family · fitness · inspiration

Coming out of the dark….

No makeup, no filter, sweat and maybe even a few tears 😜😜 Real life, y’all.

I took the weekend to gather myself in the mountains, plan for the future and figure out where I’m at and what I want. I also didn’t work out 🤦🏻‍♀️. I’m paying for that now. At the time I told myself ‘ah it’s one weekend’. Well….isn’t that how bad habits begin 🙄

How many times have you told yourself that? How many times have you justified food and/or drinks and said it won’t effect you that much? 🙋🏻🙋🏻 I can assure you I have said it and done it and paid for it. Life is already hard enough, why deprive myself? <—that’s me talking! Toddler Mom, wife, full time working woman. Except all I’m doing is making this harder for myself by justifying these cheats.

I’ve tried everything. I’ve competed, I’ve trained hardcore. And I’ve also let myself slip in every way possible. I KNOW what works. It’s just finding the motivation to make it happen. I want to feel better every day, I want to love who I see in the mirror. Don’t we all? 🤳

Are you in the same boat I am? Message me. Let’s chat and set goals and talk about how we can do this together. I have found that having someone along the same ride makes it easier. Someone who understands the ups and downs. Need that friend, coach, encourager? I’m here for you! 👋

Time to reach some more goals! 🏆

Find me on Instagram: cortneymarie307

(quote from Grey’s Anatomy—the show of all amazing quotes 😂)



I spent the weekend at Middleton Place. I arrived after work on Saturday and spent 24 hours in absolute relaxation. No work, no laptop, no obligations. I had every intention of doing a heap of work and personal development when my husband surprised me with a night alone, but as soon as I arrived I knew that wasn’t what I needed. I needed to recharge.

Mothering a toddler is hard work! A house full of dogs who shed, teenagers coming and going, the husband and I passing our daughter off like ships in the night…it’s chaotic to say the least. And while I would like things to move a little slower and to have a little more sleep, I wouldn’t change a thing. But the occasional break is desperately needed. So that’s what I did.


My husband and I came up with this genius plan (well, is it genius?) to take a night alone once a month. To do whatever we want individually. One of us gets a hotel, the other gets the house while one of our family member’s watches our daughter.

We are fortunate enough to have family very close to us, and they love spending time with Bailey Rose. And we cherish the relationships they have with her.

We believe space is important for us. Not everyone relationship is the same, but for us our alone time, separate alone time, is very important to us. We believe this arrangement will make us stronger together and allow for that recharge we both need.

Now, this isn’t a hall pass (lol). There is nothing impure about this. It’s just time for each of us to do whatever we want to do separate from the other and free of kids.

This weekend I visited Middleton Place, which is only 40 minutes from our house. Upon arrival, I was in love. The grounds are gorgeous, immaculate. I received a complimentary glass of wine from the bar right by my room and I strolled the grounds and gardens alone for over an hour. I let The Patriot and The Notebook soundtracks narrate my way through the gardens and I cannot tell you the peace and reflection I found. I was finally able to take a deep breath and relax.

I think that we, as mothers, tend to not allow for that deep, cleansing breath. We’re constantly running after, looking after, checking on, cleaning up after our little ones. It’s very hard to unplug and stop worrying. That’s one of the reasons I ended up going to therapy (which has helped immensely, despite the price tag. I’ll talk more about that later). I have to be honest, being alone last night was better than therapy. I didn’t need to talk out my feelings, I didn’t want to. I just wanted to find a little piece of myself I gave up when I had my daughter.

Maybe this all sounds selfish. I can understand where one would think that. But is self-care and focusing on your mental health selfish? I don’t believe so. I believe we need these moments to ourselves. I believe it makes us better mothers, wives, friends, employees. When you have that time to spend on yourself, you’re not doing it when it’s not appropriate. How can I be a good wife to my husband when I’m exhausted, beat down from a hard week at work and with my girl, too focused on work and growing my business? What good am I to him? I’m no good.

But I believe both the husband and wife need this time. It can’t be one-sided. One does not need it more than the other. BOTH need peace and space. Especially if you don’t enjoy ALL of the same things. And I’m pretty sure in every relationship, someone enjoys something the other doesn’t. If you think my husband is super psyched to go to the stable, you’d be wrong. haha! And if you think I want to go to the movies every single week, you would also be wrong. See? We like different things! And that’s okay!


I spent my time strolling with a glass of wine and taking hundreds of pictures. I reflected on what this year has been so far, and how I want to close out my 31st year. I ate crackers and cheese and watched Frozen until I fell asleep. Exciting right? I had a blast!


I had coffee in bed until 10am, watching HGTV and occasionally scrolling Pinterest. Then I checked out and met my mother and my daughter and we checked out the whole plantation. We spent the afternoon walking around and letting my baby girl run, meeting sheep, draft horses, a cow and even pigs and water buffalo. It was perfect, just the way I would have wanted to end my wonderful weekend ‘away’.


And now I’m home, watching a Hallmark Channel movie and ending my Sunday with my husband. Home sweet home ❤︎

What do you think? Would this arrangement work for you? tumblr_noqpgorspi1qkl60zo1_500


Cookie Dough Bites!

I always need a sweet treat in my life that makes me feel less guilty! I found this one and I had to share it. The original recipe calls for honey, but I prefer sugar free or lite maple syrup to save on calories.

You can add unsweetened coconut flakes, almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds! The nice thing about this recipe is that it is so changeable! Play around with it! If you find a delicious one, comment below! I love to try new versions!

Cookie Dough Bites

  • 1/2 cup all natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar free maple syrup
  • 2 packets vanilla Shakeology (I have tried other protein powders but this is the best!)
  • 1/4 cup 65-75% dark chocolate mini chips or cacao chips/nibs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Mix together with a rubber spatula and let sit in the fridge for 5-10 minutes so the balls roll easier. Roll into quarter size balls and keep in refrigerator. Makes about 24 balls. And try not to eat them all in one day ; )



Hey guess what? I love fan fiction! 

And am I ashamed? Heck no!

Let’s start at the beginning. Do you know what fan fiction is? It’s hard to tell because generally, it’s not something one usually admits. Why? Embarrassment probably. I know I used to be embarrassed. And it can take a lot of explaining. Like, what is fan fiction? Why do you read it? So, as I said, let’s start at the beginning.

“What is fan fiction?”

So that pretty much sums it up, tbh. Fan fiction is a fan-made story about characters from a movie, television show, or book. Occasionally it’s about real people (i.e.*NSYNC). Pick a book, pick a tv show, pick a movie…I can almost guarantee you’ll find fan fiction out in the internet world written by people who love the show, book or movie as much as you but have a creative need to take over and deliver where they believed the writers may have gone wrong or not given enough information.

There are so many directions fanfic can go. Alternate Universe: where you take characters and write them in scenarios that have nothing to do with the actual storyline of the show, or deviate from it. Canon: where you keep the characters in their current places and continue on with a storyline or add more detail. There’s also different formats and every genre. Drabbles are very short stories, usually 100-500 words. Multi-chapter fics are exactly that, chapter stories! One-shots cover everything in one short story, usually more than 500 words. These are the most common. But trust me, people can write anything about any character in any genre, in any format. That is the beauty!

Where do I fall into all this, you might be wondering. How does one go down this rabbit hole? Well, it’s not that complicated. I love things to a particular degree. When I am dedicated to a show (LOST, The Last Ship) I NEED to explore it. I need to read the characters I ship together because the show only gives you so much.

Ship, you ask. What is shipping? “Shipping is a fandom practice that involves imagining relationships between two fictional characters from a show, movie, or book series. Ship is short for romantic relationship.” Sometimes the show or movie gives you two characters together and sometimes you prefer two other characters together. Have you ever thought “ugh he should be with her, not her!”?? Well, congratulations, you were shipping people together just then.

Oh, I got sidetracked there. I digress. I began reading at a young age, chapter books. I had no idea fan fiction existed until my friends and I decided to write a story in middle school about our crushes, who happened to be celebrities. Didn’t you do that at that age? No? Okay, well anyway…

So I dabbled mostly in that type of writing until high school when not only did I discover there was a website for this (YAY INTERNET!) but that you could write about anything and everything!! I took to a few different shows I loved (JAG, American Dreams) and began imagining different scenarios for the characters. In fanfic, you’re taking someone else’s characters and writing them in different situations. Might sound illegal, but it’s just fine as long as you never claim to own a show, character, etc. (Disclaimers are important, to protect yourself and your work).


I’ve written my fair share of multi-chapter stories. Before I was married, I had an abundance of time to write. Marriage slowed that down a little (and I only confessed my hobby about two years ago to my husband) and then once I had my daughter, one-shots were all I could muster.  I write drabbles mostly at this time. I describe it as a snapshot into a scene. You pick one piece of a bigger picture and dissect it. Not a lot, just occasionally when the mood hits and I have to get something out. I prefer the Marvel fandom at the moment, but I’ll take characters and put them in AU situations at the drop of a hat. I wish there were more hours in the day…My longest story is over sixty chapters long. I can’t write like that anymore.

SO. You probably have questions. Why do I write fanfiction? Because it’s fun is the number one reason. You write it and post it for the internet world to read. It’s free to read and write. You can write anything you want. Why NOT write?! And if you get feedback, or reviews as they are called, it makes it ALL worth the time and effort.

What do I write? Usually romance or drama, sometimes angst. I have an affinity for putting my characters in heartbreaking situations to torture the reader and then bringing them back slowly from the brink until we reach the happy ending.


Did you know E.L. James wrote Fifty Shades of Gray as a fan fiction originally? It was for the Twilight fandom. It would be considered an AU version of the characters. Edward became Christian Gray and Bella because Anastasia Steele. Mind blown?

In fan fiction, everything is embraced. The sexuality of the character, the dangerous situations, the misery of the character, the hopelessness of a situation. Fandom loves to be tortured. Do you read comic books? Graphic novels? If you’re a Marvel fan, think of Bucky Barnes’ whole run in the comics. Talk about torture. He is one of fanfic’s favorites. Why? BECAUSE WE LOVE AGONY AND SUFFERING!


Some people write because it’s an easy way to start writing–the characters are created for you and all you have to do is put them in a storyline. Some write because it’s a creative outlet, but they only write about characters they deem worthy. Everyone has their own, beautiful reasons. I embrace it all. Writers of shows and movies take the time to create these characters, what better way to appreciate that than to write about them? I would be damn flattered!

Below there are several reputable websites that either display fan fiction or are talking about it, in case you wanted to check out other sources.

Do you write fanfiction? Want to talk about it? Comment below! I LOVE to talk fanfic!

family · Lessons Learned

In case of an emergency….


So you’ve probably seen this image already at least once today alone. Hello, Hurricane Irma. I live on the South Carolina coast and while I completely respect you, I really don’t want you coming around. You’ve made quite a mess. As a toddler mom, clearly you are throwing a MAJOR tantrum and you need a long time out.

All kidding aside, this has been a scary week. My heart goes out to the Leeward Islands, Barbuda, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten. Fort Lauderdale is my happy place. I have very close friends in both Boynton Beach and Wellington. And I live in Charleston. Irma is coming a little too close for comfort.

To downplay something of this size and nature for selfish reasons….foolish. If you’re in the cone of uncertainty, you need to be in the know. Especially when there are babies and animals to be accounted for, families who might lose their homes, cars to gas up in case of an evacuation, arrangements to be made. I have a horse. It’s not an easy move to make. I don’t own a trailer. That might seen dumb in the moment but generally speaking, my horse is 22 and we no longer show. I never plan on going anywhere, except in an emergency situation. Securing a place for an animal that doesn’t fit in your house and securing transportation for an animal who doesn’t fit in your car is no easy task. There are many people stuck directly in the hurricane’s path for this very reason. My heart goes out to them because I know I was fretting big time until last night when all my plans were finally concrete. (and even then, are they really?? Mother Nature knows no rules.)

This is not the time to be selfish, or to look down upon someone for being worried about what the next move is. While it may not matter to you, it matters to someone else. Have compassion.

My life has changed since having a baby. There was a time when working during a hurricane wouldn’t matter to me, that having a hurricane party seemed like literally the best idea ever. ( Mary Chapin Carpenter mentions it in her song “Down at the Twist and Shout” and as a kid I thought it sounded like a blast tbh.) Between my daughter and my horse (not to mention all the other family members and moving parts), hurricane parties sound like the LAST thing I’m interested in. Safety first. That’s my motto now. Better to be over prepared than to make a mistake that could risk someone’s life. As they continue saying on our local channels, you can rebuild your home, you can’t rebuild your life. (And if we learned anything from Hurricane Harvey….Texas, we’re thinking of you here in SC!)

Now a snow storm…I’ve got that all day. I’m a Maine-er at heart, always will be. But this hurricane nonsense….it gets scarier and scarier. Especially since now we have Jose chasing his sister Irma across the ocean and Katia trying to attack Mexico. Y’all, this isn’t cool. Which one of you needs wine and which one needs chocolate? All three? No worries, I have enough.


(above quote credit to Team Froglogic instagram)

We have no control. We can only react to what happens, make the best decisions and choices we can to protect who we love and support one another. This may not work into our plans but what really does? The universe plans what she will and we just have to go along with it. But how we go along with it is what makes us who we are. You can fight it, throw a fit, ignore it, pretend it’s not happening, live in denial, cry about it, etc etc but guess what? That does you no good. All you’re doing is spreading your negativity and throwing yourself a pity party. And I don’t know about you, but whenever I have thrown myself a pity party, no one  has come. Huh.

I’m writing this as a reminder to myself and others: BE COMPASSIONATE. You never know what someone is going through or dealing with. And when your state declares a state of emergency, pay attention. Listen closely. Gather the information and react accordingly. It’s happening. It’s real. Let’s deal with it. And let’s support each other amidst the chaos.

If you’re currently being affected or you’re about to be, be brave, but safe and stay alert. My thoughts are with you. We will come out the other side of this.





Work/Life Balance and the Struggle

I had no idea how hard finding the balance between work life and home life would once I had a baby. Before I had her, I was married and my husband understood my 60 hour work weeks. I was always a worker, I loved being at work. Managing a gym was everything. Hard but so rewarding. I love the business. When I wasn’t working, I was working out there. They went hand in hand. And my marriage thrived because when we were together, we were together.

Once I became pregnant, I still managed to hold on until I went on bed rest two week prior to delivery. I slowed down but I never stopped. I will say when maternity leave came, however, I was SO SO ready.

It was strange and yet wonderful not working. But I did crave going back. I had no idea how hard that would be, however. WAKE UP CALL. Ouch.

I’ve been struggling since. Sometimes I think I’ve got it together, sometimes I feel like a literal mess. It seems that when I begin to think I have it all together, that I’m balancing everything, that’s when Bailey goes three nights waking up in the middle of the night, work goes into overdrive, and my diet and workout regime fall apart. It’s a cycle. It happens all the time. And then the anxiety and panic set in. Mix that with exhaustion and that is a recipe for one of my infamous meltdowns (I say infamous because my husband can always predict them lol).


I’m working so hard to manage it. I’m trying to turn off the strong sense of needing to work 24/7 so I can spend time with my daughter. I’m fortunate enough to get to spend a lot of time home with her so I need to take advantage of that and not be at the beck and call of work.

Do you have ways you manage it? Hours of the day set aside for certain things? That’s what I’m trying to do. Answering emails in the morning, being as efficient as possible when I am at work but also respecting time enough to get home to relieve my sitter/husband. And BOUNDARIES. Man, if I could just learn boundaries, I feel like I’d be so much better off. Nobody is perfect though, right? LOL

Balance III

Tell me how you manage your work/life balance. I could use some insight!

fitness · inspiration · Lessons Learned

Why I love Beachbody


Some people in my life have recently been asking why I got into Beachbody. I work for a wonderful health club, I competed on my own, why dive head first into a “network marketing scam”?

Well, let me first tell you it’s not a scam. There’s nothing scam-ish about it. Yes, I am fairly new to the business so maybe you think I don’t know what I’m talking about. And believe me, I was high-key skeptical about this company and what being a coach meant. I honestly avoided it for a very long time. “I’m not ready,” I’d say. “I need to be fitter,” I would explain. “I don’t have what it takes.” If you know me, my self-confidence isn’t the highest and I’m not one to take videos of myself working out on a regular basis because ew I always look terrible (I’m still pretty awful at this tbh lol). But something about Beachbody kept calling me back. It kept showing up on my newsfeed, in my texts, in my messenger, on my Instagram. So I researched it secretly, watching videos, reading testimonials.

It wasn’t the programs I was skeptical about. If you’ve ever worked out consistently for a while you know that with pushing yourself comes great results. The results you see from Insanity or P90x or 21 Day Fix are REAL. There’s no question. Now, not everyone is the same and results may vary and obviously the stricter you are, the better your results. The programs weren’t my concern.Coaching was.

What did it entail? Could I do it? Would I be good at it? I honestly cannot yet answer these questions because I’m JUST beginning. But I am LOVING what I’m learning, the people I’m surrounding myself with, and the opportunity for growth and development. Whether I become a star diamond coach or I stay an Emerald forever (which I hope isn’t the case), I’m not in it for the money or the fame. I’m in it to HELP women. I have been on my own journey (this blog is proof of that) and I needed SOMETHING. As terrified as I was, in the beginning of August I made the leap (of faith) after a wonderful coffee date with my upline coach (who was then just my coach). She sold me. And not in a salesy way. She’s REAL and she’s a mom and she gets it. I LOVE that about her and about Beachbody.


Ever since then I have been navigating this world and figuring it out slowly but surely. The products are amazing, there is literally a program for everyone, and the community is really quite warm and wonderful. There’s not competition to it. That’s one of the things I love. I am NOT competitive. I just want to be and do my own thing. With Beachbody, you can. You’re only as successful as you make yourself. Is it easy? No. But is anything worth it really ever easy? No. That’s the beauty of it. The climb. (No, I’m not quoting Miley Cyrus LOL. Actually I’m quoting Clay Appuzzo. Any Sebastian Stan fans out there? No? You’re missing out. We’ll get to him later.)

Long story short, I’m embracing my new chapter and I’m loving my journey. Beachbody has opened me up to a world I never knew existed and honestly, I wish I had taken the leap (of faith) sooner. But we can’t live in the past. We can only push forward. And I plan to push forward with this and do what I can to be successful in something I’m passionate about. For me, it’s not just about health and fitness. It’s about self-care and wellness. I’m coming off my anxiety medication, I’m feeling better about myself, I’m growing and developing myself. That is priceless.

Curious about Beachbody? Want to talk more about it? Comment below!

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Top Inspiration Songs

I created this playlist because I’m always looking for this type of thing and can never find just what I need (there’s a theme here on this blog…lol). So I created this list for my own purpose and to share with others who may need it. I don’t listen to music often anymore as it negatively influences me mentally and I’m working really hard to avoid that. When I do listen to music, I ensure it’s uplifting and gets me to a better place. I hope this playlist does the same for you.


  • “Coming out of the dark” Gloria Estefan
  • “Stand By You” Rachel Platton
  • “Brave” Sara Bareilles
  • “This is the moment” Anthony Warlow
  • “I Can Only Imagine” MercyMe
  • “Walk Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967” John Mayer


  • “The Age of Worry” John Mayer
  • “Unwritten” Natasha Bedingfield
  • “Hold On” Wilson Phillips
  • “Man in the Mirror” Michael Jackson
  • “The Sun is Rising” Britt Nicole
  • “Reach” Gloria Estefan
  • “Higher Love” Steve Winwood
  • “Africa” Toto
  • “Climb On” Shawn Colvin
  • “Catch my Breath” Kelly Clarkson
  • “Let That Pony Run” Pam Tillis
  • “Ain’t Been Done” Jessie J
  • “Save it for a Rainy Day” Kenny Chesney
  • “Seasons of Love” RENT
  • “Cannonball” Lea Michele
  • “Stand” Rascal Flatts
  • “Don’t Stop Believing” Glee
  • “Walking in Memphis” Marc Cohn
  • “The Horses” Daryl Braithwaite


  • “Learn to Fly” Foo Fighters
  • “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” Mulan (come on, you know if boosts you up! Admit it!)
  • “Follow Your Arrow” Kacey Musgraves
  • “Something to Believe In” Parachute
  • “Let the Good Times Roll” Ben Rector
  • “I Stand” Idina Menzel
  • “Best Day Of My Life” American Authors
  • “Oh How the Years Go By” Vanessa Williams
  • “Fight Song” Rachel Platton
  • “”All for Love” Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, Sting (YES I love this song and YES it makes me feel good!)
  • “Someday We’ll Know” Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman
  • “This is Me” Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas (I have a 15 year old stepdaughter…)
  • “Little Miss” Sugarland
  • “Brave Face” Delta Goodrem (This song still sticks with me, ever since my husband had cancer…)
  • “Days Like This” Van Morrison (the ideal day…)
  • “Roar” Katy Perry
  • “I Was Here” Lady Antebellum
  • “What It Takes” Montgomery Gentry
  • “How Far I’ll Go” Auli’l Cravalho
  • “Into the Open Air” Julie Fowlis
  • “Here I Am” Bryan Adams
  • “The Best Of Me” Josh Kelley
  • “The Best I Can” Jake Owen
  • “Reason to Hope” Ron Pope
  • “Freedom” George Michael
  • “Go The Distance” Roger Bart
  • “In this Life” Delta Goodrem



  • “Promise” Thomas Bergerson
  • “Remember Me” Thomas Bergerson
  • “There’s No Place Like Home” Michael Giacchino
  • “August’s Rhapsody” August Rush Soundtrack


Have a song I need to add? Please comment below! I’d love some more inspiration! I’ll take all I can get!



In meal prepping this week, we made a few great standards to have available in the fridge! The kids eat them (both the teens and the toddler!) and they fit on our meal plans! I’m going to share two of our favorites with you!



🥚Deviled Eggs (I CRAVE these!)



  • 10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup plain hummus
  • 1 tbsp grain mustard
  • 1/8 cup chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprinkle of smoked paprika

20 half eggs=53 calories each! #WIN

Hard-boil the eggs. Peel them. Cut them in half and set the halves aside. Remove the yolks. Blend everything (including the yolks) in a food processor. Cut the corner off a zip-lock bag and use that to pipe the filling into the half eggs.

🥚Egg Muffins


Ingredients (per egg muffin)

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 slice Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 slice turkey bacon
  • 1/8 cup peppers and onions (sauteed)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites

150 calories per muffin

We chose to leave the eggs whole so the yolk was in the middle of the muffin. Saute’ the peppers and onions first, then put the turkey bacon on the bottom of the muffin tin. Pour the egg, egg whites and peppers and onions into the tins and place the cheese over the top to cook. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. These worked great for snacks, breakfast and on the go, since you can eat them warm or cold!

Do you have an egg recipe you love? Share it below! I love trying new recipes!


Calm. Is. Contagious. 

This is a lesson I learn day in and day out. Calm is contagious. Any feeling is contagious. If you’re anxious, the people around you will be anxious. If you’re uncomfortable, the people around you will feel it, they’ll be uncomfortable. It’s easy for people to affect your emotions, and is easy for you to influence theirs. How do you want to influence them? 

I’ve realized this as a parent. If I get frustrated and worked up, Bailey is right there with me. I will accomplish nothing with her if I’m frustrated and passing that negative energy on to her. Children are especially sensitive. Your calm is contagious. They will feel it and be calm. 

In the work place, this is absolutely a must. Think about that spastic boss you had, or that coworker that runs around frantic all the time. How does that make you feel? You feel their energy don’t you? I know I do! I’m learning to keep myself in check because there’s nothing worse than knowing you’re the cause of someone else’s frantic feelings. Anxiety is contagious. So is calm. 

Whether in a moment of crisis or a moment of sheer panic, remember to take a deep breath. Calm is contagious. Lead with calm. If you’re calm, your employees, children, spouse will feel that and it will calm them. I have witnessed this from both angles. Have you? I want to hear about it! 

I’ll leave you with this video. I think Rorke Denver is just awesome. He’s inspiring, a great storyteller, and my go-to for leadership. Watch and listen as he talks about how calm is contagious! Enjoy! Let me know you’re thoughts! (Click the picture for the video!)