A Work in Progress

Journey

3189D4CA-0DBC-4C43-87CC-FCCC6900D887I want to share three truths about myself with you today:

(1.) I’m horrible at making decisions for myself. I’m constantly weighing the “what-I f’s” which hold me back from making quick decisions. I’m a deep-thinker which can be good, but a lot of times it can cause unnecessary fear.

(2.) Confidence is a daily struggle. I genuinely have to work on it. I’m hyper aware of my insecurities and have to call myself out on a regular basis to fight through it and say “I’m enough” to myself. Sounds silly, right? This is why clothes are so important to me because I realize how they impact my confidence. My whole mission for Randomosity 740 is to help my followers feel good about themselves by inspiring them to think outside the box for themselves.

(3.) I often feel like I’m not a good wife or mother. I work full-time and have extra-curricular activities such as my blog. I wish there was more time in the day so I don’t feel like I’m neglecting my family. That’s why you’ll see my daughter with me in some of my pictures for my blog. When she’s not at school I’ll have her join me during shoots so she can watch me go through the process of chasing my dreams for my blog. I just pray I’m not teaching her something else by accident such as vanity. I want her to always be true to herself and not compare herself to others. As for my husband, he’s an amazing supporter of what I’m doing but there are times he has to remind me to be present when it’s family time because I’ll work on a blogpost thinking I can do it quickly. With working a retail schedule I try to schedule my days off when both of them are off school and work too. So I don’t really have other times to post and write without interfering with my time with them. I’ve been getting better but I have a long way to go.

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I’m constantly working on myself and it will forever be a work in progress. The only thing I can do is give it my best and not be too hard on myself. So if I can share anything else with you it’s to be nice to yourself and remember that no one is perfect. Don’t be too critical of others including yourself. I’ve been reading articles about our “highlight reels” on social media and the impact it can have on our emotions. Always remember you’re only seeing  pictures that people want you to see. Everyone is battling through something in life. Some just don’t air out their laundry on social media.

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

A Sisterhood Event

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I think us ladies can all agree that life can be very stressful. Some of you may be mothers, wives, business owners, work professionals, college students, or maybe all of the above. Well this weekend there’s an amazing retreat that’s taking place at The Betsey Mills Club in Marietta, Ohio. It’s called the MOV Red Tent.

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Right about now each trade member is planning on how they will be setting up their tents and anxiously awaiting to share things with women like us. I had the pleasure of having a Fashion Tent the first year and really enjoyed myself. Something about sharing your passion with others is a great feeling especially when you see an attendee discover that in them too!

During the MOV Red Tent experience I was introduced to what all is offered to us ladies in the MOV. There’s yoga of all sorts, natural remedies, dance, drumming, painting, henna, learning about self-love and how to express it, and so many other things that help you celebrate being a woman.

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There’s so much to say about the MOV Red Tent, and the best way for me to share more with you is for you to click this link and see the list of activities and schedules.

I like to think of being a woman as being part of a sisterhood. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if every woman viewed it that way? You know, like we’re all in this whole thing called life together and that it’s not always easy? Well I can tell you that the women that are involved in this event feel the same way.  They will assure you that you’re not alone and if you need a friend this is the perfect event to find one! So step outside your comfort zone and try something new to relax and learn all about self-care in many ways.

Maybe I’ll see you there?

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

 

The Story of Us

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For those of you that don’t know me very well or maybe even at all, this is a pic of me with my husband, Marc. We met each other in the fall of 2005 through a mutual friend named, AJ. Marc was with his best friend, Mike in the checkout line in Walmart (lol, don’t judge) which is where I was introduced to him. I had an immediate attraction to Marc.  Mike and Marc invited my friend and I to a little get together. AJ and I decided to head that way later.  I had butterflies in my stomach because I’m super shy when it comes to a guy that I could be into.  Plus, I had just started somewhat talking to someone and Marc was going on a date that night. Which once I found that out I was disappointed and left the party to go hang out with the guy I had started talking to. Come to find out, Marc had come back after the movie. The date was more of a friendly date apparently. But I firmly believe that timing is everything and if Marc and I had started seeing each other then, we probably wouldn’t be married today. I had a lot more life lessons to get through before I was ready for “the one.”  Plus, I was convinced someone as attractive as Marc would never be into me anyway.

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I found out that he worked at the same mall as me and he came into where I worked the very next day to say hello and invite me to hang out with all of them again. I had a date that night so I passed even though I REALLY would’ve preferred hanging out with him. From that point on we would always say hello when we’d pass each other going into work and whatnot. I still would go and hang out with a lot of the people in that group so I got to see him from time to time. I even remember attempting to flirt with him at some point and it was super corny and dorky. Basically, he had no idea that’s what I was trying to do.

A year passes and I had been seeing that same guy from earlier but was miserable. Have you ever dated someone for so long and have no idea why?! Yea, that was me. We made no sense together and he was all sorts of wrong for me and I was wrong for him too. Well, my friend AJ and I went into where Marc worked one afternoon and Marc knew the guy I was dating and asked how we were doing.  I replied in a not very convincing way, “we’re okay.” Marc had a disappointed look and said, “damn” as he walked away. AJ was standing next to me and I looked right at him with a confused, yet excited look and said, “ what did that mean?” He said, “I told you he liked you!” I NEVER remember him telling me that but maybe I was too distracted in my horrible relationship that I wasn’t hearing him?! Who knows ha ha! All I know is that interaction helped motivate me to get out of the relationship I was in because it helped me realize that I deserved better. I had never lost interest in Marc but like I said timing was never perfect for us. We ended up starting to chat on AIM (remember that?!). Then we started hanging out and became inseparable.

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We started seeing each other regularly in early December of 2006 and haven’t left each other’s side since then. When we hung out I had never laughed so much in my life and felt more myself than I ever had. It took some getting used to not having a jealous and overbearing boyfriend but I got used to it and it felt wonderful. The one good thing that came from past relationships is that I learned how horrible it is dealing with a jealous mate and I knew I never wanted anyone to deal with that from me. So see, life lessons had to occur because I had jealousy and trust issues from being cheated on in the past as well. The guy before Marc helped me realize how stupid it was to be jealous. He would question anything I ever did. He almost tried to stop me from hanging out with my very best friend, AJ simply because he was a guy. Thank God I didn’t lose sight too much because I didn’t listen to him when it came to what friends I could and couldn’t hang out with.

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Back to the important story. I grew so much while dating Marc. I learned to have confidence in myself and how to express my emotions. I was comfortable with who I was. I came from an upbringing where we never talked about our feelings when we were upset about something and he came from very opposite. Although it was hard for me to learn it’s the best thing that could’ve happened to me. I always avoided confrontation because it intimidated me but he helped teach me that we could solve problems through talking our feelings out. What a weird concept (lol kidding).

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We knew after three months of dating that we wanted to marry one another, but it wasn’t until about a year into our dating that Marc proposed. It was the perfect proposal for us, he asked and I was smitten and giggly and said yes!  Then we slow danced to “our song” and we ate the dinner he made.  We ended up moving in together and got married slightly over a year later in October of 2008. There’s a lot more that happened from then up until now but it’s been the best journey and we continue to learn so much from one another.

After being married for five years we were surprised with a new adventure. I was expecting our little Harper. We knew we wanted children but we didn’t know when. God apparently knew we needed her in our life because he blessed us with her in 2012. And guess what? We continue to learn more and more about one another and Harper makes our life more complete! She’s the perfect mix of the two of us.

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My advice to anyone reading this is to always make sure and laugh with the person you love. When you’re upset with one another, talk it out. Don’t scream and yell…talk. It’s not an easy thing to do all the time but it helps. I truly believe Marc and I have never had a huge fight because we’ve learned to talk to each other and put any anger or frustration aside enough to just talk it out. I don’t know how we manage to do it, but we do. And that is what I think the key to marriage is, simply talking. And just always remember that relationships are just one imperfect person loving another imperfect person.  Oh! And one final word of advice….ALWAYS listen to your best friends when it comes to your dating relationships. They know what’s best for you. And lastly, be with someone that brings the best out of you and believes in you!

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Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Leave a Message at the Tone…

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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

Can You Believe It? Me Neither

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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

 

Living in a Fast-paced World

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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

My Night as a Sparkly Lady

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POP, FIZZ, CLINK!  Those were some of the sounds you heard during this year’s Sparkly Ladies Night.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m going to become part of the Hot Tomato Pin-up Academy glam squad.  I’m over the moon excited about this and with the new year it can only keep going up from here!  I have a few other things in the works and can’t wait to share the dates when the time is right.

If you’ve been following me on my journey, you probably read my post about “Capturing the Dreamer.”  I mentioned my “initiation” in becoming a Hot Tomato.  The Sparkly Ladies Night was my time to really help a dream come to fruition.  As you know I am a “faithful dreamer,” so assisting someone else in making their dream come true, well that is just a fantastic feeling.  For the first year of the takeover it really came together and we had a wonderful response.  The years to come will get even bigger and better.

Every doll-face was having a grand time in our re-creation of a 1920’s speakeasy.  All of the ladies looked fabulous and I was impressed with how everyone went all out for their looks! One of the best things about this party was that everyone was from different backgrounds and age groups, yet all having a lovely time with another.  You saw women dancing on the bar and even getting their mugshots taken (I mean it WAS during prohibition and we felt like being naughty).   Who doesn’t love a good theme party?

Below are the sultry ladies and masterminds of the Hot Tomato Pin-up Academy that I’ll be working alongside. Love them already!  If you’ve EVER thought about taking pin-up style or boudoir photos, these ladies are the ones to bring your vision to help bring to life and make you feel beautiful, sexy, cute, etc.  And since you’re following my blog right now, you know how I adore fashion and pride myself on making women feel confident. I’ll be there to help style and put you at ease as well.  You can message me or the Hot Tomato gals too. Visit their website to view their portfolio and contact information at www.hottomatopinupacademy.com

Below you’ll see a glimpse of some of the decor that we used to help transform The River Town Grill on Second Street in downtown Marietta, Ohio.  It was the ideal space for us to use for the 20’s.  All of the brick along with the dim lighting contributed perfectly for the aesthetic we were going for. The staff and team were truly amazing and we really want to give them a huge thank you!  ESPECIALLY for having to deal with all of the glitter.

If you’ve heard of this party and have been curious to check it out next year, I’ve got a treat for you! Below is a sneak peek of all the fun the ladies had this year.  If you would like to find your mugshot below to put on your facebook click here.

And CLEARLY I had a blast!  Rockin’ out like always 🙂 ❤

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Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Capturing the Dreamer

Journey

I’m in my third month of blogging and I can’t believe how many little blessings have occurred.  I’ve made a few leaps of faith and have put myself out there and formed new friendships!

If you live in the Mid-Ohio Valley you’ve probably already heard of the Hot Tomato Pin-up Academy.  If not, now you have and you should look them up!  I’ve had the pleasure of befriending these lovely and kind ladies all through the power of social media and networking.  It’s funny how a simple “friend request” isn’t always taken so literal.  If you really think about it, how many people have you either sent a request to or accepted a request without really wanting to be their real life”friend?”  I used to view it that way until I kept thinking of how powerful and positive facebook could be.  Imagine using facebook for positivity and forming real life friendships rather than venting about negative things and stalking “strangers” profiles! 🙂 Get to know some of your facebook friends by sending a positive note or liking more of their pictures just to simply show that you are enjoying their “friendship.”  I met Andi, Jesse, Jocelyn and Jessica all through facebook.  I had actually met Jocelyn in person on numerous occasions before anyone else and always knew their was something special about her.  Little did I know she was going to be a shining light into this new journey of mine.

Social media and networking are such powerful tools and led me to these new group of empowering women and a group I’ve craved and sought out to have in my life.  The Hot Tomato gals invited me to collaborate with them during a special event they were heading up this past month called Sparkly Ladies Night.  They entrusted me with something very important to them and I can’t begin to describe how incredible that feeling was, and a little stressful but in such a great way! I mean a girl wants to make a good impression, right?  I viewed that as my initiation ha, ha!  I believe this relationship is the beginning of something beautiful.

Ran.dom.o.si.ty 7.4.0 is going to do something exciting this coming new year!  I will be collaborating and assisting Hot Tomato with photo shoots, guest blogging and conducting fashion workshops in their space.  During these fashion workshops women will learn to become stylish while discovering a new version of themselves; self-love and positivity.  Once the workshops have been lined up, I will post the dates and times on the website and will also be creating events on my facebook page.  So, if you haven’t “liked” my facebook page or Hot Tomato’s please make sure you do now.  I’d love for you to be a part of this journey.   Also, if you haven’t subscribed to my website yet, please do so.

Now that I’m going to be a part of the Hot Tomato crew it was only appropriate to experience what it was like to be a client first-hand.  They gave me one of the best experiences while shooting my head shots.  I didn’t know what to expect when it came to their version of head shots because I knew with their style it was bound to be something unique.  I gave them one little request; I wanted them to capture the fact that I was a dreamer. Now, I didn’t even know what that would look like exactly but they nailed it! I told them a little bit about my dreams during the “getting to know you” portion of the shoot. Check out my “head shots” below and make sure to scope out some of their other work because it is absolutely lovely!  A huge hug to all of the Hot Tomato crew ❤  I can’t wait for our collaboration!

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Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

What’s Your Disasterpiece?

Journey

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One of my favorite artists is Salvador Dali.  I love surrealism because it really illustrates how one single person can view something so differently, yet make it so beautiful.  It’s all about putting a different perspective on your work of art and thinking creatively to produce something wonderful.  I also enjoy his wonderfully odd yet deep take on life.

Around two and a half years ago my little family relocated back to Marietta, Ohio. The transition wasn’t easy for us and it is still taking some work to get us truly settled.  My outlook on life was really hazy for a long time.  It wasn’t until these last couple of months that I decided that I needed to change my point of view on our hardships.  I had to change my way of thinking and get out of my mental rut.  I chose to wallow in my perceived “problems” and wondered why things weren’t “happening” for me and my family. I kept trying to talk myself into thinking things were going to get better.  I used to be such an annoyingly positive person but my negative state of mind didn’t seem to let-up and I got sucked into this dark place of negative thinking. It’s never good when you start to even annoy yourself with your “Negative Nancy” attitude.  Luckily, no one seemed to notice I felt the way that I did, but I knew I had to make a change.

After frantically looking for Pinterest quotes to help re-energize my positive side and seeking out bloggers such as Hilary Rushford, whom I absolutely adore, it FINALLY became clear.  I was focusing so much on what the world views as success. I kept thinking about how my dreams weren’t coming to fruition and started to feel like my degree wasn’t worth it.  Miraculously one day I woke up with so much clarity and I said to myself, “Self, you’re already a success! You have so much moral support for your dreams, an amazing husband that believes in you so much, a healthy and beautiful little lady, a wonderful family (in-laws included) and sensational friends and co-workers. That, my dear is S-U-C-C-E-S-S…SUCCESS!  You’ve achieved what some spend their whole lives searching for; love and support.”

I also realized that I was so caught up in my “Eeyore Syndrome” (that’s what I’m gonna call it) that the reason my dreams weren’t becoming a reality was because I wasn’t taking the necessary steps. I kept saying that I wasn’t “giving up” but I definitely wasn’t doing much of anything to keep working at it!   I started with the first step I could and that was sketching dress designs to achieve one of the levels of my dreams; being a fashion designer.  I decided to seek out a dear old friend of mine named, Allison that studied fashion design and could help turn my sketches into a reality. I also reached out to my mother whom also sews.  Another level of my dreams in the works!

Then I decided to launch this blog to share the different levels of my dream (did I mention that starting my own blog was another dream of mine and it is a now living and breathing thing)?!  I also want to make a difference in people’s lives with their confidence.  The best way I know how to help is by teaching people how to feel amazing in their clothing.  The list of dreams go on but if you continue to follow me, you’ll learn more about them and hopefully see them coming true.

 I’m sharing this story, not to boast or pat myself on the back, but to hopefully put things into perspective for some of my fellow dreamers out there. Train your mind to see things in a positive light.  Try to really think about whatever you’re viewing as a disaster or roadblock and see it as the necessary steps in completing your masterpiece in life. I call it my “disasterpiece.” Some might say this term sounds a little negative, but sometimes life can be messy and is not always rainbows and butterflies.  “Disasterpiece” it is! 🙂 What you think is a disaster and meant to break you is actually meant to turn you into the powerful being you’re destined to be! If you take anything away from this at all, remember that YOUR dreams matter and you CAN do it!  Also, the most important thing to remember is to count your blessings even when they may feel hard to see.  If you look deep enough, you’ll see how much positivity actually exists in your life.  One thing I already know about you is that if you’re reading this, you’re alive and that is a blessing right there for you to count!

What steps are you taking to achieve your dreams?  If you need advice or want a listening ear, I’d love to hear from you. Visit my “Share with Me” page and let’s chat! 

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney