Try On Confidential: Episode 12- Holiday Dresses with Maggy London!

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If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know that I just LOVE all things Maggy London. Not only are they gorgeous dresses, but they are size inclusive and quality dresses! Their fit is always on point, I can always trust that I’m a true 14 in their clothes.

In case you missed it, I recently announced that I have been contributing to the Maggy London blog! Last month, I showed how you could wear three pieces, six ways and make the most of your wardrobe. Read last month’s post here!

This month, I’ve rounded up my three favorite Maggy London holiday looks on their blog. Check out that post here! For today’s #TryOnConfidential, I’m trying on these items + showing you some of my other favorite ML styles to wear on repeat all season long! Be sure to tune into my IG stories to see how the items fit & how I’m styling them for the holiday season. I will be giving one dress away from their Holiday Edit. Keep reading to find out how!

You can click on the images below to shop the items directly from here. Be sure to leave a comment on which dress you’re loving the MOST! Happy shopping. xo

MY MAGGY LONDON PICKS

STYLED WITH

DON’T FORGET WHAT’S UNDERNEATH

You can enter to win any of the dresses from Maggy London’s Holiday Edit by

Which dress is your favorite? Leave your comments and questions below for a bonus entry!

photos by Ryan Kell

Wardrobe Update: Boots, Pumps and Flats

This time of year, I always feel helpless when it comes to shoes. As a size 11, I often have a hard time finding styles I love and are functional. I need my shoes to be functional and fashionable- you’ll rarely see me in uncomfortable heels. As a model, I wear uncomfortable shoes for a living so I need my shoes to be on point! I’ve decided to round up a bunch of my favorite (and affordable) shoes for the season! Many of you have asked for boots, functional flats and wide width options. I’ve linked a bunch, so happy shopping!

If you don’t see anything you like and need help finding a specific pair, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a message. I’m happy to help in any way that I can. After all, I know all too well that the shoe struggle can be REAL.

BOOTIES

ANIMAL VIBES

PRACTICAL PUMPS

UPDATED FLATS

OVER THE KNEE BOOTS

My favorite places to shoe shop: Nordstrom Rack, Nordstrom, DSW, Zappos and Haute Look. Some of my favorite brands (linked above) are Franco Sarto, Madewell, Sam Edelman, Dolce Vita, Aerosoles, Tory Burch, ASOS, Rebecca Minkoff and Kate Spade. Are there any that I missed? Leave your favorite size inclusive shoe suggestions below!

Good Clean Fun With Miele W1/T1 Washing Machines and Dryers

Last week in NYC, I had the chance to join Miele and Good Housekeeping to learn about the latest style trends and how to keep them looking their best. The night featured Miele’s new W1 Washing Machine and T1 Tumble Dryer.

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The evening began with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a panel hosted by Editor in Chief, Jane Francisco, Style Director, Lori Bergamotto and GH Institute Textiles Director, Carolyn Forte. We chatted all things fashion and laundry. My favorite takeaways from the panel were to invest in clothing that will wash well. It’s not the smartest investment to purchase a $20 top that will cost you $100+ in dry cleaning. The other discussion revolved around stains! Always do something, never just leave it and start by blotting the stain before adding any solutions to it.

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Miele is revolutionizing the standards of laundry with their brilliant and unique technology. The W1 Washing Machine features Miele’s exclusive TwinDos system. It is the first two-phase automatic liquid detergent dispensing system, which saves about 30% on detergent versus manually loading. This feature operates in two stages: UltraPhase1 and UltraPhase2. The first phase combats grease and soiling while the second phase removes difficult stains.

We had the opportunity to witness this magic happen during a demonstration, the pictures don’t do it justice but it was magical! Miele has really perfected their process on stain removal. They showed the UltraPhase1 and UltraPhase2 in action.

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The washing machines also feature CapDos, a one-time use capsule that adds special detergents and conditioners that are formulated for different types of garments. They optimally dispense during the wash cycle which takes all of the guesswork out of washing. The W1 also features QuickIntenseWash, a superior quick load setting and SingleWash for lighter loads, which preserves water.

Let’s not forget about the T1 Dryer- it stands on its own with Heat Pump Technology, helping to reduce energy and operating costs with fast drying times. It also features PerfectDry, SteamFinish and FrangranceDos.

Another fun feature about the W1 + T1 is that they’re both able to connect to WiFi, which allows the user to connect to the Miele mobile app. This allows you to monitor your laundry and your cycles- how cool is that?!?

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To learn more about these superior machines, visit Miele’s website here! Thank you to Miele and Good Housekeeping for partnering with me for this post. I will never view laundry the same way again!

SHOP MY OOTN:

Try On Confidential: Episode 11 - Easy Wave Hair Tutorial

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Today’s Try On Confidential is taking a different approach but one that has been very much requested... I am BEYOND excited to finally show you how to achieve my easy waves in a hair tutorial. Be sure to tune into my Instagram Stories today to see how I do it. In case you miss it, I will save it as a highlight on my IG profile under “hair.”

My technique is very simple. I use an incredible curling wand made by Sultra Beauty. The Bombshell 1-inch curling rod lets you create beachy curls and waves in half the time of a traditional curling iron with no clip lines or dents while styling. The reason why this iron is superior to others that I’ve tried is because of its even heat distribution, it ensures your curls and waves are consistently true to rod size for that easy breezy look. This also helps cut down on the amount of product/ hair spray I use. I have super fine and flat hair - my waves (with minimal product) last 2-3 days!

Step 1: Use a heat protectant.

It’s really important to use a heat protectant spray when you’re using hot tools. It forms a protective barrier over the cuticle on the hair strand, preventing heat damage and enabling your hair to keep its shine. I usually prefer curling my hair the day after I wash it, so I apply it when its wet but it all depends on your preference. These curls usually last a few days so I can go about three days in between washes with my favorite dry shampoo!

Step 2: Brush and section hair but putting half into a clip or ponytail holder.

Depending on how much hair you have, you may want to do your waves in “batches.” It makes it a little easier and this is a great way to avoid missing any pieces!

Step 3: Grab a bunch of hair (about one inch wide) and twist hair section around the wand, away from your face.

You want the wand to be vertical and you want to wrap the strands around and away.

Step 4: Repeat!

Keep grabbing one inch sections until your entire head is complete! Don’t forget about the back.

SHOP MY FAVORITE 1 INCH CURLER:

SHOP MY OTHER HAIR FAVS:

What did you think of this tutorial? Would you like to see more beauty content from me? Leave a comment below!

Lightbox Lab-Grown Diamonds: Rose Gold Realness

As I’ve been scrolling through social media this season, I can’t help but to notice everyone loving delicate necklaces. They’re everywhere and I have been dying to try them with my own flair. I have recently discovered Lightbox’s three stone pendant in pink with a rose gold chain and I will definitely be re-wearing this all year long. It features their laboratory-grown diamonds, in a three stone bezel and prong setting.

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You may have previously seen my post with Lightbox jewelry last week. In case you missed it, Lightbox diamonds are laboratory-grown diamonds priced at $800 per carat. These lab-grown diamonds share the same physical, optical and chemical properties as natural diamonds. The larger a natural diamond is, the rarer it becomes. Each one is unique, priced individually, often with certificates to describe their character and qualities. Lightbox makes their own laboratory-grown diamonds every day of the week, in colors like pink, blue and white and in sizes from 1 to 1/8 of a carat. Since these diamonds are not rare, it makes their pricing easy, as transparent as their stones.  Every stone over 0.05 carats carries a tiny laser inscription as certification of their quality criteria. Their pricing breakdown for this necklace is $600 for 3/4 carat + $100 for rose gold plated setting, totaling $700.

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It took me awhile to hop on the rose gold bandwagon, but I am really a fan. I love being able to mix metals and rose gold pairs perfectly with silver and gold. I love this necklace because it looks beautiful on its own but it also plays well with others! It looks amazing with other jewelry and layers well. 

As the holidays are quickly approaching, now is a great time to start thinking about gifts for those special people in your life. Lightbox offers an incredibly accessible and affordable option to those looking for those special gifts at a reasonable price point. They also make it super easy to shop so feel free to add it to your holiday wish list. :)

Here are some of my other favorite Lightbox picks:

Halo Pendant in white ($300), Blue Moon Pendant ($700), Wings Pendant in pink ($500), Solitaire studs in white (starting at $400)

Are you loving the delicate necklace trend? Would you mix and match rose gold with other gold necklaces? Leave them in the comments below!

Check out Lightbox Jewelry on Facebook and Instagram!

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Photos by Ryan Kell

Try On Confidential: Episode 10: Dog Halloween Costumes and Red Dress Boutique

This week I am bringing you a double dose of #TryOnConfidential because I just love ya so much! When I first started the series over two months ago, I knew I wanted to do a spoof of the series featuring my beloved Walter! What better way to incorporate my favorite pup than having him guest star… He is usually shopping for his fall vests around this time but he’s never dressed up for Halloween so I knew we had to incorporate this! Be sure to tune into my stories to see all of the cuteness overload! You can click the images below to shop them directly.

PART 1: SHOP LAST MINUTE DOG COSTUMES UNDER $20

I also had a chance to connect with the ladies behind Red Dress Boutique. A few weeks ago, one of you suggested that I try it out and I was happy to do so! I was a little bit skeptical of their sizing because their sizing charts are not always accurate but I was pleasantly surprised to find some sweaters and dresses that I liked! Be sure to tune into my stories to see how these items fit! In most things, I was a size large but a couple items were one size. You can click the images below to shop them directly!

PART 2: SHOP RED DRESS BOUTIQUE UNDER $100 FINDS

Are you loving this two part #TryOnConfidential? Are you thinking of trying or buying any of these items? Leave a comment below!

Lab-grown Diamonds are a Girl’s (and wallet’s) Best Friend

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Statement jewelry is bigger and bolder than ever but I’ve also seen a huge trend in delicate jewelry. As I’m getting older, I have found myself gravitating towards jewelry that will last longer but I am still budget conscious. When I first came across Lightbox Jewelry, I was pleasantly surprised to find out they are lab-grown diamonds priced at $800 per carat. These lab-grown diamonds share the same physical, optical and chemical properties as natural diamonds.  So, if you have always wanted a pair of diamond earrings for everyday wear but haven’t been able to justify the expense, I’d strongly encourage you to check out Lightbox.

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As part of my fall initiative of stepping outside of my fashion comfort zone, I decided to try these blue solitaire studs. I typically wouldn’t choose blue but it is my favorite color, after all and I’ve never worn anything like it! I truly love knowing that they’re special and beautiful. These studs come in blue, pink or white lab-grown diamonds - so there is something for everyone! If you have a second piercing in your ear, I think these would look really cute if you moved them up with a larger earring in the first hole. 

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Fun fact about me, when I’m working from home, running errands or exercising, I ALWAYS have some sort of stud earring in. I just feel naked without them! I’ve also always loved the way a diamond stud looks. It’s just a clean and classic look that will never go out of style! Lightbox lab-grown diamonds are for lighter moments in life. Essentially, they are diamonds you can do anything in! If you have sensitive ears like me, have no fear, each of the lab-grown diamonds are set in 10k white gold or sterling silver so you never have to worry about bothering your ears. 

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Another thing about Lightbox that I really love is that they believe in transparent pricing. Nature created diamonds over a billion years ago. The larger a natural diamond, the rarer it becomes. Each one is unique, like a snowflake. So they are priced individually, often with certificates to describe their character and qualities.

Lightbox makes their own laboratory-grown diamonds every day of the week. Among the finest you can find, in the color or size you can choose. This makes their pricing easy, as transparent as their stones. On each product page, they give you a concise pricing breakdown of how much each item costs. These solitaire studs are $200 for 1/4 carat + $200 for 10k white gold setting ($400 total).

Shop all Lightbox jewelry here! Are you loving these lab-grown diamonds as much as I am? Leave your comments below. 

Check out Lightbox Jewelry on Facebook and Instagram!

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photos by Ryan Kell

Try On Confidential - Episode 9: 50 Fall Essentials Under $50

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This week on my stories, you voted that you’d rather see fall basics under $50 rather than coats and jackets. I am so glad that I asked because I was preparing to do only outerwear! You all help me so much, I so appreciate all of your feedback. At the end of the day, I want to bring you things that you actually WANT to see so keep the comments coming!

This week, I challenged myself to find 50 items under $50 that are perfect for transitioning through seasons. I ended up finding some of my favorite pieces that I’m wearing (above $50) in under $50 dupes! I’ve also sprinkled in some coats + jackets under $50 in here. I will be showcasing about ten+ of these items on my IG story, so be sure to tune into that! Can’t wait to hear what you find.

photos by Ryan Kell

Name Change - My Experience with HitchSwitch

When the dust of the wedding and honeymoon excitement settles, real life kicks in. Now that you’re officially a newlywed, it’s time to find your new normal and tackle the daunting process of the name change. To be honest, I wasn’t always sure that I wanted to change my name. I’ve been Caralyn Rose Mirand for my entire life and career, after all! I decided to change my middle name to Mirand so I could still keep things fluid professionally and still have the same last name as my husband and potential future children. So now I’m Caralyn Mirand Koch (pronounced “cook”). It’s a personal choice what to do with your name - there is no right or wrong way to go about it. This is my experience and journey on the name change process and I’m happy to share it with you!

I discovered HitchSwitch on Instagram a few months before the wedding. I was incredibly skeptical about it but saved it to revisit after the wedding. I reached out to them and told them I’d share my experience, they gave my readers a code. Use “CARALYN” for 15% off a package of your choice.

HitchSwitch has two different packages to choose from ranging from $69 to $89. The services essentially make the process significantly easier but you still have to put in a decent amount of work because the US government still has a certain way of how the process needs to be done.

I chose the Platinum plan which includes:

  • Beginning the name change process in minutes

  • Online access to all of your paperwork

  • Receive your auto-filled paperwork in the mail

  • Pre-paid mailing envelopes

  • Free printed passport photo that you can take on your phone

  • Name Change Concierge to answer all questions

Step 1:

You submit a form directly on their website with some basic information: your current name, desired name, wedding date, your address, etc. They then send you all of the paperwork that you need in the proper order to begin the process.

Step 2:

In the mail, you receive a personalized package filled out by the HitchSwitch team with all of the basic and redundant information that you may not want to fill out over and over again (i.e Name, Date of Birth, Your new married name). Each set of documents will come with a set of easy to follow instructions and the appropriate envelope and pre-stamped for your convenience.  All of the paperwork comes with a sheet that tells you exactly what to fill out and what else you need to complete that step. The rules and process can vary state by state so be sure to pay attention to the exact order that they suggest. For example, in New York State it can be illegal to change your maiden name to your middle name unless you follow a certain order. HitchSwitch really lays it all out for you in a thoughtful, fool-proof way. The first official step to a name change is changing your social security card, which they encourage you do to in person. After that, I mailed in my passport information to be updated. I then renewed my driver’s license in person - it was quicker than mailing it in.

Step 3:

Once you complete the major things - social security card, passport, license, you can start updating your TSA Pre Check number, your credit cards, bank accounts, frequent flier accounts, car insurance, health insurance, email address (if you want- I didn’t), etc. This part was actually quite frustrating for me because every credit card and airline had a different process on how to update your name. This is when the HitchSwitch concierge came in… I sent them an email asking for the specific process on each of the store cards I had left. They sent me back these tailored PDF’s of each way to do things. This was SO helpful!

Step 4:

Bask in the glory of your new name change. You deserve it. Buy yourself something nice with your new initials on it! I sure did… here are a few things I bought with my new initials:

Other Helpful Tips:

  • Get more than one certified copy of your marriage license. In some cases, a photocopy will not suffice. You have to mail a certified copy in for your passport so if you want to speed up the process, get an extra copy so you can update your driver’s ID without having to wait for the other one to get mailed back. You can go back to the county clerk’s office (where you got your original copy) for another one. For me, it was $10 for an additional copy.

  • Don’t feel like you need to get this all done in one day. I dedicated a solid week in the beginning to doing something each day but overall the process overall took well over a month. Fact: there are still a few things I need to update. Don’t stress over it!

  • If you’re a frequent traveler, don’t forget to update your Known Traveler Number (TSA Pre-Check Number) BEFORE you book a flight in your new name. Otherwise you will NOT get Pre Check, my rookie mistake there!

Final thoughts:

The name change process is NOT easy but HitchSwitch makes it manageable. I would definitely recommend this service based on the fact that they help keep you organized and provide an easy step by step process of doing things. Considering every store, bank and airline have a different way of changing your name, HitchSwitch has all the answers on how to make this as seamless as possible!

They were kind enough to give my readers 15% off their name change package and they told me they would not let it expire! Use “CARALYN” for that discount!

Would you use a service like this? Do you have any questions? Leave them below!

Try On Confidential - Episode 8: Skincare Routine

If you caught my “Let’s Get Caught Up” post on Monday, you’d know that I’ve been traveling a lot. This week, I modeled two days in Miami and then I flew across country for another modeling job in San Francisco this weekend. I knew with this week’s try on, I would have to get a little creative considering I only was able to travel with a carry on for six days.

Therefore, you voted on my stories that you were interested in me dabbling into my beauty and skincare routines. I’ve decided to share my skincare routine, keeping up with my skin while traveling and my travel kit! A bunch of you were requesting my makeup routine- that is coming soon but I wanted to focus on skincare first. You can’t have a gorgeous face of makeup until you have your skin down first!

Let’s begin with skin


I discovered Drunk Elephant less than four months ago and I’ve been amazed by the results. I’ve always had pretty decent skin, I identify as “combination sensitive,” with an oily T-zone and the occasional hormonal breakout. Ever since I started using these Drunk Elephant products, I literally get stopped in the street by strangers to tell me I have beautiful skin. The first product that made me a believer was the Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil- but we’ll get to that shortly.

Morning routine:

I always start my morning off my washing my face with a gentle cleanser. I use Checks and Balances by Origins one or Purity Made Simple by Philosophy.

I then tone the skin with this gentle, alcohol-free toner and a cotton square—it has purifying chamomile and linden extracts—to remove every last trace of cleanser, leaving skin pH balanced, de-stressed, and spa-refreshed. If you use a toner, you should NEVER feel dry or tightness after.

I recently started using this duo in the morning and I definitely feel like my skin has been brighter. I also started adding Di-Bronzi into one of serums to give my face that “sunkissed glow.” My face is actually 3-4 shades darker than the rest of my body because I never tan my face so this helps me even my color out.

My skin is now primed and prepped to put on makeup or just breathe for the day.

Evening routine:

It is SO important to wash your face from the day, whether you wear makeup or not. I usually use the same cleanser from the morning but then I also use a Neutrogena makeup removing wipe to make sure I get everything. If I’m feeling ambitious, I will also tone and throw T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum on. At the very least, I ALWAYS remember to put on this Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. I was super skeptical about oils because of my combination skin but I seriously wake up GLOWING! It’s magical.

If you’re interested to try Drunk Elephant products but are a little unsure of the price tag, these sample kits are a great way to try the brand without having to commit to each of the items. If you’re going to splurge on one though, I’d highly recommend giving the oil a try. It seriously works on every skin type, my skin hasn’t been the same since.

Here is my favorite travel case for beauty products, it hold EVERYTHING in a way that you can actually see!

Are you loving this beauty content? What products are you interested in trying? Leave your feedback below!

Try On Confidential - Episode 7: Stitch Fix!

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Each week, I’m determined to keep things fresh and new for the Try On Confidential’s. You asked for an honest Stitch Fix review and I’m THRILLED to be able to share my first of three Stitch Fix boxes for you. It’s an incredibly easy service to use but you need to know how to use it so I decided to compile some tips for you as you sign up before your first box arrives.

  1. Take 5-10 minutes to fill out your Stitch Fix Style Profile. This is an ESSENTIAL part of the stylists getting to know you. They more they know about you, your body type, your lifestyle and your price point, the better they will be able to curate your perfect box.

  2. Update your profile often and leave all of the feedback! Each time you receive a fix, you can choose to keep the same stylist or switch it up with someone new. The more you share with them about your styles, trends you’re loving or events you have coming up, the better!

  3. Pinterest is your BFF. You can directly link a board on your Style Profile for your stylist to view, which helps them get a great sense of your style goals.

  4. Use your style cards. To be honest, these are my favorite parts of the fixes. They show you two ways to style each outfit. This is so helpful for me because I often get so stuck on trying to figure out how to wear things more than once!

Tune into my IG stories for details on my latest Stitch Fix box and how I style them! I specifically asked for elevated basics for this box. To sign up for your very own first box, use this link here!

Not ready to commit? Shop similar looks here!

Photos by Ryan Kell

Try On Confidential - Episode 6: Fall Favorites Under $100

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Happy #TryOnConfidential! By popular request, I’ve compiled a bunch of my fall favorites under $100 - many under $50 that are must-haves this season to freshen up your wardrobe! Stay tuned for my IG stories today to see how I style these items to keep my fall wardrobe looking fresh and put together. Any items you’ve been dying to try?

If you are in a fitting room or happen to purchase any of these items, I’d LOVE if you could use the #TryOnConfidential hashtag in your stories or posts! Did you love this Try On? Leave a comment below!

10 Little White Size Inclusive Dresses For Brides

As many of us are packing away our white dresses for the season, it’s actually the ideal time to buy white. Many stores are having major markdowns on these gorgeous styles that are perfect for engagement parties, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, etc! Come winter, white dresses become harder to find so I thought I’d round up a bunch of my favorites for you to shop. If you are getting married early next year, now is the time to buy. I had so much fun with my bridal style, I hope you do to! Keep scrolling to shop my picks, many are on major sale. You can click on the images below and it will take you directly to the shopping page!

View this post on Instagram

Rehearsed ✔️ #bcwereinlove

A post shared by Caralyn Mirand Koch (@caralynmirand) on


SHOP ALL LITTLE WHITE DRESSES

Try On Confidential - Episode 5: ASOS

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This week’s Try On Confidential is a reader’s choice: ASOS! I’m really excited about this one. Just so you know, I read every message and piece of feedback that you give me- it is very much appreciated! ASOS has been one of those brands that I’ve always admired from afar. I find myself scrolling through their website often and asking people “where’d ya get that?” with them replying “ASOS!” But I’ve never actually gone through with ordering from them… until this week!

They literally have something for everyone. ASOS is incredibly size inclusive for men + women (regular, petite, plus and tall). Their price range is pretty great too - you can find low to medium priced items. They offer clothing, shoes, accessories, beauty and gifting. Two thumbs up!

I reached out to ASOS and told them about my Try On Confidential series and they were kind enough to send me six items, which will be featured on my IG stories. I’ve been getting a few requests for accessories so I decided to try a few of those too! Here are my six picks + some other things I’m loving off of their site lately. All images are shoppable, you can click them and it’ll bring you directly to the site!

Have you ever shopped ASOS? Are you willing to now? Leave your comments below!
Photos by Ryan Kell

4 Tips for Planning An Epic Bridal Shower

My friend Kristin and I met our first day of college at Clarkson University. We have been through a lot together, including planning our weddings! I had the honor of helping plan her bridal shower brunch in Sodus Bay, NY earlier in the summer. She was such a special part of my planning process, I was ecstatic to return the favor. I wouldn't call myself an expert party planner, but after going through this a few times I wanted to share a few of my tips for planning the perfect bridal shower!

tip #1: determine the venue + theme 

The shower took place in a refurbished barn on Lake Ontario. We decided to go for a floral and champagne theme. We wanted to compliment the natural elements of the space while giving it a light and airy feel! The bride loves brunch so we decided to complete the day with a mimosa bar, served with fresh fruits!

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tip #2: personalize + have fun with it! 

Aside from simple gold frames with pictures of the bride and groom in them, I wanted to incorporate a little personalize fun from For Your Party! FYP offers a wide variety of party/ paper goods for any event. I decided to go with cocktail and luncheon napkins to reflect the theme of the party, I've linked the exact ones that I customized below. 

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tip #3: stay true to the bride


It's so easy to get lost in Pinterest ideas but remember to stay true to the bride's personality and style. At the end of the day, this day should reflect her! For my shower, I didn't want guests seated at tables the entire time so I opted for a midday cocktail hour instead. My friend Kristin had a similar format with a brunch feel, complete with an DIY mimosa bar!

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tip #4: designate a photo spot

Most bridal showers I’ve been to include some sort of photo opportunity… Everyone wants either a picture with the bride or a picture of the bride opening her gifts. We decided to set up a super simple photo backdrop using white curtains and fresh eucalyptus for the bride to sit in front of while she opened her gifts. Push the gifts aside afterwards for some adorable group shots!

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Shop the post!

Feel free to click on the images below to shop them directly. 

Thank you to Kristen Mirand for capturing these images. 
Thank you to For Your Party for sponsoring the paper goods.

Do you have any other tips for planning a shower? Leave them in the comments below!

Try On Confidential- Episode 4: Rent The Runway

This week’s Try On Confidential decision to feature Rent The Runway was fueled around this pretty red dress that I wore to my Sonoma trip last week. I’ve seriously never received so many messages about a dress before, I knew I needed to feature it this week. I’ve been a longtime Rent the Runway fan, using it as my go-to for special events. It’s so easy- they send you the items with a pre-paid UPS label and you send back the worn clothes when you’re done with them. Ship them back and they take care of cleaning the items too! Stay tuned for my IG stories to see more about the process.

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They’ve recently launched their Unlimited program where you can rent 4 items on rotation and swap them as often as you’d like for $159 a month. It is the smarter, better, more thrilling way to access the fall fashion of your dreams without the typical drawbacks of seasonal transition - shopping trips, closet restocking, unpredictable weather and, worst of all- overspending. I told them I was doing this and they were kind enough to offer my readers an exclusive code for 40% off your first month of membership (cancel anytime btw)!

Use “CARALYNPERK40” for 40% off, sign up here!

Here are the four items I was able to rent, I rented with the intentions of my Sonoma trip and an upcoming wedding! Check out my stories to see how these items look on + what sizes I wore. As always, the links are all shoppable- you can shop these items directly from this page!

However, RTR is NOT just for dresses. Unlimited gives you unrestricted access to all the layers you need for sweater weather - jackets, sweaters, tops, bottoms, work dresses, weekend wear, etc. Here are a few of my favorites:

With RTR Unlimited, you can wear the fall wardrobe of your dreams without the investment or closet space. Access $50,000 in designer clothes for a flat monthly price ($159/mo) but use “CARALYNPERK40” to get 40% off your first month! Would you try something like this? Leave a comment below.

Celebrating Sonoma County Wine Month!

As I’m sure many of you saw on my Instagram account last week, I was invited, along with some other amazing bloggers, to join the Sonoma County Vintners as we celebrated Sonoma County Wine month. The purpose of the trip was to take a deep dive into Sonoma County’s history of wine making and experience all that the region has to offer. I can honestly say that I have a whole new appreciation and respect for wine and winemakers after this trip, I’m excited to show you a glimpse of my time there!

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Traveling to Sonoma was quite a long trip, but everything went very smoothly! I went from Buffalo to Chicago, Chicago to San Francisco, San Francisco to Sonoma. The Sonoma airport was so small yet efficient. It was about 10 minutes from our hotel in Healdsburg, we stayed at the H2 Hotel which was adorable! I had the chance to experience this with four other incredible bloggers: Ashley Robertson, Erika Altes, Kathleen Barnes, Sira Kante and Chrissy of Harlowe James - be sure to follow them too!

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Our first full day in Sonoma County started at Frei Brothers Winery. This winery is truly a historic landmark as they have been in Sonoma County for over a century. We had the the pleasure of taking an open-air Jeep tour throughout the grounds which was incredible. One of my favorite moments of the trip while at the Frei Brothers Winery was learning about how falcons and their trainers are brought in to watch over the vineyard. When grapes are ripe, they are incredibly tasty which makes them targets for all types of creatures. Falcons are natural born hunters and are used to keep these unwanted creatures away. I was incredibly moved by this because in 2018, you’d think we’d have all of this crazy technology but they were thoughtful enough to revert back to nature!

After we wrapped our tour we were treated to grape stomping. Used in traditional winemaking before machinery, grapes were crushed by having barefoot participants repeatedly stomp on them in large buckets to release their juices and begin fermentation. We were provided shoes but opted for a more authentic experience…

By this point we worked up an appetite and we were welcomed to a Farm to Table lunch with local chef Gia Passalaqua, fresh pizzas from the outdoor wood oven and the most beautiful charcuterie display I’ve ever seen! I have more photos of this on my phone than I’m willing to admit. There were a number of Frei Brothers wines that paired perfectly with this spread! My favorite was definitely the Chardonnay.

Later that evening, we were welcomed to MacMurray Estate Vineyards by Kate MacMurray and she shared the history behind the impressive property. We then retreated to the barn and mixed our own blend of Pinot Noir. The Sonoma County wine region is very large and the tastes of grapes can vary. We tried five different Pinot Noirs from Sonoma County and were able to create our own bottle and cork it and bring it home with us.

Later in the evening, we were welcomed by Bear Flag Wines for an epic dinner. We met winemaker Aaron Piotter and enjoyed a feast under the dazzling canopy of the Sonoma sky. Sonoma weather is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced- known for it’s hot days and cool evenings - we were well prepared with blankets and heaters for our meal outside. No meal is complete without dessert - we had bear-shaped homemade graham crackers for Bear Flag Wine s’mores by a rumbling campfire.

Day two began exploring Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s 2018 harvest in their vineyards with their on site viticulturist.  We tasted their Zinfandel grapes that were about to be picked within the next week or so! Once we learned a little bit more about the property, we were invited to a formal tasting of Coppola wines. I was really excited to learn about all of the different types of wine they offer- at many different price points.

Tasting definitely works up an appetite, so on the second day we went outside to meet Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s Chef Tim Bodell for a “garden to table” luncheon using fresh fruits and vegetables from the winery’s garden- which we were able to pick ourselves! We definitely enjoyed the fruits of our labor.

After lunch we were welcomed to the Coppola Winery’s iconic pool, complete with our own cabana.  After a few hours in the sun, we went back to our hotel, freshened up a bit and went back for an intimate Italian dinner.  The next day, I headed back home to Buffalo.

We experienced A LOT in our short time in Sonoma but I will forever remember my time there. I was so moved by the passion that the community has for creating wine, I will definitely be purchasing Sonoma County wine- knowing all that has gone into it makes it taste THAT much better. If you are contemplating a trip out to Sonoma, DO IT! The people, the wine, the food- it’s incredible. Would you visit Sonoma? Leave any of your comments or questions below!

Thank you Frei Brothers, MacMurray Estate, Bear Flag Wines and Francis Coppola Winery for sponsoring this once in a lifetime adventure! Images courtesy of Ashley Greene Photography and MJ.

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