South Park Stroll

by Cortney Wood

My sister & her beau live on the borderline of Golden Hill and South Park in San Diego (a few miles from downtown) and needed me to watch our dog, turned her dog (Pepe) for the afternoon/evening. I gladly accepted and took him for a long stroll around the area. One thing you'll learn about me, if you haven't already, I am that person that seizes every picture opportunity available. As i've progressed further along in school & continued to follow really great photography (like these weekly portraits and these stunning wedding shots to name a few) I've started to gain an eye for it. Whether it's color, light, perspective, proportion, etc. I am drawn to a point of no return.

Luckily, Pepe gladly cooperates and clearly fits all the "model" qualifications. And Maurice too, I guess.

When Pepe and I lived under the same roof, he was kind of a big deal on the blog. You can find his adolescent days here, here + here. You can also find him posted on my instagram.


A B+W Spring

by Cortney Wood

I don't know what it is but these last couple of weeks i've been SO drawn to black & white! I mean, those distressed jeans were originally black skinnies - but I figured that's just a tad bit too ominous for the cheery Spring vibe that will soon be spreading far & wide. Plus, we aren't totally into the 80+ weather here in SD as of yet! 

 And yes, the gold chain bracelet is SIX bucks!!! Super simple but I go crazy over it - partially because it totally reminds me of this slinky, chain-like purse my mom had when I was a little girl. My sisters and I always took it out of her "purse cupboard" when we would play dress up for hours & hold our own little runway shows down the hallway. It's just one of those things that immediately intrigues you as soon as you get a hold of it! 

Also, the shirt + bracelet are an additional 15% OFF using code SPR15 until TOMORROW, 04/13. The distressed boyfriend jeans are under $50 ! You can see them worn + styled by this lovely fashionista. Now, the sandal-flats are definitely a "saver-upper" BUT so cute and versatile!

P.S. Are you guys fans of a fashion post like this here and there or am I totally blowing it? I would be lying if I said I considered myself fashionable, but thought i'd give it a try!

Let me know in the comments below!


Sunday BBQ

by Cortney Wood

To wrap-up our Spring Break, we all got together for a very special Sunday BBQ to welcome home a dear friend after 13 months of overseas deployment. It was such an exciting prelude of what's to come next month! 

His stunning wife-to-be & one of my closest friends has been spending the past year planning an absolutely dreamy wedding (mainly on her own) which I will be photographing!!! A little over a month to go before the big day!


A dinner that doubles

by Cortney Wood

A true time-saver when it comes to prepping meals! I have been doing this for the past several weeks and it has really proven to save me a great deal of time. Before most of our dinners (i'd say 3-5 times a week) Maurice and I will start off our meal with a big, hearty salad. I literally throw in just about anything and everything - if you couldn't tell already. I just make a large bowl of the below ingredients, then split into two bowls for our dinner & the rest goes into tupperware for a lunch the next day or later in the week. I realized how much more efficient it is this way - totally killing two birds with one stone!

Of course it doesn't need to be salad - it can be with practically any dish: rice, soup, noodles, vegetables, etc! 

In the salad...

Romaine Lettuce. Red Bell Peppers. Hard Boiled Egg. Steamed Broccoli. Sautéed Mushrooms + Onions.  

Homemade Chia Seed Drink

by Cortney Wood

A delicious homemade option to the often expensive (around $4 a pop) chia seed drink that you'll find at any Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe's, etc. If you're not familiar with the's a thick, jelly-like texture that's known to be one of the most filling and appropriate substitutes for water.

It is loaded with antioxidants and has more potassium than bananas, more omega-3's than salmon and more calcium than milk. It is known to hold you over for hours, as it contains and combines the natural sugars and fat with the protein in the seeds. 

Here's how:

Chia Seed to Water ratio (1/3 cup chia seed : 3 cups of water)

*I stuck with this ratio and made 3 cups - which evens out to 2-3 servings.

Your choice of 1 lemon, 1 lime OR one of each

3-4 spoonfuls of organic sugar cane

Refrigerate and let sit overnight. If it is still lacking the taste you're looking for, go ahead and add 1 cup of the chia seed gel to 1 cup of a juice of your choice.


Homemade toothepaste DIY

by Cortney Wood

I have been meaning to tackle this since the beginning of the year + am so excited to share! Before I start on the (super simple) instructions I want to warn you that the transfer from regular/namebrand toothpastes to a homemade one isn't the simplest. The taste - or lack thereof - takes a while to get used to but the great thing about making it yourself is knowing what is being put into it. (I'm still putting in my efforts to convince Maurice to join the team - he'll use it once every 2-3 days). 

In my opinion, it's refreshing to positively know that the three ingredients you use to make it ensure absolutely no Animal Testing, no Animal Ingredients, no Artificial Colors or flavors, no Fragrances or Preservatives.

And for those of you who don't have the time or simply aren't fans of DIY projects, a really great substitute that offers the same guarantee is Tom's of Maine toothpaste. 

What you'll need:

1/2 cup Coconut oil, 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda + essential oils of your choice - peppermint, citrus, etc. (I used peppermint!) 

How to make it:

  1. Melt or slightly soften coconut oil.
  2. Mix in other ingredients and stir well. If you're using semi-hard coconut oil, use a fork to stir. If not, stick with a spoon. If the coconut oil you're using is completely melted, you will need to stir several times as the mixture cools. This will keep the baking soda incorporated.
  3. Put the mixture into a small glass jar (example pictured above)
  4. Let cool completely.
  5. It will be a little tougher of a substance than your average toothpaste. I would suggest dipping your toothbrush in and scraping a small amount onto bristles or using a small spoon to place on your toothbrush.

P.S. It's important to keep in mind there are pros and cons to both methods...I have done a fair amount of reading on this, but am not an expert so if you're unsure I would suggest asking your dentist their thoughts. I have not been to the dentist since I started using it (a few weeks ago) but will be sure to update what he has to say about my teeth after. 

Until then, enjoy!!