Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Drugstore Beauty Buys of 2014

1. Essie Nail Polish // 2. Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Shampoo and or Conditioner //
 3. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Pads // 4 .EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm // 
5. Nivea Smooth Sensation Lotion // 6. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser // 7. Ultrabrite Toothpaste // 8. The Wet Brush // 9. Covergirl Bombshell Mascara // 
10.Almay Smart Shade BB Cream // 11. Batiste Dry Shampoo Mini Three Pack



2014 was a year of many drugstore beauty buys for Ms. CourtneyLeighB! 
I decided to give up buying crazy expensive mascaras, lotions and balms and see what all the fuss was about! I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that MANY, if not all of my drugstore dupes were equally as incredible!

Do you have any product suggestions for me to try in 2015?!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Perfect Christmas Vacation

The Christmas season always goes by so quickly! This year was filled with so many sweet memories, but I'm ready for a New Year, as well as a new ME! 

It has been so nice to be on vacation this week and home at my parents house with all the people I love!

On Christmas morning my brother dressed up as Santa and gave my nieces such a sweet surprise! When they were pulling into our driveway Santa happened to be leaving our house and walking back towards his Jeep sleigh! 

Santa and his dad getting suited up!

Santa waited patiently for his nieces to arrive and even remembered to mention the Elsa dress that he had brought to their house earlier that morning. They were SO stunned that Santa remembered what gift he had left for them seeing that he brings so many children so many different presents :) (There may have been some texting between elves to coordinate this interaction)


How cute is this?!

Santa brought me and my sisters Tieks. We are in LOVE with them! 

Santa also brought me an Emily Ley Simplified Planner! It is going to keep me organized as well as inspired in 2015! 


Being off work for a couple days allowed me to FINALLY be able to wear some jeans, puffy vests and all of my casual winter favorites! 
Old Navy Top // J.Crew Jeans (similar) // Tieks Flats // J.Crew Vest // Gap Scarf


Old Navy Sweater // Marley Lilly Blanket Scarf (similar) //  J.Crew Jeans (similar) // Tieks Flats


Old Navy Top // J.Crew Vest //  J.Crew Jeans (similar) // Vine Camuto Boots (Marshall's) // 
J.Crew Scarf // MZ Wallace Bag  

The best place to spend a Sunday morning reflecting on 2014 and preparing for the year ahead!

I could stay at the beach ALL day EVERY day during ANY season! It truly is my happy place.

This is how I like to watch Patriots games! On the couch, with an iced coffee in hand, hanging with my favorite people! 
Old Navy Sweater // Patriots Waffle Leggings (sold out, but I got them at Kohls) // Coffee- sold separately :)



I am so very thankful for all the happiness, love and good health my family and I experienced in 2014.  I'm ready to see the many new adventures 2015 will bring!

xoxo


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Q&A!

Growing up with such a big family has forced me to ALWAYS plan ahead with all my holiday shopping.  If I didn't, I'd go INSANE trying to find everything at the last minute. Although I do my best to beat the crowds and the holiday rush by ordering online and shopping early, I inevitably end up having to go to the mall at the last second to help out all the crazy wonderful men in my life. My brothers and my dad apparently find it enjoyable to wait until the very last minute to do ALL of their shopping, so there have been MANY years in which we're running around on Christmas EVE to get all the gifts purchased, wrapped and ready!

Christmas Eve has always been my favorite day of the year. I actually enjoy Christmas Eve more than I enjoy Christmas Day! There is something so special about Christmas Eve. Each year my parents' house is decorated SO beautifully and smells incredible because my mom has made enough food and enough desserts to feed an army. Although the traditions change slightly from year to year, my family and I always go to Mass in the late afternoon and to one of our family friends' houses for dinner. It is so fun to dress up all fancy, drive to Mass with all my siblings and my parents singing "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" (the world's weirdest song), and then have an absolute feast for dinner! In recent years, we have done our "Santa" presents and our siblings presents late in the night on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas morning we let the little kids open their "Santa" presents, so that we can really enjoy the moment and see the happiness and joy on their faces when they receive their special gifts.  

I am, and always have been, a gal who opens her stocking first and then moves onto the bigger items. My brother Jared used to write a note and put it next to his bed on Christmas Eve each year, reminding himself to open his gifts slowly the next morning. As kids we would all tear through our gifts and then Jared would be left with all these presents unopened and we'd think my mom and dad got him more than the rest of us. So as I've matured and grown up (ya, right!) I've tried to take his approach and move slowly as I open gifts, savoring each sweet moment! This is our first Christmas with our new living room (my parents added onto our house last winter), so it will be interesting to see the new locations that everyone stakes out and where our new "spots" will be for opening presents :)

When I was a little girl, I used to go into the living room every morning leading up to Christmas and feel my stocking which was hanging from the mantle, to see if by chance Santa had come early and left me a sweet surprise! My brothers caught on to my little tradition and thought it would be funny to torture me by putting random items in my stocking each morning. I would run downstairs and think I had experienced a Christmas miracle, but then quickly realize it was my cruel brothers when I would find an old gum wrapper. a golf ball or something ridiculous like a spoon in my stocking. It was totally rude and obnoxious. I'll get them back one day. 
I also have such a vivid memory of finishing opening all my gifts one year and thinking I was done, and having my parents tell me to look behind the couch. I zipped around the corner and found a RAZOR SCOOTER and was seriously over the moon! I LOVED that thing!

As my brothers and I have gotten older, the traditions and focus of Christmas have slightly changed. Now that we have little kids in our family again (my nieces and nephew), it is so fun to have "Santa" back in the picture. The little kids are SO excited for tomorrow to see what Santa brings and I think they are going to get a real surprise when they actually get to see/meet him! Santa is dropping off the kids gifts at my parents' house (their grandparents house) right before they arrive for the day and I have a feeling they're going to see him briefly as they're pulling into the driveway. It should be fun to see their giddy faces! I'm also super excited for them to open all the adorable goodies we Santa got for them. Santa may have been reliving her childhood when she purchased all these gifts!










Have a safe and Merry Christmas, and as always, thanks for reading!
xx



An OOTD Year In Review

We all know by now how much I love a good OOTD, so I thought it would be fun to roundup all my favorites from 2014! Each month I take faaaar too many OOTD's, so I picked two of my most memorable outfits from each month! If you look closely enough you'll see changes in hair length, hair color, and a variety of tan/pale skin tones. Cheers to another great year of embarrassing mirror selfies!

Outfit One
J.Crew Top (almost identical) // J.Crew Pants // Urban Outfitters Sweater (similar) //
 Steve Madden Flats
Outfit Two: 
Old Navy Chambray // Vineyard Vines Vest // J.Crew Pants // Chinese Laundry Boots


Outfit One: 
Old Navy Tee // Marshall's Vest (similar) // J.Crew Scarf (similar here, here, and here) // 
American Eagle Jeans // Chinese Laundry Boots 
Outfit Two:
Old Navy Tee // J.Crew Pants // Urban Outfitters Sweater (similar) // J.Crew Flats // 
Old Navy Necklace (similar here, here)


Outfit One:
Old Navy Tee (similar here and here) // Old Navy Chambray // Lauren Conrad Leggings // 
Steve Madden Flats // Three Jane NY Map Necklace
Outfit Two:
 344 Top (similar) // Old Navy Vest // Lauren Conrad Leggings // 
Target Riding Boots (similar) // J.Crew Factory Necklace (loving this)


Outfit One:
J.Crew Top (similar) //  J.Crew Pants // J.Crew Pumps
Outfit Two:
344 Sweater (similar) // J.Crew Vest // J.Crew Jeans // J.Crew Flats // Longchamp Tote


Outfit One:
Gap Dress (similar here, here and here) // Nine West Pumps 
Outfit Two:
Lilly Pulitzer Dress // Nine West Pumps // Kendra Scott Bracelets


Outfit One:
Lilly Pulitzer Sweater (similar here and here) // True Religion Pants // Jack Roger Sandals
Outfit Two:
Victoria Secret Romper (loving this, this and this) // J.Crew Jean Jacket // Converse Sneakers


Outfit One:
J.Crew Maxi (similar) // Michael Kors Tote // Jack Roger Sandals // Kendra Scott Necklace //  Lokai Bracelet 
Outfit Two:
J.Crew Tank // Marshalls Kimono (similar here, here, here) // J.Crew Jeans  // 
Tory Burch Flip Flops // Kendra Scott Necklace 

Outfit One:
Marshalls Top (similar) // Marshalls Pants (similar here, here) // Lokai Bracelet 
Outfit Two:
Lilly Pulitzer Dress (loving THIS) // Jack Roger Sandals


Outfit One:
Lilly Pulitzer Dress // Jack Roger Sandals
Outfit Two:
Lilly Pulitzer Shirt (dress version) // Paige White Denim 


Outfit One:
Old Navy Dress // Lilly Pulitzer Scarf // Tory Burch Flats (almost identical) // Kendra Scott Bracelets
Outfit Two:
Old Navy Chambray // J.Crew Skirt // J.Crew Wedges 


Outfit One:
344 Top-old (loving this) // Loft Sweater (also loving this) // J.Crew Pants // Steve Madden Boots 
Outfit Two:
Lilly Pulitzer Sweater // Nordstrom Tank // Bauble Bar Necklace (similar) // J.Crew Pants //
 J.Crew Flats (newer version)


Outfit One:
TJ Maxx Top (loving this and this) // Hudson Jeans // Lauren Conrad Booties // 
Bauble Bar Necklace (loving this)
Outfit Two:
Old Navy Sweater // Marley Lilly Blanket Scarf  // Lauren Conrad Booties // J.Crew Jeans


Monday, December 22, 2014

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers


1. Clinique Three Step // 2. Beauty Blender // 3. GiGi New York Coasters //
4. Ban.Do iPhone Charger // 5. Starbucks Gift Card // 6. Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow Palette //
7. Kate Spade Perfume //  8. L'Occitane Hand Cream Set // 9. C. Wonder Key Fob //
10. Hanky Panky Gift Set //  11. Sequin Breaded Stretch Bracelet // 12. Kate Spade Earrings //
13. Ted Baker Pencil Case // 14. MAC Brush Kit 


It's not too late to fill up those stockings with some amazing gifts! All these useful, fun, and unique treats will be sure to put a smile on your gals face!


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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Basics that become essentials

Throughout the winter months, there are a few "essentials" that I can't live without. Whether it be for commuting to work, lounging on the weekends, or going out to dinner, having these pieces in your wardrobe surely won't disappoint!


The Blanket Scarf is my new favorite accessory! I just LOVE how warm and cozy it is, and how it totally completes any "boring" outfit! 
Over the weekend I paired my new Marley Lilly Blanket Scarf with an old pair of jeans and a gray sweater and it really make such a fun and cute Sunday look! 
--
The L.L Bean "wicked good" slippers will always be one of my favs! My mom has been wearing these for years, and last Christmas my parents got them for all of us kids! 
Four out of the six of us with our matching slippers! (Ignore my brothers' crazy PJ pants! HA!)
--
The Old Navy turtleneck has been on tons of fashion blogs this season, and for the price, I couldn't resist checking it out! It is the most soft and comfortable shirt I own and I honestly wish I could wear it everyday (and not receive funny looks.)
On this day I put my turtleneck under a chunky sweater and loved how it layered the look! 
--
The J.Crew Pixie Pant is one of the BEST work pants I've found. It's sneaky in that it looks crisp, clean, and professional, yet it's stretchy and comfortable and makes you feel like you're wearing sweatpants all day
As you can see I've worn this pant a bunch of different ways, and seriously should invest in another pair (maybe I'll try out the navy or gray ones!)
--
The Lulu Lemon Wunder Under Pant is one of those pants that just holds you right. It's not too tight around the waist, it's long enough in the legs (for us tall gals) and it washes really well, never dulling or pilling. Lulu makes so many great products for doing yoga hanging out and I really wish it was acceptable for me to wear my wunder pants to work each day. 
--
Longchamp tote bags are great for many reasons. One being that they're super lightweight, and easy to carry for long periods of time. The second being that they come in a zillion colors, and are easy to monogram ;). The third being that you can dry clean them, and they last forever! 
I've used my Longchamp bag so many times you'd think it would be all tattered and worn, but it still looks like new! This is my go to bag for everything (work, travel, shopping etc!)
--
Ooh the Chambray Shirt! I love you so much! This shirt has been a staple in my closet for two years now, and I wear it throughout all four seasons! 
As you can see, I have worn this shirt open with leggings and a tee, tucked into skirts for work, and paired with one of my favorite vests on top! It is the BEST!


Thanks for reading! 
xx
Courtney Leigh


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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monthly Beauty Buys: December

Right after Thanksgiving I started a new skincare regimen.
I was in Macy's one day, and looking for some new foundation, when I came across a woman who worked for Clinique and convinced me to try out their three step skincare system. She was unbelievably kind and really did a great job at explaining the use of each product, the benefits of using them, and how they can help to clean your skin, prepare it for makeup application, and keep it feeling fresh throughout the day and night.

After asking me a series of questions and evaluating my skin, she told me I would most likely be "skin type three." This basically means your skin is comfortable in the cheeks, but oily or shiny in the "T Zone."

After using this three step system for a few weeks now I can honestly say that my skin feels so much more clean and refreshed each time I am done washing my face. The liquid face soap is super mild, yet it completely takes off all the makeup and residue from the day/night. The clarifying lotion I LOVE because it really allows me to see that there is no access dirt left on my face (I do a pump of the clarifying lotion on a cotton ball and swipe it across my face.) In the winter, especially in New England, it gets really dry with all the cold temperatures outside and the jacked up heat inside. The dramatically different moisturizing gel makes my skin feel so nourished and hydrated without leaving me feeling oily and damp like some moisturizes do.

If you go to a Clinique counter like I did they will ask you the serious of questions and best match a skincare system to your exact skin type. You can also do this online by going to their website and under "3 step" selecting "get started."

The three step system totals at $56.50 (which is absolutely worth the investment), but if you order the gift set you get all three products, plus three small travel sizes, and a carrying case. This is a $90 value, for only ten dollars more! (That's what I got)





For a while now I've been wanting to try out the original beauty blender that everyone has been raving about. The beauty blender is perfect for applying your makeup in a flawless fashion and taking away any access oils or dirt your skin may have. The blender comes in many different versions such as the original, the royal and the pro.

I just ordered the original and can't wait to see what all the fuss is about! I'll let ya'll know what I think once I'm able to test it out and really see for myself!



Monday, December 15, 2014

J.Crew Holiday Picks


1. Scarf // 2. Zip Top // 3. Sperry Boots // 4. Red Vest // 
5. Wool Sweater // 6. Peacoat // 7. Hat // 8. Skirt // 9. Green Vest // 
10. Keyhole Top // 11. Slippers // 12. Socks // 13. Stadium Coat // 14. Cocktail Dress 

J.Crew always kills it in my opinion, but this time of year their stuff is always on sale for great prices, and totally worth the impromptu shopping splurge. I've gathered up some of my favorite red and green picks, all of which are perfect for the holiday season!

--

Over the weekend my siblings and I all got together and exchanged our secret santa gifts because we all won't be together on Christmas Day. My brother Jake had me this year and clearly knows me well because he went straight to J.Crew to pick out my gift!

   
How adorable is this sweater and these gloves that he got me? I am obsessed!
Through today only you can get this sweater and many more like it for 40% off (yes, you heard me right). You can also get my amazing gloves for 30% off! Just use code "GIVETHIS" at checkout!

xx
Happy Monday!



Friday, December 12, 2014

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Once again, HAPPY FRIDAY YA'LL! 


Friday Links Of Wisdom

Sometimes you just need a good cry. Not necessarily a bad, ugly, mess up all your eye makeup, weep, but just a nice cry. A way of emoting, let's call it.

YouTube is the place to look up all those sappy videos that make your heart go pitter-patter (I know this couple, and they are as incredible as they seem!)

There are so many videos that make you stop and realize just how blessed you are, and remind you to never take anything in life for granted. Each day is a special gift #TeamFrateTrain 

Re-watching videos like this give you the belief that anything in life is possible. 

The videos that really get me straight up ugly-gal-weeping, are when soldiers come home and surprise their families. I'm chocked up right now just typing this. Thank you for all that you do to protect our country #USA

This probably won't make you teary, but it makes me straight up depressed because I so badly wish I was still a Boston College undergrad & living the dream in Chestnut Hill #TakeMeToTheHeights

These definitely make me cry, but more than anything they fill my heart with complete and utter pride. BOSTON YOU'RE MY HOME. We are #BostonStrong and you CAN'T BREAK US.


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

What's under it all?

Earlier this week I turned in my final paper for my last graduate class EVER (yes I'm giddy just typing out the words!!)

My final paper was about how you define success. Something you'd think would be easy, but in actuality, due to the vagueness of the question, was actually pretty difficult to define and to write. Everyone has their own opinions on who is successful, and how we attain success, and I am no different, so I decided to just write from the heart. 

I decided to start each paragraph with a quote on success and relate it back to the course material and what we had learned all semester long. One of my final quotes was one from Mr. Feeny from "Boy Meets World." YUP, I quoted Mr. Feeny in my Grad School final paper.

"Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good." was said by good ole Feeny back in the late 90's and it has stuck with me ever since (come on, you know you're pumped that I just referenced Feeny, and that you totally wish you could sit at home all day today and watch Shawn, Corey and Topanga be besties.)

Anyways... With this quote and my final paper fresh in my brain, I decided to relate it all back to another concept that I've been thinking of all week. With the Victoria Secret Fashion Show (grrr) airing on Tuesday night, everyone had the idea of "what is beautiful" in their heads. 

Don't get me wrong, those models are beautiful, and they have some stellar legs, but at the end of the day there's more to life than striving to be a stick-skinny girl who walks in a straight line and wears giant wings. Like my Instagram post showed, sometimes you gotta eat the cheese fries, get the venti Starbucks frapp, and live a little. 

The way in which we define beauty is distorted on all kinds of levels, but the really sad thing is that we don't spend hardly enough time defining inner beauty. Our heart, our souls, our passion, and our grace is what should really define us. It is what's under that makeup, those skinny jeans, and those tight corset tops that really matters.

Put on the more flowy top, grab a pair of comfy leggings, and run a brush through your hair. I bet you no one would even notice a "difference" in your appearance if you had a confident demeanor and a killer smile. 

Meghan Trainor says it right in that "if you got beauty, beauty, just raise 'em up, cause every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top!"

So grab some cute pj's, undies, and bras and remember what your mama (and Meghan Trainor's mama) told you, "don't worry bout your size" :)

#1. Victoria Secret Mini Cheekster Panty // #2. Lilly Pulitzer For Hanky Panky Camisole // 
#3. Lilly Pulitzer For Hanky Panky V-Kini // #4. J.Crew Pajama Set // #5. Aerie Flannel Bathrobe //
#6. Aerie Flannel Boxer // #7. Lilly Pulitzer For Hanky Panky Camisole // 
#8. Lilly Pulitzer For Hanky Panky  Boy Short // #9. Hanky Panky Five Pack // #10. Aerie Bralette









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