SOCIAL MEDIA

3.19.2018

"Classically Courtney Collection" Launch with Lace & Lilac



If you have been following me on Instagram or you're my Facebook friend then you more than likely already read my announcement on Friday. If you are one of the people who missed it, then long story short... Last Fall I was privileged to meet Julia, the owner of my favorite boutique, Lace & Lilac. We struck up a friendship and began working on something I have dreamed of for a long time... an exclusive collection of modest, feminine clothing hand picked by me to reflect my personal style and taste. It has been a dream working with Lace & Lilac to bring it to life.

The day is finally here, and today I am SO happy to finally launch my "Classically Courtney Collection" RIGHT NOW! The collection includes three feminine dresses and two dainty tops. Below you will see detailed photos of each clothing item along with a link to shop each piece. I am also reviewing the sizing for those of you who are skeptical of shopping online! Lace & Lilac has also included exact measurements of each item on their site.

Now, for the ladies who want to get straight to shopping (or gentlemen who like to shop for their ladies 😉) you can CLICK HERE TO SHOP THE ENTIRE COLLECTION. 

For those of you wondering about receiving your items in time for Easter. ALL items, except for the Blushing Beauty (pink) dress, will arrive in time for Easter if you order by Friday, March 23rd. The pink dress won't be coming in until May and will ship then. You can go ahead and purchase it on the site as a pre-sale though. The pink dress is one of my absolute favorite pieces, and I don't think it will last long. :)

Thank you again for your amazing response and support in this new adventure, and I am so excited to be making feminine, modest clothing available to purchase for so many of my sweet friends with the help of Lace & Lilac! Let's let inner beauty shine, and represent Jesus the best way we know how! <3 "She is clothed with strength and dignity"... Proverbs 31:25

Blushing Beauty Dress

This dress is one of my absolute favorite pieces in the collection. It has a soft blush pink color in a linen fabric with button front detail. The skirt is double lined so no need for layering or slips! For the nursing mamas out there this dress is perfect! The buttons are REAL, which makes it a functional dress for church, and special events, etc. I'm 5'6" and it falls just below the knee. I normally wear a size small or size 6 dress. I found that this dress ran a little on the smaller side...  I'm wearing the medium so the bust wouldn't be too tight. The waist is elastic in the back (pictured below) so it gives you plenty of room.  I think the medium fits like a 6-8.

Basically Blue Tee

If you follow me on Instagram then you have probably have seen me mix and match embellished tees over and over in my everyday outfits... So, I thought it only seemed right to include a tee in my collection. This ruffle sleeve, light blue tee fits true to size and is the most amazing soft stretchy, silky material. It could easily be dressed up with a lace skirt and heels or worn with a denim skirt as pictured here. I'm wearing the small.  

Lady in White Dress

The lady in white dress is the perfect blend of class and sophistication. The fabric is a pure white stretchy lace with a white knit underlay. The fit is very flattering since it comes in at the waist and then flairs out at the hip. The collar is such a pretty detail, and even though the dress is lace it is surprisingly comfortable! I'm normally a small or size 6 and I'm wearing medium here (once again to keep the bust from being too tight. I had plenty of room in the waist. I think it fits like a size 6-8. I'm 5'6" and the knit underlay comes to the knee and the lace overlay falls around 3" below my knee. I also love that the sleeves are lined as well.  


Pretty in Pinstripes Top


Blush pink, pinstripes, ruffle sleeves... What more could you want in a top? Perfect for brunch with your lady friends or to spice up an everyday outfit. The material is light linen, so it's nice and cool for summer days. It has a very loose baby doll fit so I definitely recommend sizing down if you are unsure of your size. I'm wearing the small and have plenty of room. I love the feeling of not being restricted in this top, and also love that the top is longer in the back. So comfy and cute!

Color Me Blue Dress

My favorite feature on the Color Me Blue dress is the pockets! I love a dress with pockets, and with the loose fit on this dress you really can hide your cell phone or chapstick, and no one will know! The fabric is a cotton type fabric and it's double lined, so once again no need for layering or slips! The buttons are also real on this dress so another winner for my nursing mama friends! It has a generous fit. I'm wearing the small and I would say it runs true to size in the bust and more generous in the waist. The small fits like a 6-8. This is my personal favorite type of dress for comfort. The ties on the sleeves are also a super cute detail. I'm 5'6" and the dress falls a few inches below the knee. 


I want to say a huge thank to each and every one of you for following along with me on social media. This collection wouldn't have been possible without you! <3 I appreciate your support and encouragement more than you know! Also, many thanks to Julia of Lace & Lilac for taking care of all the details to bring this collection alive! Happy Shopping! 
1.03.2018

New Year Sale Finds

Hey Everyone! Today I'm excited to share with you some of my favorite New Year's Sales and Deals. A few of these items I have been eyeing to purchases myself, and a few are just amazing deals that are plain hard to pass up! A lot of you asked for some home decor options. If you're like me, you like to find some new home decor pieces to freshen up your living space after all the Christmas crazyness is taken down. I've also included a few great deals on some clothing that I'm loving right now. Just click each item to shop it. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Home Decor Finds

   
This decorative wall clock is the perfect
addition for any decorating style.
It's also only $34.99 for the 18.5" clock!
Free shipping if you have Amazon Prime!  
CLICK PHOTO TO SHOP

    
Two black and white buffalo print
pillow covers for $11.99! So cute
and so on trend for 2018! Free
Shipping! CLICK PHOTO TO SHOP
                                      
Scroll through the rest of my home sale finds by clicking the arrow
Clothing Finds

Scroll through my favorite clothing finds by clicking the arrow.
Also, if you are looking to shop on your own, one of my favorite places to get amazing deals on clothing is Shein! I have worn items from them in THIS POST and THIS POST. They are offering some awesome discounts right now. for the new year! My favorite thing about Shein is they write the EXACT measurement of each clothing item in the sizing description, so pretty much everything I have bought from them has fit me perfectly! You can also use the coupon code publish15 to get 15% off any purchase! Just click the ad below to shop! 



Get $5 off over $59          CODE: NER5
Get $10 off over $89        CODE: NER10
Get $30 off over $169      CODE: NER30

Happy New Year
12.18.2017

Classic Sugar Cookie & Royal Icing Recipe


Growing up, sugar cookies were always a staple at Christmas time. I made them every year with my siblings, and we loved to decorate them together. The problem with sugar cookies is everyone makes them differently... Some like them cakey, others like them crispy. I, on the other hand, have always loved them soft and chewy... Chips are supposed to crunch... not sugar cookies! 😉 When I was a teenager, one of my friend's moms (Hi Tammy! 😄) made the best chewy sugar cookies on the planet... I asked her what her recipe was once and she just said it was the classic Betty Crocker sugar cookie recipe... Well, a few years ago, I finally stumbled onto the same recipe that Tammy uses! I tried it with my sisters, and it was an immediate hit! Over the past couple of years we've made them over and over, and finally figured out some little tricks to get the perfect chewy sugar cookie... I also discovered royal icing... which makes your cookies super adorable as well! Scroll down for the recipes.





Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe
Makes 15-18 large, thick sugar cookies. I usually double the recipe for around 30 cookies.

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 sticks salted butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 egg

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

Directions:

1. Mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond, and egg until smooth (I use a kitchen aid mixer). Stir in remaining ingredients until smooth.

2. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours (You can also refrigerate overnight if you like).

3. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease cookie sheet.

4. Remove from refrigerator and divide dough in half. You may need to let the dough sit for 30 mins or so to make it more workable. Work it with your hands to smooth it out, then roll out onto a floured surface. Make sure to flour your rolling pin to get an extra smooth, even surface on the cookie dough. I like to roll it to about 1/4 inch (or more) thickness. The thicker the cookie the chewier it gets. I use a large round glass to cut out my cookies, but you can also use any large shaped cookie cutters. Your cookies should be easy to pick up off the floured surface and place directly on the pan.

5. I bake mine for about 5 1/2 - 6 minutes. Every oven is different, so keep an eye on them. The main goal with these cookies is to have NO COLOR at all. If they start to get golden in the least bit they have gone too long, and will most likely dry out easily. I usually pull mine out around 5-6 mins. You might think they aren't done yet, but you want the center to look a little gooey. If you let them cool on the pan for about 10 mins you will see the center start to set up, but still look moist. This is what makes them so chewy! All white cookies means the best flavor/texture! After they are firm enough to move I transfer them to wax paper to continue cooling.

6. Let them completely cool before icing.









Royal Icing Recipe 

Royal icing has become a fad recently... I love it because it can make your cookies look so pretty, plus it tastes amazing too! Most recipes I have seen call for meringue powder, but I use the old fashioned egg white kind. If you are worried about the raw egg white you can refrigerate the cookies, but I have never had any problems with leaving the cookies out once the icing dries.

Ingredients

2 egg whites
2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

Directions

Combine all ingredients with a whisk by hand or a kitchen aid mixer with whisk attachment. Make sure there are no lumps in the icing.

For those of you who are royal icing newbies... Here are a few things you should know. There are two types of royal icing.

1. Piping Icing

I use extra powdered sugar to thicken the above icing recipe to a piping texture. This is used to outline your cookies. Just keep adding a spoonful of powdered sugar until the icing is a toothpaste texture... You want it to fall off of the spoon slowly, but not break the flow completely. Once I get it to the perfect piping texture I put it in a piping bag with a very small pin dot tip and coupler (The coupler keeps the tip in place. I'll link tips, icing bags, and couplers below.). I then use a rubber band to tie the top of the bag so icing doesn't get all over my fingers.. I'm sure there is something more fancy to use than a rubberband, but I'm no professional! 😉 I pipe a line around the edge of all my cookies before "filling" them in.

2. Fill/Flood Icing

This icing is used to fill in the cookies that you outlined.  make a second recipe of the icing, then, depending on the size of the egg whites, if the icing isn't runny enough I add water (about a tsp at a time... be careful, a little goes a long way.) You want the texture to be more fluid, but not watery. If you pull the spoon out of the icing, you want it to run back into the bowl and take about 5 seconds or so before it settles into a smooth surface again...

Pour your fill icing into icing bottles (these are SUPER handy... I'll link what I use below) and fill in the cookies. Be careful not to over fill them since the icing will settle  and can run over if you use too much. I use a toothpick or tiny icing knife to spread the icing to the edges. You can also use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles, but be careful... They begin to dry very quickly so if you mess with them too much you will crack the icing. The icing will smooth out pretty evenly on it's own. If you let it dry for about 30 mins you can go back with a second layer of piping icing to draw designs. I love doing this because it makes them look like they were made at a bakery. Practice a little on a napkin or piece of waxpaper (this helped me get the hang of it!). I used the piping icing to make the snowflake and  tree designs. My cousin, Ally, also helped out with her piping skills!

A Few More Royal Icing Tips and Tricks

1. Let your Icing Dry For 8-12 Hours.

Another thing I learned the hard way... You have to let royal icing dry 8-12 hours before you can store or stack your cookies. The first time I made royal icing I stored my cookies immediately, and the icing ran and dripped everywhere and ruined the cookies. I usually finish my cookies later in the evening and let them dry overnight before stacking or storing. Don't worry about the cookies getting dry. If you didn't bake them too long they will stay nice and chewy since the icing is so moist.

2. Make 2 Colors of Royal Icing

I like to make two colors of both the piping and fill icing. It's so fun to use the two different colors to draw designs, fill, or line the cookies. You can make more than that, but I love using just two colors.
SET OF TIPS, COUPLERS, AND PIPING BAGS. CLICK TO SHOP.

SET OF FILL ICING BOTTLES. CLICK TO SHOP. 

 I hope you enjoy my favorite sugar cookie and icing recipe! If you decide to try your hand at baking them... make sure to tag @courtneycollingsworthmetz and use the hashtag #classicallycourtney on Instagram. Have a blessed day and a Merry Christmas!

12.06.2017

Christmas Fashion Inspiration with The Dressery Boutique

Hey there, ladies! You know I love to share boutiques with you, and today I'm happy to be sharing a little Christmas fashion inspiration with The Dressery Boutique. Their boutique focuses mainly on dresses and skirts, and they have so many adorable options! I'm wearing the Everyday Swing Dress in taupe. I layered it with one of my favorite plaid Christmas scarves along with a red pom pom beanie. You can shop all of the items at the end of the post. Have a lovely evening!







CLICK DRESS TO SHOP


11.29.2017

3 Affordable Christmas Dresses Under $35

I polled you ladies via my Instagram Stories a few weeks ago, and you voted that you really wanted to see a post about Christmas dresses... So, today, I'm so excited to finally share with you 3 Affordable Christmas Dresses Under $35! When I started the search for affordable Christmas dresses I immediately began browsing Amazon. If you are a Prime member, you can't beat the free 2 day shipping, plus everything is so reasonable in price! All of these dresses are from Amazon, are available in all sizes, and can be shipped to you in plenty of time for Christmas (all 3 are available for free 2 day shipping for Prime members, and they also have free returns, so if it doesn't fit... no worries you can put the label Amazon provides on the bag they also provide, and ship it straight back at no cost to you!)! Any of these dresses could be worn to Christmas parties, get-togethers, or for church on Christmas Eve Sunday! I'll link each dress below the photos... I'll also include the sizing details so you know how they fit, etc. :)









This plaid dress just screams Christmas! The classic tartan plaid will never go out of style, and this will be a dress you will be so glad to have in your closet for years to come. It's a cozy, stretchy material and the silhouette is very flattering. What's even better is... The dress is between $27 - $31 depending on what size you get. It's available in Small to 2X. I will add... this dress runs pretty small. I'm normally a size small/6 and I ordered a Large. The Large, in my opinion, fits like a 6. I'm 5'6" and it hits right at the knee. If you want specific measurements just click on the size chart on the Amazon listing.

CLICK THE DRESS TO SHOP 




 You can never go wrong with a statement red dress for any Christmas event. I love the classic look of this dress with the rounded collar. It's a timeless Christmas dress and could also be worn for Valentines Day. At only $28.99 this dress is a complete steal!  It's available in sizes S-2X. I am wearing the Large in this dress. I also ordered the Medium. It fit as well (I think the Medium fit like a size 4-6) but I decided to keep the Large since I don't like to feel uncomfortable. I have plenty of room in the Large. I think it fits like an 8. I'm 5'6" and it hits just below the knee.

CLICK THE DRESS TO SHOP


This buffalo print dress turned out to be my absolute favorite. It is a gorgeous deep hunter green color. The fabric is a super nice quality (very warm and perfect for winter), and I just LOVE the belt. You could also tie it in a square knot, but there is just something about a bow that is so classic at Christmas time. I am wearing the medium here, and I think it fits like a 6-8. The waist has plenty of room, but with the belt tied it doesn't look too big. I sized up to a medium so the bust wouldn't be uncomfortable. It's available in sizes S-2X. This dress is the most expensive of the three at $34.99 but TOTALLY worth it, and is a great deal, in my opinion! It's also available in red buffalo print and white buffalo print which would be adorable for Christmas as well! I'm 5'6" and the dress hits below the knee. 


CLICK THE DRESS TO SHOP

If you purchase one of these dresses make sure to tag @courtneycollingsworthmetz  in your Instagram photos.<3 I hope everyone is having a blessed Christmas season so far!