Thank you so much everyone for all of the birthday wishes yesterday!! I had an amazing weekend and I’m geared up for an exciting week (I have some really fun posts coming and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts on Thursday!). Sorry this post is going up later in the day than I had originally planned – it took a long time to answer all of the questions! If you commented on my last blog post then I tried to answer every single question. I hope you can see that all of my answers are from the heart. I am truly so thankful for all of your support!
To start with, I broke the questions out into four categories: Personal, Wedding/Marriage, Fashion/Beauty and Blogging. Let’s get started!
Q: Do you have any favorite devotionals or faith-related books?
My favorite favorite favorite faith-related book is “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. I recommend that EVERYONE read this book. I think it’s classified as Christian Historical Fiction – it’s a re-done, biblical version of the story of Hosea but it’s set in the 1800’s during the Gold Rush in California. This book is not for the faint of heart – a young girl is accidentally sold into prostitution and the story revolves around suffering, heartbreak, faith, forgiveness and above all, love. I read a lot, but there are very few books that I have come across in my life that actually made a REAL difference. This one gave me hope during a rough time in my life, and brought me closer to understanding how deep God’s love for us really is. Be sure you have tissues nearby!
Q: What is your go-to protein bar/snack bar?
My favorite snack bar is Larabar – not only do they taste amazing, but they’re made from real food! Most of the bars have less than five ingredients (and they’re REAL ingredients, like cashews and dates) and they’re also gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free. My favorite flavors are Lemon Bar and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.
Q: On your monogram, what is the M for?
The M is for my middle name, McColl. It’s a family name and I’ve always loved it! When I was younger, I wanted to go by “Mac” but everyone told me it was a terrible idea hahah.
Q: What is your name on Goodreads? I would love to follow you and your reading!
I’m pretty sure my username is “cmcoving” – you can follow me here!
Q: I currently live in Florida and would love to move to South Carolina. What cities/areas would you recommend us looking into?
I actually live in North Carolina now, but I have lived in South Carolina too – I love both of the Carolinas and think they’re a great place to live! The beach and mountains are only a few hours away in either direction. If you’re set on South Carolina, I would look into Greenville and Charleston – those are my two favorites and I can’t say enough good things about them! (I lived in Greenville for a year after college.)
Q: Would love to know more about how you and your Momma stay so close!
My mom has always been my best friend, although our relationship has evolved and matured over the years – when I was growing up she acted like more of a mom, and now that I’m older she acts like more of a friend (but she still gives me advice and tells me what to do every now and then haha). We also work together (she’s my photographer!) which is amazing because we get to spend a lot of time together and travel together. I don’t know how to explain it… we’re closer than best friends because we’re family, and we’re always there for each other and are loyal to one another. She’s also one of the wisest people I know.
Q: What is your favorite type of wine?
My two favorites are rose and chianti! I really love having a glass of wine at night with dinner or while I take a bath… it helps me unwind and relax.
Q: Can you explain your current fitness/diet routine and especially what you did to be in the best shape possible for your wedding?
YES, but I’m actually putting together a whole blog post on this – it will be live later in the week!
Q: How did you meet Chris?
Chris and I met in Greenville in 2012 – my first “big girl job” was in public relations in Greenville, and I moved there after college. I met Chris 18 days after moving, although I wasn’t interested in him at first (haha). Chris pursued me and convinced me to go on a lunch date with him, which he called “harmless” and the “friend zone.” After that first date, I was a goner! I fell for him quickly.
Q: What does Chris do for a living?
Chris works for Hanes Brands in Winston Salem. I don’t know his specific title haha but I know that he manages all of the finances for the “Champion” brand. He’s a numbers person and is very good at what he does – he’s also obsessed with Champion and owns Champion hats, T-shirts, jackets, pants, shorts and even shoes!
Q: Did you and Chris do any premarital counseling? If so, what did you think?
Yes! We had several premarital counseling sessions with our pastor in Winston Salem, and we completed these workbooks (there’s a girls’ version and a boys’ version) on our pastor’s recommendation. The workbooks helped cultivate deep, and sometimes tough, conversations about topics that don’t normally come up in everyday conversation, such as how we were raised and our views on parenting and finances. We both agreed that the workbooks helped us set better, more realistic expectations for marriage, and I actually learned a lot about Chris and his childhood that helped me understand him more as an adult. One really valuable exercise was talking through the roles that each of our parents had played growing up (for example, which parent did the cooking, cleaning or disciplining) and we talked through how we saw our roles playing out in our own marriage.
Q: What are your top 3 favorite memories from your wedding day?
Ugh this is tough – there are so many!!! I think my obvious favorite would be seeing Chris for the first time on our wedding day – the way our venue was set up is a little different than most venues, and the direction I walked from I actually got to see Chris’s face first, before anyone else. I’ve never seen such a big smile on his face – and he was crying!! – thinking about it even now makes me emotional.
Q: What was the most difficult part about planning your wedding and how did you and your husband work through it?
I think the most difficult thing was just each of us having full-time jobs and having to make wedding planning a priority. Almost every weeknight and weekend was spent either talking about or planning for the wedding, or doing things for the wedding (we had to take a lot of trips to Charleston, too). There were many moments where I was stressed beyond belief. My doctor even prescribed me anxiety medication because I physically couldn’t handle the stress! I would wake up in the morning and not be able to get out of bed because of crushing anxiety – between my job, wedding planning and maintaining the household, it felt physically impossible to get everything done. But to all my engaged ladies out there – HANG IN THERE because it IS worth it!
Q: Do you have any major pet peeves about living with a boy? And if so, how are you overcoming them?
Honestly living with a boy is great!! I lived by myself for six years prior to getting married, and I also worked from home most of that time, so I often felt pretty lonely. Being married is amazing because you get to live with your best friend and we have so much fun together, we kind of act like little kids hahah! When Chris gets home from work, we’re both like, “What should we do tonight!?? What movie should we watch?!” We both discussed our “roles” prior to getting married… for instance, I hate changing the cat’s litter boxes, so Chris does that every week… and I usually take care of things around the house that need maintenance, like replacing lightbulbs and calling the plumber when our disposal stops working. We share chores like doing the dishes and laundry. I’m pretty lucky because Chris is a very clean person and cleans up after himself, I’m actually the messy one in our relationship!
Q: How soon do you want to start a family?
We both want to enjoy being married and being able to travel for a while before we start trying to have kids. We know that once we have kids, we can never get this time back!! Right now, we think we may start trying for a baby in the fall of 2019 – but that could change. One thing is for sure, we both want a house full of kids! 🙂
Q: Do you and your husband plan on taking a vacation every year? If you do, what are future destinations you’d like to visit?
Yes, definitely! Chris and I both love to travel and will probably take a week off from work to go somewhere new ever year. Chris really wants to go to Portugal (home of his favorite soccer team) and I’d like to explore more of Italy. We also love going to the beach on the weekends since it’s only a four hour drive from our house – we like to go as often as we can in the summertime.
Q: I know you got engaged a little over a year ago, do you think it’s best to wait a whole year to plan the wedding, or do you think it can be done in a shorter time frame?
You definitely could plan a wedding in less than year, but it depends on how big your wedding is, where it is and what type of person you are. We booked our wedding venue a year out, and even then, almost all of the dates we wanted were already taken. It also took a long time for my wedding dress to come in (maybe eight months). I found wedding planning to be one of the most stressful periods of my life, but I’m also a control freak! If you’re laid-back and don’t care as much about the details, then you could definitely plan it during a shorter time frame.
Q: How do you get so much volume at your roots?
Two ways! First, I blow-dry my hair upside down. Whenever I flip my head over, my roots have so much volume because they were blow-dried that way! Secondly, I also pouf up my hair and clip it in place with this big hair clip while I’m doing stuff around the house. It trains my hair to have more volume!
Q: Who is your top celebrity style icon?
Without a doubt, the answer is Victoria’s Secret Model Romee Strijd! I have a HUGE girl crush on her, I love following her on Instagram and am obsessed with her YouTube channel. She is so cute and sweet and down-to-earth, not to mention absolutely gorgeous. I think if I ever met her in real life, I would’t be able to form words, I’d be so star-struck!!!
Q: Do you have a favorite season or time of year that you love dressing up for?
Summer is my favorite time of year because I love being outside and going to the pool and beach, but I LOVE dressing for fall. It’s hard to describe that feeling when the weather gets crisp and the leaves start to turn colors, I just want to curl up in a blanket scarf and cozy sweater with a book and a cup of coffee. I think fall outfits are the cutest and the possibilities are endless – tall boots, booties, jeans, cute skirts, sweater dresses, floppy hats – I love it all!!
Q: What is your natural hair texture?
My hair is naturally wavy and frizzy. I used to scrunch it in college and it would turn into ringlets, but if I let it dry naturally it’s more wavy.
Q: How long does it take for you to go from wet naturally curly hair to dry wavy shiny hair?
It used to take me about an hour, but I’ve gotten it down to about 35 minutes now! I blow dry my hair first and then curl it with this curling wand using the 1″ barrel.
Q: Do you have a tutorial on how you do your top bun like in Thursday’s post? My hair is long like yours and it always falls down.
Yes I do! I did a bun tutorial a few months ago, you can read about it here.
Q: Would you be willing to talk about botox or enhancements you’ve had done to your face?
Sure! It might be obvious to some of you, but I had rhinoplasty about a year ago. I didn’t post or talk about it then because I didn’t want anyone to think I was promoting plastic surgery – it was a deeply personal decision, and one that I made for myself and for my confidence (after years and years of thinking about it and researching it). I also got botox before my wedding, to prevent forehead lines in pictures. I haven’t decided if I want to continue with botox or not, but I do really like the effects and not being able to make those frown lines!
Q: Could you share your skincare routine for morning and night and what products do you use?
At night, I start out by washing my face with a cleansing oil – it may sound counterintuitive to wash your face with oil, but it does a great job of removing makeup and impurities, and I LOVE how it makes my face look and feel! My two favorites are this one and this one. Then I use this drugstore makeup remover with a cotton pad to take off any remaining makeup. The next step is my retinal – I SWEAR by this retinal and I think my skin has cleared up a lot because of it! I’ve gotten my mom addicted to it too. Next I apply a Vitamin C serum to help lighten dark spots and brighten my skin – this one is my favorite, it smells sooo good and I love putting it on at night! The last step in my night routine is moisturizer – I alternate between two different ones, this one and this one, depending on how I’m feeling. I love them both but the second one can be a bit oily – although it does an amazing job of moisturizing! The only thing I do in the morning is put on sunscreen. Sunscreen is so important!! You have no idea how much sun your face receives, even if you aren’t outside that much – your face gets sun just by driving your car! This is the sunscreen that I’ve been using lately because it blocks the rays of the sun (you want to use a physical sunblock on your face rather than a chemical sunscreen).
Q: What is the story behind your blogger beginning?
I started my blog when I was still in college, with no intention of turning it into a career or ever making a dime off of it. I really wanted to work for a magazine after college, and I wanted a creative outlet that could showcase my writing ability, as perhaps an extra addition to my resume. I wasn’t prepared to fall head over heels in love with blogging. It ignited a passion within me for so many different things! I found out that I loved photography in addition to writing, and it was fun to share recipes and fashion, as well as talk about sorority life. I eventually graduated from college and got a job in public relations, but kept up my blog on the side. My blog kept growing until I couldn’t physically handle my desk job and my blog at the same time – so I took a leap of faith, trusted God and moved back to Charlotte to blog full-time. That was nearly six years ago 🙂
Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a blogger?
I would want to be a novelist! I loooove to read, as you guys probably know, and I think it would be really fun to be on the other side of it and be the storyteller.
Q: If you could create one thing through your blog, what would it be? (For example, a book, clothing or makeup line)
It would definitely be a book! I don’t really have a desire to have my own clothing or makeup line… I mean, it would be cool, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of the inventory and shipping things out! Plus, it’s just never been a dream of mine. But I would really love to write a book. I’ve even considered it before. I don’t know if it would be a “Blogging How To” Guide, or a book about my journey as a woman and a blogger… or just a book for women about living a well balanced life – I would have everything in there, my favorite workouts, my favorite healthy recipes, some fashion tips, even tips on keeping your house clean and building confidence!
Q: What do you dislike most about blogging?
Like any small-business owner knows, it can be very tempting to work ALL THE TIME, but especially in the blogging industry. Social media never sleeps, and as with any small business, there is literally something I could be doing at all hours of the day. For many years, I threw everything I had into my blog: putting in 80-hour work weeks to ensure that I had a new blog post up every single day, as well as three different Instagram pictures. It was exhausting. I’m at a point in my life now where I’m feeling a little burned out – in addition to being just plain tired, I now have a house, husband and pets to take care of! Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t devote the same amount of time to blogging now as I was able to in the past. I’ve had to learn to be a lot kinder to myself – which can be tough because I’m a perfectionist. If I don’t get an Instagram post up every single night, I have to remind myself that it’s okay. It’s really tempting to become all-consumed by blogging, but it’s not healthy (I know because I’ve been there). I’ve really taken a step back this year and realized that there are more important things in life… like relationships!
Q: I would love to know how you keep your editorial calendar for your blog and social posts to keep everything in order? Do you prefer digital planners or paper?
I keep all of my blog posts scheduled out on a digital calendar (I use Basecamp – it is really nifty because I can keep all of my contracts and my calendar in the same place), but for everyday purposes, I prefer paper. Every morning I make a new To-Do List with things that need to get done that day. It’s so satisfying to be able to cross things off your list as you’ve accomplished them!
Q: Do you keep all your outfits featured on your blog and Instagram? If not, do you sell them? Do you donate them instead?
No, I don’t keep all the outfits! If I really love an outfit or think that I’ll wear it in my personal life, then I keep it in my personal closet (I have a “business” closet and a “personal” closet). Most of the time I end up giving clothes to my mom or assistant, taking them to a consignment store, or donating them to Goodwill. I don’t sell them on Poshmark or my blog because it’s too time-consuming!
Q: Can you write off clothes purchases for your blog on your taxes as business expenses?
Yes and no. My accountant is awesome and has done tons of research to figure out what can be considered a business expense and what can’t. Fashion blogging is a relatively new industry and the taxes can get pretty complicated. If I buy an item of clothing specifically for a blog post or Instagram picture, I can write it off, but only if I end up discarding the item in some way (whether it’s through donating or selling the item). If I purchase the item for a blog post but then continue to wear it in my personal life and/or plan on keeping it forever, then I can’t write it off.
Q: I LOVE how you edit your Instagram photos and would love to hear what editing apps you use for cell phone photos.
I edit all of my Instagram photos with Lightroom! It’s a little bit annoying because I have to airdrop or email all of the photos from my iPhone to my computer, then I apply a Lightroom preset to the photo, save it, then transfer it back to my iPhone. From there I sometimes use Snapseed to adjust the lighting.
Q: I would love to know how you plan and organize your Instagram posts. Do you have them all scheduled in advance, how do they relate back to your blog, and do you plan out all of your captions as well?
I would say that at any given time, I have my Instagram posts planned out two or three days in advance. I know bloggers who take Instagrams, edit them and then post in the moment, but my anxiety would not allow me to do this!!! I like feeling prepared and knowing that I have a backlog of photos, and I know exactly what my feed will look like when they’re all posted. I use an app called Snug to plan out the order of my Instagram posts – I keep in mind what day and what time of day would work best with the photo, and then go from there. I don’t plan out my captions, though… I write all of those right before I post!
Q: Do you ever get stuck from a creative side when writing blog posts? If so, then how do you get past it?
For sure, there are times that I get frustrated with myself because I can’t seem to think of anything new or creative. During times like that, I usually stop and have a brainstorming session with my mom or even Chris – it helps to bounce ideas off of someone else. If that doesn’t work, then I take a little break and do something fun, like read a book or watch a movie, or even get out of the house and take Winnie on a walk. A little break is usually enough to hit the “reset” button on my brain.
Q: How did you come up with Southern Curls and Pearls as your blog name?
I started my blog in college and had absolutely NO idea that it would be my career some day. Looking back on it, I might have picked a different name if I had known! I decided to go with Southern Curls and Pearls because I was southern, I had curly hair, and I loved to wear pearls – the name just sort of came to me and I went with it!
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
The thing that is cool about blogging is that every day is different! Some days are shoot days and we’ll photograph a bunch of outfits; other days I’m unpacking boxes, steaming clothes and preparing for photoshoots. Some days I stay in workout clothes all day and answer emails or hop on conference calls. I’m still planning on doing a “day in the life” post sometime soon, I’ve been meaning to do it forever!
Q: What are your tips for us ladies who work from home, on staying social and not getting lonely?
Working from home can definitely get lonely, and I’m someone that HATES to be alone. That’s always been my personality… some people need “me” time, but I really thrive off of having people around me. I think my first tip would be to get a pet, because they offer so much love and comfort. We have two cats and a dog, and they are like family to me… I talk to them all day long (which would be quite embarrassing if you guys heard me). I also force myself to get out of the house once per day, whether it’s to run an errand, go to a workout class, or go browse around Target. If I don’t get out once a day, I will go crazy! I also call my mom or my friends and talk on the phone or FaceTime, that helps tremendously.
Q: Will you and your mom be shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? Your reviews (and hers) are my favorite!
YES we will definitely be shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! All of my picks will be on the blog THIS THURSDAY on the morning that the early access sale opens so that you guys can shop right away. You can check out this post for a sneak peek at what to expect! There’s some GOOOOOD stuff this year!!!
As always, I love and appreciate you all!
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