Holiday Fashion and Tradition

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Well it’s that time of year again! The holidays are quickly approaching and I’ve had some inquiries lately on how to layer to keep warm while still looking festive and not too casual. The above look is perfect for just that! I paired a flounce sleeve striped top along with my black, faux fur vest (both from Talbots). I decided to wear a festive green pant with a tone on tone burgundy and rose statement necklace. This pairing helps brighten and bring holiday cheer to the look. I couldn’t resist wearing my favorite over-the-knee boots because they’re lined and so warm!

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For an extra layer I tossed on my go-to blanket scarf. See, you can mix these two patterns without it being too over the top. It works because stripes is a neutral pattern.

Lets talk traditions for a moment. What are you in charge of when it comes to Thanksgiving and what is your favorite Christmas or other holiday tradition?  I am always in charge of the mashed potatoes and stirring the gravy (pretty easy job, huh)?.  My favorite Christmas tradition that I am now sharing with my daughter, Harper is making candy cane cookies from scratch just like my mom used to do with me. Love you, Mom!!

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Here’s a glimpse into our little home’s Christmas decor. It’s a work in progress and most of it was designed by my 5 year old daughter :). I love my pallet wood art that my Dad made to create  a warm and cozy setting…still looking for a great spot to hang some of them.

I hope all of you have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving with either your family or framily! Hope to hear from you!

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Fall Essentials-Part Deux

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Today is game day and me and the little are sporting our OSU gear to support the man in our life’s favorite team. It’s also a great time to sport one of my go-tofall essentials, a houndstooth wrap.

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Every woman should own a wrap because they are very versatile and it’s almost like you’re carrying a blanket around with you! Who doesn’t want to be all snuggled up while looking fashionable? It’s also a very effortless look. It can turn a tee shirt and jeans into a more accessorized look.

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Here’s a more elevated, fashion-forward look. This time I paired the wrap with my side-tie wildberry top and denim all from Talbots along with my velvet over-the-knee boots. On warmer fall days you could wear a cute flat or heel to give it a different look.

So, what color wrap are you going to get this fall?

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

 

Fall Essentials-Part 1

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Fall weather has officially arrived! My favorite season of the year. I love layering and mixing things up. I will be blogging about a few fall essentials for my next couple of blog posts so stay tuned.

My first recommended fall fashion piece? A quilted vest like the one I am wearing from Talbots. This is a great alternative to wearing a jacket when you’re not really wanting to wear one or carry it around. This one is waterproof and also very warm.  I chose to pair it with my gray flounce sleeve Talbots sweater and button-fly denim. I love small details which is why I cuff the denim and appreciate the flounce sleeve.

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Next I created a richer, more edgy look with the vest. I stuck with the details for my sleeves on my other sweater from Talbots in this beautiful pine color and wore my leopard print over-the-knee boots. These boots are always conversation starters when I wear them and they really help create a different vibe for the vest. Clearly I give them two thumbs up 👍🏻👍🏻.

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So if you really like to layer make sure and get one of these wonderful, longer vests to keep you all snuggly wuggly!  And don’t forget how casual you can make this vest too. For instance, if you’re a skier this would create a fantastic snow bunny look with fitted ski pants for those warmer ski days.

So tell me, what’s YOUR favorite fall piece to wear?

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Leave a Message at the Tone…

Journey

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the ability to turn on your voicemail to your hectic life and just go play? Courtney can’t come to the phone right now, she’s out making memories and having mindless fun. It’s funny how all you want to do is grow older when you’re a child so you can drive, get a part-time job to you have your own money and move out.  Then you come to be 35 years old only to realize that those are some of the most precious times and you wish so badly life was still that simple. I love my crazy life but I wish so badly there were mental health days where you can check out of work at the last minute and take your child out of school for the day; Sorry, my child is missing school today because we need to go make some more memories. 

Life is nuts and especially for our children. We, as parents have to work harder than ever to get our kids to put the technology down and go be a kid. We all know that we never really had that issue growing up because it wasn’t everywhere you look. Now we go out to a restaurant and there’s a touch screen game pad for kids to play with. Thanks for making my child not want to connect with us while we eat dinner as a family. But hey, at least the neighboring tables can enjoy their dinner without our child being disruptive (eye roll). Don’t get me wrong we have electronics for our little one and have a lot of opportunity when it comes to unplugging, but my point is that it’s almost inescapable.

It’s hard enough being a parent these days with all the “do this, don’t do that” and then on top of that any criticism from people on social media.  Everyone is a critic but we as parents have to do our best to do just that…our best. The only tools we are given to be successful parents is our gut and intuition.  So here’s to all those parents out there doing their best to make memories with their children while still “adulting.” Continue to put your best efforts forward. Sit down and help your kids with their homework, be silly, tap into your youthful days and don’t be afraid to look stupid in front of others because most likely you’ll be running or jumping around (lol). Just remember, your children’s favorite memories will not consist of things like, “my mom was really great at her job” but more with “my mom always knew how to make me laugh.” At least that’s what we as parents hope for. And absolutely remember that even if you don’t do those Pinterest activities you save to do with your child, it’s okay (lol)!

Please know that when I’m writing a blog post I’m talking to myself too. My posts are reminders for all of us. There is no perfect parent and it’s hard not to compare ourselves to other parents but just know that you’re not alone with your worries or stresses as a parent. One parent might be fantastic at crafts or baking while another parent is really great at free play or maybe quiet activities like reading. Just like no two kids are the same, nor are two parents.

On a side note, I get to see my mom about once a year because we both work full-time and I wanted to share some of our memories from our trip this week. We got to hit up Disney, visit Uncle Donald’s Farm (not my uncle just the name of the place) and relax at the pool all week. The hubby and I got to celebrate our 9 year wedding anniversary too with a lovely evening out while my mom spent quality time with our daughter, Harper. Oh! Did I mention we decided to take the long way traveling back home to Ohio so we could dip our toes in the sand? We spent about an hour at the beach and it was all worth it to see how excited our little Harper was to be there.

Keep on, keeping on parents!

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Studio 54 Fashion Inspo

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Alright, MOV ladies! It’s less than two months away for the Studio 54 themed Sparkly Ladies Night soirée with Hot Tomato. If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, make sure you do so….like NOW. Look here’s the link to make it easy on you because there’s a limited amount left. If you’re like me, I LOVE a good theme party and I like to plan in advance because I don’t always have a ready-to-wear garment for said theme. I’ve collected some images on the handy-dandy internet for some inspiration.

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Now you’ve probably already googled “Studio 54 fashion” but let’s talk about how you’re going to recreate it like a boss! First and foremost when I think of this era I think gold lame, wrap dresses, jumpsuits, showing some skin, flowy dresses, plunge necklines, dolman sleeves, bangles, and platform shoes. But let’s start with color. What is your power color or one that you love but don’t typically wear? I love bold colors but don’t own a lot. Here are a few images to inspire you to use color.

These chicks are ROCKIN’ some beautiful hues. Look at the details in what they are wearing. Best thing about these looks? Everything these ladies are wearing can be worn on any body type with the right fit for the garment and appropriate accessories. For example, let’s say you love your curves but don’t love your arms. You can throw on a shrug or cape to conceal what you don’t love.

Now, I also think of fur when it comes to this era. Lucky for you faux fur can be found just about anywhere right now. I recently found a great jacket at TJ Maxx that I plan on pairing with a dress that is a multi-colored faux fur coat. Just remember even though Studio 54 was all about show-stopping fashion, not every person that frequented the venue was into being “over-the-top,” you can be subtle too. Maybe pick a piece that has a really special feature, such as something with more structure or sequins. Or maybe you want to stick with the basics-wide leg pants with a fitted top. For this specific event though, don’t forget to doll it up with some layered sparkle. Or maybe you’re not into a feminine look and are inspired by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. If so, go for a menswear look. I love a well-portrayed menswear look on a female. There’s  nothing wrong with an androgynous look with your style. In fact, that can be show stopping too because it’s not as expected and very powerful!

Just remember to have fun with a theme party and be confident in what you choose to wear. The last thing you want to happen is not be happy with your look and let it discourage you from either attending or having fun at the party. As a courtesy I’ll be available via Facebook messenger and Instagram  (@randomosity740) or email (randomosity740@gmail.com) if you would like some tips or feedback on what to pair with something you have in mind.  Or maybe you have no idea what you should wear or where to shop. Hit me up! I’m here to help.

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Can You Believe It? Me Neither

Journey

Wow!  Today marks the one year anniversary for me starting my fashion blog!  It took a lot of dedication to continually keep up with it.  It was a goal that I set for myself and I DID IT!!  Man, it feels good to say that I accomplished part of my goal.  Did I meet the expectations I set for myself?  Not 100% but I still kept at it.  Am I where I want it to be yet?  Of course not, I have continual goals that I set for myself.  Have I met amazing people doing what I am doing?  Uhm, YES!!  So many beautiful people out there that have been supporting me and cheering me on. I LITERALLY could not have done this without the support group that I have.  First and foremost I need to give a shout out to my amazing husband, Marc!  He sees the side of me that not everyone does when it comes to dealing with stress and the times I didn’t meet a goal or if I feel like I let someone down.  He is also my personal photographer most of the time with his iPhone in hand ready to go (lol-have you seen the Instagram husbands video? Ha! I at least don’t make him do “shoe pics” together).  He sacrifices a lot for me when it comes to this journey and I can NEVER thank him enough.

Then I have my friends and family that are nothing but encouraging and take the time to respond to any feedback on topics or pics for my blog.  Most of the time I’m embarrassed to send them pictures of myself but I truly appreciate their feedback so I do it anyway.

Then there is this amazing group of women that have helped encourage me and spread the word about my blog in the community.  I truly believe that without these group of ladies, I would not be where I am today with this blog.  They have provided SO many opportunities for me and I am blessed to be a part of this lovely group; The Hot Tomatoes.  And for anyone that has ever attended a fashion workshop of mine, thank you. Owner of Hot Tomato, Andi Roberts has produced some truly amazing photography for some of my work with Clutch MOV and my blog.  She makes me laugh and feel so comfortable.

Speaking of Clutch MOV, I can’t thank them enough for spreading the love of Ran.dom.o.si.ty 7.4.0 throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley when it comes to my fashion articles.  Liv and Nate have done some incredible photography for some of my articles as well.  A huge thank you to Sarah Arnold for allowing me to be a staff writer.  I’m also overly appreciative of shop owner friends, Debbie and Becky of Twisted Sisters Boutique, Teri Ann of Terri Ann’s, Laura of Wit & Whimzy, Stephanie of Peyton & Peppy Boutique, Cathy of Sabika jewelry, Mike of Mizzy’s Deals, and John Rossi Art Studio for either sending lovely texts or facebook messages during this time and/or allowing me to use some of their merchandise in my posts. As well as Meredith of  MD Photography  and Staci of Makeup Mommy DE for making my first blog post ever possible!

A special message to whomever is reading, thank YOU!  Thank you for taking the time to like or even share my posts and to help make one of this gal’s dreams continually come true.  However, my biggest thank you goes to my little girl, Harper Simone.  Without her it would be hard for me to give up on what I am trying to do. What kind of example would I be sending her if I gave up on something.  I want to send a special message to her and that is, if you want to do something in life just go for it and don’t give up!  Never let anyone keep you from going after your dreams if it’s truly your heart’s desire.  And most importantly to remember life isn’t perfect and there will always be haters out there, just don’t let them dim your light.  Some people may not understand your dreams and that’s okay.  Just do you!

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

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Do You Have an Eclectic View on Life?

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Life is tough!  Can I get an amen?  We start out as these carefree spirits, then each decade we start learning valuable things in life.  My first decade I learned A LOT!  I started out as this timid creature that was basically afraid of her own shadow but loved learning new things.  I was a “loner” and loved collecting rocks and leaves as well as drawing constantly.  I enjoyed being creative and keeping to myself. I also met one of my longest and dearest best friends, Christy.

Then came the teen years (YUCK) the time where EVERYTHING is dramatic and SO important when really none of it truly matters.  Yes, it helps shape who you are but think about something you thought was really important back then. Does it matter now or hold any weight? Probably not.  However, sometimes you make best friends for life during those years (the same Christy from above, Allyson and Elizabeth).

Then you experience adulthood.  For me this consisted of the college years, marriage and family (the hardest yet best time of my life).  I say hardest because you are dealing with becoming an independent adult and trying to figure out what you want to do in life.  Then when you get to having a family all you want to do is spend time with them; just relax and hangout.  You know, snuggle and play; not worry about “adulting.” Then sometimes life can wear you down because of not only the everyday demands in life but also trying to reach your own personal goals.

The one thing that has remained constant is, “my eclectic view on life.”  I use this phrase because not only can I always see both sides to just about any story, but I also LOVE so many different things.  I adore eclectic fashion, meaning I appreciate every type of style out there because it helps express who you are or how you are feeling that day.  I also love a variety of music.  Whether it be the rhythm, lyrics or simply a music video I go with what feels right and speaks to me.  I also appreciate many forms of art and dance.  If you haven’t noticed yet, there is a common theme. I like anything that makes me FEEL something.  Emotions are hard for me to deal with sometimes.  I can’t explain that, I just know that these eclectic interests I speak of help me feel things and deal with my emotions.  Now, that may not make sense to you and that’s okay but it helps me appreciate every life out there and realize that every person I encounter is dealing with something in life; it could be something great or terrible.  I also try not to take life too seriously and sometimes I have to remind myself of that because I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine when you’re going through a rough time.  Take for instance the first picture.  Andi is this amazingly, talented photographer that you’ve seen do quite a bit of my blog photos.  She has such a way of making me feel relaxed in front of a camera and was able to catch the essence of me in this photo while laughing….that’s what I do constantly so this is what I probably look like on a day-to-day basis.  One of the most valuable things I’ve learned from Andi so far in our friendship is when she asks you for a “fake laugh” you’ll soon be losing your mind with laughter at how silly you feel doing it.  Next thing you know you’re having a great time.  Try THAT when you’re having a bad day.

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Sometimes as an eclectic thinker you have to take a time out for yourself and gather your thoughts because you’re constantly feeling so many emotions.  It’s during those quiet times that you really need to dissect your thoughts and try to “make sense of it all” meaning life’s circumstances for not just yourself but your friends and family.  Self-reflection can oftentimes lead to doubt.  But then you need to remember all of the amazing things that have or are happening in your life and think of the people that actually care about you and your dreams!  Now, THAT is an amazing feeling, right?

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I’m writing this in hopes that whomever reads it realizes that when you are having a tough time dealing with life or people, just know that it’s not always the end of the world.  Try having an “eclectic view on life” to help you deal with things.  Think of another person’s point of view on a subject.  Really think about what it means to take a walk in someone else’s shoes.  Find an outlet that helps you deal with the stresses of life and reflect back on what has made you, YOU!  I’ve experience a lot of heartache and pain but I have also learned so much from it and have become stronger. It also makes me appreciate all of the beautiful things in my life.  Don’t EVER give up on yourself and always try to deal with your emotions in ways that are healthy for you.  No one is perfect and always remember that, for not only yourself, but strangers walking down the street.  Don’t be so quick to judge.  For example, remember that social media doesn’t share a person’s whole story.  It shows us how they want the world to see them.  Or maybe that difficult person you had to deal with at work just experienced something traumatic but doesn’t share it with the world.  Try altering your thinking and wonder about their story and what makes them who they are.  Now, that’s something to ponder over, isn’t’ it?

I’d love to hear how you deal with emotions and the struggles that you encounter in life. Let’s talk about it and see how we can help each other out.

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

 

Iconic Fashion:|| Insider Info

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If you haven’t heard of the Sparkly Ladies Night party that takes place in Marietta, Ohio the first Saturday of every December,  I’m about to share some exciting information.  You’ve heard that expression, “all dressed up and no place to go” right?  Well, here’s a fantastic opportunity to not only get all glammed up, but also enjoy an awesome night out with the ladies!  I’ve teamed up with Andi Roberts of Hot Tomato Pin-up Academy to supply a hint with this year’s theme.  Last year we took you back to the prohibition days where the dames kicked back in a smokey speakeasy.

So what’s this year’s theme you ask?  Here’s a hint from yours truly. Check out the black and white photo above.  Where do you think you would find me?

Fashion is my expertise and if I had it my way we’d be heading to The Big Apple to shop for an iconic wrap-dress by the one and only Diane von Furstenberg (just like the one I found here in the Hot Tomato wardrobe).   Did you know she invented this design?   The frock is flattering, versatile, and easy to wear, pack, and style. All I can say is that I would wear something like this to Sparkly Ladies Night for this year’s theme and add some much needed bling! Just like runway fashion, don’t be afraid to go over the top because it’d welcome at this place during it’s time.

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So where would you find me?  Send your guess to the following email:

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If you guess correctly, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a set of tickets.  Good luck to all of you and hope to see you there!

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Key Statement Pieces

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When it comes to creating a stylish look, one must realize the most important component in doing so is through the finishing touches. This is my favorite part of fashion; accessorizing! Yes, I love mixing and matching clothing to create other looks but one of the easiest ways to transform a look is how you accessorize it. Take for instance this look. I went with a wider leg white pant from Talbots, a wide-armed black sleeveless top layered with a stripe tank to give a surprising peek-a-boo detail and my black loafers. I wanted to dress up this simple look to show how a casual look can look oh so chic when you step outside the box with your jewelry.

I teamed up with the lovely, Cathy Richardson of Sabika jewelry to demonstrate different ways to accessorize. I absolutely adored all of these beautiful jewels and how versatile they are. The images above show different layering techniques that I enjoyed pairing together. The far left picture shows an elaborate mixture and you’ll see I remove a layer in each image to show how many different looks you can create with statement pieces. That’s what’s so amazing about this jewelry collection, you can be your own designer or stylist when it comes to how you want to pair the pieces together.

Sabika is new to the Mid-Ohio Valley and is handmade, exclusively designed jewelry, limited edition crafted from Swarovski crystals made by women in their homes. Visit here to find out more about the history of Sabika and more about Cathy.

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When I was searching through the Sabika collection and what I wanted to pair with this dress, I was immediately drawn to this layered piece. The amber colored crystal, along with the perfectly coordinated colors and multi-layered style was stunning paired with this rich colored maxi dress. I have worn this dress to weddings as well as casually.  This specific look would be quite adorable for the upcoming fall season with a leather jacket to edge it up even more! <3. The tones are absolutely breathtaking.

Here’s a few up-close shots of some of my other favorite pieces. There’s truly something for everyone with the Sabika jewelry line. A big thank you to Cathy for letting me showcase her beautiful jewels! If you’re interested in seeing more make sure and contact Cathy Richardson at: CathyRichardsonSabika@gmail.com or find her on Facebook.

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I think my daughter, Harper approves. She’s making a comeback in my fashion shoots. Which layering piece was your favorite?

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Living in a Fast-paced World

Journey

IMG_1239I’ve decided to write on a topic that has been on my mind for quite some time. I’ve wanted to write about it for a while but held back because I wasn’t sure how I would be portrayed. But then I thought to myself, but what if my manic thoughts can help someone else? My whole mission for my blog is the hope of helping someone in any way possible, so why should I hold back? We are all judged one way or another in life so what do I have to lose?

Everything in our world is so fast-paced and that’s no secret. So many distractions and such a sense of urgency for just about anything. We have “alerts” on our smart devices telling us what we need to check or do right away. Email from work? Well, now I know about it so I better respond that way I don’t have to later. We all know how that can evolve into an hour long process because then you already have your email open, so why not go ahead and get it all taken care of? This, in of itself can be a vicious cycle. And if you have more than one email account on your phone? Ha! Well, forget about it. Next thing you know you’re spending hours on your phone and opening other apps and checking other alerts on your phone. And all because you started out checking on one alert. Ugh! I’m exhausted just talking about it because I do that to myself and my family all the time. Shame on me but it’s a reality that I face.

Now, I’m taking time and energy to be more self-aware trying not to pick up my phone after every single alert that pops up on my phone. I’ve been learning to not “allow” all of my apps to send me alerts and making sure that I turn off my alerts on my email accounts so that I dedicate times throughout the day where I check it. But what happens? I get in the mindset of, I should check my email because what if I missed something important? Then the whole entire cycle starts over and I’m an hour into being on my phone yet again. Oh! What are my friends doing on Facebook and look at this awesome outfit on Pinterest! I need to recreate that look. Then because of the algorithms I’m being shown other images of pins I might love. There goes another hour! Ugh. Now I’m beating myself up and stressing myself out for not being more present when I should be.

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My family time is way more important to me than this stuff. Time to start over and work on myself again. Needless to say, I hope I’m not alone on this and maybe I sound like a horrible wife and mother because of it. But hey, I’m aware of it and trying to make a change. The first step is admitting that I have a problem, right? The world we’re living in now is allowing so many addictions to arise; depression and stress can lead to substance abuse because people struggle to wind down. Then we see all of the “beautiful people and places” on social media that can start to make us feel down and compare ourselves to these people or want to visit these places that we can’t necessarily afford. We’re allowing the creation of a false-perception of what happiness looks like. We don’t know what their life is really like and the places we live are just as beautiful as any other place, we just see it every day. People can “filter” away what they don’t want the world to see.

Now don’t get me wrong, these are clearly things that cross my mind at times. So, if you can’t relate to anything I’m sharing then kudos to you! Seriously, I aspire to have the mindset like you. I believe I’ll get to that level one day very soon. But for now, I’m just going to sound like a melodramatic head-case sharing this outlook (lol)! Let me also state that I don’t feel this way on a daily basis and it’s not consuming my life as heavily as I am portraying it, BUT these are feelings and things I have faced at times.

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Whenever I am stressed with life; work, family, trying to reach goals, etc. this is when those feelings and actions can creep in. Then I start searching inspirational quotes to help lift me up. Oh! And remember that algorithm that helps remember what type of quotes I pin? That is quite helpful when this mindset rears it’s ugly face in my room I call a brain. I will admit, reading these quotes do actually help me. It’s a simple way to take the time to fill your mind with positivity. I also use the app, Shine which I am obsessed with and even share my “text of the day” with them if it makes sense to.  Now, this is the type of alert I welcome because it’s feeding my soul and helping me concentrate on joy and presence with the content it shares with me. I set it tone sent to me for Monday thru Friday at 8:00 a.m.

I know what you might be thinking. Well aren’t you contributing to this superficial aspect of the world that you’re complaining about by sharing your love of fashion? I mean, does fashion really matter? My answer is that I am trying to build women’s confidence and share ways to help them realize that the fashions they see in magazines or online can be easily obtainable. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to look a certain way. I also try to urge my readers to not put themselves in a bubble like I, myself can do at times. Women are powerful human beings that are meant to feel beautiful and strong. Everyone has their own definition of what makes them feel that way. So what do you consider to be your own personal power? And how do you let the stress of the world roll off your back?

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney