Welcome To My Blog

This blog is for the adventurous millennial woman. I will be writing content that speaks to me and is hopefully relatable to you. Such as, traveling, dating, sex, money, relationships, friendships, working, and anything that has to do with surviving adulthood. I hope you enjoy and please reach out with any comments or ideas!

xx – Courtney
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Dog Mom- Arya Update

 

I’m really just using this as an excuse to post pictures of my lovey!

Dog Mom Update:

Arya has been living under my roof now for 3 whole months! She definitely is quite the little terriest and has truly grown into her name sake Arya Stark (she’s tiny but fierce). If you are a GOT fan, I think you’d really appreciate her name even more knowing this little fact; she was born in Northern Washington in the middle of winter. – Okay geek moment over!

She has also become quite the little city pup; riding the bus, attending protests, and chilling at our local brewery.

While she does have quite a feisty disposition, she’s also a little sweetie. Everyone night she ‘little spoons’ me with her body under the covers and head on the pillow.

All in all we are still doing great and we’re excited for a summer of hiking!

Would love to see pics of your fur babies or any pup advice you may have below.

Late Night Thoughts – Love Yourself Challenge

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The last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about how us women are so mean to ourselves. Of course, I’ve listened to all my beautiful friends do this since we were probably 13, but I’ve also noticed it more while working in retail. Women are constantly coming out of the fitting room to show me the outfit they’ve created only to tell me how ugly they look in it or how it’s great if only this or that was different about them. Every single one of these women are stunning.

I must admit I’m so terrible about doing this as well. I go into a fitting room and just pick myself apart. I can’t even look in a mirror without analyzing my face (counting my blackheads or staring at my face mentally changing parts of it). I realized that I can’t even send Snapchats to my girlfriends where my face looks hideous in because it’s too hard for me to look at. So, I created a challenge for myself last week. I didn’t allow myself to look in a mirror without purpose. Obviously, I had to use a mirror to put on makeup or double check my outfit, but once I had a negative thought, I forced myself to look away and give myself a compliment. It sounds crazy, but it worked! I noticed that I was walking around with more confidence and felt more comfortable throughout the day.

I want to challenge everyone to try this for at least a day and comment your experience!

Woman Crush – Shirley Porter

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My OG woman crush is my grandmother, Shirley Porter. My Grandma is the person who inspired me to travel. One of my fondest childhood memories is laying in front of her fire place looking at a photo album (remember those?) of her most recent trip. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to appreciate and respect her tenacity, hard work, and the girl boss she truly is.

Her Story:

My grandma grew up in Helena Montana during the Great Depression. Her brother used to kill rattle snakes and sell the skin for boots and made the tail into a baby rattle (how fucking gross is that?). Anyways, she always dreamed of moving to a big city and becoming a business woman. At 18 she moved to Spokane Washington to pursue a degree in Accounting. Being a woman of the 1950’s, she was married and pregnant with my mom at age 19. She had 4 kids, was an accountant, and a perfect housewife/ party host all by the time she was my age. At her office she trained a man under her only to later discover that he was making double what she made (#wagegap) (still an issue today). This inspired her to leave and start her own business. The preschool, School For Little People was born! (Yes, I am aware this is not PC.) She has since sold the preschool, and retired. Well actually, talk about how she is hardworking… She retired for a month and then joined the Washington School Board to help accredit other preschools. She eventually retired from this for a hot second and then went back and worked for them again. Currently she is “retired”. However, she was the project manager on her church’s remodel, and does their accounting for them, and runs their senior plus program there. Whenever I am in town it is actually very hard to see my grandma because she has constant appointments, lunch dates, or is off traveling. Currently she is in Hawaii with her girlfriends.

Whenever I am feeling lazy or unmotivated, I remember that my grandma was superwoman and that I can have my cake and eat it too.

5 Random Facts About Me

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  1. I once had a rabbit named Ulysses. – I’m a huge animal lover. I raised 4 rabbits and 2 rats in my childhood, and of course I’ve had dogs and cats.
  2. I have to trim my eyebrows when I wax them.– Even though I am a natural blonde (okay I’ve started highlighting), I’m really hairy. My best friend is a cosmetologist and she always teases me when she does my eyebrows and lip.
  3. Purple is my favorite color. – I went to Macy’s to get my make up done when I was 13 and the woman told me purple is the best color for my eyes. It’s been my favorite color ever since.
  4. I have Raynauds Syndrome. – It basically means I’m allergic to the cold. When I go for a run outside, my entire body gets itchy once I’m back inside.
  5. I’m obsessed with mountains. – I have a tattoo of mountains on my back as an ode to growing up in the Rocky Mountains. I also always say that the mountains are my church. When I need clarity, I go hiking. Last year, I crossed a bucket list item off when I climbed Half Dome in Yosemite (pictured above).

Late Night Thoughts – Dog Mom

Well I’ve checked off another bucket list to do. 2018 is the year I will be entering motherhood (well dog mom hood.) This is something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile. My mom and I adopted an 8 month old Chihuahua (below photos) when I was in high school. Of course since I was 16 and all over the place, Teddy bonded with my mom and is now my mom’s dog. As I’ve been growing up, I’ve been missing having a dog around as my side kick. For the last year and a half I have been researching breeds that would fit in with my lifestyle (plus techniques for working dog moms and training schedules.)  Well over the weekend my friend told me she has free jack russell terrier mix pups and I decided it was time to pull the trigger.  On January 14th I brought home the little babes (top photo.) It’s insane how much I already love her, and the responsibility of raising her.

A lot of my friends are getting married, having babies, buying homes, and I’m just over here getting my first solo puppy! It’s a crazy step into adulthood for me. I just finished traveling the world and now I’m signing up for a 15 year commitment. This little pup will probably first hand witness me achieve those milestones too. I promise to keep you guys updated on Arya. In the meantime, comment your puppy advice below!

Thanks!

Travel Diaries – Mishaps

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I recently posted this photo on my Instagram and Facebook page and had a lot of positive feedback. Original post: ” My cousin took this photo of me during our 12hr layover, and I am just so in love with it. I think it’s because it shows the less glamorous side of traveling. The side I don’t post pictures of. Like the long layovers or the times I am completely lost and hoping that my tiny knowledge of the language is navigating me in the right direction or the times that I have had to trust my gut and put complete faith in strangers. It’s moments like these that test you, but also make the Instagram worthy photos that much better!”

Now that I am back on the job hunt, I have gotten mixed feedback about my travel gap. Some people do see the power in it, and others think that its a long gap of partying. Well anyone who has travelled long term knows that yes you do have some booze filled nights, but the majority of your time is spent experiencing a new country and culture. You also learn how to get out of your shell and build relationships with new people,  and how to practice patience and staying calm when stressed.  But most importantly, you learn how to be independent. I wanted to share with you all a few mishaps that I have had whilst traveling.

My Top 5 Mishaps:

  1. Booking the wrong ticket – I have only done this once thankfully, but I have seen others do this all the time and begin panicking at the airport, train station, or bus station. I booked the wrong date for the bus from Amsterdam to Paris which I didn’t realize until I was getting on the bus. Luckily for me there were still seats on the bus for the night I wanted to leave. Unluckily, I had to pay for both tickets. Mistakes happen you have to just shake them off and keep having a good time.
  2. Missing a connection – On my trip around South East Asia, I was leaving Thailand and headed to Bali with a quick layover in Singapore! Unluckily, I didn’t hear over the speaker that the gate had changed. So when it was time to board and the doors weren’t opening, I quickly started searching for a customer service representative. I found one! But unfortunately they had switched terminals too so I was screwed. I had to book a new ticket from Singapore to Bali and spend 24hrs in Singapore. Singapore is a very cool place, but not ideal when you are a budget traveler.
  3. Figuring out public transport– So I’m pretty good about figuring out public transport. However, when I was heading to Nicaragua from Costa Rica, I had to do several bus changes. Now I researched the process before I left and double checked multiple times at the bus station. My first step was to get off at the Pan-American Highway stop and then catch another bus from there. No biggie! When I got on I asked the driver to let me know when we get to the Pan American stop. Bus ride is crowded, but fine. I’m of course the only gringo on the public transport. I hear the driver yelling “Pan- American, Pan-American” so I make my way to the front of the bus and hop off. Only to discover that I have literally been dropped off on the side of the Pan- American highway with all my belongings and no other person in site. After an hour on the side of the road I did begin to start panicking and thinking of ways to get back to the station that had been about 30 minutes away. Thankfully at an hour thirty the next bus I was meant to catch arrived!
  4. Being Detained – On my first trip ever traveling by myself, I went to London to visit a friend. Well, I had no idea what to do I thought I just turned up showed my passport and went on my merry way. NOPE! You have to have the phone number and address of the person you are meeting and proof of your return ticket. After 2 hours of being interviewed by British Homeland Security I was finally set free to enjoy London and to meet up with my very panicked friend.
  5. Last but not least- Long Layovers / Long Travel Days – Oh man, I have had some horrific layovers. Especially if you are traveling on a budget you can find very cheap flights with 12- 16 hr layovers. Also, in third world countries it’s very common to take long distance bus and train rides and the conditions of the busses and trains is pretty poor. My final story is of a rather quick trip, it was a 3 hour bus ride from Granada to San Juan Del Sur. However it was 90°F, extremely humid, and the bus had no AC. We had to sit on the bus for 30 minutes before it took off, but even after it took off the air never really circulated around. I turned up in San Juan Del Sur completely soaked in my own sweat. Also another quick story, I once had my phone die 2 hour in to a 12 hour bus ride and had to just stare out the window for the remaining 10 hours.

I just wanted to share some of these stories because I think they are often not talked about, but I know ever traveller has them!

Comment one of your worst travel days below!

17 Things I Learned in 2017

  1. It’s okay to takes risks.
  2. Always bet on yourself.
  3. Travel truly is the best medicine.
  4. Things are not always as they appear. Trust your gut!
  5. It’s okay to have strong opinions, and state them.
  6. That how you dress and present yourself does say a lot about who you are.
  7. People have and will always be annoying. Learn to ignore them.
  8. Not everyone is born equal, and therefore we need to help each other.
  9. Your body is capable of so much. Push yourself!
  10. There will be times you can only count on yourself.
  11. You’ll have to handle a lot of rejection, but keep your head up and keep going.
  12. Your problems get far more complicated as you get older.
  13. Everyone should read the news or at least skim the headlines. Learn what is going on in the world people!
  14. Being creative is good for the soul.
  15. That my friends are incredibly strong and beautiful people. It is so important to surround yourself with people you aspire to be.
  16. There are far more good people than bad in the world. It is okay to trust.
  17. Be kind, do good things, and good will come back to you!

I hope that everyone has had a wonderful 2017 and will have an even better 2018. Feel free to share what you’ve learned this year in the comments below.

Top 5 Places to Shop for Gifts

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If you’re like me, you have saved almost all of your Christmas shopping for the 2 weeks before Christmas. Also if you’re even more like me, you’re broke! This is a round up of my top 5 favorite places to buy unique fun gifts for family and friends that don’t break the bank.

  1. Papersource – Check out their personalized planners!
  2. Ban.do – The entire fucking site is perfect. Check out the gift section to help narrow it down.
  3. Leif – The apothecary section is to die for (inexpensive and unique)
  4. Anthropologie– I stick to the Home & Furniture section. They have fun books and mugs.
  5. Sephora / Ulta – I put both because it just depends which one you have points with. When in doubt everyone loves a gift card to one these places or face masks!

Etsy was a strong contender, but I took it out of the top 5 because sometimes shipping can take awhile which makes it an unideal choice for the last minute shopper.

If you’re looking for a super cheap gift, One year I bought mugs from Target, a bag of chocolates, and hot chocolate packets. Everyone loved getting a mug with a hot chocolate packet and little Godiva chocolates, and I loved only spending about $10 per person.

Let me know your favorite places to buy gifts or even better share your cute DIY gift ideas!

 

Dressing for Corporate America

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If you are like me when I first jumped into the corporate world, I had no money and no professional clothing. This is where I shopped to build up my wardrobe:

 

  1. The Loft
    • The loft is for obvious reason. It is all for young professional women, and if they are having a sale the pricing is great.
  2. Zara
    • I really like Zara to accessorize with. They have great jackets and tops that are your boring black skirt or pants trendy.
  3. Nordstrom Rack
    • Nordys is just simply the best, and the rack is perfect when you’re a broke bitch.
  4. H&M
    • They surprisingly have great professional clothing for cheap. I bought one outfit here for $50 and used it for all my interviews when I first graduated college and landed back in the states after traveling.
  5. Express
    • Not great clothing, but if you need something cheap just to get started with this is a great option.

I found the best way to begin my corporate wardrobe was to buy one black skirt and one pair of black pants. (No one can tell that you are re-wearing the same bottoms for your first 2 weeks, and if they do… They’re a douche!) Then you could slowly add fun tops, light jackets, and accessories from Zara and the Rack to your wardrobe. You only have to spend about $50 a paycheck, and you’ll be the best dressed in the office in no time!

Travel Diaries – Coeur d’Alene, ID, USA

With a beautiful lake and mountain backdrop, Coeur d’Alene is the picturesque small town America. You won’t be surprised that celebrities come here to lay low. It may in fact be one of the top 10 most beautiful towns in the United States if not #1 (I may be biased/ just made that fact up). Coeur d’Alene is the perfect weekend getaway ; it offers plenty of outdoor activities, nice restaurants, and bars to enjoy (plus extremely friendly locals)!

Here is a round up of a few of my favorite places in Coeur d’Alene

NOSH SPOTS:

  • Hudson’s Hamburgers – CDA classic (hard to get a seat, but equally great togo and eaten at the beach)
  • Beverlys – fine dining
  • Fine Brewed– coffee and smoothies
  • Syringa– only place to get sushi in CDA
  • Bardenay– great drinks and food
  • Moon Time– another CDA classic
  • White House Grill – not technically in CDA, but worth the short drive because it is amazing Mediterranean food
  • Fire Pizza – delicious pizza (and I’ve been to Italy and New York)
  • Crafted – gastropub

SLEEP SPOTS:

  • Vacation Rentals are the way to go to best explore the town
  • Airbnb
  • VRBO
  • The Coeur d’Alene Resort – Pretty much the only nice hotel right downtown

DRINK SPOTS:

  • Beacon 
  • Moose
  • Iron Horse
  • Mik’s 
  • Dog House
  • Whispers 

TO DO:

  • Hike – Mineral Ridge or Tubbs Hill
  • Shopping – walk around downtown (Tiffany Blue, Magnolia, Mountain Soap Co)
  • Mountain Bike – 4th of July Pass, Beauty Bay Loop, or Hells Canyon Loop
  • Lake Activities – rent a kayak, paddle board, jet ski, or boat
  • Ski/ Snowboard – Schweitzer, Silver Mountain, or Lookout
  • Beach Activities – play volleyball on the beach near NIC
  • Spa – The Coeur d’Alene Resort or Zi Spa
  • Golf– The Coeur d’Alene Resort, Black Rock or The Highlands
  • Art on the GreenA- Click Here
  • Booze it up – Locals call it the Sherman Mile. Just walk up and down the Main Street in CDA (Sherman Ave) and bar hop.

This is a small list of activities to do in CDA. It is worth the visit. Please feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions! 🙂