For all the Brides! Desiree Hartsock and Maggie Sottero.

The past few days I was away on a business adventure.  For those that don’t know I am a bridal consultant and work in a small boutique bridal store called Runway Bridal.  This past weekend was the Bridal Market in Chicago which was a chance for all the designers to get together and show us all their new fall designs (More posts on this to come :)).  One of my highlights for the weekend was meeting Desiree Hartsock Siegfried (My personal bachelorette favourite).  She is no longer a bachelorette as she is  now married- YAY!! CONGRATS DESIREE and Chris!!

Desiree has recently teamed up with Maggie Sottero and designed a collection of bridal gowns that are beyond amazing!  My personal favourite being Zarina;Desiree Hartsock with Maggie Sottero®

photo credit;

This dress was recreated to look like her beautiful reception gown.  Go to Maggie Sottero and take a look at all of her dresses she designed.  All six dresses are beyond gorgeous in my opinion!  Not only has she done a great job but in person she is sweet and genuine!  If you are a bride and love any of her dresses find a store near you that carries Maggie Sottero! They are beautiful dresses that will not break your budget.

Because I just adore her, don’t forget to follow her on Instagram and check out all of her new designs! (including a bridal Jewellery line)

Thanks for reading and if you are a bride or future one, let me know if what you think and if you would like to see more bride focussed posts!

love you all,


ps.  This is us at the Chicago Market 🙂 🙂 🙂


The Skimm

the skimm

Have you ever seen that FRIENDS episode? You know the one where Joey decides to buy one encyclopedia because he is tired of his friends having conversations that he doesn’t know anything about? He can’t afford the entire set so he buys just the V book. So now he is up to date on subjects like the Vietnam War, violins, and Van Gogh but knows nothing else. I find this episode (season 4, episode 3) so funny because I can relate! This is how I generally am when talking about current events.

Growing up I didn’t watch the news, mainly because I didn’t care. Gasp! Imagine a kid/self centered teenager caring about anything other than her curfew or allowance….it’s hard to imagine! Then as I got older, I started to care, but every time I watched the news I was depressed…so I stopped. Which brings me back to identifying with Joey in FRIENDS. At work, with friends, or in other situations when the topic of current events came up I seemed to always be asking, “now what are you talking about” or “when did that happen”? To which I always got a look that says, “I can’t believe you don’t know…”. So instead of informing myself I stopped asking questions.

I find it hard to believe that I am the only person in this position or with these feelings…which is why I wanted to introduce to The Skimm as my top pick Tuesday post! My sister sent me a random text one morning that said this, “subscribe to The Skimm”. Nothing else just those 4 words. I took her up on it and have been hooked ever since.

The Skimm was started by two girls who have a passion for current events, breaking news and telling people about them both. In their own words, “theSkimm is the daily e-mail newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day. We do the reading for you – across subject lines and party lines – and break it down with fresh editorial content”. All you have to do is subscribe and they will start emailing you every day to keep you in the know. It’s amazingly entertaining yet informative, they have funny and catchy headlines, and frequently make references to the best show ever…FRIENDS…all while telling you about current events.

I walked into work the other day and a coworker made a joke about Hilary Clinton’s emails and I laughed…like for real laughed because I understood. That to me sealed the deal. I’m a skimmer forever.

You may be reading this thinking, “I already watch the news I don’t need to subscribe to this newsletter”; but I encourage you to still subscribe! It really is great and something I look forward to reading every morning. Try it and let us know what you think!

❤ Jaclyn

Having a moment: Lips

Marsala, which was a huge color for fall and winter, is hear to stay for spring!! Yay!! I love when items can be versatile and used in different seasons!

As we shared in another post there are several “it” colors for spring. But, thee marsala we grew to know and love in the winter has been toned down a bit for spring. This isn’t really surprising if you think about it, right? All spring colors are a little softer…think Easter eggs!

This morning I had a revelation. While some clothing and makeup items that we purchased for winter need to stay in our winter wardrobe, others can be tweaked and transitioned into spring. This revelation leads me to my makeup Monday post…the perfect spring lip!

Two lip shades that were popular for fall and winter were the burgundy lip and the pale lip. Both trends were awesome and I enjoyed them at different times and places. Chances are you have a lip gloss, chap stick, or lip stick in both colors still laying around. While it’s fun to wear different color lipsticks, it’s hard to go through an entire container of one color. And when you have so many half used containers lying around, who wants to purchase another one just because it’s in for spring.  SO, why not combine two colors you already have and use them to create the “it” lip shade for spring…a toned down marsala…or what we can also call plum.

I applied a light coat of my burgundy lip stick and then put my pale shade on top and rubbed them together…voila! I had a new fun color that I didn’t have to go and purchase! I felt creative, resourceful, and economic AND accomplished that all on a Monday morning! Woohoo!

Here are the two colors on my hand. The top is my pale shade, the bottom is my burgundy shade, and the middle are the two mixed together.

plum hand

And here I am wearing the two…I am in love.

plum lips

Excuse the lighting. It was taken on my phone and it was pretty early. But hopefully you get the point!

Now this is good news for people who have both lip shades already. If you don’t have them, run out to your closest CVS and grab an NYX lip shade in plum. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with them! Or, as Christine wrote about in a previous post, Essence is a great brand to try new shades in as well!

For those readers who don’t care about the “it” color for spring, use this method and create a whole new shade just for you. Take two different colors, combine them together and show us what you got!!

❤ Jaclyn

Hot Buns

sockbun sockbun2

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you probably have heard of a top knot, sock bun, or bun. If not here are a couple pictures to acquaint you with the look.

Have you ever tried doing a top knot or sock bun on your own? Its hard. Even if you get a foam wrap or something to help, it’s still hard! You need 1,000 bobby pins, hair falls all over the place, and it never stays exactly where you want it. That was real life for me, that is until I met hot buns!! I can’t take credit for this find. A friend/co-worker introduced it to me and I immediately fell in love. She walked into work wearing it in her hair and sold me and another co-worker on it instantaneously. The best thing is that it can be found at either Target or Walgreens and is super cheap! $5 at Target or $10 at Walgreens.

I  now love wearing a bun to work or out at night. A few months ago I even wore my hair in a bun to a wedding and got tons of compliments. My hair is a little longer than shoulder length and has several shoter layers and hot buns still does the trick! I can make the bun loose for a day look or tight and high for an evening look. Here are two examples.

top bun day look

top bun day look



top bun night look

top bun night look







Try it and tell me what you think!

❤ Jaclyn

Oh also, here is a video to show you how easy hot buns is to use

White Hot Nails!

Spring is almost here and we get to say goodbye to dry winter hands! What better way to shake off the winter blues than getting a fresh manicure!  of course there are a ton of colours and trends out there to choose from but here is one you may not have thought about;


…And no, I don’t mean grab a bottle of white out (that was only allowed in grade six)!

Most likely it won’t just be called white, it could be “Arctic White” or “Blizzard” but lets face it… they are all white.  Maybe you think there is no way you are putting this on your hands but take a look at my Nail Love pinterest page and it might change your mind.  This colour (or absence of colour) looks amazing on all skin tones! It pops and gives your nails a classy look while still feeling fresh and young!

Give it a try on your next manicure visit!  If you don’t think its for your hands maybe try it on your toes and fall in love with this amazing look!

Love you all!


Lumos Maxima

Happy Makeup Monday! One of my favorite days of the blog and now this post contains my favorite title! If you didn’t know Lumos Maxima is a spell from my favorite series of books, Harry Potter. The spell is used to create light…which is kind of what I am going to be writing about today! Ok, now that my inner geek has come out, let’s proceed to a “cooler” subject…a light catching makeup product called illuminator!

Illuminator is one of those products I always wanted to try but never really took the time to do it. That is until I saw that NYX carried it for $7.50 and I thought, “hey why not. I’ll try it and see what happens”. Well now, I’m totally sold!

I am going to give you my top 10 reasons you should wear an illuminator.

1)  If you want glowing and younger looking skin, it’s for you!

2) If you wear make up or don’t wear any makeup, it’s for you!

3) Think of it like a highlighter. You use a highlighter to emphasize a sentence or word in a paragraph right? Well illuminator does the same thing for your face!  It emphasizes eyes, brows, cheek bones, and so much more!

4) It comes in cream or powder. Both are easy to apply but are good for different complexions. Use the cream if you have dryer to more combination type skin, and powder if you have oily skin.

5) Illuminator comes in a pinky shade for those who have a fairer complexion as well as a gold tone for those who have olive or darker skin.

6) It can be found as cheap or as expensive as you want/need. Try a cheaper brand like NYX that will still get the job done. Then decide if you like it and go from there. I now have this one from Benefit and love it too! If you don’t like Benefit or NYX products; NARS, Clinque, Stila, Smashbox, Revlon, and so many more lines sell illuminators as well.

7) An illuminator is used to catch the sun, or any light for that matter, to create the illusion of a contoured face. It can be worn alone or partnered with a bronzer to get you the full contoured look…a.k.a. a femininely chiseled face. Kim Kardashian is famous for contouring her face. (don’t freak out if you follow this link…you don’t have to be this intense to use an illuminator) 

8) You can use it on your cheek bones to create the illusion of high cheek bones or emphasize the high cheek bones you already have; as well as using it on the middle of your nose to make your nose look slim and straight.

9) You can put it above and below your lips to give you fuller looking lips. Pair it with a pale lip color and BAMB baby you got it a nice, full, juicy looking lip!!

10) And lastly, you don’t need a lot of product to give your skin the pop it deserves!

Here is an awesome diagram of how to apply illuminator and what it does for your different areas.


If you are a little hesitant to dive in 100%, start small. Find a cheap illuminator and dab a little on your cheek bones. Start by wearing it only for special occasions and see how you like it. You can always start small and add in the future!

Comment with any other tips you have! And don’t forget to follow couragedearheartlife on Instagram to see me wearing my favorite Illuminator!

❤ Jaclyn

Madison Tech Bag! 

Hi all! It’s fashion Wednesday and I thought I would give a quick review on my new bag by Stella & dot.  If you missed my last post on this great accessory company check it out here.

Stella & dot has some great jewellery but they also have great bags! I decided to go with the Madison Tech bag; IMG_0478

I LOVE this bag.  Yes its meant for all my tech gadgets like laptops and iPads, but I never actually carry those things around so I use it for an everyday bag.  This bag is pretty large (think brief case) and has side zipper panels that can make it even bigger!  Its extremely durable and structured which in my opinion makes it great for easily grabbing things like your wallet.  Its made of textured vegan leather material (YAAY)!! It’s interior is even made of spill resistant material which makes it great for all those beauty lovers like me (for when our lipstick lids fall off it can be easily cleaned).   It has shorter handles that are attached to the bag but also come with a long adjustable strap.  Its sells on the website for 168$ which can seem a little pricey at first but its a fraction of the price compared to some designer bags!

Over all this is a fabulous every day bag!  Great for carrying around your laptop or giant makeup bag.  So far mine is pretty clean (just got it two days ago) but I am working on filling it up 😉 100 more lipsticks, hand creams and tweezers to go!

Let me know what you think about this bag if you have one.  Also, there is another cute colour available called Poppy! Great for the spring and summer 🙂 Both the colours available are shown below (Poppy and Black/Cream (found on

Hope everyone has a fabolous wednesday! Let me know what bags you are loving right now 🙂