Thursday, June 30, 2016

Day Trip Essentials

Day trips are a great way to explore the beautiful parks, cities, and areas around you. They're also a great way to escape from day to day life without having to pay for a hotel or overnight stay somewhere. If you've been keeping up with my weekend wrap ups as of late, you'll know I've been on a couple different day trips over the past month. I've been to two state parks which you can read about here and here and Arbor Lodge if you'd like to read about those trips. I've got what I put in my bag for day trips down, so I thought I'd share with you what I take when I know I'll be out for the day!

Day Trip Essentials from Courtney's Little Things

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Day Trip | Arbor Lodge

A few weeks ago I went to Arbor Lodge, the home of the J. Sterling Morton who created Arbor Day. He and his family created a beautiful mansion from a basic four room frame house in the 1800s. The property more than 260 species of trees, which is fitting for the founder of Arbor Day. I took a ton of photos and thought I'd share some with you!

Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things
Day Trip | Arbor Lodge from Courtney's Little Things

I hope you liked looking at all my photos. I always like when other people post photo diaries of their trips, so I hope you enjoyed mine!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up No. 46

This week hasn't really been to exciting, but something very good is happening! I haven't talked about it on here, but I have been in a serious funk with my depression this month and it has been pretty bad. I haven't been motivated to do much of anything and haven't felt like talking at all. It's caused my parents to be concerned about me since it has been such a sudden and big change in my behavior. This week though, I have been starting to feel the fog of depression lifting and I'm starting to feel more and more like my normal self. So that is excellent news!

The best day of the week was Thursday when I went to the lake with my mom and sister for a little bit. I enjoyed reading a new book - Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou - while my sister sunbathed and my mom enjoyed the water.

Weekend Wrap Up No. 46

Friday I ran errands with my mom and we picked up a few new things for my apartment which I'll move into next weekend. I have to say the best part was when we stopped for some ice cream.

Saturday I had a bit of a lazy day, just watching documentaries. In the evening I had a blog day (can you call it that if it's just in the evening?). I wrote some new posts and edited photos for them and I am super excited to share them with you next month! 

Sunday I watched the movie Erin Brockovich with my mom. It's based on a true story of a woman who became a legal assistant and helped a small town in California win a lawsuit against a multimillion dollar company for poisoning the town's water which caused tons of health problems. It's a great movie that I highly recommend. And the best part is it's on Netflix, so you have no excuse not to watch it!

So that was my weekend. Not the most exciting, but it was a good laid back weekend. I also didn't take any photos during the weekend, so I don't have any to share for this week's weekend wrap up. 

Before ending this post, I would like some feedback from all of you! I started doing the Weekend Wrap Up last July, and since I'm coming up on one year of writing these posts almost weekly, I was wondering if you guys like these posts, or if you'd like to see a new type of personal post each week? I've been thinking about maybe switching it up to 10 things that happened each week. Let me know what you think of the weekend wrap ups and if you'd like to see me change up my weekly personal post in the comments. Of course, I'd also love to know how your weekend was and if you watched any good films over the weekend!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Why I Journal

I've been journaling off and on since 1st grade. With journaling for that many years, I've found lots of reasons to encourage me to continue to keep one. At different points I've used my journal to record what's happening, get out my thoughts and feelings on all the high school drama, figure out what I think about different topics, practice self-care, be creative, and keep memories. If you keep a journal you can probably relate to these reasons for keeping one. If not, maybe this list will make you want to start one! So without further ado, here are a few reasons why I keep a journal.

Why I Journal from Courtney's Little Things

Thursday, June 23, 2016

How to Make Your Dorm Look Good

For freshman and even upperclassman living on campus, it can be a challenge to make your dorm cute and functional. You only have so much space, chances are you're sharing it (especially if you're a freshman), and you have to be able to fit all you stuff in there! I lived on campus all four years (although 2 were in an on campus apartment) so I like to consider myself a bit of a pro at decorating dorm rooms. So here are a few ways you can spruce up your dorm room and make it your own.

How to Make Your Dorm Look Good | Tips on how to decorate your dorm room from Courtney's Little Things

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

50 Thoughts I Had While Reading Game of Thrones

I'm super late to the party, but I finally decided to give Game of Thrones a try. Unlike most people though, I decided to start with the books rather than the TV series. Personally, I'm glad I did because this book has been more of a challenge than the others I've read this year since it is so thick (nearly 700 pages) and I'm not sure I would be able to actually stomach all the violence if it was on a screen if I hadn't read it first to prepare me (although I'm still a bit scared to actually watch the series). Anyways, I really got into reading this book and found myself gasping when the unexpected would happen, cringing when a prince was crowned (ew!), and occasionally wanting to yell at the characters to get their act together. So I thought all these thoughts might make for a good blog post. 

Now if you haven't read the first book or seen the series, you may not want to read the rest of this post since it will contain a few spoilers. If you're curious though and okay with a little hint of what the book/series is about or an avid fan of the Game of Thrones TV series and feeling a bit reminiscent for the first season, keep reading!

50 Thoughts I Had While Reading Game of Thrones from Courtney's Little Things

Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up No. 45

Hello friends! I didn't do a weekend wrap up last week because after spending the weekend with friends and travelling to see all of them, I was a little too tired to write a post on Sunday. It was a good time though because I got to see them for the first time in a month and I picked up some things for my apartment when I move in in 2 weeks (eep!). Anyways, this week I started working on getting ready for student teaching in 2 months, did a lot of pinteresting, and baked some cookies.

Weekend Wrap Up No. 45 from Courtney's Little Things

Friday I spent the day with my youngest brother. We went to a few stores, visited the area I'll be living at in a few weeks, and ate at one of our favorite restaurants. I got some new things for my turtle and a new pair of shoes for when I start teaching this fall. After our day out I spent most of the evening catching up on some of my favorite blogs.

Saturday I went to a parade that my youngest brother was in (he played tenors with the high school band). I haven't been to the parade in a long time, so it was something fun and different to do. I liked seeing the different people come by and watching the little kids get super excited to see the different vehicles and get candy.

In the afternoon I edited some photos and did some blog reading before we celebrated Father's Day. My dad had to work on Sunday, so Saturday we took him out for dinner and he opened his presents.

Sunday I enjoyed a super lazy day. I know it's kind of ridiculous, but every once in awhile I really enjoy laying in bed all day (no exaggeration - all day). I spent the morning in bed in bed watching shows on Netflix and then the afternoon joining Twitter chats. I've been a little bit frustrated lately with blogging just because I've noticed my stats going down the past few months, even though I feel like I'm still putting out good content and keeping up with social media. It's really confusing and disheartening when that happens because all though I love the process of blogging, I do want other people to enjoy it. So it was good to see other bloggers talking about motivation for blogging and it got me motivated to continue. Yay blogger chats!

And here's some photos from the weekend:

Weekend Wrap Up No. 45 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 45 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 45 from Courtney's Little Things

So that was my weekend. A low key but good weekend that has me ready for a new week! How was your weekend? Did you celebrate Father's Day? What keeps you motivated? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Blogging and Confidence

I had a moment today where I realized how much more confident I've become. It's been a slow process, but I think blogging has a lot to do with it. So I thought I'd share with you how blogging has affected my confidence over the past 1.5 years. 

Blogging and Confidence | How blogging has affected my confidence. from Courtney's Little Things

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Best Movies To Watch On Father's Day

Father's Day is coming up soon! I've been thinking about dads and that got me thinking about movies with great father-child relationships. I've picked out a few of my personal favorite movies that fit that theme and show how much dads love their kids.

The Best Movies To Watch On Father's Day from Courtney's Little Things
The Best Movies To Watch On Father's Day from Courtney's Little Things

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Using A Bullet Journal On A Daily Basis

I've written posts before on my bullet journal, showing a look through all the pages and talking about why I like it. Despite having these posts here, I've never really told you how I use my bullet journal on a practical, every day basis. I thought now would be the perfect time, so here is how I use my bullet journal on a daily basis!

How I Use My Bullet Journal On A Daily Basis from Courtney's Little Things

Saturday, June 11, 2016

DIY Greeting Cards

One of the things I like to do is make my own cards to give people. I've been doing this for a few years - especially with birthday cards. I just think it's fun and makes the card feel a bit more personal for the person you're giving it to.

On my summer bucket list, one of the items is to "make a greeting card and send it to a friend." So I decided to make a few different ones and share them with you all! 

DIY Greeting Cards from Courtney's Little Things

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Sometimes it feels impossible to buy for dads. People like my dad and grandpa seem to have everything they need and their list of wants is very short (and boring). And going with the stereotypical tie for Father's Day is just lame and overdone! So I've put some thought into it, and here are a few gift ideas for Father's Day. 

Father's Day Gift Ideas from Courtney's Little Things
Father's Day Gift Ideas from Courtney's Little Things

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How to Get Into Reading

This year I've been getting back into blogging after not reading any books in 2015. I've already read 5 books this year and am working on book number 6. It's quite the change, but I've been loving it. I love reading new books, learning other people's thoughts on things, and delving into new worlds. When you're not into reading it can be difficult to get back into it, so I thought I would share a few ways I've found help me to get back into reading again.

How to Get Into Reading from Courtney's Little Things

Monday, June 6, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up No. 44

This week has been much better compared to last week (which was so slow). I stuck to a routine so I wouldn't end up sitting around as much and I would be more productive. It felt so good to be getting ahead on blogging (lots of posts scheduled) and making progress on my book and reading list. I also got out of the house more, even if it was just running a few errands or reading outside (my new favorite thing to do).

Weekend Wrap Up No. 44 from Courtney's Little Things

Friday I got my youngest brother and sister to go to Dairy Queen with me. I got the Royal New York Cheesecake Blizzard and it is so good, but next time I'll have to get a mini because it is so rich. Later in the evening me, my mom, and sister went to the movies! We went to see Alice Through the Looking Glass, which I've been super excited to see all year. I loved it. Alice is pretty much my hero and the fantasy world of Underworld is always an exciting place. I loved all the characters and getting some back stories to the White Queen, Queen of Hearts, and Hatter. 

Saturday I went on a little trip to The Homestead with all 3 of my siblings. It was a fun way to spend time with them and have a sibling day as we call it. I picked up a book in the gift shop there about a woman who walked all the way across the United States in the late 1800s with only $5. I can't wait to start it, but I have to finish my current read first! We walked around the park for a bit and took lots of photos and of course laughed a lot. Once we finished at the park, we went out to eat at our favorite local restaurant.

Sunday I slept in, helped my brother with his homework for his summer class, and picked up groceries. I know this is such an adult thing to say, but there's no such thing as just going to the store for "a few groceries." I had 6 things on my grocery list and walked out with 4 bags. Oops!

Then Sunday evening I took a bunch of Buzzfeed quizzes which told me my celebrity boyfriend is Nick Jonas, I'm Summer from 500 Days of Summer, I like Dreamworks movies more than Disney, and confirmed that I've watched The Office way too many times. 

And here's some photos from the weekend:

Weekend Wrap Up No. 44 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 44 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 44 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 44 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 44 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 44 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 44 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 44 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 44 from Courtney's Little Things

How was your weekend? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Day Trip | Indian Caves

This summer I made a summer bucket list for myself and a lot of the items were little day trips to go on. There are quite a few quality state and local parks around my area, so I thought this summer wold be the perfect opportunity to explore a bit more. A month into my summer and I've already been able to cross off one of those trips from my list! So if you're interested, here's a few pictures and a bit about my first day trip of the summer!

Day Trip | Indian Caves from Courtney's Little Things

Thursday, June 2, 2016

June Goals

May has been a decent month. I'm not going to say it was the best ever, but I got into a good summer routine, celebrated a few big moments with my family like my sister graduating from high school and my mom's birthday, and I've enjoyed my time at home. June will probably be more of the same, and that's okay with me. 

Before we get into my goals for June, let's take a look back on how I did with my goals for May.
Goal #1: Wake up at 8 am.☑ I've been able to do this most every day. There are some days I lay in bed for an hour on my phone before getting up out of bed and sometimes end up falling back to sleep, but for the most part I am up and out of bed at 8 am each day.
Goal #2: Start working. ❌ Welp, this didn't happen. I didn't get any of the jobs I wanted because I'm only available for 3 months in the summer. I didn't end up going back to my old job because the thought of having to waitress again just made me miserable.
Goal #3: Catch up on blog reading. ☑ This is a bit of a work in progress, but I have been doing better with keeping up with blog post by saving new posts in a different folder than the 400+ posts from the past 6 months. So each week I save new posts from Bloglovin in my posts to read folder and read through all of them before reading a couple from the old folder with 400+ posts. 
Goal #4: Read Seriously, I'm Kidding. ☑ I read it! It wasn't as good as I was hoping it to be. The chapters just felt a bit pointless.
Goal #5: Work out twice a week. ❌ Nope! Didn't happen. I think I made it to the gym twice all month. I just hate getting ready, driving to the gym, trying to find a machine, and all the rest that goes along with going to the gym. 

Now that we've caught up on how last month's goals went, let's talk about goals for this month!

June Goals from Courtney's Little Things
June Goals from Courtney's Little Things

Make better use of my growing stamp collection.

As you may know, I have a bit of a stationary addiction. I keep buying stamps that are cute and would work great in my planner or bullet journal, but I rarely use them! This month I want to use them more often, especially in my bullet journal since that tends to get less decorated then my planner.

Join at least one Twitter Chat a week.

I got really into Twitter chats at the end of last summer, but sometime over winter I just stopped joining in. I miss talking to other bloggers and finding other blogs that way, so I'm going to get back into them this month. Since I haven't done them in so long, I'm not really sure when they are, so if you have a favorite chat or are hosting one soon, let me know the day and time (+ time zone please!).

Continue to wake up at 8 am Monday - Friday.

I like waking up at a decent time in the morning so I can still enjoy the day, so I'm going to keep waking up at 8 am on my goals for this month. 

Walk 2-3 miles at least twice a week.

It turns out, I hate going to the gym. I just feel like I waste so much time driving there, getting ready, blablabla. But I love going for walks and doing more active things outside. So instead of trying to convince myself to go to the gym, I'm going to just try to go for a decent walk a few times a week. This is much more likely to happen then using the eliptical at the gym.

Those are my goals for this month! Are you setting any goals for this month? Let me know in the comments!

Related Posts:  May GoalsApril Goals

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

May Favorites

May has been a pretty good month for me. Lots of readjusting to being back at home with my family everyday rather than just spending the weekend with my parents and youngest siblings. Being back with them is fun since there's always someone in the house to spend time with and help you out, but it can be annoying since your basically a kid again and your parents check on you all the time (where are you going? why do you spend so much time in your room?). So with the goods and annoyances of being back home, I'm really enjoying having free time since I don't have any classes (for once). I've been able to get lots of blogging, reading, and crafting done which is always fun for me. Anyways, let's get into the list of favorites for this month.

May Favorites from Courtney's Little Things


I have really been enjoying The Achromat's daily vlogs this month. They're short and sweet, which is something I like in videos, and I love how she puts the videos together - not too much talking and no long boring sequences. I've followed Abigail for awhile on her blog and Twitter, but I feel like these daily videos have let me really get to know her. Plus I just love how nosy these videos let me be. So if you have time for a little bingewatching on YouTube, give her videos a look!


I have been loving Pink's new song, Just Like Fire! It's so good! I love the music, Pink's voice, and the lyrics. I turn the volume up whenever this song comes on the radio while I'm driving.


I started reading A Game of Thrones since hearing about the TV series all the time has made me curious about it. I went through a period where I wasn't quite sure if I liked it or not. I was okay with all the violence until one of the pups died, and then I was like why can't anyone just be nice in this book!? Despite not liking all of the violence and ya know, the lowly position of women, I can't put it down. I like the different perspectives you get as the story unfolds and just delving into a different world since I've been stuck on nonfiction books for a while. It requires a lot of attention to keep up with the story line and all the back stories, but it is a good story and hopefully I'll finish it in June!


Brainbean. I really like this app since it gets your creative juices flowing with the different games/activities. The app is free and has 8 different games you can play. My favorites are the Incomplete Drawing, the app gives you a line or two and then you have to complete the drawing using those lines, and Letter List, the app gives you a letter and you have to spell as many words tthat start with that letter as you can in 90 seconds.


Cucumber tea sandwiches. I tried these at the end of April for the first time and have been obsessed ever since. While I'm not much of a fan of eating cucumbers alone, they taste amazing on bread with some cream cheese, mayo, and dill. It tastes so fresh and perfect for spring and summer!


I have been loving the half up hairstyles this month. Maybe it's because it makes me feel like Ariana Grande (if it's a good hair day) or maybe it's just because it's convenient. Some days I just pull it back loosely in a clip, some days just a half ponytail with natural hair, and if I'm feeling fancy I curl it when it's half up. (Clearly I am not a beauty blogger, but I felt like telling you all).


Thrifty Vintage Fashion. I always enjoy reading Nicole's blog. She does a lot of numbered posts that make for fun and easy reads. Her 10 Amazing Spotify Playlists You Need to Listen To has helped me find some new playlists to listen to.  I also liked her post at the start of the month with a few ways to Spring Clean Your Blog. Aside from enjoying so many of her posts and how kind Nicole is, I also love her new series on feminism that started with this post: 50 Reasons Why I Am A Feminist. I agreed with each point on her list and love that she's writing about feminism.

These have been my favorites this month. What have you been loving this month? Let me know in the comments!

Related Posts:  April FavoritesMarch Favorites