Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Recent Books I've Read & Loved

striped PJ shirt (it has a lace back!) // striped PJ shorts 

This past week on my trip to Vero Beach I read three amazing books. After showing a couple of them on snapchat, you guys had so many questions that I figured a full book review was in order! I absolutely LOVED all of these books and literally could not put them down. Just a warning - I like thrillers, and a few of these are pretty scary and not for the faint of heart! But if you are a fan of thrillers, then you will love them ;)

P.S. I used to do posts like this way back in 2014, so if you like this one let me know in the comments & I'll continue to do them. 

1. THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware
A friend of mine in Greenville recommended this book a few weeks ago, so I bought it in hardcover to take with me on our Florida trip. I started it on the plane ride and by time our plane landed in Florida I was a third of the way through the book and completely OBSESSED. I have not been this captivated by a book in a long time! It's written on a pretty easy reading level (a third grader could read it haha), but what I really loved about it was the plot - it pulls you in right from the very beginning and keeps you guessing right up until the last page. Here's a hint: the "cabin" that the title refers to is actually a cabin on a cruise ship. The main character, Lo, is a travel writer and boards a week-long luxury cruise thinking it's going to be the best week of her life (and ends up on board with a killer!). I don't want to give away too much of the plot... you just have to read it!

2. ALL THE MISSING GIRLS by Megan Miranda
This book is tied with "The Woman in Cabin 10" for my favorite of these four! "All the Missing Girls" is a nail-biting story about the disappearances of two young women, told in reverse. In my opinion, Megan Miranda is a much better writer than Ware and she really takes her time with developing dynamic characters, to the point where you feel like you know them in real life. I really connected with the protagonist, Nic, on an emotional level... maybe because a large part of the novel is about the difficulties of returning to her hometown after she has been gone ten years. (It made me reminisce on my own high school years and relationships!) What's really unique about this book is that it's told day by day over the course of two weeks, but it's told in reverse, with each day revealing a shocking new puzzle piece to the disappearance of both girls. Simply put, it is brilliant. And spellbinding. And I am still thinking about the characters DAYS later. That's the sign of an amazing book! 

3. THE OBSESSION by Nora Roberts
I read "The Obsession" a few months ago, but I'm including it here because I loved it so much! I have tried to read Nora Roberts novels before and never really liked them, finding them too trite and not suspenseful enough for my liking. However, "The Obsession" was much different and completely enthralling. What I liked about the book is that it combines thrilling suspense and murder mystery with an amazing love story. With every turn of the page I fell more in love with Xander, just as the protagonist, Naomi, falls in love with him too. The "twist" is that Naomi is the daughter of a notorious serial killer, and her past comes back to haunt her when she finally settles down in a small town and begins to think she can find happiness. The combination of serial killers and a handsome prince to save the day was absolutely perfect for me. Just a warning: some of the scenes in this book are pretty graphic and do involve rape and murder... so know that going in!

4. IN A DARK, DARK WOOD by Ruth Ware
I read this book after "The Woman in Cabin 10" because I loved that one so much! This book was a little bit slower to get into and didn't really pick up until I was about 100 pages in. I also would say that it's not as scary as "The Woman in Cabin 10" but it is still captivating, and I kept reading because I was dying to know the ending. The book begins with the main character, Nora, agreeing to attend the bachelorette party for a friend that she has not seen in several years. The party takes place in the middle of the woods - Ruth Ware does a really great job of painting the perfect picture of the creepy house and atmosphere, so much that I had a nightmare after I read this late at night! Even though it takes a while to get into, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Whew! If you have read any of these, I would love your opinions on them! And if you have any book recommendations that you think are similar, I would LOVE them. Since I finished all these, I am currently in search of a new psychological thriller to read. Your recommendations are appreciated!



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Blue & White

blue and white shirt, similar style but less expensive HERE // white pants // Givenchy handbag
Steve Madden shoes // Michele watch // David Yurman bracelets
Baublebar earrings (20% off $50 with code CAITLIN20) // Prada sunglasses
MAC lipstick in "pink nouveau"

I'm such a nerd, but I got so excited when we found this little store that had a blue and white striped awning that matched the back of my shirt! If you've been reading my blog this summer, you probably know by now that I'm a little obsessed with blue and white. A part of me doesn't want fall to come, because I don't want to quit wearing blue and white! (It doesn't seem like a very "fall" color combo, lol) Anyway, this outfit has been one of my favorites that I've worn in Vero Beach... I love how crisp and fresh it is!

On another note, from the comments on yesterday's post, it sounds like you guys want a book review! Check back later this week for a post on my favorite books I've read lately :)


Monday, August 29, 2016

How to Dress Up a Pair of Shorts

ribbed cardigan (sold out in white, I have the burgundy too) // Topshop white cardigan

I wore this outfit over the weekend at Costa d'Este Resort in Vero Beach! The resort is GORGEOUS with tons of chic white walls and palm trees... so I thought this outfit fit right in. This ribbed cardigan is perfect for wearing now and in the fall (I have the burgundy color too!), plus it's very affordable. I also love wearing heels with shorts to really dress them up, unexpectedly. (P.S. Costa d'Este is offering a special deal right now, including 20% off the room and breakfast every day - check it out HERE! I'll be sharing more photos of the resort later this week, so stay tuned.) 

What did everyone do this weekend? I have been reading SO MUCH lately, I finished three books in the past five days haha. Would you guys like a book review?! I love thrillers and these were some of the best I've read :) 



Friday, August 26, 2016

Ruffle Dress in Vero Beach

Costa d'Este Vero Beach, FL
striped ruffle dress
pinstripe ruffle dress
Baublebar earrings
What to wear to the beach!
Prada sunglasses

On Wednesday I arrived in Vero Beach, FL, to get in one last beach trip before fall. I know that summer is coming to an end, and as excited as I am about pumpkins, Starbucks lattes, changing leaves and crisp mornings, I just needed one more beach trip to say goodbye. The place where we're staying, Costa d'Este, is simply gorgeous and has shown us some of the best hospitality we've ever seen. Last night they set up a private dinner on our oceanfront patio and we ate paella and churros while watching the sunset. It was amazing but I am still full this morning, haha! These photos were taken right outside of the resort's iconic entrance. Stay tuned for a special offer from Costa d'Este :)

What is everyone doing this weekend?! 


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Six Favorite Beauty Products

I love sharing new beauty products with you guys when I find them, so today I'm sharing six products that I discovered recently and really love. It's so much fun trying new products and even more fun when you find products that really work. (And no, I'm not being paid by anyone to write this post! I really do use these products :) If you want to know where my outfit and room decor is from, scroll down to the bottom! 

Let's begin, shall we?!

First up, these hair skin & nail gummy vitamins. I picked these up from Target a couple months ago and I'm now on my second bottle! I eat two of them every morning, and they actually taste pretty good (like grapefruit). Like any product containing biotin, you probably won't see a difference right away (it takes a while for it to get into your system), but after using these for a month and a half I can definitely say I've seen an improvement in my hair and nails. I even noticed a difference in my eyelashes - I swear they are longer from taking these!!! After buying these at Target, I noticed that the brand Olly makes a ton of different vitamins for different things. There's a vitamin that supposedly gives you more energy, one that helps you have a restful night of sleep and even one for hydrated skin. Now I want to try them all! 

Next, this NARS cheek kit was actually in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and the exact palette is sold out, but I've discovered some of my new favorite products from it! The highlighter in the kit, NARS albatross, is one of the best highlighting powders I've used. It looks white in the palette but goes on golden-y and just GORGEOUUUUUS. I can't even explain how pretty it is on. Another favorite from this kit is NARS blush in "orgasm." I used this shade a long time ago and forgot just how beautiful it is! (It's top left in the palette, above). The color is a rosy bronze color that I can see myself wearing all fall long - I would definitely say it's more suited for fall than summer! It helps your face look more tan, too, which I love.

I don't wear perfume very often because I'm very picky about scents, but Y'ALL. This one is amazing! It's the new version of Chanel's No. 5 perfume, L'Eau. In my opinion it's the freshest and cleanest version of all of the Chanel No. 5 perfumes. This one is really light (not overpowering at all) and very clean, but still sexy and just womanly. I don't even know how to describe how good it smells, I just wish you could smell it for yourself through the computer screen, haha! It doesn't come out until September, but you can sign up for the waitlist here

In the past week, I've tried two new makeup products. L'Oreal Paris sent me their new Infallible Pro-Glo Foundation and I almost, almost tossed it out (I need new foundation like I need a hole in the head). I'm so glad I didn't! The bottle claims that it offers an all-day glow - for up to 24 hours. It actually does last a long time (for me it lasted 12 hours and then I washed my face, haha). It's very liquid-y which I wasn't expecting, so I apply it straight to my face and then blend it in with this foundation brush. It actually looks FLAWLESS on your skin. For the price - $12.99 - you seriously can't find a better foundation. I'm wearing the foundation in the above photo if you want to see how my skin looks with it on! (Also FYI I am wearing color #207 mixed with this liquid bronzer.) I really don't know how I can buy an expensive foundation after using this inexpensive one that works so well! 

I also purchased and have been trying out Laura Mercier's translucent setting powder after seeing it allllll over YouTube. If you haven't heard about "baking" your makeup, watch this YouTube video. You essentially apply a ton of this setting powder on top of your undereye highlight and let it sit for five minutes, "baking" the makeup onto your face. Sounds crazy right?! I believe it does work though! I've been using the powder as a finishing touch to my makeup since I prefer my makeup to look matte, and it really does mattefy and smooth your skin while also setting your makeup. 

And finally, the last product! I picked up one of these Tsubaki Oil Hydrogel Masks from Sephora the other day and had to go back for more. I never really understood sheet masks before (I had tried them without results) but boy do I get it now. This one in particular is amazing for really dry skin - it is by far the most moisturizing mask I've ever used, plus your skin is literally GLOWING and plump afterwards. The only downside to this mask is that it is slippery, and you really need to lay down with your head back for about 20 minutes to keep the mask from sliding around on your face. If you have some time to spare at night, light some candles, put on some relaxing music and try out this mask! Your skin will thank you.

What about you guys? Any new products that you love? Any that you'd like me to review? Let me know in the comments! :)

Outfit details:
Room details: