Week in Review, Vol. VIII

Let’s just jump right in, shall we? These last couple weeks have been ROUGH. I’ve been rather aloof, and struggling with a few aspects of my personal and professional life. Whenever this happens, my health and creativity get the brunt of it and hit a low. I’ve been really good about eating well and working out all year, but for whatever reason, I really dropped the ball these last two weeks. It’s so easy to beat ourselves up on our shortcomings and allow it to consume us. I’m beyond guilty of this, and I realize that the only way to get out of those “funks” are to propel myself out of them. I’ve taken a step back from those things that are overwhelming me, and am focusing on things that I’m passionate about and make my heart soar. So here, I am sharing my latest beauty haul and some incredible music that I currently have on repeat. Enjoy!

Quick Reads:

What I’m Reading: “The Age of Light” by Whitney Scharer

What I’m Watching: The Bachelor and Manifest

What I’m Listening To:

I’ve Been Waiting // Lil Peep, ILoveMakonnen, Fall Out Boy

Apologize // grandson

Chrysalis // Empire of the Sun

bury a friend // Billie Eilish

Who Do You Love // The Chainsmokers, 5 Seconds of Summer

Genius // Sia, Diplo, Labrinth, LSD, Lil Wayne

It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You) // The 1975

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Ulta Haul:

With my dry, sensitive skin, it’s hard for me to rock a full face of makeup without feeling like I look “cake-y”. For a while now, I’ve been debating whether to invest in an “all-over concealer, foundation, or a BB cream, and finally decided to head over to Ulta to consult a professional. Naturally, I walked out with the items I needed — BB cream, cotton rounds, and dry shampoo — but I also picked up some extras.

First order of business, the BB cream. I ended up going with the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35. I loved how it applied so smoothly, and it could be layered for more coverage — personally I prefer light coverage. It’s also hydrating and has SPF to help shield your beautiful skin from the sun.

While on my Ulta trip, I also picked up Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Instant Fix Concealer 24H Concealer + Hydra Prep in the shade 1N, and YOU GUYS, I think I’ve found my new holy grail concealer! Bold statement, I know, but lately I’ve been rocking some nasty bags under my eyes (s/o to my lack of sleep) and this concealer works legit miracles. I love the way it hydrates and brightens up my eyes all day long.

With my upcoming trip to France, I’ve been searching for the perfect red lipstick. I used to love wearing lipstick when I was [fake] tan in college, but since I quit the tanning bed, I can’t help but feel like a clown with bright red lips and my pale skin. It turns out that I’ve simply been wearing the wrong shade of red for my skin tone! With the help of another consultant,  I discovered Estée Lauder’s Pure Color Love Lipstick in Bar Red (ultra matte). It’s bright and bold without making me feel like I’m waiting for my shift at the circus.

Latest Fashion Picks:

If you have yet to see J. Crew’s new spring items they released this week, you need to go check it out — gingham, pink and navy for days!!! It took a whole lot of self control to not buy everything; however, I will be picking up a few items for my France trip in a few months!

Looking Ahead:  

Things are starting to look up and I’ve been feeling more motivated than ever before! It certainly helps that the sun is shining and spring is on the horizon; though, I shouldn’t jinx myself because you never know with Michigan weather. The next few months are about to be a whirlwind with lots of change, but I could not be more ready for it!

-K.

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Week in Review, Vol. VII

Thank God it’s finally February, I thought January would never end! I hope you are all staying warm with the crazy polar vortex that happened in the Midwest this week. Despite the miserable cold, there were a number of positives that happened this week: I was able to work from home as a result of the severe weather and I always find that I’m far more productive at home than at the office, and the Backstreet Boys released their new album DNA! I’ve been a HUGE BSB fan since the ripe age of 4, and I love that they’re still producing new music. **Peep a few of their new songs I can’t get enough of in the “What I’m Listening To” portion of this post.**  

Quick Reads:

What I’m Reading: “Final Girls” by Riley Sager

What I’m Watching: The Assassination of Gianni Versace on Netflix

What I’m Listening To:

7 Rings // Ariana Grande   

GIRL // Maren Morris

Dancing With A Stranger // Sam Smith, Normani

New Love // Backstreet Boys

OK // Backstreet Boys

Chateau // Backstreet Boys

The Way It Was // Backstreet Boys

Recent Purchases:

  • I just picked up this tortoise print Sonix phone case off Amazon, and I’m obsessed with it! I’ve been rocking a Lilly Pulitzer one for the past two years and while I love feeling summery year round, I was ready for a change. This is super affordable at $35 and is Military Drop Test Certified.
  • Because we know I can’t get enough of books (and I discovered two unused Barnes & Noble gift cards in my wallet), I ordered “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert and “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson. I try to read a handful of self-help books a year and these two have been on my “to read” list for a while now.

Looking Ahead:  

I am so incredibly proud of myself for successfully sticking to all of my goals for this year throughout the month of January, so I look forward to seeing the continuing progress I make from here on out. Many of my fitness goals resulted in predominately non-scale victories, which is great, but not quite where I want to be yet. As always, I’m working on some new content on topics I haven’t really touched yet and I’m so excited to share. Stay tuned!

-K.

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Week In Review, Vol. VI

Well guys, we made it through the first full week of 2019, and I have to say, I’m killing it in the goals category! Believe it or not, I’ve been super good about sticking to my 2019 plan, doing my best to incorporate my goals into my routine in order to banish bad habits, and form new, healthier ones. How are you guys doing with your goals so far? I admit that midway through this week I had that “ohhhh do I HAVE to work out today??” feeling; however, once I pushed through my workout, I felt SO much better, and managed to have some of the best sleep I’d had in a while that night.

I managed to do a little post-Christmas sale shopping within the last couple weeks, so I have plenty of great finds to share with you today. Both of the sales that I shopped the week after Christmas are still going on so be sure to check those out; it’s a great way to get more bang for your buck on any gift cards you received over the holidays!

Quick Reads:

What I’m Reading: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

What I’m Watching: Dirty John and Vanderpump Rules on Bravo!

What I’m Listening To:

Sunflower // Post Malone, Swae Lee

Hospitalized // Broods

No Place // Backstreet Boys

Favourite Thing // Fleur East

Recent Purchases:

  • I’ve been looking for a new, affordable skin care line since I randomly had a reaction to the Clinique set I was initially using. My aunt recommended OLEHENRIKSEN’S A Brighter Truth vitamin C products. In researching these products, I found the A Brighter Truth Brightening Essentials Kit. Since I’m one of those people who likes to try sample products before I commit, this kit gives me the opportunity to try out the top three products I was looking at. I’ve already noticed a difference in my skin after two weeks, and will include more about this product in an upcoming post.
  • J. Crew Factory is having an awesome sale at the moment, so I picked up this adorable gingham dress, which will be perfect for summer parties or my upcoming trip to France!
  • Also at the J. Crew Factory sale, I purchased the work blazer simply because my current blazer has seen better days.
  • At the Banana Republic sale, I found this plaid racer-neck sheath dress, which will be perfect for work, as well as the Daria sunglasses. Unfortunately, they don’t have the exact tortoise shell print ones that I have, but the black are super chic. Plus, the shape will look fabulous on any face shape!

Looking Ahead:  Today’s goal is to purge my closet after telling myself that I’m going to for over a week now LOL. I’m still working on a content calendar for Q1, so – as always – feel free to comment below what topics you’d like to see on the blog this year!

What have you accomplished in your first week of 2019?

-K.

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Hello 2019!

Gearing up for the year ahead

Happy New Year, everyone! I can hardly believe it, but 2019 is here and I’m gearing up for a big year ahead of me. Not only do I currently already have big plans in the works, but I have some BIG expectations for 2019. I’m not usually the girl to claim that this will be “my year”, but I have a really good feeling about this year. Heading into 2019 with a positive mindset, solid goals, and enthusiasm is the formula for creating a great year for yourself.

Goals

It’s safe to say that I have the tendency to get a little too ambitious when setting goals for the year. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it doesn’t allow me to actually focus on achieving these goals, and I tend to slack on more than one (oops). As a means of holding myself accountable for these goals, I discovered and downloaded the HabitBull app on my phone. I’m using the free version that allows you to track up to five goals (there is a small fee to upgrade to the premium version that allows you to track more). It’s only been about a week, and I already feel as though I’ve progressed a lot in such a short time with these goals, so I’m excited to see how the rest of the year plays out!

  1. Be Mindful // This is my biggest priority this year. My intention with this goal is two-fold: to be conscious about what I’m putting in and on my body, as well as who and what I’m giving my energy to. Last year, despite physical and mental health being a major goal, I didn’t get where I wanted to be with it. I looked at it more as a chore, rather than a blessing that I have the ability to work out and choose what I eat. This year, I’m being hyper-conscious of what I’m eating, what workouts I’m doing, and how my body feels every day in order to be a healthier person; after all, we are only given one body, so why not take the best care of it. Additionally, in being mindful of who and what I’m giving my energy to, I plan to accomplish tasks one at a time and slow down in order to enjoy what I’m spending my time doing and who I’m with. In doing so, I’m cutting out negative people and tasks that aren’t necessary/don’t help me achieve what I need to or nourish my soul.
  2. Meditate, pray, and/or journal everyday // While I did this for the past few years, I didn’t make as much of a conscious effort as I would have liked to, and certainly didn’t go it every day. This year, I’m making it a part of my nightly routine. So far I’m finding that it is incredibly peaceful sitting down with my journal and Bible before bed and taking that quiet time for myself and God.
  3. Continue to expand my knowledge through an online class and Duolingo // I’ve said it before that if I could be a professional student, I would! Since I can’t, however, I plan on continuing my post-grad tradition of taking another online course to expand my knowledge. I adored the PRISM course by PR Couture that I took last year, so I’m debating if I want to do something similar to that, or take a different route with a field I’m not as knowledgable in. Additionally, I learned that one year is not enough time to become fluent in another language, so I’m continuing on with the Duolingo app this year.
  4. Be kind to myself // It is easy to get angry with yourself when things don’t go as planned or you’re not hitting your goals you’ve set as quickly as you’d like. I know I’m guilty of this and beat myself up about my shortcomings last year, so I’m making an effort to change that. This year, I’m not going to be as hard on myself — taking a rest day if I need it (not a rest week), eating a sweet treat on special occasions, etc. This way, I’m helping myself both physically and mentally.

Health Goals

  1. Drink more water // I’m really good about this most of the time at work; however, when I’m home and running around, this is something I’m HORRIBLE at. I’ve started carrying around a water bottle at all times so that I don’t have an excuse to not drink it. Also, I eliminated pop and most fruit drinks and cut down on (and mostly out, save special occasions) alcohol, so water, coffee and tea are really all that I have to choose from at the moment.
  2. Be active for a minimum of 30 minutes 5-6 days a week // Fun fact: I HATE working out, but I love the feeling after a good workout. I have a hard time with clear cut workout plans because I get bored with them. Plus, I do not like going to the gym so all of my workouts are done at home. Luckily, YouTube has a ton of FREE workout videos ranging from yoga to pilates to Barre and so much more, giving me the opportunity to switch up my workouts daily if I wanted to. By using this free resource, I’m saving money while still getting my sweat on.
  3. Cut out pop // This is a big one for me because I love Coca-Cola! So far, I’m doing well with this and not even craving it — then again, it’s only been a week, so we’ll see where it goes from here.

What’s Next?

As aforementioned, my calendar for this year is already filling up. I’m super excited to return to Europe this summer on a girls’ trip to take on FRANCE! This means that I’ll need to be more diligent in completing my Duolingo French course these next few months. In other exciting news, next week, Ry and I celebrate five years together, but that’s not even the best announcement… 2019 marks the end of long distance for us! Furthermore, I’ve received a few save the dates for weddings this year, plus I get to be the Maid of Honor at my best friend’s wedding this fall! My heart is soaring just thinking about how many exciting things are happening this year, and I can’t wait to share my stories with all of you for yet another year!

What are some goals/things you are looking forward to in 2019?

-K.

2018: Year In Review

Long time no chat, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, fun, and food. I most certainly did, which is why I haven’t been very active on my social channels nor the blog. I feel as though the holidays are a great time to unplug from the digital world, and focus on the things that mean the most to us. 2018 was a whirlwind to say the least – it started off slowly for the first six months, and then before I knew it, December snuck up on me.

Memories: A Brief Overview

So many incredible things happened this year – I’ve reached new highs and learned so much with Keeping It Kourtney, I’ve seen my boyfriend more than I have in the last 3 years combined since his new move, my little brother graduated from college, and my best friend got engaged! One of my personal achievements this year was this March when I successfully planned and executed my first out of state trade show for work. Additionally, I’ve grown a lot stronger in my faith in recent years, but this year, I made the decision to put it into practice more, which has made a huge positive impact in my daily life.

Lesson Learned: My Biggest Achievement

As much as I hate to admit it, I often find that I compare myself to other bloggers. I’ve based some of my content on things that I think want people to hear, rather than things I’m passionate about, and I allow the opinions of other people to cloud my own judgement of myself and what I should/shouldn’t post out of fear of rejection or criticism. The last two years, I’ve tried desperately to keep up the stereotypical “blogger image”, and pushed out content that I wasn’t 100% happy with just to keep up the consistency. Bottom line: It simply wasn’t me.

Earlier this year, I took the PRISM course by PR Couture, which made me deep dive into what exactly my brand is, and — in turn — who I am and how I want to portray myself to the world through my blog. While I completed the course a few months ago, the projects that I worked on didn’t fully resonate with me until shortly after when I began doubting my blogging ability. I’d been at this for about 5 1/2 years, and I had no paid collaborations or ad posts on Instagram to show for it. There’s nothing that will bring you to a hard stop like doubt and anxiety, and it really made me reflect on my history as a blogger. You know what I discovered? It’s totally okay, because that’s not why I started blogging in the first place.

Writing is my greatest passion, and I love being able to share my thoughts and ideas here. The internet is all about connecting and creating a community, and I’ve decided that I no longer want to push out content just to consistently create content — I want to write with a purpose. That’s why, when I was overcome with doubt, I didn’t give up on blogging. No, I don’t have the most readers nor an abundance of Instagram followers, but is that what this is really all about? Not at all. I decided to let my faith and passion outweigh the fear in me, and continue on because it was something that I love.

Keeping It Kourtney has been my space for nearly six years now, and it’s constantly evolving with me and my life. As a 24 year old woman navigating adulthood with a passion for writing, fashion, beauty, travel, food, and so much more that I haven’t even touched yet, I hope to connect with other like-minded women who can relate to what I’m thinking, doing, and feeling.

Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Needless to say, this was a MAJOR breakthrough for me this year, and I’m beyond proud of myself for overcoming the mental hurdles that tend to accompany blogging and social media.

A Concise Travel Summary

2018 was a big year in travel for me. Between return trips to places like Chicago and Mackinac Island to new locations including Atlanta and Vegas, my wanderlust was definitely fulfilled. In February, I partook in a road trip to Chicago with my mom, brother, and family friends to Chicago to see Hamilton. March took me to Atlanta, Georgia for a trade show for work. I flew out to visit my boyfriend in Maryland this May, where I returned to Frederick and Washington D.C., but also got to explore Baltimore and — one of my new favorites — Annapolis. Our family road trip in June provided me the chance to relish the beauty of my home state, and return to Traverse City and Mackinac Island. My final trip of the year was to Las Vegas this October; while it was a short trip, we had a blast and I can’t wait to return in 2019.

In Closing…

Thank you for sharing another year with me in my little corner of the internet. I may not post as much as I’d like to balancing work and family life, but if there is anything my readers take away from this particular post, it’s that I fully intend on putting my best foot forward coming into the new year. 2019 is bringing out the raw, unadulterated part of me that I’ve been itching to put out there for a while, but didn’t know how. I look forward to sharing this with you in the years to come.

Cheers to the new year!

-K.

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Week in Review, Vol. V

Happy December! It’s the most magical time of the year and, like most of you, I’ve been in full Christmas prep mode. Holiday engagements are already in full swing for me; In fact, I’m currently writing this while cooking for my annual Wine & Cheese Party with a few of my close friends and sorority sisters! Most of what’s been going on lately is solely work-related, and not much else besides holiday prep, so let’s dive right in, shall we?

Preparing for the holidays with J. Crew

Quick Reads:

What I’m Reading: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

What I’m Watching: Madam Secretary 

What I’m Listening To:

Sundress // A$AP Rocky

Roses (with Juice WRLD ft. Brendon Urie) // benny blanco

Project Dreams // Marshmello

I Couldn’t Be More In Love // The 1975

Miracle // CHVRCHES

Recent Purchases:

  • I have been obsessed with this J. Crew crewneck sweater for a while now, and finally took the plunge during their 50% off sale. I’m really into emerald and hunter green right now, but don’t own much of it, so I purchased it in the color “old forest”. I’m beyond ecstatic to style it!
  • Continuing on the theme of J. Crew: During the same aforementioned sale, I bought this belted sheath dress in Black Watch tartan for Christmas Eve. I love the classic look of the dress, and it’s so comfortable! Plus, it’s versatile – I can wear it for dress-y events such as our Christmas Eve party, or I can pair it with a blazer and wear it to the office. 
  • I also just got into essential oils, and purchased a premium starter kit with a diffuser after attending a Young Living party and learning more about them. With my health issues, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try the holistic approach. I’ll definitely be writing a post on my experience with them in the future when I have been able to properly test them out!

Latest Fashion Pick: Kate Middleton has recently been photographed sporting a velvet bow in her hair numerous times this season, which is giving me some serious inspiration. This next “it” accessory can be found everywhere from Target to Nordstrom.

Looking Ahead: 2018 is quickly drawing to a close, and I’ve been gearing up for Christmas! It’s my absolute favorite time of the year, but it’s also the busiest between preparing for the holidays, and wrapping up work for the year.  I’ve been working hard on both end of the year content, as well as my content calendar for Q1 of next year. I’m incredibly excited to try out some different types of content I haven’t touch yet, so stay tuned!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

-K.

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Week In Review, Vol. IV

Week In Review, Vol. IV

Hey hey hey! It’s been a minute since my last update, and life has been crazy lately so it’s time for a quick review of what’s been happening on my side of town. Since my quick trip to Vegas last month, I’ve been on hiatus with blogging since life happens; however, this is all starting to turn around this week. Life is slowing down a bit, the holiday season is upon us, and I could not be more thrilled! I love the holidays. Yes, I’m 100% that person that starts drinking peppermint mochas and listening to Christmas music right after Halloween NO SHAME! I digress, let’s dive into the recap, shall we?

Me and my guy after the wedding festivities in the Flamingo Garden

Vegas Recap: In early October, Ryan and I took a brief trip to Las Vegas for his friend’s wedding. When I say brief, I mean VERY brief…  like less than 48 hours brief. Anywho, despite it being super quick we had so much fun! Honestly, I never had a desire to go to Vegas, but we had so much fun in such a short amount of time that we cannot wait to return next year for my best friend’s bachelorette party. We stayed at the Flamingo, which is also where we spent most of our time in the casino, but  I was bummed that we didn’t get to see much of the strip on foot, though I did get to visit the Venetian while I waited for Ry to arrive, which was super cool and slightly trippy. Once he arrived, we all headed to Fremont Street (aka Old Las Vegas) for the evening. Since it was a Sunday night there was not a ton going on, but we enjoyed two of the outdoor concerts taking place. Our last adventure of the trip was ziplining from the roof of the Rio Hotel 500 feet above Vegas. If you know me, you know that I HATE heights! It ended up being an extraordinary experience, but one that I’m fine only doing once. If you have any recommendations of things we should see or do on our next trip to Vegas, leave a comment below!

Quick Reads:

What I’m Reading: A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

What I’m Watching: Manifest

What I’m Listening To:

Baby // Clean Bandit, Marina & the Diamonds, and Luis Fonsi

Without Me // Halsey

Speechless // Dan + Shay

Burning Man // Dierks Bentley & Brothers Osborne

Lover, Leaver // Greta Van Fleet

Higher // Social House

Mona Lisa // Lil Wayne & Kendrick Lamar

Close to Me // Ellie Goulding,   

Recent Purchases:

  • I just ordered these adorable leopard print flats from James Ascher and I’m hoping to get in a few wears with them before the snow falls!
  • Also ordered from James Ascher is the navy and orange Window Pane Open Front Shawl Jacket. The link was removed from the website, but you can see it in my Instagram fashion highlight!
  • I also recently purchased these Ellie Chelsea boots from Target for only $30 to replace my favorite Ralph Lauren booties (RIP) and I’m obsessed. I try to not spend a ton of money on boots for the mere fact that Michigan winters can be pretty gnarly and the sidewalk salt can destroy boots.
  • Finally, I purchased a Quip toothbrush. I’ve had my eye on it for a while, and have heard nothing but good things about the brand so I’m excited to see if it makes a difference. What really drew me to it was the price; it’s super affordable compared to other electric toothbrushes.

Latest Fashion Picks:

  • It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of layering, and this tweed coat from J. Crew would be the perfect top layer as the cold weather rolls in. Plus, tweed is always in style.
  • Believe it or not, my mom actually just picked up a pair of these Faux-Suede Stevie Pants from Old Navy and I want them in every color. Not only are they comfy, but they can be dressed up or down for most occasions.

Looking Ahead: In October, I fell off the workout wagon, so I’ve gotten back on the workout grind with some at home Pilates exercises. That being said, I plan on putting together a health/fitness post about the plan I’m sticking to for the next year, that will most likely come out in early January in lieu of my 2019 goals post. I also am excited to have the next week off of work for the Thanksgiving holiday, which will give me plenty of time to crank out some fun content I have for the blog through the end of the year! 

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

-K.

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