Extreme Engagement, and why #couplegoals is toxic.

I treated Extreme Engagement the way I treat a packet of Tim-Tam’s, greedily, by myself and with audible exclamations.

Filmmaker, multi-award winning cameraman, journalist & television presenter Tim Noonan and United Nations award-winning reporter, producer, writer and news anchor together are the brains and (phenomenal) skills behind Extreme Engagement.

This show, which if you haven’t watched yet, get on it (!), premiered on Netflix this week and it is incredible. At first, I was a little worried I would be sitting down to some fluffy Bachelorette-typed love story with a couple swanning around to different destinations.

Wrong. There is no swanning. This is travel at its rawest and this is a couple who spent two years apart following their engagement. My husband and I were long-distance for around 18 months and when we were together we had struggled over small things. I can only imagine the volcano it would have been if we were in the middle of nowhere, struggling with language and not sure how to communicate with one another.

I know that I get the shits if he takes me somewhere he has been before, my mind kicks into overdrive – who was he here with, what memories does he already have here, why does he want to come back.

Sidenote: I am a far more jealous human being than either Tim or PJ, as is my Husband and so this 12-month experiment would have lasted approximately one week and I would have packed my bag and bailed out to the comfort of my home.

I think it is important to travel with your significant other. Not just on some all-you-can-eat, booze-infused trip, but head somewhere together where you are both out of your depth. This will challenge you to work together or work against each other. Take a deep breath before you lose your shit in the underground because neither of you speaks French and you can’t read the signs (me).

When I finished this show (and desperately wanted more), I realised that there is no such thing as #couplegoals, and there really shouldn’t be. We all have our own journey’s and our own adventures, arguments, highs and lows.

Thank you for sharing your journey with us, it was raw and realistic and I have never empathised with a couple more through the t.v. It affords you that very rare opportunity to see both sides of the coin and it challenges your beliefs, stand-point and any pre-conceived stance you may have.

IMG_2892When I was watching this it reminded me that fighting with your significant other does not mean we are compatible. It’s how you approach disagreements and troubles in your relationship that matters. Screaming and losing your shit doesn’t mean you don’t belong together. Choosing to work through it, work out your problem-solving approach and how you come back together after a disagreement is what matters.

I wouldn’t change my relationship for anything in this world, and PJ and Tim sharing their lives in this binge-worthy show only reinforced this for me.

I won’t offer any spoilers, but honestly, this journey was amazing from start to finish – I binged it over a Thursday night and finished it on my Friday lunch-break. It left me wanting more, I have the utmost respect for both Tim and PJ and I wish them all the happiness and love in the world.

Also, pretty sure my next holiday needs to be to Yanaba, immediately.

To watch Extreme Engagement click here.

x Courtney x

Thank you for reading my post! I am a Brisbane based creative and blogger. I do not receive payment for my blogging, and in the event, I have been gifted any products and items, I will always mention this. I live with my Husband, make hand-crafted household and personal eco-friendly items, accessories, and provide photographic services when requested.

If you enjoyed my post, I would be so appreciative if you left me a review and liked this post.

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For any wholesale, product sale, blogging or photographic requests – please email me at hello@courtneygayecreative.com.

Picture credits: MEAWW / Netflix / Courtney Gaye

 

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Organic Beauty Wipes – worth the hype?

I have long been the woman who uses her fingers to put makeup on, has the one brush for anything in powder form, and approaches skincare like a male farmer in his fifties (water and soap, right?).

I know that I should have started a skin-care regime years ago, lord knows my mother encouraged me too (sorry, Mum). Every now and then I have been somewhat committed but then, of course, I get bored with the whole thing. My bathroom is smaller than most people’s, the counter surface is minimal and the last thing I need is 50-thousand different products cluttering up the area, so anything deemed excessive or complicated gets the boot when I am cleaning.

Recently I decided to add to my collection of sewn products and try my hand at beauty wipes, and you guys I – AM – CONVERTED!

I have used these beautiful wipes for cleanser, exfoliant, toner, in applying and removing face mask products, I have even used them as nail polish remover pads.

If you are at all interested in making a purchase, I would be so thankful and chuffed! Free Domestic postage is available, Afterpay is available and $1 from each sale is going to Black Rainbow Australia for the month of June, I really want to crack my $100 fundraising goal!

x Courtney x

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Thank you for reading my post! I am a Brisbane based creative and blogger. I do not receive payment for my blogging, and in the event, I have been gifted any products and items, I will always mention this. I live with my Husband, make hand-crafted household and personal eco-friendly items, accessories, and provide photographic services when requested.

If you enjoyed my post, I would be so appreciative if you left me a review and liked this post :).

Lemon Delicious – my Paleo Lemon Curd 🍋 🍋 🍋

🍋 I adore Lemon Curd. Lemon Butter. Lemon Meringue. Lemon Tart. Lemon Water. Lemons. All of the lemon varieties.

There is just something alluring with the bitter + sweet collision any lemon desserts bring.

After consuming my body weight in homemade lemon butter before Christmas last year, I decided that I needed to find a better approach. I’ve tried other sweeteners, but I find the fake stuff to be too chemically in its taste and the natural sweeteners I find to be a little overwhelming with their taste.

So, I decided to try a few different kinds of honey. This has been a real trial and error process, but I can honestly say that my latest batch is my favourite. I was fortunate enough to be able to make this batch with organic lemons and organic free-range eggs from my brother and my Mum, which I think makes it even more special that this was the batch that finally worked!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest
  • .5 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 medium to large eggs
  • .3 cup of organic honey (you can use less for a more tart experience or more for sweeter. Remember that the honey is your only sweetener here so your taste will be quite personal)
  • 6 tablespoons of fractionated coconut oil

Method

  1. Zest the lemons, placing the zest aside into one bowl
  2. Juice the lemons (trust me, you do not want to try and zest an already-juiced lemon)
  3. Place the eggs, honest and lemon zest into a small to a medium saucepan, whisk gently (be sure not to split the mixture, stir it gently and make sure your yolks have been separated)
  4. Stir mixture over the low heat until the mixture is slightly thickened (the best way to test this is to lift your whisk above the pot and see if the mixture is slightly sticky as it drips)
  5. Once the mixture is a pale yellow and thickened (as above), slowly pour your mixture of oil & lemon juice in, one tablespoon at a time (a rough estimate from a pouring jug will be fine!), ensuring you continue to gently whisk the mixture.
  6. Continue whisking the mixture until it begins to gently bubble, this can take a while so no need to stir vigorously, just take your time and do not let the mixture burn.
  7. I like to can my curds, so if you are doing this, make sure you rinse any glass jars with hot water and sterilise in the oven before pouring your lemon butter into it.
  8. Make sure you strain the mixture before you store it, to ensure you have no cooked egg lumps or any lemon zest in your final mixture.

IMG_7420This mixture will last 2-3 weeks in your fridge, however, I am willing to bet it will be eaten before then!

If you try it, let me know!

Thank you for reading my post and supporting my charity-drives from month-to-month.

As mentioned on my Instagram, I am raising money this month for Black Rainbow Australia. This organisation is fantastic and you can read more about them here.

If you would like to donate to my fundraising cause for the month please feel free to donate through my PayPal account here:

You can follow me on Instagram here.

 

My business Facebook page can be found here.

If you would like to be kept up to date on items for sale, new arrivals, special discount and updates on my fundraising you can subscribe to my newsletter here.

x Courtney Gaye x

Gratitude Journal – Day 5 -Financially

Gratitude Journal – Day 4 -Financially

It is said you should not talk about politics, sex or money in public settings or with people you do not trust. I have had people absolutely freak out in the past when I have asked them how much they earn. I suppose given I am Gen-Y, I really did not consider it to be a rude question, I was curious, I also never became jealous at someone else’s wage. We weren’t doing the same jobs, we had different industries and qualifications, why wouldn’t I just be happy for my friends?

In terms of gratitude, I might take a different route here.

money pink coins pig
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

I am thankful for how my parents taught me too look at and deal with money.

We were not rich, my parents worked two jobs each at any one time and my Mum was back at work within two months of having her babies. They worked so hard. They did not complain about it, it was instilling in us that there are no hand-outs. If you want something, you need to work for it.

When I was 14 and 9 months I started working. Here in Australia and back in 2001, that was the age you needed to be to start working. My parents had pretty high expectations of me in terms of being accountable with money. My first pay week I was paid $64 (such a strange thing to remember eighteen years later).

I remember paying $40 for a Billabong school bag, I bought a coke and a couple of magazines and that was that, pay gone. Yes, I said school bag. I had an old bag from a proper bag shop but I was 14 and I too wanted a brand-name bag. It was sky blue and gorgeous. It was completely impractical, squashed all of my things and was not comfortable but I was so proud that I had paid for it.

The next pay Mum and Dad let me know I would need to pay board weekly, buy my own toiletries and anything else I wanted. I had so many people around me freak out about this. They thought my parents were being unfair. Which they weren’t.

I have had a budget since I was 15, I know what needs to go where and when. I had an ING account at 16, long before it was easy to do so. That’s not to say I have been super responsible with money, I have absolutely blown the budget, ended up in debt, paid interest rates which would make your eyes water and purchased a stack of sh*t I in no way needed.

person writing debt on paper
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I’ve also travelled around the world. I own my car. I have a few clothes, not from k-mart and I have a photography kit I am very proud of. My spreadsheet is still going strong, I manage my money well, and I have such a healthy appreciation for working for your money.

I work my butt off, I have my side business selling accessories for a very small profit which I donate to charity. I married a man who treats income and money the way I do. We have goals and plans and we know that we are the only ones who will achieve them.

The world owes you nothing. You are responsible for your own financial situation. Of course, I am not including anyone who has been the victim of fraud or who has been financially dependent on someone and had that taken away, but from two people who were raised by four people who still work their arses off to live the life they want, just know that you can do it.

adult background beach blue
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

My tips *not at all endorsed by any financial advisor or with any actual technical knowledge*

  • Short-term payday loans are a horrendous thing. Do NOT do them. You will absolutely screw your credit rating and if you are not diligent in your repayments you are looking at incredibly high-interest rates.
  • Afterpay is NOT responsible for your debt. You are. Afterpay has been set-up to provide a take-home lay-buy service. You read the T&C’s, signed on the dotted line and committed to your repayments. If you end up taking on more than you can repay, then I am sorry that’s on you. It is not a financial ‘trap’, there is absolutely no additional money you need to fork out if you make your repayments on time.
  • Do not avoid debt collector phone calls. They are legally obligated to strike a deal with you to repay your debt. Ignoring these calls does not make the issue go away. It becomes more expensive and you are seriously jeopardising your credit rating in doing so. Take the call, accept responsibility and come to an agreement.
  • Do NOT declare bankruptcy there are always steps before this. Declaring bankruptcy may seem ideal because in some circumstances they ‘wipe’ your debt. Do you know what else is wiped? Your right to travel internationally, work in any insurance or banking field or obtain any credit for who knows how long!

Ask for help, speak up – contact your bank. As for extensions, ask for help. Stop taking debt. Know that you have choices, always.

x Courtney x

 

 

2019 Autumn Trends

It is safe to say that nobody has ever accused me of being particularly fashionable or on-trend. Despite this small set-back, of having zero fashion sense, I am still interested in trends, styles and most importantly, colours!

As my little business continues to grow, I do have an interest in staying in touch with what the best hair trends are.

In terms of the next 9 big hair trends for 2019, as predicted by the experts (and referenced by Harpers Bazaar), they are as follows:

  • Blunt Bobs
  • Grey hair
  • Super-straight
  • Adult accessories (yay for Rock it Like a Redmond!!!)
  • At-home colour
  • Modern top-knots
  • Glossy hair
  • Big volume
  • Lilac makeovers

My hair is thick, heavy, dense and long. It is also red. So the thought of having a blunt bob is terrifying because in 1996 I attempted this and I looked absolutely ridiculous.

Grey hair can look absolutely amazing on some people, I just don’t think it is for me.

Super straight hair just reminds me of the smell of the GHD going through my hair for hours on end, only to go outside, be hit by humidity and putting my hair back up in a bun anyway.

Adult accessories are where I am at, given I am making scrunchies, bandanas, hair wraps and scarfs, I am pretty pumped that these are a real thing at the moment. Plus they look adorable!

At-home colour is pretty much how I spent many hours in my bathroom from 2001-2013, so the thought of dying my hair ever again is also out. I also always managed to bust through the gloves and end up with stained hands/neck/forehead – the works.

Modern top-knots. Look, I have no idea what this means but my hair has pretty much been in a bun since I was 8 years old and I am not about to change that. So I feel like I have this covered.

Glossy hair. Completed unachievable for me. My hair is like horse-hair. Only less impressive and less glossy. Power to all of you that have pretty hair, my jealousy is next level.

Big volume. I am there, no need to work on that! Also willing to donate hair to anyone who needs some. Seriously I could provide wigs for a family of four.

Lilac makeovers – I wish I could do this. I have loved looking at people with pretty pink hair and I hope I see more of the lilac colour!

If you are after any hair accessories, and you like to support charity, then please check out my shop – $1 from each item sold goes to charity, they’re cute as hell and you can be a part of the on-trend movement! #yay.

Shop Hair Accessories

What’s your favourite style?

x Courtney x

Baxter Blue Eyewear Review – Part 1

I spend way too much time looking at screens, not only with my social media, using my phone and running mybusiness, but I also work in front of a computer for 8 hours of the day, and that is just in my paid employment.

Often i will come home with eye-strain and headaches. I wear glasses at work, but that was to reduce glare, rather than as prescription. I have been seeing the ads for Baxter Blue glasses for a couple of weeks and Ifigured at a relatively affordable cost, it was worth trialling them.

I ordered them on Thursday and here we are on Monday morning and I have them, that is one hell of a fast turnaround! The style I was originally after were sold out, so I went with the ‘Clark / gloss black’ style – gotta love those strong lines and a classic style!

ACS_0575[1]My first impression is they are incredibly light and are a nice fit, I can actually feel (see?) the difference? My eyes feel less strained. I can see the difference looking at the screen, my eyes are hurting some, but I think that is because they are no longer straining, it will likely take some getting used to.

I will trial these for the week and see how I am at the end of the week, I go home with incredibly tired and itchy eyes most days, so if these provide even 10% relief, I will be thankful!

Baxter Blue provides a person in need a pair of reading glasses for each set sold – so seeing as 2019 is all about the year of giving for me, this gives me the warm and fuzzies. They have partnered with RestoringVision to provide this wonderful service, a not-for-profit organisation who has distributed over 7 million pairs of glasses to those in need since 2003.

My gorgeous new frames are going to: filter out 50% of harmful bue violet light, let the good blue light in, alleviate my digital eye strain, add contract to define characters on screen (I can see this already!),  fight reflections, avoid scratches and look pretty darn cute.

I will see how I go for the week, and provide an update for anyone who, like me, is heavily involved in digital screen time!

Courtney Gaye Signature copy

*This is not a sponsored post, I will always honestly review items which I have bought and am trialling for myself.

Kind February <3

IMG_0972[1]Being charitable should be a daily task, like brushing your teeth or having a shower. Sadly, we sometimes only remember to be charitable when there is a particular function/event/drive and there is a chance to promote a particular organisation or cause.

My mission this year is to be charitable every day, in many different ways.

In November & December, I littered our kitchen with canning equipment, trays of fruit, far too much sugar and sterilised jars.

As it approached Valentine’s Day, I can honestly say my Husband is ready to lock me in the backroom to stop me from dropping thread and cotton and pins throughout our two-bedroom unit, as though I am personally shedding these items from my body.

IMG_2609[1]I have no intention of slowing down with my creations, I may have a pretty solid case of #scrunchiethumb and hear the sound of my sewing machine in my sleep, but I feel so good about my creations!

So, how can you help? Well, first of all, Lee is holding a pretty bloody cute Pop-Up Kissing Booth with her dutiful and cuddly Aussie Bulldog, Derek. If you are in the South-East Queensland area, then this event is for you – the details can be found here.

Your gold coin donation will go directly to the support of vital medical research products funded by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

February and March, my donations will be going to Cancer Research Australia, an organisation I was made aware of through my friend Lee, who is fundraising for this incredible charity throughout 2019. I am hoping to reach the $100 mark for them, as I did for Orange Sky Laundry.

I hope to see all of your gorgeous photos taken with the kissing booth and there will also be a few prizes given out for the winning photo of each location! You will go into the draw to win a dog kerchief + scrunchie combo, created by Rock it Like a Redmond :).

Courtney Gaye Signature copy

#thegram – an update, it’s time to ditch

The other day I wrote about how I was feeling towards #instagram and my travel/blog account.

Yesterday there was an incredible meet-up, for a travel group I was heavily involved in and truly loved. Given my feelings lately towards Social Media, and Instagram in particular – I was tossing up whether or not to go. I really wanted to meet the woman who had put the group together and had been so incredibly generous, kind and inclusive to all of us. There were a few other local girls I had chatted to on the platform and wanted to meet.

Despite my anxiety being a 15/10, I went and it was so lovely to ‘meet’ these people I have spoken with for a year and a half. Sadly my anxiety got the better of me and I had to leave. I only lasted around 45 minutes and my need to leave and get to my safe-place, home.

captureLast night I was so worked up with anxiety and stress related to my Instagram page that I actually decided this morning to A) delete my travel page I started with another person and B) temporarily (perhaps permanently) deactivate my personal travel / blog page.

This is no reflection on the wonderful members of the community I was part of, however I can honestly say I feel better about it already.

It is time to go back to enjoying my writing, getting my business off of the ground and centering myself. Thanks to everyone who has supported me, read my posts and encouraged me. I may or may not reactivate @courtney_brisbaneblogger / @courtneygaye travels, but for now I think I will just take a break and get back to what I really love.

I hope to see you around the traps otherwise, take care and look after yourselves and the things you love ❤

Courtney Gaye Signature copy