Sunday, July 15, 2018

Nordstrom Sale Beauty Picks + Curling Wand Giveaway!



wearing: plaid pajamas & curling my hair with this curling iron

I always use the Nordstrom Sale as a good excuse to stock up on beauty essentials for the year! Here's the rundown on everything I bought this year:

I purchase one of these EVERY SINGLE YEAR. No lie, it's the best body lotion I've ever used! It doesn't have a particularly strong or noticeable scent, which I like, and it's incredibly rich, creamy and luxurious feeling without being greasy AT ALL. Plus, this bottle is huge - I use it every single time I get out of the shower, and it lasts a full year! I still have about a quarter of a bottle left, and I bought my last one during last year's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. If you still don't believe how good this lotion is, check out this blog post and this one!

My lips are somehow always flaky (which is really annoying when you put on lipstick!) so I picked up this lip exfoliating kit. I tried it out the other night before bed and it's pretty magical - first you put on the exfoliating balm (it tastes sooo good, like coconuts!), rub it in really well and then wipe it off with a tissue. Next you apply the moisturizing balm. I woke up the next morning with soft, smooth lips!

I've never used Neulash before, but I picked up this duo to see if it works. It's supposed to help your lashes grow!

If you've read my Nordstrom posts for the past couple of years, you probably know that I pick up one of these sets every single year! I LOVE these candles - even more than the Bath & Body Works ones! The thing I really like about these is that you can light one and in a matter of minutes, the entire house smells amazing.

I'm obsessed with Dior makeup and I love this cute little pink kit - it even comes with a mini lip maximizer, which really does plump your lips (temporarily!).

I own this hair dryer (although I got mine before the sale) and it's the best dryer I've ever used. It dries my hair SO fast, and the negative ions help smooth the hair cuticle.

I picked this up too, although I have never tried any of these products before! As I continue into my late 20s (and soon early 30s), I am getting desperate to stop the aging process hahah! These serums have AMAZING reviews on beauty websites.

I use a T3 wand to curl my hair, so I couldn't believe it when I saw one included in the sale this year!! This one already sold out, but could be restocked on July 20th when the sale goes live to the public (so keep checking). Or you can enter my giveaway and win one or free, below!!

I have blogged about these a lot in the past (see here & here). I can't LIVE without my silk pillowcase, I have even resorted to bringing my pillowcase everywhere with me when we travel! The silk is really gentle on your skin and hair, and also prevents pillowcase wrinkles from sleeping. Chris even loves his, too!!

I haven't tried this yet, but I'm sooo excited to receive it in the mail!!

Hands down the best makeup brushes! I bought a few of these brush sets so I'll never run out. I won't apply my foundation with anything else!

Now for the GIVEAWAY!! I'm giving away ONE T3 Grey SinglePass Curl 1.25-Inch Curling Ironmy favorite curling iron EVERRRR, to one lucky girl! All you have to do is download the LIKEtoKNOW.it app on your phone, follow me (@cmcoving), and email a screenshot to southerncurlsandpearlsassist@gmail.com

This will be easy if you  already follow me on the app - just take a screenshot and send it to me! The winner will be announced on my blog the morning of July 20th (the same day the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale goes live to the public).

xoxo!!

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Saturday, July 14, 2018

My Mom's Picks From the Nordstrom Sale!

Happy Saturday, friends! I'm so excited to announce today's guest poster, my mom - otherwise known as CarCar! It's become an annual tradition for my mom to share her favorites from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - I always get so many requests for this post, I think you guys may even like her style better than mine!!! Alright CarCar is going to take it from here... 

Hi everyone, I'm Carla, Caitlin's mom and I'm back again this year with my picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. If you are a new follower of Caitlin's then you might not know that I am the one who is usually on the other side of the camera. We switched things up today so you guys could see what I found for fall from the Big Sale!  I'm so excited to share my finds with you guys today!! I think this year's sale is better than last year's... so many cute things! I will talk about the fit and sizing for each item. For reference I am 5'4" and wear a size XS/small in tops, a 0/2 in dresses and a 26 in jeans.


Item: Halogen Varsity Knit Cardigan in "Ivory Cloud Combo"
Review: I am wearing an XS in this cardigan and it is still roomy enough to wear a sweater underneath. This cardigan could be dressed up or down, depending on where you're headed. I love the "collegiate" feel to it! 
Price: Originally $89, marked down to $59.90

Review: I love the color of this wallet, I feel like I'll be using this for years to come! The leather is really high quality (and smells nice, haha).
Price: Originally $198, marked down to $131.90

Item: Paige Hoxton High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans (Calani)
Review: I'm wearing my normal size 26 in these! Just the right amount of stretch and the fit it so flattering! The dark wash is really slimming. These jeans go with everything.
Price: Originally $189, marked down to $109.90


Item: Halogen Bell Sleeve Knit Top in "Black-White Stripe"
Review:  Wearing an XS in this top! This top has a lot of stretch in it, which makes it very comfortable. It's pretty lightweight, so I'll be wearing it now and in the fall. I particularly love the bell sleeves! 
Price: Originally $49, marked down to $29.90

Item: Paige Verdugo Ankle Skinny Jeans (Faded Vine)
Review: These jeans are true-to-size, I'm wearing a size 26! I LOVE the color of these olive-hued jeans, they're a great way to switch up your look from normal jeans. Paige jeans also last forever... I'm still wearing my pair from last year!
Price: Originally$199, marked down to $132.90


Item: Vince Camuto Kentvi Sandal in "French Taupe Suede"
Review: True to size. These booties go with EVERYTHING! They're super comfortable because of the open toe, and they're a great shoe to start wearing now and transition into the fall. 
Price: Originally $149.95, marked down to $99.90




Review: Wearing an XS. This is my favorite outfit from the sale!! I'm a sucker for blue and white stripes, and this top is no exception. The sleeves are really different and add an extra "oomph!" This top looks equally as cute with regular jeans. 
Price: Originally $79, marked down to $52.90



Review: Size down half a size in these! I can't say enough good things about these mules. The cut of the mules really elongates your legs (yes please!) and they're sooo comfortable. And I love the blush color, they will go with so much in my wardrobe. 
Price: Originally $79.95, marked down to $49.90




Review: Size down in this blouse, I'm wearing an XXS. I like this blouse because it feels very youthful (I feel like I'm going back to school, haha!) but still appropriate for a woman in her 50s. The delicate embroidery makes it very feminine - if you're a plaid girl, you need this one!
Price: Originally $129, marked down to $85.90

Review: True to size. If I had to imagine the perfect fall booties - it would be these! I looked for this color last year and couldn't find it, so I was really excited to see this pair in the Nordstrom Sale this year. I'll be wearing them all of fall and winter. 
Price: Originally $160.95, marked down to $99.90

Price: Originally $228, marked down to $151.90


Item: Lucky Brand Yabba Wedge in "grey suede"
Review: True to size. These are really unique because of the wedge heel and the side slit. The wedge makes them incredibly comfortable!
Price: Originally $129.95, marked down to $86.90


Item: B.P. Hooded Cardigan in "Black"
Review: True-to-size! Wearing an XS. This is my favorite cardigan from the sale!!!! I love the heathered look because it gives the cardigan some dimension. It's really comfortable, and it even has a HOOD! That makes it extra cozy. It's also a little bit sporty.
Price: Originally $69, marked down to $45.90

Item: Paige Hoxton High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans (Calani)
ReviewI'm wearing my normal size 26 in these! Just the right amount of stretch and the fit it so flattering! The dark wash is really slimming. These jeans go with everything.
Price: Originally $189, marked down to $109.90

Review: Caitlin and I both bought these bags from the sale this year! (Caitlin got the black and I got the olive) I've had it for two days and am already in love with it. It's so lightweight, it's going to be my everyday bag and my travel bag because it's expandable. For everyday use, I like it to keep it zipped. My felt organizer fits inside perfectly. 
Price: Originally $195, marked down to $129.90


 Item: Caslon Aiden Wedge Sneakers in "Taupe Perforated Leather"
Review: True to size. How cute are these wedge sneakers?! I tried them on for fun and then Caitlin told me I had to have them! They add that little bit of height that I need, but they're sporty at the same time. They really are very comfortable, I would definitely recommend these to all my wedge-lovin' people. 
Price: Originally $119.95, marked down to $79.90


Item: Halogen Zip Front Field Jacket in "Olive"
Review: Wearing an XS. Love love love a good field jacket! The fit is perfect, and you can cinch the drawstring to give it some shape, which makes it more feminine. Hood... pockets... it has everything!
Price: Originally $119, marked down to $79.90

Item: Paige Hoxton High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans (Calani)
ReviewI'm wearing my normal size 26 in these! Just the right amount of stretch and the fit it so flattering! The dark wash is really slimming. These jeans go with everything.
Price: Originally $189, marked down to $109.90




Item: Treasure & Bond Athletic Stripe Cardigan in "Grey Heather - Combo"
Review: Wearing an XS. This cardigan is a little dressier than the others,  the knit is lighter and a fine weave. I love the stripes in the middle!  I will wear this with jeans and nicer pants as well!!
Price: Originally $79, marked down to $52.90

Review: This is a perfect sized tote. I love the pocket on the outside (perfect for your phone) and the color is so so pretty in person -  the mauve color surprisingly goes with a ton of outfits! 
Price: Originally $64.95, marked down to $42.90



Item: Caslon Thermal Henley Top in "White" 
Review: Wearing a size small. This was my daughter's favorite outfit that I put together! I would wear this to run errands around town or grab coffee with my girlfriends. The henley is so soft, it feels like I'm wearing my pajamas! 
Price: Originally $59, marked down to $39.90

Item: Paige Hoxton High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans (Calani)
ReviewI'm wearing my normal size 26 in these! Just the right amount of stretch and the fit it so flattering! The dark wash is really slimming. These jeans go with everything.
Price: Originally $189, marked down to $109.90

Review: Size down one size. These are so sporty and cute, and I love the platforms - not my mom Keds that I usually wear HA!
Price: Originally $70, marked down to $46.90


Item: J.Crew Oversize Wool Blend Cardigan in "Light Thistle"
Review: True-to-size, I'm wearing an XS. I love the beautiful lavender color of this cardigan. I surprisingly love it with the leopard shoes! I think I'll have fun styling this one during the fall and winter.
Price: Originally $98.50, marked down to $65.90

Item: Paige Hoxton High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans (Calani)
ReviewI'm wearing my normal size 26 in these! Just the right amount of stretch and the fit it so flattering! The dark wash is really slimming. These jeans go with everything.
Price: Originally $189, marked down to $109.90



Review: True-to-size. I don't usually find mules to be very comfortable, so I was surprised to find that these are!!  They're so versatile. Leopard is a neutral in my book!
Price: Originally $99.95, marked down to $64.90




Item: Treasure & Bond Plaid Boyfriend Shirt in "Ivory Raveler Plaid"
Review: True-to-size, wearing an XS.  I  styled this one a little differently than it is shown online. I unbuttoned the bottom few buttons and tied it in a knot for a sporty casual look. The shirt is really soft and looks cute layered with a cardigan on top!! 
Price: Originally $69, marked down to $45.90

Item: Paige Verdugo Ankle Skinny Jeans (Faded Vine)
Review: These jeans are true-to-size, I'm wearing a size 26! I LOVE the color of these olive-hued jeans, they're a great way to switch up your look from normal jeans. Paige jeans also last forever... I'm still wearing my pair from last year!
Price: Originally$199, marked down to $132.90


Item: Dreamers by Debut Exposed Seam Sweater
Review: True-to-size, wearing an XS. This sweater is so  soft, it feels like cashmere (although it's not). I really like the longer length, it would look cute with leggings since it covers your booty!
Price: Originally $55, marked down to $35.90

Review: I really like the colors in this scarf and  it's not overwhelmingly big, like some of the blanket scarves. I feel like I could wear this with  so many outfits!
Price: Originally $55, marked down to $35.90

ReviewI'm wearing my normal size 26 in these! Just the right amount of stretch and the fit it so flattering! The dark wash is really slimming. These jeans go with everything.
Price: Originally $189, marked down to $109.90


Item: Ava Foldover Crossbody Bag in "Pink Rosecloud"
Quality: This was one of the first purchases I made in the Nordstrom Sale. It's real leather, but it's at a great price! I love the size. It has a main  zipper and a couple of zippered compartments inside.
Price: Originally $129, marked down to $85.90

Sizing: True-to-size. I like that these are so lightweight... they aren't super heavy. I also like the light color of these and the fact  that they're really comfortable. 
Price: Originally $224.95, marked down to $149.90

Thanks so much for letting me take over Cait's blog today! If you have any questions you can leave them in the comment section and I'll get back to you there! :) 

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Friday, July 13, 2018

How I Got Into Shape for my Wedding






(ENTIRE OUTFIT INCLUDED IN THE NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE!)
Enter my $1,500 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Giveaway HERE

Good morning and happy Friday, you guys!!! This has been a HIGHLY requested post and I'm really excited - albeit a little nervous - to share it with you today! I think women's bodies are always under scrutiny (too thin! too fat!) and that's not why I'm putting this post out there - every woman's body is different and you have to do what is right and healthy for you. Let's have this be a judgement-free zone, please!

I have been eating clean and working out regularly for the past couple of years, but I really wanted to look and feel better than ever for my wedding. I've always been naturally thin (thank you mom and dad), but I've never had much muscle. Even when I ran track and did competitive cheerleading in high school, I NEVER had much muscle tone. So one of my goals for my wedding was to actually put on weight - muscle weight! In particular, I wanted to focus building muscle in my arms (since that's what shows in a wedding dress) and getting more defined abs. 

In January of this year, I started Kayla Intsine's Bikini Body Guide workouts, otherwise known as BBG. You've probably heard a little about BBG before (or at least have seen Kayla's Instagram account). The BBG program consists of three 28-minute high-intensity resistance workouts per week, and three LISS (low intensity, steady state) cardio sessions per week. You can either download the PDF version from Kayla's website, or download the Sweat app. I already owned the app and did the workouts sporadically, but starting in January I fully committed to going through the program from the beginning. My weeks looked a little bit like this: 

Monday: BBG arms/abs workout
Tuesday: 30-minute walk with Winnie
Wednesday: BBG full body workout
Thursday: 30-minute walk with Winnie
Friday: BBG legs workout
Saturday: 30-minute walk with Winnie
Sunday: REST 

For the first three months, I did solely BBG. The workouts are short (only 28-minutes!) but they are REALLY tough. There would be times, such as in the middle of the legs workout, where I didn't know if I could keep going or not! I remember saying a prayer during one of the sessions, asking God to give me the strength to finish the workout hahah! Despite their difficulty, a positive was that I noticed a change in my body right away, even after just two weeks of the program. And the longer I stuck with BBG, the easier the workouts became (as my body got stronger). Then in April, I started incorporating some Pure Barre classes into my routine, swapping out a low-intensity workout for a Pure Barre class. This helped me take the workouts to the next level! Plus I absolutely love my Pure Barre classes, and I looked forward to the classes every week. I continued doing both BBG and Pure Barre for the final three months before my wedding.

Here's what my workouts looked like during a typical month (this was April of this year):

So here's the low-down and my thoughts on this program: This winter was really rough for me. I struggled a lot with self-doubt, burnout, the stress of wedding planning and just the dreariness and gloominess associated with winter weather. I even had to go on anxiety medicine for the first time in my life. To be honest, BBG gave me a "purpose" this winter. Even when I was struggling with blogging or wedding planning, whenever I accomplished a workout I felt SO good. It felt like my life was sometimes spiraling out of control, but the BBG workouts were the one thing that I did have control over, and they became such a positive part of my day. There were a lot of times that I made sacrifices to do the workouts: I got less sleep or I skipped doing a blog post because I made working out a priority - but all of a sudden, something crazy started happening. I started feeling so much better. I had more energy, I was able to focus, I was even more productive. And it wasn't just about the changes happening to my body, because to be honest, I barely noticed the physical changes. Sure, I felt myself getting stronger and able to do more pushups, but mentally, I felt better than I ever had in my life. Accomplishing these tough workouts gave me a sense of confidence that I had really never felt before. On my wedding day, I was happy with my body, but even more than that, I was happy with who I was on the inside and what I was able to accomplish. And that, my friends, is what made it worth it in the end!

Now for pictures!

Let's start with the "before!" Here's me in college: (don't even get me started on why I'm wearing cowboy boots on the beach, my best friend and I thought this "photoshoot" was a great idea hahahah). I was what you might call "skinny fat." I looked okay in clothes, but I was the farthest thing from healthy - I barely worked out and ate lots of junk food and late night meals. In addition, I didn't feel good from all the junk I was feeding my body, and I virtually had zero confidence. I might be smiling in the photo, but inside, I wasn't a very happy person! 


This was six months before my wedding, on January 1st, the day that I started the BBG program.

25 days into the program:


Two months into the program. This picture was taken at the end of February:


Five months into the program, finally starting to develop a butt (I've never had a butt in my life!!!):

Six months into the program, taken June 8th (right before our honeymoon!). I actually wasn't "flexing" for this photo, I was trying on a bathing suit that had just come in the mail!

Like I said, by the end of the program, it wasn't even about the physical changes that were happening to me.... I was more proud of what was changing inside! Let me know your thoughts on BBG if you've done it before... or if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comment section!

P.S. If you haven't entered my $1,500 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Giveaway, you can do so HERE!

Love you guys!!
xoxo, Cait