Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How to Throw a Galentine's Party

Okay first things first - how gorgeous is this red dress from Express?! Not only is it perfect for a Galentine's Party (which I'll be talking about on the blog today), but it's also perfect if you happen to have a hot date coming up on Valentine's Day! I love that it's not overly sexy, but the sweetheart neckline and vibrant red color give it some definite sex appeal. I'm obsessed! Express has a ton of great Valentine's Day party outfits right now. I'm linking up some in the widget below or you can click here to check out their website yourself :) See the end of today's blog post for a discount!

Today I wanted to talk about some Galentine's Party ideas! In case any of you haven't heard of Galentine's... it's basically a party for you and your girlfriends to celebrate your friendship on Valentine's Day. Yes, romance is great and all, but I welcome any chance I get to have girl time! 

For this Galentine's Day set-up, I transformed my bar cart into a Valentine's Day theme by adding some pink tassels, conversation hearts in a candy dish, and some inexpensive XOXO balloons that I ordered online. To keep the champagne cold, I ordered this adorable heart-shaped ice cube tray - before filling it up with water, I placed a raspberry in each ice cube slot. The result? Gorgeous raspberry-filled heart ice cubes! The final must-have at a Galentine's Party is a fabulous cocktail. I tried out a recipe for Strawberry Mimosas (I'll include it below!). For an extra touch of love, I topped the drink with two strawberries cut into hearts (I used these love toothpicks!) and I'm obsessed with how they turned out! Not to mention we had fun drinking them after the photoshoot ;)

Strawberry Mimosas
Serves 4
- 2 cups chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 cups champagne (plus more for topping off)
- Sliced strawberries for garnish (I cut mine into hearts!)
1. In a blender, blend strawberries, sugar and champagne until fully combined, then pour into champagne flutes and top with more bubbly.
2. Garnish with a fresh strawberry and serve!

Don't forget to check out these cute Valentine's Day dresses from Express (below)! You can get $25 off your purchase of $100 or more in-store only using the code 3005. See here for the terms and conditions. 


*Thanks to Express for sponsoring this post

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

My Green Smoothie Recipe for Clear Skin!

 sports bra, similar but less expensive HERE // leggings // grey tee // sunglasses

Ever since I got engaged, can you guess the one beauty thing I've been stressing out over? My SKIN! It's not that I have terrible skin, per say, but doesn't every girl want perfect, pore-less skin walking down the aisle? Every wedding magazine and website I've read said it's best to start a good skincare regimen more than six months before your wedding day. I already take pretty good care of my skin: I cleanse, moisturize and use a retinol every night - but it still has a lot of flaws! So I started doing a TON of research and found that what you eat can actually have a huge impact on your skin, maybe even more than what you put on it. After researching a ton of different "superfoods" that are good for your skin, I realized that most ingredients would actually taste pretty delicious in a smoothie... so that's when I started experimenting in the kitchen! I made six or seven different versions of this smoothie until I found the perfect combination that both tastes good and is packed with skin-boosting nutrients. And y'all, this one is a WINNER! I've been having this smoothie every single weekday for the past couple of weeks and even Chris likes it. :) Read on for the recipe!

Also, I apologize in advance for the photos - it was pouring rain yesterday so the lighting wasn't the best in my kitchen!

This smoothie is PACKED with skin-boosting nutrients. Every single ingredient does something good for your skin! 

Carrot and mango: Carrots and mango are both packed with a family of pigments called carotenoids (which give them their vibrant orange and yellow color). The body converts these plant pigments into vitamin A, also known as retinol (yep - the exact same "miracle product" you apply to your skin!). My dermatologist told me that these carotenoids can help give a rosy glow to dull looking skin - eating as little as one carrot a day can help improve skin color and may reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging! 

Avocado: To max out the nutritional value of your carotenoid intake, blending carotenoid-packed carrots and mango with healthy fats (like avocado) is key. Your body needs fats to convert these vitamin A precursors into the real deal. 

Pineapple: Pineapple contains vitamin C and amino acids which are essential for clear skin - pineapple also helps increase collagen synthesis to keep your skin flexible and firm.

Spinach and Kale: Dark, leafy greens are so good for your brain, body and SKIN! Spinach is a wonderful source of iron, folate, chlorophyll, Vitamin E, magnesium, Vitamin A, fiber, plant protein and Vitamin C, while kale contains contains copper, a mineral that boosts the synthesis of melanin. Melanin helps to protect your skin from the sun and even offers anti-inflammatory benefits for your skin. 

Coconut water: We've all heard it before: staying hydrated can also keep your skin healthy too, and coconut water is a great hydrating alternative to water! One cup of coconut water contains 24 milligrams of vitamin C. You need vitamin C in order for your body to make collagen, a structural protein that gives your skin firmness and elasticity. 

And without further ado... the recipe! 

Skin Perfecting Green Smoothie
- 2 cups coconut water
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 medium carrot, cut into pieces
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup frozen mango
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 handful of kale
- Ice cubes as needed
1. Throw everything into your blender and blend blend blend! :) 

This recipe makes 2 servings, but you can easily cut it in half if you're the only one drinking it. I usually make this smoothie after a workout or in the afternoon as a snack. I find that smoothies aren't very filling for lunch (I am always ravenous an hour later), so I wouldn't recommend it as a meal replacement unless you pair it with some protein!

Let me know if you make it and how you like it!!!! :)


Monday, January 29, 2018

Wedding Planning Updates

bow back top // Paige Hoxton jeans

Happy Monday, everyone!! Chris and I spent all of last weekend in Charleston, SC, squaring away some details for our wedding, so I thought it was time for a little update on wedding planning :) I want to begin this post by saying that I'm not very good at wedding planning - haha - seriously! Many of my friends had dreamt about their weddings since they were young and had every detail picked out before they even met their now-husbands, but I was not one of those girls. I honestly had no idea what I wanted - no idea on the color palette, flower arrangements, or even what I wanted my dress to look like! So I was initially VERY stressed out at the thought of planning a wedding! Thankfully, our first decision was hiring wedding planners - they have kept us on track and taken a lot of the stress off our shoulders! The first thing they did was tell us a general timeline of when decisions needed to be made. Here's a similar one I found online:

Our first big decision that needed to be made was picking out a venue! You pretty much have to decide on a venue before you can pick a wedding date, since most of the venues in Charleston get booked up really quickly and we didn't know which weekends would still be available. Our wedding planners gave us suggestions based off of our budget, and we then took a trip to Charleston to tour three different venues. Chris and I both immediately fell in love with our venue with we saw it. They had a weekend open this spring, so we jumped on the opportunity! I can't wait for you guys to see it :)

Once we had a venue and a date set, we needed to book all of our vendors. Back in the summer, we went ahead and booked the caterer, florist, and the band (surprisingly, Chris was very vocal about what band he wanted! We went with his choice for that one :). It took me a bit longer to find a photographer that I really loved. Since photography is such a huge part of my career, I was SUPER picky when it came to photographers! Eventually I discovered Bethany Small on Instagram and was smitten with her work. Her photos are so crisp and clear and she captures such intense emotion in every picture. Even though she lives all the way out in Portland, we booked her immediately! She took our engagement photos back in November (click here for all the pictures!) and we can't WAIT to see her again in June. On another note, Chris and I haven't booked a videographer yet, and we really aren't sure if we're going to. (How bad is this - I'd rather spend the money on flowers! Ahh! Please give us your advice if you have it!)

Last Monday, my mom and I sat down with our wedding planners in Charleston to talk about the design and style of the wedding. I showed them a bunch of inspiration photos that I had been saving on my phone - I'm going to share them here too. Here's a little bit of info to keep in mind about our venue: it's outdoors, and we will have a large white tent to keep it a little cooler (June in Charleston can be HOT!). I want it to have an elegant fairytale garden type of feel - lots of fairy lights and chandeliers!

Here are some of my inspiration pictures...

I'm thinking a champagne wall is a must-have! Look how amazing this is! Here's another example. I really love the pink background in this one!

For flower arrangements, I would LOVE to have huge arrangements like this on the tables! These are probably way out of our budget, so we plan to do a smaller version with pink roses, peonies and ranunculus - ranunculus flowers look VERY similar to peonies but they aren't as expensive. :)

There are a lot of large trees at our venue, how beautiful would it be to have chandeliers hanging from the trees at night?

I just love the romantic feel of this set-up! Give me all the fairy lights!!

Another great inspiration image - I seriously can't get enough of those chandeliers. I also love the incorporation of greenery and the very "natural" feel of the tables and chairs.

And finally, this image is just so DREAMY I had to include it! If this doesn't scream "fairytale garden" to me, then I don't know what does :)

We still have some major decisions left to make - like the hair stylist and the bridesmaid dresses - but overall I'm feeling pretty good about where we are in the wedding planning process. In the beginning I felt a lot of pressure because I wanted the wedding to be "perfect" - but a lot of you guys left me some really good advice (I read every single one of your comments, by the way!) - when things begin to get stressful, remind yourself of the reason you're planning this wedding to begin with - because you've met your soulmate and get to spend your lives together! Chris and I try to limit our talk about the wedding - when we go on our Friday night "date nights" we made a pact that we won't talk about it (since I tend to get stressed out, haha!). It's easy to get caught up in small wedding details, but in the end, all of those small details don't really matter! It will still be the happiest day of my life because I get to marry my best friend and soulmate. :) 

Stay tuned because I still have some more wedding content coming up!

Oh and like I said earlier I would love your advice on whether or not a videographer is worth it!


Thursday, January 25, 2018

How I Reversed My Hair Damage

This blog post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc.and Schwarzkopf Gliss. All opinions are mine alone. #BlissOfGliss #HairIdenticalKeratin #CollectiveBias

Happy Thursday, everyone! I have a really exciting announcement to make today - you may already know if you follow me on Instagram, but if you don't - I will be partnering with Schwarzkopf Gliss™for the next year as a Gliss Ambassador! If you haven't heard of Schwarzkopf Gliss let me tell you a little more about it. Gliss is a line of hair products that has patented technology to repair your hair up to 10 layers deep. The secret ingredient is the patented Keratin Repair Technology - whether you know it or not, your hair loses Keratin over time. Gliss' Hair-Identical Keratin replaces lost Keratin, repairing damaged areas deep inside your hair and on its surface. 

Hair gets damaged in so many ways: coloring and bleaching your hair causes damage, as well as environmental influences such as sunlight, salt water and chlorine water; even brushing and combing your hair can cause damage! And as you already know, one of the BIGGEST causes of hair damage is heat products - guilty!!! I blow dry and curl my hair multiple days a week, so you can imagine that my hair takes a lot of damage. Back in November, I started testing the Schwarzkopf Gliss™ Ultra Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner to see how it works. A lot of you guys have noticed that my hair has been "shinier" in photos, and I truly believe it's because Gliss Ultra Moisture products have reversed some of the damage I've caused over the years!

In December, I got the chance to fly to New York on behalf of Gliss. I got to meet the entire Schwarzkopf team AND film a really cool video (scroll down to the bottom of this post for the video!). The entire team is so passionate about hair care and they all use the products themselves. The whole experience was pretty insane - there was a makeup and hair crew, a film crew, even someone making coffee runs for us (you know I loved that, haha). I'm inserting a few behind-the scenes shots from our filming studio in New York. 

And below you can see my Gliss hair video!! 

You can pick up any Schwarzkopf Gliss™ products from your local Target - that's where I buy mine :) If you post a photo of your hair results,  please tag me and include the hashtag #BlissofGliss so that I can see :) You can also follow Schwarzkopf on Instagram here!

Stay tuned for more hair content throughout the year, including a hair tutorial! And as always, THANK YOU guys for your support!

xoxo, Cait

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Valentine's Day Wish List

With February right around the corner, I can't help but daydream about Valentine's Day - the one day that it's perfectly okay to wear head-to-toe red and pink! I thought I'd put together a few things on my wish list... any one of these would make an amazing Valentine's Day gift! I am particularly drooling over the new David Yurman pieces like these heart earrings and this heart bracelet (fiancĂ© - are you reading this!?!?!? haha ;) If you have a date night planned, then this one shoulder minidress would be the absolute perfect thing to wear! 

What's on your Valentine's Day Wish List?!



Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Think Pink

pink turtleneck sweater // white pants (loooove these! they're new!)
similar morganite ring // MAC lipstick in "creme cup" // SNS nail polish in SC24

One of the reasons I love Charleston so much is because of the pastel-colored buildings... they make me so happy (even in the dead of winter!). It was in the high 60's yesterday, so I opted for a light turtleneck, white pants and peep-toe booties. Speaking of my booties, these Ferris booties from Sole Society are perfect for transitioning from winter into spring because of the peep-toe detail (especially if your toes are painted pink!). Now if only I didn't have to go home to freezing weather!

P.S. Thanks for your comments on yesterday's post - I'm currently working on a wedding planning post to update you guys!! :)