out of the office.

Today I start the first leg of our trip South, meeting Ben in Vancouver and then travelling to LA tomorrow!

We have a week of sun, family, music, sight seeing, and relaxation ahead of us and I couldn't be more excited. I'd love to tell you that I had a week's worth of posts scheduled for you but - alas - I have a clean house to come home to instead. (Sometimes chores trump blogging).

Have a fantastic week, everyone. See you in February!




Ombre Dip Dye Tags

I fell in love with these ombre dip dyed tags and I am trying to figure out how I can incorporate them into our wedding (seating chart, perhaps?) I think they'd be sweet for Valentines, too.

Visit Momtastic for the tutorial by Liz Stanley.

(Images and tutorial courtesy of Liz Stanley of Say Yes to Hoboken for Momtastic).

Good Things are Worth Sharing

Have you seen the newest way to spread the word on LINKwithlove? Key tags! They're pretty + colourful+ come in a two pack for sharing. Word on the street is that these babies are moving quickly so get yours soon (here) and be the change.

(Images courtesy of Kal Barteski for LINKwithlove).


Scar Tissue, Anthony Kiedis

Hi friends. I'd love to know what you're reading at the moment. I'm at the end of Anthony Kiedis' memoir Scar Tissue and it was a book that I absolutely loved. Have you read it? What did you think?

B and I are leaving for LA at the end of the month and the book to accompany me on this trip will be... Diane Keaton's Then Again.

What books are currently on your to read list?


love notes.

While reviewing my recent etsy favourites, I noticed a theme: love notes. As a fan of the 'post-it on the mirror good morning message' Ben and I sometimes leave each other, I enjoy these subtle yet thoughtful ways of incorporating romantic endearments throughout the home.

Seriously. I think I need these pencils...

(Mr. Darcy Proposal Dish Towel $11, Brookish; Hello. Also I love you pencils $10, the big harumph; oh darling, let's be adventurers screenprinted poster $25, fifi du vie).

Bri's Loft

I fell in love with Bri Emery's loft when it was photographed last month by Bonnie Tsang for the 2011 Holiday issue of Rue Magazine. The loft embodies Bri's eclectic style and is the perfect combination of masterfully selected vintage finds and colourful contemporary pieces. I'm inspired.

(All photos by Bonnie Tsang).


Our Wedding: the decor

Welcome to the first instalment of Ben + Courtney Get Hitched, a new feature to chronicle our planning process in the months leading up to our September wedding. I'm going to be honest and candid in these posts, sharing both the ups and the downs of our experience. Won't you join me in my adventures as a party-planner-turned-bride-planning-her-own-wedding?

part one: the decor.

A few of the first things we decided upon were our colour palette and several key elements of our decor. We're getting married on Okanagan Lake in the heart of BC's wine country. It is important to us that our end-of-summer wedding be a celebration where every guest feels welcomed and comfortable. When I asked Ben how he envisioned the decor and style of the wedding he responded with "functional" and "simple" (he's such a boy); I've incorporated his interpretation with my vision of "classic" and "rustic." What we've come up with is something that I think fits in with the Okanagan landscape perfectly.

{key decor elements}

1. paper lanterns. we will be hanging these throughout the venue for a laid back, summer patio party feel.
2. birch. not 100% on how we're going to incorporate it yet but it will be present.
3. arbour. we'll be married under one on a beach front patio.
4. jute + burlap. runners for the aisle and/or tables.
5. menu board. the only thing I don't like about buffet dinners is the fact that it's impossible to know everything that's being served. solution: menu board.
6. sparklers. duh.
7. neutrals. we'll be using pattern and colour sparingly to ensure it packs a punch against the neutral colour palette.
8. bunting. again, I'm not sure where this is going to be incorporated. but it will be incorporated.
9. vintage + rustic elements. in the spirit of DIY, personalized details, I'm on the lookout for clever and tasteful ways of incorporating vintage pieces into the decor.

So there you have it: the first sneak peak at our planning process. Much, much, more to come...

(Photos courtesy of 1. save on crafts 2. photo by Armor & Martel via Elizabeth Anne Designs 3. photo by Michael and Anna Costa via Style Me Pretty4. photo by Jonas Peterson via Once Wed 5. design by Lesley Weiner via Good Design Makes me Happy 6. photo by Pam Cooley Photography via Style Me Pretty 7. photo by Kristyn Hogan via Elizabeth Anne Designs 8. toast via this is glamorous 9. photo by Eleise Theuer Photography via the knot).


Belmondo Organic Skincare

One of my New Years' Resolutions is a goal to eat more cleanly. I've extended this to all aspects of my body in efforts to live more cleanly. First on the docket: my skin. I've successfully incorporated water into my daily practise, carrying it with me everywhere. I've noticed that my skin improves when I make a conscious effort to drink water regularly. It's no wonder why I instantly fell in love with Daniela Belmondo's (Vancouver-based) organic skin care line, Belmondo; it makes my skin feel just as amazing.

I am fortunate enough to be friends with some pretty wonderful people, one of whom is Nicole. My favourite shop-owner and eco fashionista recently gifted me this travel sample set and I was instantly hooked.

If you follow this blog you know that I don't often write product-heavy posts. You also know that I don't write "sponsor posts." I write about what I like and I like Belmondo. As women, we spend countless hours poking and prodding at our faces and absorbent amounts of money on products to cover them up. For me, it was time to simplify.

Enter, Daniela: "I believe that beautiful skin comes from products derived from the earth’s pure and restorative ingredients. I’ve formulated this organic olive oil-based skin care line to protect, nourish, and enhance the natural beauty of those who use my products." I dig it. (and if that wasn't enough... she, and the company she founded, love animals, respect mama earth, think local, and are helping to build an orphanage in South Africa. What a mantra).

If you're interested in having a look at these products in person (or in giving them a smell) pop into body politic. Otherwise, the products are available online. If you end up giving any a try, I'd love to hear what you think.

Which leads me to my next questions: what is your current skin care routine? what products do you love?

(Photo courtesy of Belmondo via body politic).


Under Zee Weather

Well there went my gung-ho, let's go attitude! I've been momentarily sidelined by an oncoming cold which has left me tired + achey. I hope to be back up and blogging by the end of the week. Until then, stay warm, friends.

PS: Bauer is the best cuddle companion.


Link With Love, revisited.

(click on image to enlarge).

Hi friends. Today I'm talking about intellectual property and crediting. Although I've touched on this before, I wanted to revisit the topic as more and more of my friends have entered the world of Pinterest and are now disseminating images all over the internet. I've been passionate about this topic since university and it's something I want to ensure others, especially those closest to me, are aware of. Consider this post my soapbox speech and, if you'd be so kind, I'd love it if you would please read on.

Incorrect image/idea crediting. It's something we've all been unknowingly guilty of at some point. It is also something that is so easily avoided by educating ourselves on the best practices that we are all capable of following.

Before re-pinning, re-blogging, or re-tweeting something, make sure the image (a) has a link and (b) is linked back to the original source. When the link is available, share away; when it isn't, do the work and find the original source to update the link and credit appropriately. By doing so, you're ensuring the idea/ photo/ image is linked back to its original source and subsequent "shares" will be done so appropriately.

It's not all about financial compensation, folks; it's about striking a fair balance between original ideas and interpretations of those ideas. We might not be able to credit absolutely everything that inspires us because sometimes we can't explain it, let alone map it out in clean links. However, in this day and age, when we have google, IMDB, shazam, and other searchable databases at our finger tips, it's appropriate to acknowledge the creator, wherever possible.

The image above (created by erin loechner and pia bijkerk with yvette's lovely handmade fonts) says it perfectly. Please join the movement and continue to educate yourself and share with others.

A great place to start is by following the work of these movements:

In their words... LINKwithlove is the idea that by banding together in a "neighbourhood watch" type way - we, the internet, could teach and learn respect when dealing with intellectual property online.

In their words... Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.

So... are you onboard? Do you link with love in your daily practise?

(Top image created by erin loechner and pia bijkerk with yvette's lovely handmade fonts).


the rundown: 2012

Here I sit at the crux of a new year, attempting to prepare a list of goals. Looking back at the last few months of 2011, I see that my wondrous list of ideas somehow got away from me. I began what felt like 80 concurrent projects, while only following through on a handful of them. As a goal-oriented and somewhat organized individual this has been eating away at me slowly to the point of creative eruption, both figuratively and literally (at this point I must interrupt myself to thank my sweet fiancé for putting up with the numerous piles of half-completed projects and art supplies scattered throughout the house. I love you, B).

As I set forth into 2012, I must remind myself to slow down and to focus.

Setting accurate, thoughtful, goals is important. Although we may not meet all of our goals, we must set them at a measurable level to set ourselves up for successes rather than failures. Don't know where to start? Start here.

With that, I present to you my list...


Complete [one] wedding-related DIY project per month between January and August. If you follow me on Pinterest you may have noticed the DIY projects accumulating on our wedding inspiration board. The time has come to narrow down the projects to an achievable number and start working on them, one.at.a.time.


(The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal, $12.26 at Amazon.ca)

Write one sentence a day for 365 days... and then for another 4 years thereafter.
My friend Jillian bought me this lovely little journal based on Gretchen Rubin's best selling book. She also picked up one for herself and we've made a pact to write one sentence a day for the duration of the year to chronicle the ups (and even the downs) that come our way. I'm excited to have something to look back on, especially with this being the year of our wedding. What a thoughtful gift; thanks, again, Jill!


Work out [three] times a week and do yoga [once] a week.
Let bridal bootcamp rein in 2012 and beyond! My fitness regime has needed a kick in the junk for a while now and, as it turns out, the wedding was just the motivation I needed to tighten + flatten + stretch out my tired body. I've been (moderately) consistent with my gym-going and yoga-stretching as of late; however, it's time to kick it into high gear. Operation: "Get a Middleton-style butt" starts now!


(This Martha recipe for Shrimp and Pesto Pizza is on my list).

Try [one] new recipe a month.
Yes, I admit this is probably the easiest of my goals to accomplish. That being said, I added it because I wanted an excuse to blog about food and a way of keeping Ben and myself from falling into familiar-dinner-ruts. Get ready for a new feature on C Star Events: dinner at our house.


Organize my art room. I am a creator who best functions in a space I am comfortable in. My mission for the early months of the year is to give my art room a face lift and make it functional; my mission for the remainder of the year is to keep it fresh. Photos and progress reports to follow on the blog & Instagram.


Run a Half Marathon in May. This goal both exhilarates and frightens the daylights out of me. I have a training plan in place and I'm doing research on all types of conditioning. I am particularly fond of this short video featured on the New York Times describing the 100-up and how it breaks it down into the mechanics of perfect running. There. I've said it out loud. Now I have to do it. In 2012 I WILL become a runner.


Document our wedding planning adventures on the blog. This is something that I haven't been diligent about chronicling. Until now. Like it or not, this blog is going back to it's wedding panning roots and is about to get an inspiration overload in the name of Ben + Courtney Getting Hitched.


(Then Again is available at Chapters, $30).

Read at least [six] of the books currently in my pile. In no particular order, the next half dozen books on my list are Then Again (Diane Keaton), Sleeping With the Enemy (Hal Vaughan), Let the Great World Spin (Colum McCann), Fifth Avenue 5 AM (Sam Wasson), Is Everyone Hanging out Without me? (Mindy Kaling), and The Hunger Games trilogy (Suzanne Collins).


Watch one documentary a month. Ben and I added this one as a fun way of doing something different each month. We've always enjoyed watching documentaries and there seem to be so many good ones that we've yet to see. We're using this once-a-month date as a way of seeing our world through a new perspective and staying informed. What are some of your favourite documentaries?


Eat more cleanly. Speaking of documentaries, B and I watched Food Inc. the other night and we'll never be the same. I've been interested in finding organic, locally grown produce and meat for a while and this film put me over the edge. We've made a lifestyle change by way of our eating habits and will choose local, organic, and fair trade wherever possible. I'm interested in reading more and I'd love to hear your recommendations for books and cookbooks on the subject. Also, feel free to pass along any delicious recipes you may have; I promise to do the same!


BE Original. BE Authentic. Authentic is one of my new power words. I love how it encompasses ideas of originality and honesty. It's genuine and real. This goal is going to include original and authentic content for this blog and art work for our walls. I'm buzzing with inspiration on this one.


(Photo taken by Angela).

Learn more about photography and how to use my camera. Last Valentine's Day B bought me an amazing Nikon D-90. Although I've enjoyed every moment of playing with it, I have a lot to learn. I plan to go on many photo walks and to take a couple of courses on how to maximize its photographic potential. (Progress to be documented on the blog).

Phew! If you've read this far I applaud you. I'm excited to see how these goals transform, explode, fall apart, and come together again. I hope you'll join me on the crazy year ahead and play along! I'd love to hear your goals and touch base in the months ahead.

Find me on facebook, twitter, and Instagram (username: courtneystarheim) to join the party!


The Paper Kites, Featherstone + Bloom

I'm in the process of hammering out my 2012 goals and assessing what each one means to me and how it will affect my day-to-day happenings. This has proven itself a task that is more difficult than originally thought. While I prepare the infamous post (that I hope to have finished for tomorrow), I'd like to share a band that I've been enjoying for the last couple of months. I'm rather smitten with these adorable Australians and their sweet, smooth, voices and airy melodies. I play this EP on repeat. Every day. Enjoy.


Wine Etiquette.

I meant to share this wine etiquette tutorial created for A Cup Of Joe last week to ensure none of us committed any party fouls on New Years Eve. Unfortunately, I never got around to it in time. Even though the holidays are now over it's worth sharing as - after all - it never hurts to brush up on your social etiquette. The illustrations (by Gemma Correll) are pretty damn adorable, too.

The tutorial can be found here. Cheers!

(Illustrations by Gemma Correll for A Cup Of Joe).


Mad Men NYE 2012: the first glimpse

Last weekend Ben and I hosted a Mad Men-inspired New Years Eve party for 16 of our beautiful friends. Our guests' gorgeous attire were complemented by a smattering of vintage decorations, a 60's-themed cocktail bar, and sparklers + champagne at midnight.

As a group, we celebrated 2011 as a year of awesome events. It gave us a baby, three weddings, an engagement, several graduations, and many, many, laughs. It was a pretty fantastic (& busy) 365 days in my books.

More photos and details to come; however, I wanted to post a glimpse of our night as captured through my phone (via Instagram).

How was your New Years Eve? Did you stay in or go out on the town?
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