Recent Obsession

About 6 months ago I started going to the gym.  Five days a week.  And I’ve been able to keep it up minus a few weeks here and there – like when I started school and over the summer when I didn’t have the kids for a few weeks because they were with their grandparents in Indiana.  I started to get burned out right before I started school. And used school as an excuse to not go.

So, this last week I finally MADE myself go.  I hate coming up with routines on my own, I hate figuring out how to use the machines, I just feel totally lost, and quite frankly I can’t afford a personal trainer.  (My husband has lost 55+ pounds so he clearly knows what to do, but I hated what he made me do and I wasn’t seeing any difference on the scale…) So, I decided to try some new classes!

I have always wanted to try spinning (or cycling) classes.  But they’re a little intimating.  One of my friends LOVES going so I asked her for some advice and she helped put me at ease.  I decided to try the 30 minute “express” class.

First of all, my booty hurt way more then my legs did! HA!  That seat is UNCOMFORTABLE.  I burned almost 200 calories and went like 5 miles so that was great in 30 minutes!  I definitely felt a burn!  I’m trying to work myself up to the 55 minute class.  But I’m totally hooked!  Love it!  It’s challenging and I can go at my own pace.

Tomorrow I’m going to try Cardio kickboxing I think.  I know I need to do something with all the Halloween candy that will tempt me! :-)  I’ll be sure to post pictures of the kids.  I couldn’t find the right size costume (that wasn’t $40) for any of things I thought Noah would want to be. So, we settled on a ninja.  The adorable Asian toddler on the packaging may have greatly influenced my decision.

Zoe is going to be Queen Elsa from Frozen…Because there won’t be enough of them!

indexI’m really hoping that next year I can convince her to be something that’s not a princess.  She asked to be Cinderella again this year.  Her grandparents gave her a Minnie Mouse costume that was cute too.  I’m trying to embrace her love of princesses … But I’m just NOT a fan.  I’d even take Doc McStuffins at this point.

Wait, how did I get on the topic of Halloween?  Oh and no, I’m not dressing up.  I’m such a Halloween Scrooge.  I wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween growing up so I guess that’s why I don’t get that into it.  But it’s fun to see what everyone else does!

Christmas however … That is MY holiday!  (Totally cliche right?)

 

art school … who knew!

I can honestly say, 10 years ago I would have never believed you if you had told me I would be attending art school.  I am NOT known for my artistic abilities.  And that probably won’t change!  BUT, I am REALLY enjoying art school.  My major is fashion marketing and this is only my first quarter, but I’m in love.  This is my passion .. this is my “thing” and I always let my fears hold me back from pursing this.

Now, that’s not to say there haven’t been struggles in my first week and a half.  I can’t tell you how many times I have said (or thought), “What have I gotten myself into? Maybe I should quit.” You should also know, I don’t handle change gracefully and I’m a perfectionist, so if I don’t get it perfect right off the bat, I want to quit.  It’s really stupid, I know, but it’s how I am and I’ve been like that for as long as I can remember.

For my first quarter I’m taking 3 classes.  Fundamentals of design (which is a core class no matter what your major), art history (which is very time consuming for me, but I have already learned SO much!), and costume history.  Art history and costume history are only 5.5 weeks long, so I will start costume history when I’m finished with art history.

I didn’t get much of a high school education because of the ridiculous school my parents sent me to and I especially did not get any art education.  I’m not sure why I didn’t just explore or learn about these things on my own … But regardless, I am really discovering things now and I love it!  My 4 year old loves art too .. More then I ever did at her age!  She loves to create and sometimes I think she could do my homework better then I can!

Alright, well that sums things up for now.  I’ve got an essay, two projects, reading, and a trip to the store waiting for me!

Season of Life

Wow.  So many things have happened over the last week.  So many feelings and emotions.  And I have to remember to keep them in check.

I call it a “God thing” when certain events happen all in a row and God reveals Himself to me at the end.  Like, things come full circle.  Maybe if you’re a Christian you know what I mean.  And this last week, God was there every step of the way.

I was in such a poor mood.  Frustrated, annoyed, depressed, angry, stressed, more annoyed.  Each day I woke up I told myself I’d make it a good day and then one little thing would just set me off and I’d sabotage the rest of my day.

My husband and I weren’t (well, we AREN’T) seeing eye to eye on certain situations.  I want to do one thing, he wants to do another.  And I was having a hard time with that.  I was putting all my hopes and dreams and goals on this ONE step.  And when he was shutting the door on me, I just said, “To heck with it all then!  I’m not gonna try at anything!  What’s the point!”  And I started to feel the urge to hide again.  To shut myself out from the world (like I had done before) and just stay in bed.

I got on the phone (after crying almost the whole day) with a dear sweet friend who gave me a lot of things to think about.  One was that while yes, this one door seemed to be closed, it wasn’t the end of my WHOLE dream.  It just meant I needed to take a different path.  I can’t give up on my WHOLE dream over one bump.  (Which you’d think I’d realize that by now, but like I said, I let my emotions get the best of me!)

So each day I was feeling a certain way, I’d open my devotional and find a story, prayer, and Bible verse to walk hand in hand with what I was going through.

For instance, one day I was feeling like my life would never change.  That my life would always consist of diapers, sippy cups, laundry, cleaning, dishes, tantrums, and fighting.  And my devotional was about feeling stuck in a situation.  About how all that God ever wants from me is to want Him. Love him. Acknowledge Him.  The prayer was asking Him to help me see my situation with clear perspective. I also realized that this is just a season.  This isn’t how it’s going to be forever.  My circumstances might not change today or tomorrow, but my outlook can.  I can keep moving forward.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other to work towards my goals and my dreams.

Then there’s the whole self-confidence/self-esteem issue I have from time to time. Feeling like I can’t do certain things well or that I’m not doing certain things correctly or friends with certain people, because there’s something fundamentally wrong with me.  I’ve always felt like an outsider.  I think even in my own family.  I never felt like I fit in.  I was always different with a different life then anyone else.  Different ideas.  Different points of view.  I just always tried to shut off those differences to blend in more.

And so God came at me with TWO things.  One, don’t put the whole of your identity into the smallness of a situation.  Because again, this situation isn’t going to be forever.  It can’t define ME.  The scripture was Colossians 2:9-10 (NASB).  “In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.” I just want to emphasize – IN HIM, I HAVE BEEN MADE COMPLETE.

The second thing was listening to a sermon yesterday (from my phone! I love technology!) and the Pastor said “The more we know God, the more we’ll become ourselves.  We’ll be the people He created us to be.” The more I know Him, the more I read His LIVING word, the more I’ll become ME.  The more I’ll be the person He CREATED me to be.  Which goes back to Him completing me.

I always had a problem with people saying “She completes me.” or “He completes me.” when they talk about a significant other.  I just truly don’t believe any human can fulfill us like that.  It’s not a reasonable thing.  It doesn’t make sense to me.

I feel like I was all over the place today … I hope it makes sense or encourages you to seek God more in your life situations.  I tend to get so focused on ME and what I want, I don’t ask Him.  He already has a plan laid out for me.  It’s my job to seek Him in all things.  And no matter what happens, if I’m working towards His will for me, the path will be made clear.  Nothing can get in the way.

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The devotional I’ve been talking about is called “What Happens when Women Say Yes to God”  by Lysa TerKeurst and you can find it HERE.

FALL.

I do believe fall, is my favorite season.  It’s not too cold.  It’s not hot.  It’s like perfect weather.  But I live in Phoenix, so we still have another month or so of hot weather.  I’m anxiously waiting for it to get below 105 degrees.  Honestly, 90 degrees sounds beautiful.  (Which is so sad but that’s a true sign of living in the desert!)

Fall to me, means wearing things like this

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Source

plaid-shirtSource

 

Wire Knit Tights With Cardigan and ScarfSource

I have an obsession with sweaters, scarves, and boots.  I wish I could wear them year round!

What are your fall staples?

Not JUST a T-Shirt …

Take any t-shirt and add a little somethin’ something’ with these gorgeous pieces! Grab them on your way out the door!  Super easy and really versatile!

 

Jazz Up Tee

Silver Shiny Rings Necklace can be found HERE. Wear it with the rings, without the rings, long, or short!

Shimmy Rondelles Earrings can be found HERE.  I’m pretty sure these go with just about anything.

Indigo Mixed Chains Necklace can be found HERE. This can be worn long or short!

What do you think? Wardrobe essential? I think so!

Fall Accessories are HERE.

I can’t believe I still haven’t shared my Fashion Week experience with you.  To be honest, I don’t think I can put into words what that weekend did for me.  It was amazing.  It was my “cup filler” after being on empty for a LONG time.

BUT I HAVE TO share the new jewelry with you!  This catalog BLEW US AWAY!  Like we were jumping up and down like kids on Christmas morning.  It was a ballroom of like 500+ women who all clearly love jewelry – going nutso.  I mean when you see the catalog, you’ll understand why.  Yes, I did snap a pic of the cover as soon as I got it out of the envelope and started texting it to my friends and customers.  It was that stunning.

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We got our white envelopes sealed with a gold sticker and we were waving them in the air, DYING to open them!

IMG_3258It’s laid out like a fashion magazine and broken down by trend.  So it’s really easy to find YOUR style.  (But most everyone I’ve showed this to, likes at least one thing from each trend, no matter what their style!)

You really can’t go wrong.  EEK!  This is definitely our best catalog yet.

Here’s a few collages to give you an idea of what the trends are.

Au Naturel Chain Reaction Ladylike Luxe Radiant The New Vintage Town and Country

What do you think?!  Stunning, right?!  And I love that you can just glam up a t-shirt and jeans with a lot of these pieces.

Check out the full catalog on my website: www.cookielee.biz/courtneygist.  You won’t be disappointed!

Tell me your favorite pieces!  (It’s really hard to pick out inventory because I would take one of each. So I value your input!)