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So sorry, loves!! I’ve been extra busy this week. A great sale to check out is this Madewell sale. I totally dropped the ball, but there is still a chance! It ends tonight! 

use code- XOXOMW for extra 30% off sale! 

Here are some quick picks. Seriously, cute stuff for a great price! 

Already a great price without promo, get it here


I own this sweater in a different color! It’s the best and works for multiple seasons. Get it here. You can see me wearing it on my lastest Instagram! 


You can never go wrong with a great stripe top. I super love the design of the back of this top. The price is also right on this quality piece. Check it out here

I love plaid so much. Maybe I am crazy. I’m always trying to find plaid skirts and jumpers because I think you can do such cool things with them. This beauty is already on sale for $39. I think it might be coming to my closet soon! Get it here

Get to this sale quick, pals. Hope you enjoyed this fast post of my favorites right now on the Madewell sale rack! Always remember you aren’t too good for sales if you’re too poor to pay rent or if you can only eat ramen! Sales are your friend ūüėā I love sales. They’re practically my boyfriend! (Don’t tell CJ!) 

happy shopping,


deals and mexican bartering! (a match made in heaven)

hola amigas! Welcome back to happylittleshoppingsecret! I hope you have enjoyed our little hiatus, but not too much because we seriously have to hit the deals. I hope you had a super Merry Christmas though! Do you guys know how wonderful yet how janky mexico is? It’s like a beautiful harmony of my personality. Match made in heaven. Today was so cold so we ventured into the city to explore and it was definitely my fav!!! I loved trying to speak spanish (took 4 years in high school and a semester in college… ps.. it doesn’t nothing down here HAHAHA!) and getting fat on all the goodies.



CJ and his brother, Austin, really had a good time bartering (bargaining) with the little tienda owners so I got the cutest leather purse! My sister-in-law Karli and I kept looking in each shop until I found the cutest one!!! SUCCESS! That’s my shopping advice for after christmas sales. The U.S. is a little different, but if you don’t love that shirt or dress, move on to one you like better. (PS… having a really hard time not saying “vestido” for dress after trying to help my nephew, Tyler, get a cute Mexican dress for his girlfriend!)


Because I’m still on vacation, (unfortunate isn’t it!?) I just wanted to give you a quick rundown of my favorite deals currently and then you can see some of my favorite pictures that CJ and I took today!

EXTRA 40% off Winter Sale Styles with code SHOPNOW 

Chelsea Rain Boots $30

Skinny Trouser Sweatpants $30- Super cute joggers!!!

EXTRA 30% off sale Madewell with code YOUWIN

Lace Refined Tee $24

Slim Turtleneck Top $24

Up to 50% off at Crate and Barrel! Click here.

Hope you enjoyed these deals! Now for the pictures!!!







My underneath top is from Zara, Sweater- J.Crew







Hope you enjoyed this post and my “Mexican” ¬†adventuras!!!! We are having grand time. Subscribe to my emails and follow me on Instagram! (@cortneyagren or @happylittleshoppingsecret). Be sure to check out those picks above because wow are they great! I’ll be back tomorow with some more good one from Kate Spade and more, so stay tuned! SORRY FOR THAT NOVEL!


happy shopping,



choose it and then don’t lose it.

My sister recently when telling me about her dating life said so plainly, “I just don’t know what to think. We just aren’t like that in our family! We are REALISTS!” I have since been thinking about this a lot.

When I got married, although as lovey-dovey as I’ve ever been, I didn’t really expect for me to always be happy with CJ as well as ¬†every choice he made¬†in regards to us, himself, school, etc. WIth that being said, I wasn’t even on cloud nine, but I definitely fell hard from whatever lower type cloud I was on. CJ and I don’t scream at each other or anything, but sometimes just silently struggle through whatever the other one did to annoy us.

I am not saying this as a boo you to my lovie. Because in all reality, I choose to shed a couple quick tears in frustration and then be a big girl and go give him a kiss. I don’t always choose that, but I know that the happy feelings come faster that way. The point is, even if you are as stubborn as a bull (like both CJ and I,) (that’s gonna make for some interesting kids someday! HAHAHA) there are always better choice.

I have come to realize that when I make the “best” choices instead of the “good” choices, my life floats along much easier. We are happier and more content. There are certain things that CJ and I try to do daily/weekly/hourly/monthly and I’ve noticed that choosing to keep up with those routines my life also goes much smoother.

I think the point of this whole mumbo-jumbo blog post is that you choose what you love and then you love your choice. I have often thought the dramatic wife thought of ¬†“What the heck am I doing here?” But every time,¬†every single time,¬†it is followed by the warm and fuzzy feelings of my husband’s ultimate goodness. I think what I’m trying to say is, whatever you choose, good, better, best, it is always good to remember that every choice has it’s ups and downs. We chose that choice for a reason. So, hang in there and beautify it to death.

xo CBA

if you liked this blog post, check out this link

(Disclaimer: This is not “my marriage is horrible” , it’s mostly a metaphor for my life and maybe your’s!)

here we go– pre finals week!

Dear blog followers,
Though I know I do not have thousands of you, I really do appreciate those of you who stop by often to check up on our little life.
This semester has been harder, more rewarding, and more frustrating than any others. It is probably because I gave it a bit more effort. The truth is, CJ and I have been down for the count since yesterday. We have had sore throats, nausea, headaches, stuffed noses, and more recently, feeling as if we will black out at any sudden moment.
Because we have been busy, I haven’t been updating as regularly. Today, I will do a quick recap, then go back to sleep. After all, I am just laying in my bed.





Hogle Zoo with Amanda and Tate(&Jord for a brief minute)
Temple square lights with Haley
New hairstyle





relief society fun
Haley at temple square
Becoming domestic




Our quick trip to AZ
I actually wore a blanket while we were there
Quick trip to the hospital




My logo designs for my advertising class
Christmas decorating



My friend, Susanna, and I got to set up a table at our ward social!

Happy finals week to all. We are so grateful for the love and support we are constantly shown. although we aren’t the healthiest, we are so happy. We love life and continue to get (somewhat) better at it each day!


start of something new.

I keep thinking how it would be fun to do something a little different! So today (tonight, rather) I decided that it would be cool to review some of my favorite products that I use on the daily! Now, I’m thinking the same thing you are thinking, “What the?? What makes Cortney the authority?!” Nothing. I’m just a normal girl wanting to help other beautiful ladies out there feel their best. I think we all know of times that putting on some great mascara made your day a million times better, or the time that hairspray saved your wedding hair! So, here are my favs, take it or leave it. Really though, cute readers, I hope you’ll come back! ūüôā¬†Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 10.30.15 PM

1. My sister and mom love this mascara, and I have to admit it always does it’s job well and isn’t super expensive. Make sure you wipe the brush a little before you put it on though! (L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Dramatic Volume Building Mascara, $8.49)

2. Anyone who is close with me knows that it is always, always about the eyelashes. Everything else can be perfect, but if my eyelashes aren’t up to par, I won’t be happy with my makeup. This mascara was my wedding mascara and was super amazing. I always thought my mascara was on point while using Benefit They’re Real! Mascara. (Sephora link, $23.00) It’s a little more expensive than your usual drugstore haul, but totally worth the time I saved. It only takes about two coats!

3. Oh my goodness! This Dove Dry Shampoo is the best! I have tried it all, every kind from salon brands to Tresemme brand. The best part for me about this dry shampoo is that it doesn’t smell like A. Candy, B. Fruit, C. Terrible-ness. It smells clean, just like their shampoo. The next best part, is that it only gets better the longer you wait. I use it on the third day of not washing my hair (TMI? Sorry!) and BOOM! It’s like super volumized, which seems weird. Also, I really like that I don’t have to wipe off excess oil with a towel? Super weird. Anyway, I loooooveee this stuff!

4. CeraVe has been my friend ever since my dermatologist promised it would keep my skin hydrated without making me break out. It really is that good. (I use their face wash as well, but have learned that I need to switch face washes every 4 months for them to be more effective.) I put it on first, let it completely dry and follow with my favorite VS Makeup Primer that is no longer sold. ūüė¶ (You can get this stuff pretty much at any drugstore, it’s a little more expensive but totally worth it. Plus, it’s good for dry elbows and under eye circles.)

5. Color Whisper lipcolors (from Maybelline)¬†are my new favorite. My current favorites are Petal Rebel(shown above) and Cherry on Top.¬†They are moist, but if you powder your lips before applying, you can have a matte finish. I love that. It also lasts and doesn’t transfer if you let it dry. (I gave CJ a big kiss after putting a dark one on… made a little mess!) It is also a better alternative to really expensive lipsticks if you use a lot like I do. (Prices vary, but usually $4-5)

6. Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray– This stuff is really amazing. Awhile back my curly hair turned just beach wave on it’s own. This spray makes it so much better. I keep having people telling me how amazing my hair looks when I literally let my hair air dry, and then scrunch this stuff through it. I had heard about this stuff from some of my friends, but had to go on wild goose chases to find it. Finally did, and boy was it worth it! ($4.74 at WalMart)

7. Benefit Watts Up Highlighter¬†– This stuff is so great. It looks as good on my cheek bones as it does on my brow bone. It is an easy way to have a dewy polished finish with literally drawing a stripe on your cheek bone then filling it in. CJ always walks in while I do this part and says, “Hey nice ward paint.” ($30.00 for regular size, but the smaller¬†version is plenty and lasts for a long time. It’s cheaper.)

8. Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc Free Mineral Correcting Powder– For someone who’s face is sometimes red, have reoccurring dark circles under my eyes, etc., this stuff really is a game changer. I love it so much, I don’t use any other kind of face makeup with it. It’s that good. I do use concealers still (when the pimples arrive), but I’m sure I would have to wear a lot more if I didn’t use this stuff. It really does even out the colors in my skin. Plus, I use the lightest part of the press powder to help contour a little. ($10-13, depending on where you go.)

9. I love this blush! Particularly this color. It is the perfect amount of shimmer, to give you a soft, glow-y feel instead of Toddlers and Tiaras glitter wars. This shade of pink-y peach also is really flattering on a little ginger girls face. ($30.00, better quality and last awhile!)

Phew! We got through that. I hope you enjoyed reading. I really wanted to change it up because I love hearing what brand of stuff my friends use. I hope it was helpful and pretty fun! It’s just really nice to know that you love the products you use. I think it takes a lot of us awhile to find some that we feel like are worth our commitment.

Again, thanks so much for reading.


the same can be said in every season

As I lay here, unable to fall asleep, I find it unique that the idea of reading general conference talks brings me comfort as I try to rest my dizzy, sleepy, sad thoughts. I think something can be said for someone who is totally, real, and raw. (Especially via blogs, instagram, or other social media.) I am continually haunted by my own imperfections and my lack of perfectly curled, ombré hair.
Let me be real with you readers. Life isn’t always as sweet, like a “cake walk”, or even like a Popsicle on a hot day. I think a lot of times we compare our behind the scenes “tragedies” to others “up-close and personal perfection.” It’s all about perception, and let’s be real, our lives aren’t always sunshine and glitter. Please, remind yourself that you are human once in awhile. Shed a few tears if necessary, then continue to make your life everything you’ve always wanted. We can continue to make a point of trying to always have that glitter-y life perspective, even as our behind the scenes are seemingly bursting at the seams. See what I did there?

Anyway, the best piece of advice I have been given (which was especially important in my teenage years) is that everything will be better in the morning. And if you can’t fall asleep, I urge you to listen to Coldplay and a little John Mayer as you fall asleep. May your tomorrows be filled with glitter and donuts.



if that’s what you wanted

HEY! I’m back. It’s still me. Let it be known to everyone that I am not just starting to blog because I got married… it’s actually the reason for a long, fulfilling, amazing, fantastic, and beautiful sabbatical from writing. But really, I missed you. I missed writing and I missed touching someone out there in the great, wide-somewhere. Don’t worry though, we will easy ourselves back into this!

This summer was one for the records. Mostly, because I did the unthinkable, and tied the knot to my very best, bestie. (Please don’t ask about children, give me at least a year before that starts, k thanks.) I also have been teased by my whole family that I only shopped and laid out by a pool all summer. And, if I’m being honest, I really did do that a lot. I also read lots of amazing novels, and a few not so great ones. Here are some cute babies, handsome men, pretty dresses, happy memories, spiritual strengthenings, family laughs, animal habitats, expensive pumps, sandy beaches, and more. These were taken in San Diego, Utah, Minnesota, and Arizona. Enough chatting! Here’s a review of summer with pictures and very little captioning:

IMG_4861IMG_4782IMG_4596 IMG_4885IMG_4884IMG_4890IMG_4879IMG_4836IMG_4622 IMG_4909IMG_4832IMG_4891IMG_4775IMG_4804IMG_4752IMG_4745IMG_4654 IMG_4643IMG_4672IMG_4621IMG_4762 IMG_4673 IMG_4674IMG_4668 IMG_4667IMG_4696 IMG_4691 IMG_4695IMG_4708IMG_4493 IMG_4449IMG_4457IMG_4516  IMG_4488IMG_4525 IMG_4487 IMG_4615IMG_4483IMG_4550 IMG_4545IMG_4384IMG_4480IMG_4702IMG_4687IMG_4632IMG_4619IMG_4918IMG_4595IMG_4537IMG_4928IMG_4927IMG_4881IMG_4930

school has started, but we really accomplished a lot of fun things. I know that these memories will make us smile and laugh until we are real old! Goodbye summer, you were mostly good to me! We are anxious for the blessings and trials that Heavenly Father has in store for us. We know without Jesus Christ, we would be utterly afraid of the tests and trials we enviably signed up for. I’m grateful for a good partner in crime, CJ, who has the best sense of, not only who he is, but who I am in the greater scheme of things! And so it goes, we continue on.

Wishing you all a happy fall,

we love you longtime!



Written Jan. 2014: 


Upon returning from school to the “house that built me”, my dad kept talking about how he had never seen me so content with myself. He encouraged me to continue to improve upon my own self image, because he thought it was great. At the same time, lately I keep having people telling me that I seem like I don’t care about anything that anyone thinks about me/says to me. I think that’s interesting because guess what kittens! I sure do. I struggle with self image and feeling like I’m doing my best. I feel like in some instances being hard on yourself is really good; It can push you to be so much better. In the same right, it can also be very destructive.

I remember who I was in high school. I was somewhat of the girl my parents and some of my peers have described me as. I did what I needed to do, whatever I wanted to do, wore whatever I wanted to wear, etc. I remember talking to one of my aunts in high school and telling her that I felt like boys didn’t like me because I didn’t let them boss me around. Haha. She told me that someday boys would be attracted to my independence and self confidence. Somewhere along the way, however, I feel like I’ve lost a chunk of it. I realize that that comes from conformity. I’m not talking about conformity as a negative either. I think it’s positive in many aspects, (i.e. being obedient) but once you forget some of the strengths you’ve been given, it’s a long journey to get them back. As an 17-19 year old, I’ve noticed that I let too many people dictate who I was. I’ve lost a lot of being bold (I still have enough for an average person), dressing creatively, dancing just because I love it, and being weird. I am still happy, don’t worry. I feel like as I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed so many more of my own imperfections and less of others imperfections.

So, now as 20 year-old, I’ve been so blessed with people who want me to be exactly who I am. And I resolve to be even better about it. I really shouldn’t act like I struggle a ton with self doubt. I’ve learned that every time I feel low or like I don’t deserve something, people are either so inspired to tell me how great I am, or I fall to my knees. When I fall to my knees, let’s just say that someone is even more eager to tell me how great I am. And that opinion continues to bless my life and give me real purpose. As I continue to reflect on trials, blessings, shortcomings, and whatever else, I am constantly reminded that I am not alone in this. I do not have to make these changes alone. I have been blessed with a sure knowledge of the Savior, His validity, and and the realness of the atonement. I would be so lost without it.



Anyway, I think what I’ve been trying to say this whole time… is that being yourself is cool. People will respect you so much more. Sure, some people are totally intimidatingly secure with themselves, but you still respect them right?





10 things Judy Bloom didn’t prepare you for.

Judy Bloom didn’t ever tell me in one of her well written, witty books that-

10. Wedding planning, it is the worst thing on the planet.

9. Being all up in the clouds about your upcoming marriage is probably a bad thing. (realist here.)

8.Happily ever after is more like a work in progress. You have to make it happen.

7. Pluto will be taken away as a planet then reinstated. (Is this possible!?) No.

6. Tights and leggings are not pants, and anyone who wants to fight me… Blair Waldorf will tell you what’s up.

5. Being woken up in the middle of the night, you will not know what the heck is going on.

4. Thinking about only one person for literally days, makes you forget about your own problems.

3. Twinkies expand in your stomach and they also go bad after only a few months.

2. Hospitals are icky, cold, and lonely.

1. When someone you really adore, admire, and are madly in love with is struggling, you wish you could take that struggle away. I think in reference to my last post, that is really how the Savior feels for us, except so much more.

Ps… one more- Being told that someone is obsessed with you and can’t live without you, especially while on heavy pain killers, probably the best moments ever. ¬†(probably only if you reciprocate!!!!)

Ps part 2… He says that when he’s not high too.

wishing you all a happy Saturday, and an even happier General Conference weekend.


count your blessings.

today, I have been really happy. Really jazzed up about life if you will. So, let me take a moment to show some gratitude.

I’m grateful for

15. really good fry sauce. (Minnesotans, look it up. It’ll change your life.)

14. sunshine.

13.  glitter.

12. this stressful-not-so-much-fun-to-plan wedding that I have to plan therefore I can put glitter everywhere on everything and make it a theme.

11. midnight calls when I’m already asleep.

10. french fries to feed baby when she needs a tranquilizer. (Is that bad?)

9. the ability to stay awake on long drives by myself.

8. the insight and knowledge gained when just simply thinking (aka pondering) about life’s mysteries, trials, and happy moments.

7. being a baby sister to so many of my very best friends. seriously.

6. being able to overcome a severe, SEVERE addiction to Dr. Pepper. (oh and lucky charms)

5. the ability to remember past mistakes, big or small, and to not be doomed to repeat them.

4. a very understanding best friend who holds me when I feel bad.

3. the constant reminder of how much my parents love me.

2. the opportunity to be someone’s wife and be welcomed into another family.

1. the infinite number of chances I have been given through someone who has already paid the price for my grief, sadness, sin, sickness, pain, and whatever other ailments. I’m completely in debt for the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His unfailing love and understanding of me. I’m so grateful for the chance I have to let go of things that make me sad or cause my heart to break. It’s amazing how much the atonement can actually do for us if we just exercise a little faith.