Monday, January 30, 2012

Ring Leader

The amount of time I spent looking at vintage rings* this weekend is borderline embarrassing. I say borderline because my behavior is on the verge of obsessive, but considering how pretty these little baubles are, I think it is totally excusable. 
Vintage Lapis Ring (isn't this one ba-na-nas?)

*Rings meaning cocktail rings. Doyle & Doyle has a large selection of engagement rings/wedding bands... one that I certainly avoided. I'm pretty old fashioned when it comes to this. When I was in college, I had friends who would spend hours on the Tacori website selecting their "dream rings" and in no uncertain terms relaying the message to their boyfriends! It was (and still is) a totally foreign concept to me. Isn't that's the boy's job?!?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Guilt-free Friday!

Happy rainy Friday, friends! It is a very special Friday, because today my little brother turns 21! He is headed home for the night to celebrate with the family and I couldn't be happier. Here's hoping you've got something fun to celebrate this weekend. Until next time, cheers and the warmest of wishes. 

Hey, it's ok...

... if you haven't purchased your 2012 planner/calendar yet

... if your best ideas come to you in the shower, and since you have no way of writing them down, they promptly get washed down the drain.

... to have more pride for your parents' alma mater than your own
[momma and I will be wearing our matching sweatshirts on game day tomorrow! go big blue!]

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quinoa Salad

I would consider myself a fairly healthy eater. I never skip breakfast (or lunch, dinner, snack, etc.) I love most veggies (except mushrooms) and I limit my intake of special treats, like wine and dessert (bold-faced lie.) Lunch is usually a turkey sandwich or a salad with chicken. And most days it is delicious. But yesterday, after a nice long run  outside (in January!) with the pups , I was craving something different. After eating chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast (don't judge, they were whole-wheat) I wanted to eat something healthy and light, but filling enough to fuel me for the rest of the afternoon. 
I found some leftover quinoa in the fridge and concocted this little quinoa salad using ingredients we had on hand. The result? Absolutely delicious. I mixed in steamed broccoli (leftover), shredded carrots, frozen peas*, toasted pine-nuts, and some crumbled feta. I finished it with salt, pepper, a dash of olive oil, and a drizzle of some of the most delicious balsamic vinegar you will ever taste. It was the perfect balance of textures and flavors. If you're in a lunch rut, try mixing it up with quinoa. My only disappointment was reaching the bottom of the bowl all too soon. 
*As a kid, I loved munching on frozen peas straight from the freezer! I ate them like candy, and to this day I still think they are delicious in their frozen state.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Ok, everybody and their dog is on Pinterest now, so I don't have to tell you how great it is. But in the 8 months that I've had an account, I have collected hundreds of pins... and done nothing with them. I soon realized my "virtual inspiration board" was only inspiring me to waste time pinning more pins. That was until this last week. After a brief hiatus from the site (I got sick of seeing pictures of skankorexic girls posted as "fitness" and so.many.weddings. Speakingofwhich... if girls spent half as much time studying what God's plan for marriage is as they do planning their dream weddings, our divorce rate would be cut in half. Ok, end soapbox.) But my job search led me back to Pinterest last week (read: I got sick of looking for jobs so I started procrastinating on Pinterest last week.) And y'all... I actually used my pins. 

1. Ring as Brooch: I'll admit it, my "wear it" board is pretty extensive. But I don't like the idea of completely recreating someone's outfit in its entirety. Duplication has never really been my thing, and while some say imitation is the highest form of flattery, I say its a complete lack of imagination and creativity. After all, it's called personal style for a reason. I do find inspiration in color palates, hemlines, proportions, and seeing new uses for old things... like a ring as a brooch. Genius. 
2. Almost every day Taylor asks me what he should make for dinner. And almost every day I say I don't know. But last week? I was a hero. 
[I think his picture (via instagram) looks better than the original!]
3. My mom and I were synchronized pinning one day (you know... 2 iPads... one room... discussing everything interesting you see) She pinned these potatoes and made them the next night. Aren't they pretty?
4. I liked these poms, but since I'm kind of transient right now it doesn't make sense to redecorate the pool house. Sister's room? Fair game.
[we found silver Martha Stewart pom poms at TJ Maxx on the cheap.]
5. Ok, so there are 75862708620 pins about organization, and while everyone loves the idea of organization, who wants to break down and actually do it in real life? As of last week: this girl. I detoxed my bathroom, purged a ton of stuff I don't use and organized what I do use. I was disgusted by how many duplicates of various products I have purchased without knowing. 
[the finished product! no before pictures for the sake of my reputation.]
6. Aaaand... I got a puppy.
Sike. I've just been loving on mine!
[Pins: 1,2,3,4,5]

Has Pinterest inspired you to do anything crazy?

Monday, January 23, 2012

As of late...

Just this month, I finally started my post-grad job search. It has already been an emotional roller coaster. Some days I'm hopeful, optimistic, and excited. (After all, it has only been 2 weeks since I actually started looking for my first official "big girl job.") And still, other days, I am overwhelmed, stressed, and worried about the uncertainty that lies ahead. One night though, as I sifted through feelings of anxiety, worries of rejection, and fearful thoughts of the future, I heard a still, small voice say, "But you were not created for fear."

You were not created for fear. 
You were not created for anxiety. 
You were not created for stress. 
You were not created for strife. 
I grew up reading this in the Scriptures, but I never fully grasped what it meant, or what it looked like in practice.

Fish are not made for flying. Birds are not made for swimming. If a fish decided to spend the rest of its life in the clouds, it would surely die. And if a bird committed to spending its days submerged, death would be imminent. And yet, how different are we?

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7) Does this mean it is going to be easy? Absolutely not. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

We all know that if a bird took to the water, it would start to struggle, gasping for air, and eventually it would drown. And yet, this is exactly what my anxious thoughts do to me: they suffocate me, robbing me of the unspeakable joy God has in store for me, leaving me choking on what my limited mind can see and understand. I worry about the big things, I stress about the small stuff, my anxiety grips me tight until I literally feel sick. And yet, it changes nothing. "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." And He really is a good Father, so wouldn't it make sense that He has the rest figured out too? 

The funny thing is, I worried to try to control things. To take charge of my situation. To grab the reins. But turning them over to Him? True freedom. Am I saying I will never worry again? Doubtful. But when those feelings begin to surface, I don't have to hold onto them. I'm not made for that, I was created to serve, to follow, to trust. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Guilt-free Friday!

Hi hiii dear darlings and a happy weekend to you! I'm headed off to Wilmington... Taylor and I have an event tonight (and I still have no idea what I'm wearing) Other than that, it promises to be a relaxing weekend. I am hoping we can squeeze in a viewing of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Have you seen it yet? I read the book (a few years ago) and have been looking forward to the film, especially since Tom Hanks is in it {love.} Here's hoping your weekend is lovely too. Until Monday...

Hey! It's ok...

... if the length of your shower is directly related to the exterior temperature. The colder the weather, the longer (and hotter) the shower. 

... if a stomach ache is enough to make you swear off all things unholy: refined sugar, bleached flour, alcohol... Until someone makes brownies. 

... to like Valentine's Day. End of discussion.
[image via thisisglamourous]

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ashbury Floral

While I was in Wilmington this weekend, we decided to stop by J. Crew. (shocker, I know.) I always leave feeling like I hate my wardrobe inspired by different, patterns, textures, and unique combinations of the two. I managed to escape after purchasing just one necklace (I'm trying to be good, and it was meg cheap) but I've been dreaming about the Ashbury floral shirt ever since...
Wear it now with bright cords (or leather leggings- my newest obsession), punchy flats and a cozy cardigan. When it warms up in April (slash February here in coastal Carolina) you can pair it with a breezy skirt, [faux]-tanned legs, and sky-high espadrilles. And come June? Just a bikini will do. Chic city. 

Psst... You didn't hear it from me, but if you feel like going all "Texas Tux... the remix" you can buy the skirt too

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


[As I was cleaning out my drafts, I found this post- unpublished- from August. I'm not sure why it never posted, but on this cold, rainy morning it seems appropriate.]

Just as quickly as she advanced upon us, Irene has passed, leaving only minor damages in her wake. It has been a long day in coastal Carolina, the beaches were pummeled from the wee hours of the morning until shortly after dusk. Trees are dismembered, their branches lay strewn about. The electricity sizzled out hours ago, and the flood waters are sure to linger for a few more days.
But we are safe. 

Renewed thankfulness for the little things: Old Audrey Hepburn films (Roman Holiday) red wine (Robert Mondavi) and warm brownies (even if you have to bake them in a bundt pan) 

[August 27, 2011]
It's funny to me how similar things are 5 months later. The details are vary slightly (Sabrina, Dreaming Tree Cabernet, dark chocolate covered almonds) but the effect is still same: a deep, cleansing breath, a feeling that every little thing is gonna be alright, and deep, overwhelming gratitude.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Dreaming Tree

Hi hii my sweets, did you have a lovely long weekend? I most certainly did. Hilights included:

visiting my 92-year-old great grandmother
dinner with my dashing date...
and an oyster roast to celebrate a good friend's birthday! 
I took two bottles of wine to the oyster roast: something pink and bubbly for the birthday girl (of course) and something red and delicious for myself. Have you heard of The Dreaming Tree Wines? It is a collaboration between musical genius Dave Matthews and winemaker Steve Reeder. I sampled Crush, their red blend, when we added it to our wine list at the restaurant. I'm not usually a fan of blends, but I love the smooth, fruity flavor of Crush. (Dave says it's like blackberry cobbler)
Saturday night I tried the Cabernet and it was equally delicious. These wines are crafted for people to enjoy, to share, to experience. They are made with passion, and I think you can certainly taste that in each glass. Also, they are made with respect, great care, and a commitment to sustainability. 

Now I'm no tree-hugging hippie (I mean sometimes I don't brush my hair, and I own my fair share of maxi dresses, but that's about the extent of it) but I am absolutely an advocate for stewardship and taking great care of the blessings and abundance God has given us through His creation. 

Bottom line: These are wines you can count on to be delicious. They are wines you can feel good drinking (I'm lookin at  you, Mother Nature. #kidding) And besides, wouldn't you feel significantly cooler walking into a party with Dave Matthews than Rex Goliath? Thought so. 
p.s. if I didn't win you over, their website certainly will. It is chocked full of cool videos about the wine-making process.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mom & Pop

I love Google. How can you not? Google Chrome is my browser of choice. Google is my number 1 most visited page. It's not a search engine, it's a way of life. I fell in love with their clever commercials when I first saw "Parisian Love." Then, a few months ago, I saw this commercial while I was running on the treadmill at the gym.

I can only hope people assumed I was shedding tears over my 5 miler, but in reality Google had blown me away yet again. I know the story resonated with me partly because my parents are restaurateurs, but I still think the message is so great. That last line, "the web is what you make of it." Absolute perfection. Lately the internet has been getting a bad rep: cyber bullying, online predators, etc. Don't get me wrong, these things are real threats, but there is also a lot of good that can come out of the internet too. 

It's what you make of it. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

late nights

I'm sure this comes as no surprise, but I never was much of a party girl in college. Don't get me wrong, I had loads of fun with the best friends a girl could ask for, but I never would consider myself a rager. And I hate putting things off til the last minute, so all-nighters in the library were not an option. 

And yet, there were still nights that turned into mornings, glasses that turned into bottles, and projects that turned into the spawn of Satan took longer than expected. Whether you're forced to stay up late to finish a project, you have to wake up before the sun to catch a flight, or if you're just pulling a total Lindsay Lohan*, these are my 2 tricks for looking refreshed, even when you're running on empty.
1. Water. Whenever I know I'm not going to get my optimal 8 hours of beauty sleep, I drink a minimum of 16.9 oz** of water before hitting the hay. It flushes of the toxins and keeps skin looking healthy, from the inside out. 
2. Moisturizer. I always wash my face before bed, and on particularly late nights I slather on as much lotion as my skin can absorb, and then a little more. It counteracts the gray, dull look skin gets when sleep deprived. I prefer this option from Walmart, because it's not greasy and it's super affordable, so I don't feel indulgent/wasteful when I use a dollop the size of a silver dollar. 

*Totally kiddinggg. You know I would never advocate reckless over-consumption, rightt?

**16.9 because that's how many ounces are in an Aquafina, which I always kept on hand for emergencies, during my my crazy college days [sike.]

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


When I went to Hawaii in September, I stayed on the Big Island in the small town of Waimea. Upon arrival, I was struck by the perfect balance the place achieved. The dry side of town is rocky and arid, with plentiful sunshine. On the opposite side of town, the wet side, the grass grows tall and the trees are lush and green. It rains almost every day there, and there is certainly no shortage of rainbows. Waimea is tucked in the mountains, but overlooks miles and miles of pristine beach. My days in Hawaii followed this idea of balance, too. Morning runs through the misty town were invariably followed by lazy afternoons soaking up the sun on the beach. We ate dinner at some of Hawaii's finest restaurants, and grabbed breakfast at some of the locals favorite dives. It was perfect. 

Monday, January 9, 2012


I feel so silly talking about "cold weather," considering tomorrow's forecast here in coastal Carolina is sunny with a high of 60, but I guess that's just the way it goes. Last week we got our first real dose of cold (one day the high was 27!) and I promptly enlisted the help of one of my favorite products... OPI Avoplex. We all know the winter air can be particularly damaging to skin (I'm lookin at you, dry hands and cracked cuticles), but this stuff works wonders.   

I use it year round, but in the winter I do so with religious devotion. First, I dab the Nail and Cuticle Oil on each finger and rub it into my nail beds ["my nail beds suck.*"] Then I massage the High-Intensity Nail and Hand Cream into each hand. It has become a relaxing ritual, and it feels like an indulgent treat at the end of a long day. After all, who couldn't use a little extra pampering this time of year?

*Mean Girls. duh

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Hi cats, just wanted to let you in on neat little dealio our friends at Zoya have going on. Now through January 9th you can get 2 of their amazing polishes for free! No purchase necessary, just pick your hues* and enter code "ZOYA2012" at checkout. All you do is pay shipping! 

I know I talk about OPI an awful lot, but Zoya polishes are really great and completely natural! My first experience with the brand was at the best spa in Wilmington, and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. The only problem? Picking just two!
I'm trying to resist buying shades similar to ones I already have, but how can I resist my namesake... Caitlin! (spelled correctly!)

Thanks Refinery29 for filling me in on this amazing offer!

*offer excludes polishes from their new True and Fleck collections

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

alter ego/confessions

I couldn't decide between two different titles for this post, so I decided to go with both. Let's start with confessions... (cue Usher... these are my confessions...anyone?)

1. I may or may not have worn shoes from the kids section on New Years Eve. There's something so strange about sipping adult beverages while wearing kids shoes... and I like it. 
[But I mean hey, they're Michael Kors, gimmeabreak.]
2. As for the jeans... got them for Christmas 2 years ago. Yeah, seriously. And NYE was the second time I wore them. I'm sure you're asking "Why?!? They make your bum look like a mini cupcake and slim your soccer thighs in all the right places?!?" why thank you darling, you're too kind. Well, (here's the "alter ego" part) it took me 2 years to get them hemmed. Seriously. There's no excuse. So, (cue PSA) if you have jeans that are too long hiding in your closet, spend the extra $10 this week and get those puppies hemmed. You'll thank yourself. 
3. So wanna know the first time I wore these jeans? It was Christmas Eve eve. As in December 23, 2011. When I wore the exact same outfit. (aaaand cue Britney... oops I, did it again, to your heaaaart.) Shameless, but I couldn't resist. The top (by Vince Camuto) is the perfect combination of girly (pale pink, blousy bow, etc.) and edgy (gold studs... need I say more?)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

winter doldrums

The days are short (but getting longer) the air is cold (but feeling colder) and the light that glimmers at the end of the tunnel seems awfully dim. It happens every year. The holiday season goes out with a bang, and then I find myself lost in the quiet stillness of the days that follow. One minute I'm driven, inspired to do great things, and suddenly I oscillate to feeling unmotivated, tired, and underwhelmed. I'm doing everything I can to fight it. From little things, like extra lattes and bright manicures to the bigger, more important stuff, like pouring myself into a project that I am passionate about and diving deeper into the Love Letters of my Savior. 

Sometimes beating the winter blues means allowing yourself that extra hour of sleep, indulging in a great book and an even better glass of wine, and taking the time to tell people you love and appreciate them. And other times it means rallying, going for that run when you don't feel like it, turning down dessert (on occasion, only because it makes it taste even sweeter the next time) and understanding that you can't do it on your own. 


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