Brittany Ann Courtney

Brittany Ann Courtney

A fashion and style blog for the lover of all things sunny and bright.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Open Coat Cardigan + Pastels





Happy Monday everyone. I am going to go ahead and pretend that Spring is here to stay. I don't understand how it was a winter wonderland here in Winston three days ago, but then yesterday it was 55 degrees and full sunshine. I mean seriously, how do you explain this? Did you see my instagrams of the snow here & here?! Crazy!

This open coat cardigan comes in a pretty pink color and a camel color as well. It's from Chicwish, I order a lot of things from them as they always have the cutest and most unique pieces! I ordered a S/M for size reference in the open coat cardi I am wearing in today's post! I have been wearing these Express white jeans a ton lately, their fit is amazing. They are snug in my waist and stretch through my hips and butt but never become too stretchy that you have to keep hiking them up! I swear by Express' fit and most of my jeans come from them! This isn't sponsored- I literally L.O.V.E. their jeans!  I also love wearing pastels in the winter- part of it is that it makes me feel Spring is almost here (haha) and the other part of it is that I think it simply looks pretty. I paired this cute open coat cardigan with an all white look with pops of pastels- my gray booties and this blush clutch. This is certainly a look I can repeat again and again as it can easily carry over through Spring!

Did any of you do anything crazy this weekend? Pat and I hung low and got a lot of work done- we are traveling next weekend for a friend's wedding- so excited to be reunited with some college friends!

Thanks for following along! 
xx, Brittany Ann 

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Fitness Update + Pat's Smoothie



Hello!
Fitness is such a huge part of mine and Pat's life. It's something that is behind every decision we make through out the week, what time are we going to the gym and what are we going to do when we are there. We both have very different fitness goals which means we both have different work out regimens and certainly different diets. I shared some of my success and 5 tips on starting a fitness plan here in this post and will continue to share my journey on a healthier and leaner body-my ultimate goal. 

I want my blog and instagram to be a source of inspiration to your day to day life. I have failed to the constant struggle of comparison and it has taken time for me to come back around and realize comparison is a negative place that I simply don't want to be in. They say comparison is the thief of joy. I struggle with this and feel vulnerable posting these photos above and sharing similarly on my instagram stories. We live in a world where comparison is often our surrounding, it becomes second nature. I have lost weight and have been so strict in my diet, have worked so hard in the gym and I am super happy about my results thus far, yet when I turn over to social media I have uncertainty due to comparison. I am trying to eliminate that from my life because I believed whole heartedly that negativity is the culprit of misery. My body is one that is naturally curvy, my goal is to make healthy choices day in day out that leads me to a healthier and leaner body, with curves and all. I want to share my struggles and successes with you all as a real person who I hope you can relate to. I hope you continue to follow and hope you join me in achieving the fitness goals you have set out for this year! 

I shared on my instagram stories earlier today that every morning Pat makes a spinach protein packed smoothie for breakfast. He makes one for me to drink right before I go to the gym- so sweet of him! I thought I would share this easy to make smoothie!

Pat's Spinach Protein Smoothie (makes for two servings) 
-3 scoops of protein powder (we currently use this powder and alternate between vanilla & chocolate, however, this brand has like ten flavors: rocky road, strawberry, mocha, etc.) 
-1 cup of ice
-3 cups of baby spinach leaves 
-2 cups of berries (any you want, currently we are using frozen until the fruits come back in season) 
-1 cup of 1% milk (may need to add more depending on your mixer)

We sometimes use the chocolate protein and add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to switch it up! 

I eat this first thing in the morning before I heard to the gym! I often make oatmeal with a tablespoon of peanut butter too, depending on what I am doing at the gym!

My workout outfit is currently on a promotion (limited time only) for a total of $55.
Sports bra + legging or capri for only $55! I am not going to lie, I loveeee these sport bras as they are so supportive and I love the pants. I bought three different sets because when you wear workout clothing 70% of the time, this is money well spent! The sizing is true to size, I wear a medium in bottoms and true bra size for my top! They also have matching tanks on sale for $15! Cute workout gear is motivating in the gym....

Thanks for stopping by! Tomorrow Pat and I are trying out the new Cyclebar downtown, can't wait to share that with you-Pat has never cycled before!!
xx, Brittany Ann

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P.S. I have been without my camera for two weeks- can't wait to have it back and get back to sharing with you Monday, Wednesday & Friday here on BAC!

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Monday, January 15, 2018

10 Things You Didn't Know About Me & It's My Birthday!


Hi everyone! Yesterday was my birthday and I had such a wonderful weekend celebrating it with Pat, Ruby and some friends! Pat took me out to a fancier restaurant in Winston and we enjoyed a delicious and romantic meal. Yesterday we went to a friend's house to watch the big play off game, Steelers x Jaguars and although we didn't win, it was a wonderful day spent with friends! I love pot luck lunches/dinners with friends, you always get to try new recipes. I made this cookie dough dip and it was amazing! You should really try it, it was a huge hit and is super easy to make!
With it being my birthday yesterday, I thought I would share 10 things you may not know about me!

1.) I have a twin sister! My twin, Marissa is exactly two minutes older. We don't think we look alike at all ( My brother and I are mistaken for twins as we are almost identical!!!) and have very different features. Marissa has this perfect olive tan skin (she literally tans to a dark shade only laying by the pool for one day) and pretty green almond shaped eyes. While she is shorter than me and has super straight hair, our personalities differ even more! I am typically more outgoing and she is a bit more relaxed and laid back. My mom kept us separate in all of elementary school and middle school classes because she wanted us to develop our own personalities and friends. This was probably the best thing she did because I am wildly protective of her. Marissa used to be super shy growing up, not so much anymore, but I think having us separated helped us learn on our own! Marissa is truly one of the most inspiring people I have ever met in my life. Some of you may not know, but Marissa has an undiagnosed disorder that affects her cerebellum (what coordinates our fine motor skills and balance). It has progressively become worst over the years and while Marissa is mostly confined to her wheelchair, she is fiercely independent. Riss lives in a home (I call it her sorority house!) about ten minutes up the road from my parents, with about 8-10 other young adults who have different disabilities. It's an incredible place and has really enabled Marissa to come as her own. Marissa keeps a crazy busy schedule between work, working out, playing sled ice hockey and all of her dates with her boyfriend! It has really been amazing to witness firsthand what she has accomplished despite her disability. Riss, if you are reading this, I want you to know you shine brighter than the  brightest star in the sky. You are a huge source of inspiration to live this life fully and completely. You make this world brighter with you smile. Love you! Happy Birthday!

2.) Pat and I started dating the summer going into our junior year of high school.  We liked each other our entire sophomore year and texted each other nonstop. Gosh, do you girls remember the days when you would wait for your crush to text you back and you would quickly flip your phone open to respond then decided to wait twenty minutes? Guilty! Hahah! Anyway, it took Pat an entire year to ask me out... You can read more about Patty and I here, if you are interested! 

3.) I studied abroad in Florence, Italy my junior year of college. I will never forget this time of my life. I was twenty and one of my best friends from college, Moey joined me abroad in Italy. It was the best semester of my life. It was freeing, challenging, frustrating and all at the same time absolutely, purely wonderful. I remember a very specific moment. I was walking across the Ponte Vecchio bridge, wandering around not keeping track of time or anything and I remember just thinking, I totally get it. I get life. I completely understand who I am, I understand what I want in life, I understand life. Life is meant to be lived. To love. To embrace. It was an incredible surreal moment and one that I treasure to this day. I think the confidence that came from that moment and understanding the big picture of life has really shaped me to the adult I am. 

4.) I interned at Oscar de la Renta in the PR department under social media icon OscarPRGirl. It's probably the most insane story but when I was studying abroad in Italy, we went to Paris for a week studying. I was on top of the Eiffel Tower with some friends and I was creepily trying to sneak a photo of this attractive couple. I thought this couple would make for a cute inspiration photo for this   line that I was designing. Anyway, one thing led to another and I ended up talking to the man while the woman started talking to these ladies behind me. The guy asked what I was doing in Paris and I explained I am studying fashion abroad. He said his fiancĂ© is in fashion and sure enough introduced me to his fiancĂ© Noelle, who at the time, was assistant designer of textiles to Oscar de la Renta. We exchanged contact information and six months later I moved to NYC to intern at Oscar! Insane! 

5.) I wanted a golden doodle since I was eleven years old. I have literally love this breed since it came into existence and when my friend Nate got a full size goldendoodle- it was instant love. Ruby has been the biggest joy to our lives. I am so grateful to have her!

6.) My favorite food in the entire world is chocolate chip cookie dough. I literally believe I could eat this every single day and not get tired of it. Raw egg in it and all! Haha, don't worry, I seldom indulge in this! 

7.) I love mission work and one day I dream of doing work in Africa. I really hope one day I am able to devote a month of my life to working in Africa and giving back in these communities that desperately need help and support. I did mission trips all through high school around Pittsburgh and one in New Orleans when Katrina hit. I think they are amazing experiences and I always feel so refreshed and centered afterwards!

8.) I was a major tomboy growing up. I wore Adidas tees (like two sizes too big and before Adidas was uber trendy) and snap-up pants with Adidas tennis shoes every single day. I was super athletic and did multiple sports growing up and dresses just weren't my thing! In fourth grade, I wanted to play ice hockey soooo badly and my mom wouldn't let me and I stayed angry at her for over a month! Sorry Mom, glad you didn't let me! :-)

9.) This goes back to Pat, but Pat was my first kiss! I was his too! 

10.) I am a Christian and believe in God's plan. My favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

I hope you enjoyed this post today! Talking about some fitness goals I have for this year on Wednesday!

Thanks for reading,
xx, Brittany Ann 
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Friday, January 12, 2018

Faux Leopard Coat


Hello! It is Friday and we are in our second week of the New Year. How are your resolutions or goals going? Mine are off to a pretty good start! For the past year I have really been working hard on losing weight and educating myself on what to put in my body to fuel the work outs and make myself feel better and better. It's always hard to stick to a certain plan, but I think it is simply what you have to do. Every body is different and it takes time to figure out what works best for your body.  This weekend will be tough....it's my birthday so I am sure Pat and I will splurge a little on what we eat, but hey birthdays only come around once a year, right?!

I love this faux fur coat from Old Navy. I am so bummed it is currently sold out but comes in a cream version here. I have found several other faux fur leopard coats including this one from Target for a steal of a price at $20! I am really surprised at how often I wear this coat. Leopard is such a classic print and I love how it can be the statement piece in your outfit. Wear it with all neutrals like I did in the above, or style it with other classic prints such as thin stripes. I can't wait to wear this coat with white jeans and a pastel colored top to transition it into Spring!

Enjoy the weekend!
xx, Brittany Ann

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Velvet Winter Dress




It seems when the middle of Winter hits, I am always on the hunt for the perfect dress to wear to a winter wedding. I can't be the only one out here that thinks this is a tough task to conquer, am I right? I feel the days are dark, the temperatures are frozen, my skin is pale and I somehow need to find the right dress that can change my mood and make me feel good. For all of you brides to be out there that love the winter, it takes all kinds to make the world go around because a winter wedding for me would be a nightmare:-) Come on now, y'all know I need my sunshine and seventy degrees weather, everyday pretty please!
No but in all seriousness, I have found the dress to beat for winter weddings! This Storee Velvet Burnout Maxi Dress is ideal for upcoming weddings, date nights (i.e. fancy dinner for Valentine's Day) or other big events. It's priced just under $100 and I can vouch for the fit and overall quality of the dress. I love that it has this old world floral print but has criss crossed steps in the back to make it trendy. It does fit tightly through the bodice, I tend to have to watch how something hits my hips but I was happy to see that my regular size fit well! I paired the dress with this faux fur leather bomber jacket and I think the dress could be worn with a nice wool peacoat as well! You need to stay warm to wherever you are going.
It has been so stinking cold I can't stand it. I literally jumped out of bed last night when the weatherwomen came on and said that Tuesday would be in the FIFTIES! FIFTY degrees- that is a slice of paradise and you better believe I am going to spend hours outside because I finally can! Ruby is going to love me-long walks, kicking the ball back and forth and more walks!

xx, Brittany Ann 
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Monday, January 8, 2018

4 Ways I Organize after the Holidays



 Wrapping Paper Organizer // Card Box (comes with dividers) // Ornament Storage Box // Similar Plaid Photo Album (like this one too), Cards & Tissue Paper from HomeGoods 

Hi everyone! 
Organization is the key to a stress free household. I love organizing, I believe everything has its place and that even in the smallest spaces, you can have a spot for all of your items. Sometimes you have to think creatively, but mostly, you just have to organize. I absolutely love our home decorated for Christmas, but it brings me joy after the New Year to take everything down and put back into its spot! Is there anyone else there that agrees with me?! Don't get me started on Spring cleaning! Hahah!

Anyway, I thought I would share 4 things that I immediately do after the holidays and a few ways I  start the year off through organizing.

1.) Store Christmas items in an organized way so it'll be the least amount of work next year when you get everything back out. Have you ever decorated your entire home to then find another box of ornaments or decorations a day later? This is frustration that can be eliminated! I bought this ornament storage box to have all of my ornaments in one place. This way when I approach decorating the tree, I have the ornaments and ribbon right there ready to go. No more random boxes within boxes. All of my other decorations get placed in a box clearly labeled Christmas.

2.) Add your Christmas wrapping paper to a plastic organizer with your other wrapping paper so it doesn't get ripped or crinkled. If you do not have this, you must purchase one now.  This one is identical to mine and is $7.00 from Amazon. I absolutely love this organizer too because of its designated pockets for ribbon, scissors, tape, and tissue paper! This is genius and will be life changing for you!  I start the year off with purchasing more birthday paper and pretty printed paper (for engagement gifts, housewarming gifts, etc.) so I have a little stockpile for when I need it. This always saves me time so I don't have to make a separate trip out. I have a similar approach to cards too...

3.) Buy an array of cards and store them in a card box. Mine has little plastic dividers so I can organize them by occasion within the storage box. I love receiving cards. I actually have a card box that is for all the cards I have received from Pat, family and friends over the years. I love re-reading my cards and looking through them. It brings me such happiness to read the thoughtful things my loved ones has written me. I am a hopeless romantic :-) Anyway, I start the year off with buying multiple cards (birthday, sympathy, wedding, congratulations, baby etc) to have on hand for when they are needed. I hate running out to the store for one item only, and I found I kept doing this for when I needed cards! My biggest tip- Buy them at HomeGoods! I can't believe how expensive cards have become and I love the simple but pretty designed ones from HomeGoods. They are priced from $2-$4 and have embellishments and everything. They say something simple on the inside or are blank which I love, because I never have enough room to write what I want anyways!

4.) Print this past Holiday season photos and store them in a photo album. This is a new tradition I am starting this year with Pat. The holidays are such a magical time of the year and I love the idea of being able to have this book of favorite holiday memories from over the years. It's something I think I will treasure more as time goes on and we have a family. My tip in this though, is do not wait until next year to print the images, just do it now! The Kodak Moment app is amazing. It takes maybe 2 minutes total to select photos you want printed and then send to your closest CVS for pick up. I love anything that makes my life more efficient and this app is one of them! I purchased my photo album from HomeGoods but found this one and this one online that I love! 

On a bit of a random note, I wanted to share this adorable hand painted ornament of Ruby from the PaintedPooches shop on Etsy. You can send Amanda a photo of your pup and she will handpaint it on an ornament. I think this is such a cute gift idea or if you want one for yourself...go ahead and order one now :-)

Thanks for stopping by!
xx, Brittany Ann 

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