A Look Back at 2018

At the start of the new year, I always like to look back and take a minute to reflect. There were so many wonderful moments of 2018, including the best day of my entire life up to now, my wedding day. I grew a lot, but not without obstacles, both personally and professionally. Here’s a look at some of my most popular posts from 2018, scroll down to the very end for my thoughts on 2018!

At the beginning of 2018 I shared my master closet reveal with before and after pictures.

I traveled to Mexico and wrote a post all about how I stay healthy on vacation. This pink sports bra and leggings combo is one of my favorite workout outfits to date!

My mom and I took a trip to Palm Beach and fell in love with it! We also captured some of my favorite outfits photos of the year in this gingham minidress.

In May I went on my bachelorette party in Charleston! My matron of honor found an amazing house in Wild Dunes, so we laid out by the beach all day and then went into Charleston at night. I wrote a whole recap post of everything we did here.

I started a lot of beauty treatments before my wedding in June, including a laser treatment for my skin! I also had my trial done for my wedding makeup (the above photo, which is unfiltered!). I wrote about all my beauty treatments and wedding makeup here – you guys really loved this post!

I worked out really hard for six months before our wedding – and the biggest changes were the internal ones that took place! I felt more confident and happy in my skin than I ever have before. You can read all about my wedding working routine in this blog post.

We got married on June 2nd and a week later we left for our honeymoon! I took time off of blogging for the first time in years for my honeymoon, hahah, but I did write some travel guides when I got back. You can read all about our time in Mykonos, Santorini and the Amalfi Coast in Italy in my travel guides. Without a doubt it was the best trip of my life – whenever I’m having a bad day, I think back to laying on the beach in Greece and it makes me so happy!

In the fall, we finally got our house completely decorated and I put up a HOUSE TOUR on my blog! You can read Part One here and Part Two here.

I took a bunch of trips to chase the fall foliage – Colorado, New Hampshire and Vermont to name a few. But the prettiest fall foliage actually occurred a few miles away from my house in North Carolina. This post was my most popular from fall!

All in all, what an amazing year! I look back at these photos and have all sorts emotions, most of them positive, as I think about my wedding and the places I was able to travel to that both inspired me and pushed me outside of the bounds of my own creativity. It all may present a “perfect” looking image, but 2018 was far from it. Beneath the pretty photos, I struggled a lot with anxiety. There were many mornings that I would wake up, so overwhelmed with anxiety and everything on my “To Do List,” that I couldn’t get out of bed. I mentioned this in a previous post, but I had to go on anxiety medication a few months before my wedding because I couldn’t handle the pressure of planning the wedding, my job, taking care of a house/pets and maintaining healthy relationships with the people around me all at once. There were times when I thought the pressure would crush me. I (somehow) made it through those really dark months, and in the end, it taught me some valuable lessons. First was how to have a better work/life balance. When I was living on my own in Charlotte, I would put in 80+ workweeks, pouring all of my time and energy into blogging. Some pretty great things have come into my life since then (ahem, my husband!), and my priorities have shifted a little. I no longer have the time, nor energy to devote so much to blogging… and I’ve learned that that’s okay. I also learned that I don’t have to control every single thing and it’s important to delegate: I signed with a management agency and hired my brother on a full-time photographer this year, two decisions that really helped alleviate the pressure of blogging and a heavy workload.

Spending time with my husband and building a strong foundation to prepare for our future children has become the most important thing in my life (no, I’m not pregnant right now, haha, but we plan to start a family soon!). My goals for 2019 are to keep my priorities straight, while bringing more real content to Southern Curls and Pearls. I love fashion and always will, but the older I get, the more I crave to see people’s real lives and struggles, and more personal topics such as how they organize their bathroom cabinets, or how they manage to take their kids to school on time and make their morning workout class. Less “perfect,” staged pictures, and more real life.

Another one of my goals for 2018 is to enjoy life more. I want to learn how to deal with my anxiety in the healthiest ways possible, whether it’s taking up yoga and meditation, or simply saying “no” to more things. Once we’ve lived a year, we can’t get it back, nor can we redo it. I want to soak up every last minute and enjoy the heck out of my life. I want to laugh and I want to love every single day.

As always, a huge thank you to every single one of you who have supported me over the years and continue to do so. I’ve said this before, but I hope you think of me as a friend that you can always reach out to. I sincerely love you all from the bottom of my heart and am so thankful for you guys!

Now, let’s go out and have the best year yet! Cheers to less stress, and more living in the moment in 2019.

Love, Caitlin

Leave a Comment

61 Comments

  1. This is such an awesome recap of 2018! I enjoyed your blog content so much, and I remember all of these posts you mentioned above! It sounds like you had an amazing year – and we all grow from overcoming struggles, the most important part of that is to embrace it! Can not wait for what will be coming in your blog in 2019 and a huge YES to more “real-life” blogposts – those really connect a community in my opinion!
    Xx Janine
    https://walkinmysneaks.blogspot.com/

    1.3.19Reply
  2. So fun to look back on your amazing year! Yes yes yes to more real life blog posts!! I have been feeling the same about blogging- this year I think I’m cutting outfit posts to one day a week, and doing lifestyle the other days. 🙂

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

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  3. May this be the best year yet! Happy 2019 Caitlin!! Your blog is soo fun to read and I always look up for the new posts updates 🙂

    1.3.19Reply
  4. I love this 2018 recap! It was such a busy year, but it’s been so much fun following along!

    I hope you’re having a wonderful Thursday!
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.com

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  5. Crystal Rovenstine

    Yes! I’m so excited for more “real life” posts! I would be willing to bet your following will grow even more once you do that!!! And your old school followers and true fans (ahem, me!) will stick around, too. 🙂 Happy 2019, Caitlin!

    1.3.19Reply
  6. Kiki

    Happy 2019! I’ve really enjoyed following you especially this year because everything is so relatable for me – I went on my bachelorette to Wild Dunes in August, got married in September, and now my husband and I are looking for our first house and I’m having so much fun with decorating ideas. 🙂 Keep up the great work and here’s to a wonderful new year.

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  7. You had quite the year and so glad you alleviated some work! I enjoyed following along and can’t wait to see what you will be up to this year!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

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  8. Olivia

    I can’t wait to see what you have in plan for thé blog this year, i would love deeper post, about anxiety and life…. and i can’t wait for you next book review !!!
    Happy new year! I wish you all the best !

    1.3.19Reply
  9. Sally Nichols

    I love this post. You are so REAL and so honest and that makes me love your content even more! I admire you very much and always look forward to seeing “Southern Curls and Pearls” in my email inbox.

    1.3.19Reply
  10. Samantha

    I always love reading your blog but couldn’t agree more with adding more real content. I always love to see peoples “day in the life posts”. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for your 2019!

    1.3.19Reply
  11. Erin

    Yes! While I have always loved your fashion/travel/lifestyle content, I’m so excited to see you focusing on more of the “real” stuff in 2019. One of the biggest things we all have in common is that we are ALL struggling with something, and it helps all of us to know that we aren’t alone. 🙂 Thank you for being so thoughtful, and for embracing change! Can’t want to see what 2019 holds for you, Caitlin!

    1.3.19Reply
  12. What a beautiful year for you Caitlin! I love following along, I like the mix of inspiration with real life content! Cheers to less stress in 2019 is right. Can’t wait to keep following along 🙂

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

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  13. Karen

    I really enjoy your blog! Do you have any advice on how to introduce a new dog/puppy to your established cat? While reading this post I realized you have both!
    Thanks!

    1.3.19Reply
  14. Janet Oloyede

    I love love reading your recaps of the year! Thank you for your honesty and transparency. It’s always encouraging to read that you struggle with things just as any other human being. Like you said, it’s not always about picture perfect photos but more about being real. Thank you for your blog posts & sticking through it even through the dark times. Happy new year!
    Xoxo

    1.3.19Reply
  15. Taylor

    Cait, I love your reflection on this year! I’ve commented about this before, but I absolutely love when you write posts that reflect more “personal” and real aspects of your life. I love what you said about wanting to hear about people’s strugggles, how they get their kids to school on time, etc. I completely agree! I can’t wait to follow along this year with your adventures and wish you the very best.

    1.3.19Reply
  16. Annika

    You’re the first blogger I ever followed (found you from the Starbucks halloween costume on Pinterest!) and are one of the few that I check every day still! I love your fashion, and agree with more “real” posts- I have had anxiety my entire life, and have really appreciated your honestly and openness about it. I also love (and need) organizational and general life tips! I can’t wait to watch your family grow–I feel like of all the bloggers out there, you (and Krista) are the people I would actually be friends with in real life and it’s been wonderful following you!

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  17. What a fun year! Cheers to 2019!

    http://www.thegirlswhobrunch.com

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  18. What a wonderful re-cap! Hope you have a great year ahead <3

    BlondieInTheCity.com

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  19. Gaelle C Pierre

    Happy 2019!! Thanks always for sharing. You had an amazing 2018! I’m sure you’ll work out the anxiety issue. Looking forward to the journey that this year will bring.

    1.3.19Reply
  20. Sarah Shaneyfelt

    Wow! What a big year you’ve had! I love reading your blog because you are so relatable!
    MeetTheShaneyfelts

    1.4.19Reply
  21. Love this post and so appreciate your honesty! Finding a work/life balance is something I struggle with – as well anxiety. Thanks for keeping it real! Congratulations on all your wonderful milestones and Happy New Year:)!

    1.4.19Reply
  22. Oh Caitlin! What a beautiful year you’ve had! I’ve enjoyed every minute of following you over the years and it’s been so great to see you grow in every area of your life. I struggle with anxiety too and feel like I’m in a much better place than I was before as well. Some days, I had a hard time getting out of bed, would panic and couldn’t breathe. Other days, I had mornings where my anxiety would flare up during my commute to my day job.

    But I learned that it’s okay to not be okay. We all have to go through our moments and sometimes have to let ourselves feel that, you know?

    Overall, I’m glad you’re in a much better place and that you’re enjoying life. I can tell you work really hard (it’s very evident) and it’s been lovely to see you out and about with Chris and your family in Hawaii and now, Europe.

    I count you as a friend too because although we haven’t met (yet!), I have always felt like I could approach you!

    Happy new year, Caitlin! May 2019 be everything you wish, pray and hope for! x

    She Sweats Diamonds

    1.4.19Reply
  23. WOW! This was by far the best New Years post I have come across. It’s one of my favorite types of posts to read by bloggers but this one literally blew me away, Caitlin!

    I love that you are almost turning a new leaf in the blogging world. I love seeing all of your fashion advice, but my favorite posts are the true, day to day, lifestyle posts. I can’t wait to see what type of content you will bring to the blog as your marriage continues to flourish and you become a mother.

    Thank you so much for such a great read!

    All Things Ashley Marie

    1.4.19Reply
  24. Alysa

    Cait I am so excited for these new posts! I have always loved your authenticity most of all. 2019 will be so wonderful xx

    1.4.19Reply
  25. Sara

    Happy New Year!!! My best wishes for 2019. that you have a year as good or better than the one that has gone.
    Kisses

    1.4.19Reply
  26. Jenna

    I love this and wish you the best 2019! I struggle too, and part of that is because I’m too much of a people pleaser, but just yesterday I said no to something I wasn’t comfortable with and it was hard, but I feel better for it.
    On a side note, could you please share where your kitchen chairs are from? My mom is ordering the table from Home Depot and loves your chairs too!

    1.4.19Reply
  27. Samantha Schott

    I honestly have loved your “real” content this last year and I am so excited to be seeing more in 2019!

    1.4.19Reply
  28. Love, love, love this post. It’s so refreshing to hear honesty from someone who appears to have a perfect life. I have a love for fashion as well (although I can’t quite afford it yet!) & I too struggle with anxiety. It helps to have a solid support system & find things to channel your anxious energy into. For me, this includes blogging for fun (which might not be the same for you since it’s your job), exercising (yoga & spin are my go-to’s), being open about my feelings, & also a strict medication regiment (I’m on Lexapro). I love talking to my boyfriend about whatever’s on my mind & it helps to relieve the pressure a bit, too.
    I hope you find a healthy way to deal with your anxiety that actually helps you. I’m rooting for you, girl, & I truly love your blog. ♥️

    1.4.19Reply
  29. Yes yes yes! We just had our first baby this year and I realized pretty quickly it’s impossible to “do it all”. This year is going to be a year of simplifying and mindfulness when it comes to work and any commitments outside of my family. If I don’t love it, it’s a no from me, and that’s okay. You have to take care of yourself first because you can’t pour from an empty cup.

    1.4.19Reply
  30. This is seriously your best post yet. Definitely made me cry. It’s crazy how perfect things can look from the outside but inside be so different!! I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life and it’s so relieving to hear that it’s more common than people think! I’ve followed along with your page for years and have watched your content grow and evolve so much. You’re my biggest inspiration in the blogging world! I’m so, so excited for this coming years content with this new outlook. You’re so inspiring in so many ways and such a beautiful person in and out ❤️.

    1.4.19Reply
  31. Aw Caitlin I love these type of posts!! I have followed you for years and your posts got me through some hard times! Cannot wait for your future posts and happy new year!!

    1.4.19Reply
  32. This was a really interesting and fun post to read and look at all of the pretty pictures. I clicked so many of those links and read other posts and now I’ve been here for an hour! Lol! One question I have is about spray tans. I’m super pale and I’ve tried spray tans here and there over the last 15 years or so and not one has ever turned out well. I’m just not understanding the ‘trick’ to it and how others get them all the time. I’ve been hand airbrushed, spray tan booth, you name it. I shower at the recommended time afterwards, I use the lotion on the right areas before but I always turn out too orange. And my rough spots like my hands and knees and feet look AWFUL! Any advice you could offer would be amazing! 😘

    1.4.19Reply
  33. Beautifully written, Caitlin! I appreciate the elegance and authenticity you bring to the blogging community. Thanks for reminding us of real life behind your gorgeous photos. Hope you and your husband have a wonderful 2019!

    1.4.19Reply
  34. Juliana

    Wow thank you so much for your vunerability! It really make me rethink about things and value even more your work. I can relate to you on your feelings, as we grow old the tendency is focus more in what is practical then how things looks like, and you are doing an incredible job! I really like the way I always see you with your family, that is the most important thing in life and one of the main reasons I follow you and your blog, I love when you show your family and things you do together, makes me feel hopeful for the future and comforts me knowing that true families do still exists and that it is possible to have fun and keep together thru the generations. God bless you and your marriage, your families and your future kids, that love might always be a priority in your life!

    1.4.19Reply
  35. Brooke Swift

    Love your blog + loving the more behind-the-scenes stuff you’ve been doing. Can’t wait for 2019! 💛

    1.4.19Reply
  36. Kristina

    What a great and real post! I totally understand where you’re coming from, and I aspire to lead 2019 with similar goals. I absolutely love your blog — the fashion, lifestyle, travel, wellness and everything in between! Thanks for all you do😊

    1.4.19Reply
  37. Stacey

    While I don’t wish anxiety on anyone, you should know that sharing your story makes you more relatable. Thank you for sharing your story and your not alone! You are so strong, it’s taken me years to conquer anxiety.

    1.4.19Reply
  38. Caitlin

    I have been reading your blog and following your Instagram for years now. I can genuinely say that I enjoy your blog now more than ever.
    I began following several others around the same time that I started following you, but have since stopped because they have become far too “perfect.” I feel that those bloggers are setting unrealistic standards for what beautiful is.
    Thank you for being real. I’ll be following you for the long haul!
    Happy 2019 🙂

    1.4.19Reply
  39. Caitlin – I want you to know I am so excited for your upcoming ideas for 2019. However, I really want to stress that I love following you because of how perfect you are able to portray things. You have such a flawless, fashionable look, and that’s one of the reason I like your blog so much. Sure, staged photos aren’t necessarily “real” – but that’s what makes Instagram & blogs so fun! I remember feeling SO inspired by your Palm Beach content; it takes a lot of talent to make things appear as seamless as you make them, and you’re my role model when it comes to that. I hope you never give up on putting outfits together, sharing them, and staging them, because you’re remarkably great at it. Love you!!

    1.4.19Reply
  40. Amelia Pierce

    I too struggle with anxiety and it’s so refreshing to see that I’m not alone. I think it began when I was laid off a month before I got married. It was so hard. It still is hard because we’re actually thinking about moving to Raleigh for better job opportunities for myself as there’s not much in the STEM field in chs, SC. Most days I feel like a failure and just stay in bed crying all day. Calling my husband 20 times to say that I can’t do this. It’s been really hard going from basically corporate America to staying at home all day everyday. I think I’m doing better emotionally as I try to keep up with my charity work. I’m praying that 2019 is better for us all. Hoping to find a job and feel great again. Thank you so much for sharing. Praying and reading the Bible helped a lot too🤗 p.s really love your blog!!

    1.4.19Reply
  41. love this post ♥️ may 2019 be filled with happiness and joy ☺️

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  42. I love this post because of your openess! It’s so genuine and raw and that is more beautiful than anything!! Thank you for your vulnerability and willingness to grow! It’s stunning!

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  43. This was perhaps your best post yet! I loved the honesty about anxiety, and it was nice to hear a little behind the scenes about your blog. I can’t wait for more content like this in 2019!!

    1.4.19Reply
  44. Cait

    You’re truly so classy. I love your honestly. We have lots of mutual friends in common and I’m so happy you also parted ways with people that were so toxic to you. Still till this day the awful things spoken about you makes me look at you and appreciate the bigger person that you are. Love your heart.

    1.4.19Reply
  45. Jess Kennedy

    Thank you for this awesome post! I love how you opened up and told your struggles! Cannot wait to see some “real” content in the future. Here’s to 2019!!!

    1.4.19Reply
  46. Thank you so much for your honesty about anxiety. It’s so nice to be able to relate to someone with the same struggle. I have been following your blog and your Instagram for years (may or may not have started following you because we have the same name)! I wish you the best for the New Year, and I look forward to seeing what you have in store for SC&P in 2019!
    ~ Caitlyn

    1.4.19Reply
  47. I love that you shared the real struggles. So often we get lost behind perfect pictures and great content and people don’t see the “real.” There are so many Instagram bloggers some I love so I don’t love so much. You are one I’ve always felt good about continuing to follow, because you’re real. Even staged pictures, the posts are heart felt! Keep it up!

    1.4.19Reply
  48. Christina

    I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings. I’d love to hear about things that help with anxiety. It’s something I have been struggling with. Xo

    1.5.19Reply
  49. Olivia G.

    Hi Caitlin! I loved your post and reflections on 2018. I’ve dealt with similar anxiety and reading this really helped me realign my priorities for the coming year. I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to following your adventures in the years to come. Happy New Year!

    1.5.19Reply
  50. Mary

    Sorry to hear about your anxiety. Mine magically lifted (temporarily) the day after my wedding, but there will always be something stressful in our lives. I’ve gotten off the medication since it was making my anxiety attacks worse the longer I was on it. I found talk therapy, yoga, the Calm app, breathing exercises and chamomile tea all helped more than meds in the long run. I even read Overcoming Anxiety for Dummies. Wishing you have a happy, balanced 2019!

    1.5.19Reply
  51. Mary Charlotte

    I love this post! Obviously you always look cute, but I love you told about your anxiety. I think a lot of us experience that in one way or another in our 20s especially and your acknowledging it makes it less taboo. ❤️

    1.5.19Reply
  52. Kristina Shanahan

    Happy 2019! Thank you for sharing your life!

    1.5.19Reply
  53. Diana T

    Thank you for sharing! I suffer with anxiety as well. It’s funny how when things are seeming to be doing well in our lives, anxiety/fear comes upon us to make us think something terrible will occur. It is a constant cycle of fear – stress – fear. I pray this year is less stressful and that you can better manage the anxiety. Recognizing and talking about it really helps. Congratulations on a great 2018, despite the stress many great things happened for you. Btw- I live in Concord/ Charlotte area!

    1.5.19Reply
  54. What a fun year! I can’t wait to see the new content you put out in 2019- I would love to see more “real life” content!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com 

    1.6.19Reply
  55. Heather

    Have you ever done or considered float therapy/sensory deprivation tank therapy for anxiety/stress? I read your post today which was also my first try at float tank therapy. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for 25+ years and have tried medication, therapy, meditation…I have recently related depression and anxiety to food allergies/sensitivities/inflammation in the gut and have seen some great results from changing my diet (tried Whole diet, naturopathic medicine, food sensitivities testing and intermittent fasting which I think is where I saw the best results and have learned a lot along the way). Today I got some beneficial results from the float tank therapy; at the very least, it was a great help in reducing stress and I felt rested and invigorated afterwards…may be something worth reading about/trying? ☺…all the best to you…take good care of yourself!

    1.6.19Reply
  56. Kristen

    Looking forward to more real life from you! Hope you find more happiness in 2019!

    1.8.19Reply
  57. Sounds like you had an amazing year! Many blessings to you in 2019 🙂

    http://innapishtoy.com/

    1.10.19Reply
  58. Thank you so much for this post. I love when other bloggers get real. I love lifestyle content and I’ve really been trying to incorporate that into my blog more. Love you blog and have been following it for years!

    XO, Gabby

    1.11.19Reply
  59. Tricia Miller

    I just read this and don’t usually comment but wanted to say thanks for letting us know about your anxiety. You do seem to have a picture perfect life by your blog postings so it is good to know you are just like the rest of us and not perfect. I too am looking into meditation- I just read Gisele Bundchen’s book that came out last fall and she had really bad anxiety, too. She said meditation really helped her and giving up caffine (oh dear not what you wanted to hear). You should read her book- I know you are a reader and think you will get something out of it. I look forward to more decorating and organizing posts in 2019! And more pics of the fur babies!

    1.15.19Reply
  60. Jennifer

    This post really got me in that I appreciate your honesty. It’s funny, I’ve been following you for so long that I remember a bathroom selfie post you did on one of your first days at work…like when you had an office job for a min. Yeah, I’ve been following THAT long! I’m excited to read about your healthful posts as this is a goal my fiancée and I have for our lives too!

    1.19.19Reply