Thursday, October 31, 2013

Friday Five!

{Happy Halloween!}

The end of our fiscal year is over but end of the year J&P presentation prep is in full swing and making everyone crazy. My little stint in a different department is not helping our team needs. Luckily, I find comfort working at night, with hot cider, my husband cooking in the kitchen, and posting up at my favorite spot in the house.

I love Halloween, I love candy, I love cider, I love changing leaves, I love tights, I love sweatshirts. I love October. I love it all! I’m sad to see it go but excited for November! First thing on the November list? Michigan vs. Michigan State football weekend! Home field advantage, cider & captain in tow, bundle up outfit all prepared. We’re ready!!

Friday Forte: Fineshrine– Purity Ring (decided to take a little listen to a bloggers “Spooky Playlist” and glad that I did… it provided a fun backdrop to my Thursday desk time) 

{Fall beauty right in my own front yard}

{so I lied… sorry, more corner-of-the-room outfit posts – part of this weekends tailgate attire}

{helping the hubbs make chili – check}

{oh hey Founders growler… so happy to add you to our collection (and consume the contents while passing out Halloween candy)}

Halloween in New Orleans

Happy Halloween!

If you've ever watched the Travel Channel around this time of year, you know that New Orleans is one of the spookiest, craziest, most haunted cities in the US. Add that to an already eccentric population and Halloween is a sight to see!
A ways uptown, on St. Charles Ave., stands a large beautiful old Southern mansion obviously inhibited with said creative, festive free-spirited people. They've set up their yard to such an extreme that it draws a crowd at all hours.

You have to admit, they're all really clever. And, even as a local, I didn't hesitate to pull over, park my car, and whip out my camera.

[Thank you, Mardi Gras, for free decorations]

[Of course they found a way to incorporate the Saints]

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Instagram Life – October Edition

Happy Halloween! October 2013 was the most unforgettable month of my life! I got to stand up with two other amazing ladies while they married the love of their lives, we made major progress on our house (new furnace and water heater for starters), but most importantly we got to devote our lives to each other with all of our friends and family in attendance.

I am so excited for November! Michigan State football, a concert in Detroit, end of the year presentations and the start of the holidays! We’ll hopefully receive some more wedding photos to display around the house (artsy ones for the gallery wall?), use some of the many gift cards to continue furnishing our love nest, may even get in contact with our most favorite flea market friend to make chairs for our beautiful kitchen table. What’s not to love?!

Here is my October 2013 recap via Instagram:

1) Intense game of LCR at Stella’s (Food Show season brings out the crazy) 

2) 10 minute champagne break after tying the knot

3) Caramel Apple Spice = apple pie in a cup

4) Congrats MJ & Dallas

5) That’s me!

6) I love her

7) Add a little Peachtree to your mimosa. You won’t be sorry!

8) Ran the beer pong table at last weekend's Halloween party... can't wait to BRING it tailgating this weekend

9) Farewell Jblev... GFS won't be the same without you!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Circuit Training – Session 10

This month started our INSANITY challenge. Cardio cardio cardio everywhere. The daily sweat session isn't the same as hot yoga (I miss my yoga L), it’s completely different. Yoga is all about flexibility and mental stability. Cardio just plain kicks your ass.

In honor of my cardio dedicated Fall season (the Mexico countdown has begun), here is a quick 15 minute cardio warm up that will surely get your heart rate up, and work some muscles in the process. 

1)       Jogging in place (45 seconds)
2)       Jumping Jacks (45 seconds)
3)       Heisman (45 seconds) 
4)       1 2 3 Heisman (45 seconds)
5)       Butt kicks (45 seconds)
6)       High Knees (45 seconds)
7)       Mummy kicks (45 seconds)

Repeat cycle 3 times, each time increasing your pace.

Note: This is the warm up from Sean T’s Insanity Pure Cardio DVD. I LOVE it. There is obvious reason why the video itself isn't on youtube, but here is a video from “” that lays out the whole warm up. 

image via

Monday Motivators!

[Hungry, anyone?]

This Monday, new perspectives on food are deliciously motivating me--and distracting me--from the other, more stressful things that will fill the days ahead.

There's a local tradition here in New Orleans where families eat Red Beans and Rice for dinner on Mondays.
I've never done it before, mainly because we don't keep those items as staples around the house, but also because the meal itself, though delicious, sounds so heavy.

Now that my half-marathon training is in full swing (logged 8 miles yesterday!), I need to consider a smart way to get that necessary carb:protein ratio into my body after such taxing workouts.

Still not too keen on stocking white rice in the house, I thought I'd put my own spin on the NOLA favorite.

[There's always room--and a need--for veggies!]

[It needs something...]

[Fresh basil from the balcony herb garden!]

[ ORANGE ZEST: a citrus kick to offset the hot cayenne pepper]

[Jackson's drool was on overdrive as the earthy smells filled the apartment...I also think he may have been trying to remind me to do my post-run stretch before starting a huge project in the kitchen]

There are many variations on the traditional recipe, so I plan on experimenting as the weeks approaching my race roll by. Other sources of protein such as chicken, shrimp, sausage and tuna will take starring roles, I'm sure. I'd also like to not just grow herbs, but vegetables as well in my garden, so hopefully some of those will soon join the party on my plate!

[My husband prefers RB&R dishes heavy on the spicy sausage.]

In the meantime, I've got enough of this first batch to keep me going until my long run next weekend of 8.5 miles.

Happy Monday, everyone and bon appetit!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Homemade Beauty: Green Tea Mask

Whenever I get a chance to add a little extra pampering to my beauty routine, I like to see if there's a DIY version of the procedure.
As mentioned before, Meggie and I used to spend a lot of our weekend nights growing up having "Spa Parties", and much of that time, we were slathering some version of a mask on our skin. 

Never homemade, though.

Making your own green tea mask can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. There are endless articles or YouTube videos that will show you how. As usual, I took bits from everything and came up with something that worked for me. 

For the Courtney version of a DIY green tea mask, you'll need to gather: 
  • 6-8 green tea bags, opened & emptied into a bowl
  • 1 tbsp sugar (raw or granulated)
  • Strainer
  • 1/2 orange (or lemon)
  • 1 banana
  • 4-6 fresh mint leaves

[If you're not using loose leaf tea, tearing open existing packets will work]

[While you're at it, go ahead and brew a pot of tea for yourself to 
enjoy while the mask does its work. 
Drinking green tea offers many benefits to the body]


[Push down on the leaves even after you've strained it, to ensure all excess water is removed]

[Raw or granulated sugar adds an exfoliant to the mask]

[The recipe called for lemon juice, but I always stock oranges, 
so this time I made it work.  In the summer when additional cleansing is necessary, I may opt for the more powerful citrus.]

[My herb garden is a bit out of control right now, so I plucked a few mint leaves to give the mask a fresh scent]

This final ingredient should be interesting. It was not mentioned in all of the posts I read about, but we'll see if it truly offers the creamy, moisturizing bonus that some articles promised.

[If you have an extra make-up brush, use that to spread the mask on evenly]

[Or as evenly as possible. 
Let's not start to list all the things that appear to be all over my face...]

[Nourishing myself inside and out!]

Once the mixture was made (which yielded way more than I needed for one use) the process was very easy. If all goes well, I should be keeping my youthful glow and avoiding wrinkles like those on my baby girl.

She can totally pull them off...