yellow is school/college, and purple are general lifestyle post ideas.


Blog Notebook Tour | How I use my blog notebook and what I keep in it. from Courtney's Little Things


A new addition to my blogging notebook this year is a page with my blogging goals. I didn't have any blogging goals last year since I had just started my blog and just wanted to see what would happen. This year I decided to make a few goals with blogging to keep me going and to help me see how far I've come in a year.

I'm pretty excited to look back at this page in a few months and see how much progress I've made and to see if I meet (or exceed!) them at the end of the year.


Blog Notebook Tour | How I use my blog notebook and what I keep in it. from Courtney's Little Things


Each month I make a little page to track what I post that month, total pageviews, and my most popular posts. Recording what I post each month helps me to not repeat post ideas all the time and helps me to diversify what I post. 

I record the total, all-time pageviews each week because - truth be told - I feel like I need to know how many pageviews I got this week compared to last. If you're curious, I get about 1,000+ pageviews each week. 

At the end of the month I write the most popular posts in order from most pageviews to least so I can see what you all liked that month and maybe use those as starting points for post ideas for the next month.


Blog Notebook Tour | How I use my blog notebook and what I keep in it. from Courtney's Little Things
Blog Notebook Tour | How I use my blog notebook and what I keep in it. from Courtney's Little Things
Blog Notebook Tour | How I use my blog notebook and what I keep in it. from Courtney's Little Things
Yes,  I was so excited for the new year that last month I decided it was already 2016.


So that is all the stuff I keep in my blogging notebook - tips and tricks, blog stats, photo prop ideas, blog post ideas, goals, and a monthly page.



Do you keep a blogging notebook? What do you keep in your blog notebook?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up No. 27

Second week of classes is complete! This week was a bit more stressful since I had a student teaching meeting, heard about student teaching in all my classes, and started a class project that I don't feel I can do - but I know I can get it done, it just not be the exact grade I want.

Other than classes, my week has been focused on the weather. It's freezing cold and snowing! I'm not complaining (too much) though since the snow is really pretty.

Weekend Wrap Up No. 27 | from Courtney's Little Things


Friday I headed to my family's house after class. When I got home I had a nice time chatting with my parents.

Saturday was my brother's SEVENTEENTH birthday! My mom always sets up the dining room table with photos of the birthday person throughout the years. I think it's a fun way to celebrate a birthday and I always love looking at old photos anyways.

Weekend Wrap Up No. 27 | from Courtney's Little Things


We ordered pizza for dinner, ate cupcakes, and he got to open his presents. We also visited my grandparents that afternoon.

In the evening on Saturday I worked on a few canvases for my room here at my parents house. I'm just not too happy with my room here - at this point it's more of a storage space for all my extra stuff - so I thought painting some new canvases for a gallery wall would be good. I want to make a few more in different sizes, but I'm planning on making my room travel themed with photos of my past travels and travel quotes.

Weekend Wrap Up No. 27 | from Courtney's Little Things


Sunday it was back to my apartment. I did some tidying up and homework. When my roommate got back we watch some Law & Order SVU and ordered a pizza.


How did you spend your weekend? 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

3 Ways to Study

It's a new semester and that means a fresh start with a new set of classes. If you're looking for some study tips to help you do better this year, you've come to the right place! I like to study differently for different classes and to break up a monotonous study routine. I've tried a lot of different study techniques in the past 4 years, and these are 3 of my favorite ways to study that always help me do well.


3 Ways to Study from Courtney's Little Things



1. Condensed Notes

“You have to make your own condensed notes. You learn from MAKING them. A lot of thinking goes into deciding what to include and exclude. " 
-  Peter Rogers
This quote perfectly explains why creating condensed notes is such an effective way to study. When I make mine I review all my notes, sort through the information and decide what's important and what's not, and then rewrite my notes - all of which really helps me study.

You could just write your condensed notes in the typical way with bullet points and such, but I like to get creative with mine by adding in doodles and headlines. I use a blank sheet of paper, a ruler, and bright colored pens. I write the class name and chapter title at the top of the paper. I read through my notes from class and the textbook and pick out the main points and ideas of the chapter. As I read I write a condensed - shorter and more precise - version of my notes so I have something I can study in just a few minutes later on. It makes it a LOT easier than reading through 10 pages of notes per chapter come test time.



2. Quizlet


If I have a class that focuses on definitions, terminology, and key concepts, I prefer to use Quizlet to study. Quizlet is a great site to use for studying because you can make virtual flashcards that you can access on your laptop, tablet, or cell phone - so you can study from anywhere.

In addition to the flashcards, this site also has a fill in the blank activity with the Learn tab, a matching game with Scatter, and a website generated practice test based off the flashcards you've created in the Test tab. So you can study in quite a few different ways and all you have to do is type up a few flashcards!

I love the practice test because you can choose if you want the questions to be written questions, matching, multiple choice, or true/false. This is super handy because if you know what kind of questions your teacher puts on tests, you can have the practice test created in the same format as your actual test.



3 Ways to Study | 3 tried and true study methods to help you kick but at college from Courtney's Little Things



3. Study Guide / Practice Test


Study guides or practice tests are a great way to calm nerves, increase your confidence in your ability to do well on the test, and of course review material. This method of studying is especially easy if your teacher hands back quizzes or if they provide answers to quizzes online. That way, most of the work is done for you. If not, you have to read through your notes and write possible test questions for them. 

When making a study guide, I write the class name and test I'm studying for at the top. I copy the questions from the online practice quizzes (if they're available) and add extra questions if I want to. I then make a separate answer key so I can grade myself and see what I need to review.



I fill out my answers for the practice test on a separate sheet of notebook paper, so that way I can reuse the practice test to study again later. I usually complete the practice test 2 times before a test. When I grade my "test" I mark the questions/problems I got wrong and look for the correct answer in my notes or textbook, because that helps to reinforce that idea more so than just looking directly at the answer and memorizing it. 


These are a few of the ways I personally study and they help me a lot. I know these study methods may seem a bit time consuming, but if you do it a bit at a time they won't take too long to make and will really help you to get that A!  


How do you study best? Do you use any of these methods?





Thursday, January 21, 2016

Journaling Ideas

Last year I started journaling again and loved it. I just wrote little tidbits about my day in an extra planner to keep track of the days and what happened. It was really good for getting back into journaling after stopping for a few years.

This year though, I want to try writing "proper" journal entries each week along with just recording tidbits about my day. I couldn't find any prompts I really cared for online, so I decided to make my own to help me out if I don't have any inspiration! I figured some of you may also want to start journaling this year, or maybe you want to use these as prompts for a blog post. Either way, here are a few different ideas to help you out!


Journaling Ideas | 12+ prompts to help you start your journal from Courtney's Little Things


  1.  What are the most important things/people/places in your life right now?
  2. What were the highlights of the week?
  3. What was the hardest part of this week? Could you make it easier in the future? How?
  4. How did you spend your free time? Was it fulfilling? What could you do that would be fulfilling?
  5. What emotion did you feel the most this week? Why?
  6. What were you awesome at this week? What do you want to be awesome at next week?
  7. What would you like to have more of in your life?
  8. List a few things on your bucket list for the weekend/month/season/year.
  9. What did you do for your health this week? How could you improve your health?
  10. How and who did you spend time with this week? What will you do next week and with who?
  11. What are your goals for next week?
  12. List your accomplishments from this week? Celebrate them!
  13. What did you do to make yourself happy this week? What do you want to do next week?
  14. What's a new challenge you'd like to start? Why do you want to do it?
  15. List a few of your favorite positive/inspiring quotes. 

I hope these ideas help you to write more whether it be in a personal journal or a public blog post. I love writing, especially now that I've gained more confidence in my writing abilities after a year of blogging!


Do you journal or want to start? Are you going to use these prompts to help you write? If you have any other journaling ideas, please share them in the comments!




Wednesday, January 20, 2016

How I Use My Planner

If you've been reading this blog for awhile now, you know that I love being organized and using my planner to do so. I thought you might like to see how exactly I use my planner. While I love decorating it, I'm just going to focus on how I use it to plan. If you'd like a post about how I decorate, let me know in the comments!



How I Use My Planner | Letting you in on a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your planner from Courtney's Little Things


Page Flags

I really hate scribbling out plans in my planner when meetings get moved, plans change, and games get rained out. So I started using page flags to plan a few weeks or month ahead. I just write down the information I need (what it is/time/etc) on the page flag and then stick it on the date. You can get a pack of page flags at the Target dollar spot or just cut a few sticky notes into strips if you'd like to use this hack for yourself.

Write appointments.

When I go to plan a week, the first thing I do is write down all the appointments and big dates for that week. That includes meetings, days blog posts go up, exams, due dates, twitter chats, TV shows, plans with friends or family, hair appointments, doctor appointments, and anything else I might have scheduled for that week. 

Write to-dos for the day.

I write down my to-dos each day. The majority of them go into my bullet journal, but I write down the top 2 or 3 in my planner. This helps me to prioritize what I need to get done for the day and stay focused.

Journal.

If I have some extra room in my planner, I like to use it to journal. Now I'm not talking a dear diary entry (definitely not enough room for that), but I like to write down a few highlights from the day. It's a nice way to be able to look back and see what happened each day and what stood out.

When I plan.

I tend to plan week to week. Like I said, I hate scribbling out appointments and it seems like plans always change if I try to do it monthly. So on Sundays I sit down and fill out my planner for the week. I also do a little planning day to day as far as to do lists are concerned. I usually write my to-do lists the night before as I get stuff organized for the next day. I also do my journaling in the evening when I have the space. It's a good way to reflect on your day before heading off to bed!


Using my planner like this really helps me to stay on top of things so I'm not forgetting appointments or to-dos. It helps me tackle all the "boring" stuff so I can get to the fun stuff. I hope this helps you to be more organized whether you didn't know where to start with using a planner or you already use one and this just gave you a few new ideas.

How do you use your planner? Do you have any tips?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up No. 26

I made it through the first week of classes! If you read last weekend's wrap up, you'll know I was not to keen on starting up a new semester. I was sad to see my free time and stress free days of break go, but the good news is I enjoyed the first week back at university. All but one of my classes are education courses, which is quite exciting as I prepare to student teach in the Fall. I don't have any history courses this semester which means I'm not getting to learn one of my favorite subjects, but it also means I have way less reading and writing to do this semester which I am very excited about. I also have the same students in a lot of my classes which means I've gotten to know them a bit this week and I'm feeling pretty good about meeting some new people this semester. All in all, it's a good start to the semester!

Weekend Wrap Up No. 26 | from Courtney's Little Things


Friday I started my weekend by watching the series premiere of Colony online. I've actually been pretty psyched to watch this show since it's created by Carlton Cuse and stars Josh Holloway - both from one of my favorite shows, Lost. I was very pleased with the first episode and it looks like this is going to be a series I actually follow (which is rare for me). After that I watched a documentary on Netflix and enjoyed a very nice nap.

In the evening I called my mom for a bit, made some pasta (my favorite) and finally got to read some blog posts! While I've enjoyed getting back to school (for the most part), it's definitely cut back on the amount of time I have to keep up with everyone's posts.

Saturday I slept in and then made a quick trip to Michael's and Target. I picked up a few new crafty items at Michael's and a birthday present for my brother who will be turning 17 next weekend. In the afternoon I journaled, read through my blog comments from the week which made me oh-so-happy (you guys are seriously the best), and ordered a pizza in the evening, because what is a weekend without ordering pizza.

Sunday I started my day by watching Super Soul Sunday, which is one of my favorite things to do on Sunday but I have to be careful because I get sucked in and end up watching it all morning. Which is what happened. I watched 3 episodes the first one being Gloria Steinem which had me super interested. I had to add her book, My Life on the Road to my list of books to read. On the commercials I read I Am Malala and then who would be on the next episode but Malala and her father. Needless to say, I was fangirling and kept thinking how inspiring she is. I love how passionately she fights for education for all people. She's so eloquent when describing the importance of education which is one of the reasons I want to be a teacher. 

In the afternoon I wrote a few blog posts and then worked on my photo album for 2015. I've got one photo album filled and I'm into the second one.

Here are some photos from the weekend:

Weekend Wrap Up No. 26 | from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 26 | from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 26 | from Courtney's Little Things
She always says, "I have four brothers, and if I do even the slightest thing wrong they can stop me going to school."
Weekend Wrap Up No. 26 | from Courtney's Little Things


How did you spend your weekend? Do you look up to either of the women I mentioned on Sunday? 


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Winter Must Haves

There are a few things I love pulling out of storage each winter. They just make the season better, warmer, and so much cozier. There are somethings like my favorite gloves and winter hat that maybe aren't so glamorous but are very much appreciated this time of year. Others like all the super soft blankets and fluffy socks just make my day. I hope you're all about all things warm and cozy because they are going to be overused in this post, but they're the best part of winter!


Winter Must Haves | A few of my favorite things to pull out each winter from Courtney's Little Things


A soft and cozy blanket.

I absolutely adore all the soft, plush, fuzzy, and cozy blankets that come out this time of year. I got 2 for Christmas this year to add to the 5 I already have. They're just so cozy! I'm always snuggled up with one as I watch TV, write, and do homework.

Fuzzy socks.

For those of us with constantly cold feet, these are a life saver in winter. Nothing is better than fuzzy socks to keep your feet warm! I used to have a good collection of them, but I had to let a few go at the end of last winter since they were starting to look pretty sad. That just means it's time to buy a few more, right?

A big and cozy sweater.

Big, loose, comfy, cozy sweaters are my favorite. The more oversized they are, the better. I live in sweaters all winter and am always a little sad to put them away at the end of the season. They hide any imperfections you don't like and there's so many cute ones out there!

Lotion.

Dry skin in winter sucks, but the upside is it gives you an excuse to have an ungodly amount of lotions in your drawer. Plus it always feels so luxurious to put on lotion and feel so soft afterwards.

Winter Must Haves | A few of my favorite things to pull out each winter from Courtney's Little Things

Candles.

Candles here, candles there, candles everywhere. I like burning one in whichever room I'm in. Working is so much more bearable when you have a delicious candle burning next to you. 

Fleece pajama bottoms.

Fleece pajama bottoms are life in winter. I have them in a bunch of fun patterns. I love when I get home for the day and get to put them on to relax in all evening. It's even better on the weekend when I get to lay around in them all day - it's my not so guilty pleasure.

That sweatshirt you've had for 5 years, but it's so comfy that you'll never get rid of it.

We all have one. It's been worn in to perfectly fit your body and even though it might be a little worn, you refuse to let it go. It's the go to  for lazy weekends and cozy nights in.


A big crocheted scarf with sparkles.

For those days when you can't just wear your old and trusty sweatshirt with some fleece pajama bottoms, there's that glorious crocheted scarf with sparkles to dress up any outfit. I have a rather ridiculous amount of scarves for winter, and a good number of them fit this description. They're just so pretty!

Warm vanilla scented everything.

My absolute favorite scent in winter is warm vanilla. Lotion, candles, body spray...everything smells better when it smells like warm vanilla! 


What are your favorite things to pull out each winter? 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Trip to the Zoo

My family decided to spend a day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. If you haven't been there, it's a huge zoo with an amazing aquarium, desert, and jungle habitats. These are all indoors and really elaborate - not just animals in cages. They also have a beautiful butterfly pavilion, an orangutan and gorilla building, and habitats for nocturnal animals. Basically, it's huge and those are just the indoor areas open year round.

We started our trip in the jungle habitat. It's so beautiful to walk through with all the waterfalls, trees, and green. There's so many cool animals - like my favorite the monkeys.


A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things


Next we headed to the aquarium. First you get to see all the cute and adorable penguins! I don't know about you, but I just find them to be the cutest animals! And I love watching them swim all around the tank. They're so perfect!


A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things


There's tons of fish and sea turtles, but I didn't get many good photos of them. I did get some great photos of the jellyfish though. Jellyfish are really so magical and entrancing to watch. Of course, the first thing I think of is Finding Nemo and hoping from one jellyfish to the next.


A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things
A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things
A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things
A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things
A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things
A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things

I developed an obsession for sting rays while I was there. They're so cute!

After that we visited the butterfly pavilion next door. I've loved butterflies ever since I was little and I still think walking through the butterfly exhibit. There's so many brightly colored and beautifully designed patterns on all the butterflies. Once you exit the garden you walk through with butterflies floating around, there's butterflies/caterpillars still in their cocoons and just emerging. I pretty much just revert back to my 7 year old self in this exhibit.


A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things
A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things
A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things


We also walked through the orangutan and gorilla exhibits before heading to the desert dome. I'm not gonna lie, in the desert habitat I was most impressed with all the cactus everywhere and in true blogger fashion I took a bunch of photos of all the cactus.


A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things
A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things
A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things
A Trip to the Zoo | A trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska from Courtney's Little Things


Do you love going to the zoo? Have you ever been to the Henry Doorly Zoo?

Related Post: Homestead Trip




Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Why Your Blog is Awesome

I opened up my Pinterest and it seemed like every post on my home feed was about how to be a better blogger. "Why no one is reading your blog" is one that really made me worry. Like geesh, maybe no one is reading my blog but does that mean I have to change everything and come up with a strategic, detailed plan to get thousands of people to read it?

Now I'm not knocking blogging advice posts, I've written a few myself and I like reading other's blogging tips, too. I'm just saying that sometimes it can all get a bit overwhelming. When that happens I have to remind myself why I started. It wasn't to check my stats at every hour or sit around all day on my computer. Instead I started it as a way to make me a little happier and focus on the positives so I would have something to write about and share here. I started my blog as a way to be creative and have an outlet for my love of writing and photographing. And as I got going I loved my blog because I loved getting to meet people and get to know them through comments, twitter chats, and following them on social media. Basically, I blog because I love it.



Why Your Blog is Awesome | 5 reasons why your blog is awesome, just the way it is! from Courtney's Little Things


In case you're feeling down about your blog or overwhelmed by all the blogging advice out there, here are a few reasons why your blog is awesome.
  1. It's yours. It's your space on the internet to talk about anything you want to.
  2. It's brave. If you think about it, blogging is pretty brave. It's saying "Hey, I'm willing to write these posts, put my heart and soul into it, and put it out there on the internet for all to read." 
  3. It's helping you grow and learn. When I look back at old posts, I can see how much I've changed, grown, and improved through blogging. My writing and photograph has improved, but I think I have, too. It's made me more confident, brave, and happy.
  4. It's something that makes you happy. Having a blog makes you happy because it combines so many different things you love. You probably love writing and/or photography, you love whatever you're blogging about, you love the little space and community you've made on the internet and all of that makes you happy - and it should!
  5. It makes your proud of yourself. Every time I hit publish, I feel so proud of myself. I came up with an idea, wrote the post, took some photos for it, edited the photos, edited the writing, formatted it, scanned over it a hundred times and made a  thousand little changes. I put all of that work into it and that makes me pretty darn proud of myself!


Feeling better and a lot more positive about your blog? Good! 

What do you love about blogging? What makes your blog awesome?




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Monday, January 11, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up No. 25

This week I enjoyed my last week at home with my family. This is the first year where I really wasn't ready to head back to my own space and start a new semester of classes. I'm in the midst of that senior slump... but I need to work through it so I can kick butt this semester and student teach in the Fall. So I enjoyed my last weekend of freedom for a while with giving my room a little make-over, baking, and getting started on my 2015 photo albums.

Weekend Wrap Up No. 25 | from Courtney's Little Things


Friday I headed back to my apartment since classes start Monday. I did a little rearranging to freshen up my bedroom for a new semester. I feel like it just helps get rid of all the bad energy from the last semester.

Saturday I got quite a bit of baking/cooking done. I thought I would make strawberry muffins to brighten up my weekend and make it special. If you're wondering, they tasted amazing still warm from the oven. Then I made homemade pizza for lunch. I love making the crust and then I top it with my favorites - veggie crumbles and lots of cheese! I could've ate the whole thing right then and there, but I stopped myself and saved some for later.

I spent the afternoon finally sorting through photos from the last few months of 2015, uploading the photos to Walgreens, and getting them ordered. I had wanted this done by the end of November, but hey, at least it got done!

Sunday I slept in and spent quite a bit of time Instagram in the morning (shh!!). In the afternoon my flatmate (god, I missed her over those 3 weeks!) and I did a bit of shopping and I picked up the photos I ordered! I spent most of the afternoon sorting through them since they get printed in the most random order and then I started putting the photos from our summer vacation in a photo album.

Here are some photos from the weekend:

Weekend Wrap Up No. 25 | from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 25 | from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 25 | from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 25 | from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 25 | from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 25 | from Courtney's Little Things


After such a relaxing weekend, I know I should be ready for a full week of classes, but I'm still just not looking forward to it. Hopefully I'll feel better about it as the week gets going and I get back into the swing of things.

How did you spend your weekend? How are you handling going back to school/work after the holidays?