Welcome to Southern Curls & Pearls, my name is Caitlin! I started this blog my junior year of college to document my day-to-day life and as a creative outlet to express my love for fashion, beauty, healthy eating, fitness and life in general.
In this rare circumstance, I actually watched the movie before I read the book - but it was a total accident! I found the movie on Netflix and watched it twice (it's sooo good) before a reader told me that it was actually based off of a series of books by Jenny Han. So of course, I downloaded the first book at 10:00 p.m. last night... it was so amazing that I read straight through the night, finishing the novel at 2 a.m. I can't say enough good things about this book (or the movie!). Even though it's based on a sixteen-year-old, it's completely captivating. Whenever Lara Jean's emotions for a boy become too much to bear, she writes them a love letter (YOU GUYS! I totally did this when I was growing up!) and keeps the letters in a hat box her mother gave her. One day, she finds that the love letters are gone - they've been sent out, and every boy she's ever loved now knows. The novel follows Lara Jean and the aftermath of her letters being sent out. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph is bursting with so much emotion - I related to Lara Jean on such a deep level, because it's exactly how I felt as a teen. The relationships (whether it be family, friends or romantic) are all so realistic, and have so much emotional weight to them - you can't help but love every character. I would HIGHLY recommend both watching the movie and reading the book - the order doesn't matter. It's the best book I've read AND movie I've watched in years. I'm downloading the second book of the series today and I can't wait to read it!!!
This one belongs to my typical genre - thriller/suspense - but is one of the best thrillers I've read recently! I love Shari Lapena and I actually think this is her best novel yet. It will also really get you in the mood for fall and winter, since it's set in the mountains in a cozy little inn, nestled deep in the woods. When the weather takes a turn for the worst and a blizzard sets in, all of the guests are left without electricity and Internet, and they turn to each other for comfort and conversation. Soon, though, one of the guests turn up dead, and it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies - they all start to panic. Is there a murderer amongst them, or someone unknown hiding out in the inn? This novel gave me all of the Agatha Christie feels - it rotates from each guest's perspective, and will keep you guessing until the very last page. I'm usually pretty good at guessing the plot, but this one had me on my toes - I was completely surprised by the plot twist at the end! I LOVED this one, folks.
I've read several books about kidnappings, but this is definitely the best one I've read. Unlike other novels, this is the thriller after the thriller: most books end with the hostage escaping her captor's clutches, but that's where this novel starts. Lily was kidnapped when she was 16 years old and grew from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison in a cabin - she has even given birth in captivity, to a beautiful baby girl named Sky. Then one day, Lily's captor leaves the deadbolt on the door unlocked, and she manages to escape, with her daughter in her arms. Now, Lily must face the world that she hasn't seen in eight years - reuniting with her twin sister and her mother, and dealing with the aftermath of what will happen to her captor. Although there were some parts of this novel that I didn't think were incredibly realistic, it was still a very enjoyable read, and I finished it within just a couple of days.
I initially picked up this novel because it's about a newly married couple on their honeymoon (my husband and I went on our honeymoon in June!), but with a big twist: their honeymoon goes very, very wrong. Natalie and Doug Larson are deeply in love, newly married and headed to the Adirondack forest to go on an adventurous and romantic honeymoon away from civilization. But just as Natalie and Doug begin to explore the dark interiors of their own hearts, as well as the depths of their love for one another, it becomes clear that they are not alone in the woods. You really need to read the novel to find out what happens next - just know that if you are the least bit squeamish, this novel might not be for you! Natalie and Doug endure a lot of physical hardships during the novel and some of it left me feeling a bit nauseous. Overall, though, it was a good read and highly entertaining. Although it left me with a desire to NEVER go camping again. :)
If you want to go on a crazy rollercoaster ride, then pick up this book! This novel is a psychological thriller that certainly begins with a bang - Andrea has just been in a car crash, only vaguely remembering swerving after seeing something - or someone - on a deserted road at night. Soon enough, she realizes that her own twin brother, responsible for a tragedy that killed their parents, has been released from prison. As the story switches from past to present and back again, you slowly learn more about Andrea and her brother's childhood. This novel was a little bit predictable, and on top of that, pretty dark. Andrea seemed to have her life together at the beginning, and I got pretty mad at her throughout the book for the way she treats her fiancé and loved ones. However, I will say that the plot kept me on my toes, constantly asking, "what's going to happen next?!" I was consistently surprised by every plot twist. Ultimately, What My Sister Knew help my attention and the ending was oddly satisfying, even if it left me in a darkened mood after it was over.
If you've read any good books lately, let us all know in the comments!! xoxo
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Happy Wednesday! I know I said that yesterday was going to be the last summer outfit on my blog, but I totally forgot about this one I wore in Milan! I was so excited when I re-discovered these pictures on my camera roll, because it's one of my favorite outfits. It was quite hot in Milan, so I styled this blue and white striped blazer with a miniskirt and heels. However, I can see it transitioning nicely into fall, too! Pair it with a dress, pants or blue jeans for a more appropriate cool-weather look. Did I mention that it's SUPER comfy?
We were only in Milan for 24 hours - we left Lake Como, spent the night in Milan and then caught our flight to Charlotte. Although we weren't there for long, we tried to fit a lot in our schedule: our first stop was to see the Duomo (seen behind me). I don't know why, but in pictures it appears much smaller than it actually is. In real life, it's GIANT and absolutely breathtaking! Right next to the duomo, you'll find the "Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II" - Italy's oldest shopping center, with a jaw-dropping glass ceiling. Definitely head there to shop and eat lunch! Even if you don't plan on buying anything, the view is worth it. And for dinner - you MUST try the restaurant Soulgreen. It's actually a completely vegan restaurant - I'm not vegan, but we all loved it SO much. :P
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Good morning, loves! I took yesterday off from blogging (for Labor Day!) and took a day trip to the mountains with my husband and brother. It was so fun to get away from the heat for a little bit - we ate lunch at a picturesque cafe downtown and then went on a hike to soak up some fresh mountains air. The best part was that our dog Winnie got to come along too :) Although the hike was pretty strenuous and we had to carry her for a lot of it - she is a tiny thing!
Anyway, I hope everyone had a good long weekend! I wore this striped tunic from Zara on our trip to Italy a few weeks ago. These pictures were taken at our hotel in Lake Como - have you EVER seen such pretty landscaping in your life?! I haven't!
Also, I'm s-l-o-w-l-y transitioning to fall (fall outfit, fall decor, etc.) so this will be one of the last summer outfits on my blog for the year. It's a little bittersweet!
P.S. I have some fun blog posts planned for this week so stay tuned! xoxo
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I'm a 90s child through and through... raise your hand if you loved Levi's jeans, beanie babies, gel pens and Lisa Frank school supplies (just a few of my favorite things, haha!). Although I wouldn't want to live through the 90s again, I do like revising the fashion - especially since it's considered "trendy" right now! I found my new retro tee and skinny jeans (both from Levi's) on eBay. They were both brand new items, although they were vintage-inspired, of course :) I actually forgot how much I loved Levi's jeans - they are SO comfortable! You can bet I'll be wearing this particular pair all autumn long.
If you didn't know, 81% of the items sold on eBay are actually brand new items! And most of the items are "Buy It Now," so you don't have to bid on them. You can check out more of their women's clothing here.
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Happy Thursday, friends!! Today's post is brought to you from Bellagio, Italy, on Lake Como! Our hotel was on the other side of the lake, but we took a boat to Bellagio for the day, and it ended up being my favorite part of the trip. There were lots of charming little lake-front restaurants and cafes, shops and silk stores (Lake Como is a huge silk producer and you can get silks for really good prices!). We explored the streets of Bellagio for a little bit before nestling down at a small cafe - I ordered THE best cappuccino I have ever had in my life. Seriously!
I really liked my outfit that I wore in Bellagio - I paired this tube top from Forever 21 with these polka dot shorts - even though they're from two different stores, they happened to match perfectly! I also wore the shorts a second time on our trip with a white top (and it was just as cute), so the shorts are definitely versatile. Not to mention COMFY! By the way, if you like my Chanel tote, I think this Tory Burch one is super similar! I love the tan leather handles and the neutral canvas.
Is everyone having a good week? I am still getting back into the swing of things after traveling last week! I actually signed up for a meal-delivery service called Sakara Life this week to try to reset my body after eating so many carbs in Italy (and when I say carbs, I mean we ate carbs for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!! Pasta pasta pasta pasta. It was delicious). I'm going to do a review of the service soon - all of the meals are organic, gluten-free and plant-based, and so far they've all been absolutely delicious. Okay, anyway!
Say hi to my travel partners, my brother Chris.... (who is SINGLE, ladies! And can speak fluent Japanese lol!)
And my mom CarCar! I thought these pictures were too cute not to share :)
I hope everyone has a great Thursday! xoxo
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GOOD MORNING! I asked you guys in yesterday's post what you would like to see on the blog today and the answer was overwhelmingly about bridesmaids stuff :) I'm answering all of your questions in this post, but if I miss anything, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you there! First up, when I got engaged last May, one of the very first tasks was asking my best friends to be bridesmaids. I had such a hard time deciding what to get them! I wanted their gifts to be personalized and fun, and also have a touch of Charleston charm.
I decided to put together little "bridesmaid kits" for each girl. In each box, I placed Charleston cosmetic bags (they also sell a really cute monogrammed version), monogrammed wine glasses, and mini bottles of champagne. For the champagne bottles, I bought customized bottle labels from Etsy that had the girls' names and the question, "Will you be my bridesmaid?" printed on them. The hardest part was putting on the wine bottle labels - they took forever to do! I boxed everything up in these white boxes I had ordered off Etsy with a bunch of pink crinkle paper, and added my own card inside as well.
I was able to give a couple girls their boxes in person, but the rest I shipped through UPS (side note: if the package has alcohol it must be shipped through UPS and not the post office!).
All my girls said yes (love you guys!), so let's fast forward to the big day!! The girls arrived at the Thomas Bennett House (our venue) to get ready around 9 am on the morning of our wedding day. We had the entire top floor of our venue to get ready in, which was amazing! The whole morning ended up being so fun! Lindsey got started on everyone's makeup right away, and we played loud music, had girl talk and munched on hummus and veggies. We also kept peeking out the windows to try to see the decor and flowers, haha! At this point, I was also starting to freak out internally thinking about walking down the aisle - I'm so thankful all of my friends were there to keep me calm!!
Right when all the girls got there in the morning, I gave them all little gift bags. Each gift bag had a blue hydrangea robe for getting ready in and a mini monogram necklace from Love Always Couture - the girls are wearing both in the above photos. I ordered their robes from this Etsy shop - they have a ton of patterns, colors and styles (for instance, if you wanted your girls to wear pajamas rather than robes!) and I also like that you can buy items in bulk. Since I had 7 bridesmaids, I was able to buy a bundle of 7 robes at a discounted price. I absolutely love how the robes turned out - in person and in pictures! The blue hydrangea pattern was the perfect "southern" look for our Charleston wedding.
I also received a ton of questions about my getting-ready robe! You can purchase my robe HERE, I ordered it in an XS! You may notice that I replaced the pink satin sash with a white sash - I took the white sash from this robe (I brought both robes with me because I didn't know which one would match my bridesmaids the best). If you want to get the same look, you could go to the craft store and get a small amount of white satin fabric and create your own sash. Underneath my robe, I wore this white silk chemise.
The next step was putting on our dresses! All of the girls got dressed in their Sorella Vita bridesmaid dresses (Style #8472 in the color "platinum"). These dresses are convertible and can be worn multiple ways, but I love love loved the one-shoulder look! Especially with the bow on the shoulder. After we were all dressed, I gave them their final gift - the one I was most excited about!! I gave them all pearl bracelets from Tiffany & Co. The little silver heart tag can be monogrammed, so I had each one monogrammed with the girls' initials. I wanted this gift to be really special and something that the girls would continue to use and wear in the future - and think about our friendship every time they did! I am honestly so thankful for my friends' love and support... they have been with me through the ups and downs, and each one of them has played a significant role in my life and contribute to who I am today.
And then - it was time!! We quickly grabbed some group and individual photos on the front porch, and after that point, the entire day was pretty much a whirlwind. (A good whirlwind, I might add, seriously the best day of my life!!!!).
I saved this picture for last on purpose - I wanted to give a special shoutout to Krista because she just got ENGAGED!!!!! I met Krista five years ago at a blogging conference and we became immediate best friends - and have been best friends ever since. Krista was the biggest help on my wedding day - she was responsible for all of the iPhone pictures and videos you saw on my Instastories that day - she completely took over so that you guys could see what was going on but I could focus on the wedding and celebrating with Chris. I will be forever grateful to you, Krista, and I can't wait to do the same thing for you on your big day!!! She and Andrew are a PERFECT couple - you can read all about her engagement and her wedding journey here on her blog. Love you Krista! :)
Like I said, if you have any additional questions about bridesmaids stuff, let me know in the comments! Also, if you missed my first wedding post, I shared a bunch of pictures HERE!
Sorry for the break from blogging last week, you guys! I didn't mean to take a break, but we were traveling and our internet ended up being really bad! BUT the good news is that I have a new blog post going up every single day this week! :)
Starting with today... this green and white striped dress was a perfect fit in Lake Como, Italy. Look at all of those gorgeous red flowers!!! I have never seen landscaping that beautiful (these were taken right in front of our hotel, Villa D'Este.) I also want to point out this white handbag - for a designer brand, it's pretty affordable, and I love how retro it looks! It ended up going with almost EVERY single outfit I packed for Italy, so I was really excited. It's a great summer handbag, and summer isn't over yet!!
Speaking of summer, it seems like everyone else is already moving on to fall clothes and talking about pumpkin spice lattes, haha... but I am really holding on to the last weeks of summer. This summer felt like a whirlwind (probably because of our wedding) and I don't feel like I truly ENJOYED the summer. So I'm not ready for it to end yet. Anyone else?!
Like I said, stay tuned because I'll be blogging every day this week! :)
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Buongiorno from Italy, friends! We booked this trip a little last-minute, and as soon as it was booked, I headed to Nordstrom's site to order a few outfits for the trip. I LOVE their overnight shipping - I rely on it so much and they never let me down! This blue and white striped romper was one of my last-minute buys from Nordstrom, and I absolutely love it. It's not too short, not too tight, but you can cinch your waist with the belt to create a nice shape. It's also a little sportier than a dress, so it was perfect for exploring the picturesque alleyways of Portofino. I have also been wearing my Brixton hat almost every single day in Italy - it's a size XS so it fits my head perfectly and doesn't fly off in the wind (I have a small head and usually hats fly off haha!). I love that Brixton's hats come in a size XS!!
I'm posting a really fun video (our Portofino Guide!!) to IGTV later today so stay tuned :) xoxo
If you've been following me on Instagram, you may already know that I'm in Portofino right now with my mom and brother! We spent the whole day yesterday lounging at the Belmond Splendido Portofino. Perched high on a hill in Portofino, it's easily one of the prettiest hotels I've ever seen. Even if you aren't staying at the hotel, you can go and have lunch on their terrace, which offers an insane view of the Portofino harbor, blooming flowers and the crystal clear water. (Plus, the food is amazing!) We arrived a little bit too early for lunch (they start serving at 1!), so we opted to sit inside and enjoy a glass of wine and some appetizers. I was really happy with my outfit choice - this blue and white striped dress is cute but incredibly comfortable! Stay tuned for some more photos from beautiful Portofino. :)
Side note - my brother has been living in Japan for the past three years (he was teaching English over there), but he is moving back to the United States - and my family is sooo happy about it! He's a really talented photographer/videographer... so you'll probably be seeing a lot more of him in the future :)
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You guys know how I was working out like crazy before my wedding in June? Well, I'm now back on the workout train again after taking some time off after our wedding. For the past couple of weeks, I've been running to the gym or a pure barre class in the morning and then straight to run errands or to a lunch date afterwards - so packing a few makeup essentials in my gym bag is a must! I obviously don't wear makeup during my workout, but I do like to wash my face and apply it afterwards if I'm going to be out in public. This makeup routine can be done in less than 5-minutes (even in your car!) and there's not an overabundance of products - you don't need much makeup after a workout because of that coveted post-workout glow!
Anyway, these are the products that I always carry in my gym bag (and the best part is that they can all be found at Nordstrom!):
It's not shown, but the first thing I do after a workout is cleanse my face with a facial cleansing cloth to wipe away sweat and any leftover makeup from the previous day!
This moisturizer is expensive but sooo worth it! I buy it in the 0.5 oz size and it's the perfect size for my gym bag. It keeps my skin feeling hydrated and soft and serves as a great primer underneath foundation. It also smells heavenly.
This is the perfect tinted moisturizer to throw on after a workout - it covers up imperfections and softens lines but doesn't even look like you have on makeup! It also has SPF 20 in it which I LOVE for keeping your skin protected from the sun. I like wearing a tinted moisturizer in the summertime so that your skin can breathe!
This lip balm doesn't have much color to it, but I love the way it makes my lips feel - smooth like butter! It also keeps them hydrated for long periods of time, so you don't have to keep re-applying.
And that's it! Like I said, it's so easy that you can go through the entire makeup routine in your car (which I often do!). All of these products are available at Nordstrom, my go-to place for all things beauty. Let me know if you have any questions! xoxox!
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