30 Day Gratitude Challenge

Life happens. Life gets in the way.

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Work.

Family.

Friends.

Bills.

Relationships.

Mental Health.

Physical Health.

Self-Worth.

The world.

Life happens, and life gets in the way.

How blessed we are to live it, to wake up each day and know that we get another chance, another 24 hours.

I have been having some pretty shocking struggles in the last six or so months. So rather than sitting here struggling to think of topics to write about, working out what rabbit hole to send my mind down instead of circling the drain – where to go intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Instead of uncertainty, confusion and the back and forth nonsense, I am going to focus on a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge.

Wish me luck, and please tag me in your comments or share my posts and let me know what you think.

x Courtney Gaye 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

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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!

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*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 :).

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My #instabreak (read: #instarelief)

A week and a bit ago, I decided to deactivate my travel Instagram page, @courtney_brisbaneblogger. It was a choice I battled with over and over and for the first couple of days, I honestly was not sure if I had made the right choice.

Now I can honestly say, I made the right choice. I am not waking in the morning and checking Instagram, worrying about the stats. Worrying that I am not getting notifications from the same people, being disheartened by the lack of engagement.

I miss the contact of several people, absolutely – but for the sake of my mental health, I have to tell you – it is the best choice I could have possibly made. I absolutely want to get back on there one day, although I wonder if there is, in fact, a way to clean-out my followers and those accounts I am following – without re-activating my account.

….

So I waited a week before I continued this post, just to see if my opinion had changed at all. It has not, thankfully. This last week I have been able to concentrate on my business, my work, and my I.R.L friends. I have not been caught up in algorithms and phony human-contact, hashtags, and scrolling through the same photos over and over again.

I can slowly feel my creativity coming back to me, I felt porous, leached dry of any genuine creativity when I was playing such close attention to my lifestyle/travel IG. There are quite a few people I have connected with, through text and message – those who genuinely understand the need for a break.

What I find to be completely amazing though, is the gorgeous woman who started our niche #gram tribe, also was going through the same thing! I had no idea when I was at our meetup (the night before I deleted/blocked everything) and looking at this incredible woman in the flesh, that she too was looking at taking a break. I’ve just checked and yep, this woman -who I really admire, has also taken a break from the gram.

The thing is, it is and is not real life, as much as any one thing can be both and both not something. You look at places, some genuine shots, genuine moments and then there are the pre-meditated, posed, screen-show masterpieces which are popular. It is fictitious, it is vacuous and do you know what? It is not inspiring. Not at all. It creates a breeding ground of doubt, of comparison and of an intrinsic sensation of failure.

I know there are people out there who are personally offended by my choice to delete my page or to stop communicating with them. All I can say is it is personal 100%. It was personal to me and I am feeling lighter, breathing deeper and my social media anxiety is fading.

Thank goodness.

Another thing to remember, social media is not real-life and other people’s actions are always made for THEM, not for you and that is A-OK.

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#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 ❤

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The Art of Tidying – Day 1

Marie Kondo – the gorgeous, effervescent and mess-hungry Japanese genius, has inspired me (inspired/frightened) to attempt to simplify my life.

The art of tidying seems like a concept so far beyond what I am capable of that I am writing this to keep myself accountable. So, can it be done? I’m not sure (sorry, Marie). I am not dirty, but I am messy. I am not a hoarder, but I love my belongings.

I’ve attempted the occasional spring-clean, I like to get rid of clothes which I know I am NEVER going to wear again, yet the act of simplifying my life and being appreciative of less belongings, almost feels like I am throwing all of those belongings away irresponsibly. I do not live a ‘rich’ life, but I am well above the poverty line.I have debts to pay but I can certainly purchase the necessities in life.

My Husband and I live in a two bedroom, two bathroom unit. We have one small garage which stores the majority of our…’stuff’. G uses the spare room cupboard and I use the master bedroom cupboard. We have separate bathrooms for the most part and the spare room has our spare bed for guests and is quickly becoming my workspace.

Today I am going to try step 1 of KonMarie, I want to transform my space and I am certainly open to transforming my life. The idea and concept that I keep things in my possession which #sparkjoy only, is something I want to embrace. My Mum is a champion when it comes to throwing things that bring no joy – that woman can do a sweep of the house and an impressive tip-run with the snap of her fingers. Yet I carried around every magazine I had ever bought from ages 12-18 until I was in my mid-twenties. Even then they were only turfed because of the 2011 Brisbane floods.

So. Marie Kondo, #sparkjoy, tidying, what is the concept behind it?

Well – it is choosing #joy. There are six basic rules of tidying:

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle
  3. Finish discarding first
  4. Tidy by category, not by location
  5. Follow the right order
  6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

Kondo is very clear about this process following a specific order. You MUST begin with clothes, followed by books, papers, miscellany and mementos.

So – today, Sunday 13 January 2019 – will be clothes.

Wish me luck!

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My 10 Favourite Christmas Movies

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Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Christmas movies, are there ever too many?! The answer is no, oh and that is a non-negotiable stand-point on the matter.

Christmas movies are the best, they are my favourite, some people wait for Bublé to crawl out of his cave, some wait for Mariah to step off that swivel chair she is dragged around on…I wait for the Griswold’s, the McCallister’s, John McClane, for Billy Mack to offend all that is Christmas music and for Aurelia’s family to think Jamie has come to kill her.

Christmas movies are my sugar-hit when it comes to December. That and putting up my tree, which looks freaking amazing this year just quietly. #rosegold for the win on that won!

So, without further delay – here they are, my top 10.

10. Die Hard

9. Office Christmas Party

8. Four Holiday’s

7. The Family Stone

6. Bad Santa

5. The Holiday

4. Home Alone 2

3. Home Alone

2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

1. Love Actually

I have to know, what are your favourite Christmas or holiday movies?

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