5 Things I Learned While Training for a Couch to 5K Program

Serving up a little #MotivationMonday today, wanted to give you an update on my couch to 5K program. In case you missed it, earlier this year I set some goals for 2018 and completing a gradual 5K runner program was one of them. The program duration lasts about eight weeks and I did it 2-4 times per week over the duration of nine weeks because of my travel schedule. I trained indoors at my gym on a treadmill. I was extremely hesitant to ever mention my running goals on my instagram but so many of you responded so positively, you helped fuel my motivation to complete this challenge. I never considered myself to be a runner so I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to complete this program... but I did and that feels darn good to say! To all of the runners and non-runners out there, here are five things I learned along the way. 

Stretching matters! 

Stretch it out! For real, I like to stretch before and after my runs and it makes a huge difference. I just feel so much more flexible and warmed up when I stretch. Before my post-run stretch, I always like to do a “cool down” where I walk five minutes at a moderate pace to bring down my heart rate.

It isn’t a race. 

To me, it was never about being the fastest or strongest or the best. I set a goal of completing this challenge with no other expectations. As tempting as it is to look over on the treadmill next to me to see their speed and distance, I kept reminding myself that I cannot compare my journey to anyone else’s. I still don’t consider myself to be a runner but I’m sure proud that I was able to complete it on my own terms. And that’s all that matters! 

I CAN run.

This for sure was probably my biggest obstacle, perhaps even a metaphor for something bigger in my life. After years of telling myself I don’t have a runner’s body or I’m too big to run, I decided to challenge that voice in my head. When I first started the program, I was really hesitant to ever post about it because I was scared I’d fail. Not that I’m entirely scared to fail, but I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d be up for this challenge. I simply started it because I was bored with my current workout plan and wanted to give it a shot.  I’ve proved to myself that I can run a 5K and these curves (and previously torn meniscus) were ABLE to run. 

I still don’t love running. 

Love is a strong word. Don’t get me wrong, I like running, I just don’t love it. When I first started, I had dreams of falling in love with running, craving the “runner’s high” that other people had experienced. After this program, I still can’t say that love running, but I do love and appreciate my body for being able to give it my best shot. Would I do it again? Yes. I still might keep up with it, but maybe try a different approach. I don’t enjoy running for 30 minutes straight, but knowing that I can is enough for me. In the future, I’d prefer 3 mins on, 2 mins off- something like that. 

I can do anything that I put my mind to.

This applies to all things in life, this was just a helpful reminder. When I imagined running, I had flashbacks of my high school soccer practice and how miserable I was because I wasn’t good at running. I was never the fastest nor did I ever enjoy it because I felt like I was losing a race I wanted no part of. I really enjoyed this couch to 5K program because it is gradual and at your own pace- literally. Each day, I got better, building up my endurance, surprising myself each time I completed the day. I ran by duration- not speed or distance because I didn’t really care how fast or far I was going, I was more into being able to run for particular amount of time. For anyone considering starting the program, I say DO IT! Prove to yourself that you can, because if I can do it- you can too. This I know for sure.

*Bonus* What you wear when you work out matters!

When you look good, you feel good and that always gives me a boost while working out.  For me, I prefer function over fashion but both, when possible. When I workout, I like to wear a cropped legging and a tank with either a zip up jacket or pullover. I have been in love with RBX Activewear for many years now, I can successfully say that I’ve completed this 5K journey wearing functional, fashionable and reasonable styles from RBX! Because I love, wear and believe in the brand so much, they were kind enough to partner with me and offer my readers a discount on RBX purchases! Use “Caralyn10” for 10% off your purchase.  In the photo above, I’m wearing the Prime X Back tank and the Prime Mesh Block pocket capri. Shop my looks here! 

Would you/have you ever done a running program like this? Does running come easy to you? Would you consider doing a program like this after reading my post? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, I can't wait to hear! 

Photo by Maxey Greene

My Favorite Self Tanners and The Best Way To Apply It

Hi everyone! It's been a minute since I shared my last post with you but I've been traveling a bunch which means less time to blog. Now that spring break is upon us, I've gotten dozens of requests on what self tanners I use. As a model, I have to maintain a healthy glow year round due to my swimwear and lingerie clients. Therefore, I've decided to breakdown my favorite products but before I do, I have to share a little secret: the actual product you're using matters about 25%, the way you're applying matters about 75%. In short: application matters! I've been getting spray tans for about a year now and applying self tanners for over 7 (#tbt to Jergens' orange covered palms) so I consider myself a sunless tanning pro! I'm going to fill you in on what makes my sunless tan so perfect in these easy steps. I have never been a fan of tanning beds for obvious reasons but I do love to feel golden bronze year round! I do a combination of spray tans and self application tanner year round. As always, the images shown this post are clickable/shoppable so clicking on the images will bring you to the site! 

Before you tan:

Whether you are going for a spray tan or applying it yourself, you need to exfoliate. In the shower, I use a washcloth or loofa with a sugar scrub on my skin to make sure I wash off any dead skin or previous tanner. This is an extremely important step, you cannot skip it! This is time to use a sugar scrub, this is my favorite exfoliant but you can use whatever or even make your own! When you exfoliate your skin, this gives the tan the opportunity to lay evenly. This is my favorite body scrub, but you can really any sugar based scrub (click the images to shop).

Once you're done in the shower, make sure you dry off really well. Sometimes I even still scrub my skin with the dry towel to make sure I got everything. Now, when I go to get a spray tan I do not ever apply moisturizer or makeup. I also try not to apply deodorant, so the tan sticks directly on my skin and nothing else. Side note: if you live in Buffalo, NY and need a good contact for an all natural spray tan, I have a girl who does it out of her house for $25! DM or message me if you'd like her info. She is phenomenal and my tan seriously lasts over a week. 

Before apply my tanner of choice at home, I put a little light lotion on my feet, heels, knees, elbows, nails and any other severely dry spots. I have also discovered that using a mitt has been a game changer, that way it helps you buff out the skin without getting your palms all orange. I use this to moisturize, I did a collaboration with Dove a few weeks ago and I'm still loving this light, unscented lotion:

While you're applying:

As I said before, using a mitt has made applying SO much easier. You can apply it without rushing out of fear that it'll soak into your palms. When you use the mitt, you want to make sure you're applying in circular motions so it doesn't streak. You want to "buff" it into your skin. I've been trying different self tanners for a long time, my favorite at home by far are bronzing mousses (click the images to shop):

The reason I like the mousse is because it's buildable and you can see what you're applying so if you cause any streaks, you can easily buff them out with a little lotion applied to the mitt. I have Brian help me get my back so that it's not streaky. Ask your significant other or a pal to help you out. I usually apply the mousse at night, wear baggy clothes the rest of the night and then shower the next morning.

If you're in a rush and don't have time for the mousse process, I still urge you to exfoliate but here are some excellent instant/ buildable tanners so you can apply and go with now down time:

After you apply:

If you're using the mousse or getting a spray tan, you want to make sure you give your skin some time to absorb the product. Wear loose clothing and don't sweat or workout immediately after so your clothing doesn't rub anything off. 

When you do shower, make sure you DO NOT take a super hot shower. This will cause the tanner to become spotty and uneven. Take a warm & lukewarm shower, and try not to exfoliate the skin until you want to wash the tanner off. 

Moisturize!!! This is super important everyday but when you want to keep up your fake tan, this is extra important. You want to make sure you're moisturizing more than you typically would so that your skin stays hydrated and so the tanner stays even. 

This may sound high maintenance but I've mastered the art of applying and as long as you follow these steps, you should have a long lasting tan. Feel free to ask any questions below! Would you be willing to try this routine? Leave your answer in the comments. 

Friday Favorites: Stepping into Spring Style

Happy Friday, everybody! I seriously cannot believe we're almost through February- time is just flying by but this only means we're one month closer to warmer temps! Unless you live somewhere warm year round, if that's the case I envy you. This week on my Instagram Story, you voted that you'd like to see a spring style round up. I've decided to link some pieces that I've bought and some pieces that I'm really considering buying! This spring, I'm all about the florals (groundbreaking, I know), trying out shorts for the first time in 2006 (bermuda shorts, amirite?), and building my wardrobe with investment pieces that will carry me from season to season. As always, the images and font in bold is clickable/shoppable- so you can shop directly from this post! There are also some amazing sales happening this weekend!

What's Spring without Spring Dresses?

Easy Basics:

I like to shop pretty inexpensively when it comes to basics. They go with everything, you can wear them over and over

Jackets!

I love spring jackets because they can easily take you into other seasons as transitional pieces!

It's Time To Go LIVE!

Some thoughts on a Wednesday...

See the above image to explain my mood about Instagram lately. 😖😜 I've really been struggling with my Instagram posts and the platform in general. Since the recent algorithm changes, I've seen and felt some paint points from it. Last year at this time, I was determined to build a platform and community that was founded on the principle of being meaningful, honest, fun and kind. I am incredibly proud to have built such a great community, and my goal is to create content for you that you love. Now with the changes, it's incredibly frustrating that 80-90% of you can't see what I'm working on! 

As a creative soul, I've always known that I was destined for an atypical career path but I never knew what that meant. My work through this blog and social media has ignited a spark in me, a true passion. I really enjoy what I'm doing here, I'm growing and learning something new each day. However, the best part of this job is that I get to connect with people like you from ALL over the world. There's seriously nothing like hearing from you, I really appreciate hearing your thoughts and opinions. I feel so much pride when I think about the little fam we've created here. Every like, comment, direct message and vote is noticed and I couldn't be more grateful. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't even be in this position. So, thank you for helping me make my dreams come true and joining me in this incredible journey! 

Alright, alright- enough of the gushy stuff! Although I could really go on all day, just to reiterate how much I appreciate you because I don't think I say it enough. 😘  Now, I'd like to introduce you to some new content that will be happening! My goal is to create fun and new content that you love, which is why I can't wait to announce something special here! I'd like to implement a new Instagram Q&A series on Instagram LIVE! Yes, LIVE! (I'm a little scared, not gonna lie). I'm hoping to do it this weekend- Saturday or Sunday.

I'd like to try this is for a few reasons. First and foremost, I want to constantly keep my content new and fresh and engaging. Secondly, I enjoy pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I'm a little bit terrified to go live because anything can happen! But in spirit of embracing it all, I think this could be a fun way to show you a different side of me you might not always see. Lastly & most importantly, I absolutely love chatting with you through your comments and direct messages. I feel like you all are my close friends! My hope is for this to be a more casual and candid version of me. I want to get to know you better too!

In spirit of not going on Instagram Live alone and afraid, please leave a comment below of something you'd like me to answer! Ask me anything, within reason! 😉 Also, please let me know which day you'd prefer! Even if you can't watch it live, I'll be able to save it to my profile to view later. I can't wait to see what you're wondering, so please leave the questions below! I'll have some questions for you too. 

 

Friday Favorites: Walter Edition

In addition to #WeddingWednesday, I would love to continue with a #FridayFavorites series! This is where I talk about any brands I'm loving on or items that I just discovered. This week, I am calling up ALL the dog moms and dads out there to share Ollie with you. I am seriously SO excited to tell you about Ollie because it has completely changed the game when it comes to dog food. With Ollie, you receive real, human grade dog food that is personalized for your dogs' needs.  Ollie has no artificial flavors, is USDA-regulated, and has no fillers nor preservatives!

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Before trying Ollie, we struggled with finding a dog food that Walter liked and digested well. When Brian & I first adopted him, I bought him one of the pricier brands of dog food, thinking I was doing a service to him. It turned out to be a complete disaster, the food was too rich for him- I'll spare you the gross details. So we had to go back to his previous food, which I could only get to by driving 40 minutes from my house! Ollie is incredibly convenient because you fill out a profile on your dog and they come up with a formula that's perfect for them and delivered to your front door!

Reasons why I love Ollie:

  • It has human grade ingredients that you can feel good about and ones you could actually pronounce. Have you ever read the label on dog foods? What the heck is butylated hydroxyanisole?!
  • It is customized to your dog's breed, weight and lifestyle so when the food comes, all you have to do is scoop out the suggested portion size and be confident that your dog is getting the proper nutrition they need. The package arrives and it literally says "Prepared especially for Walter!" How cool is that?
  • It is seriously SO EASY. It gets dropped off to your door in packaging that keeps everything cold. They give you a pamphlet of how to transition your dog onto it. They give you a reusable lid and size appropriate scooper and you just leave the trays of food in your fridge. You just have to make sure you clean your dog's bowls regularly, as I'm sure you already do! :) 
  • Walter LOVES it and does well on it. If you've been following me for awhile, you know that Walter is so lazy- not getting out of bed until noon most days. Until we got started on Ollie, he literally gets out of bed to eat his Ollie and then continues to hop back into bed. 
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After a few months of trying the product, I wanted to make sure Walter was absolutely loving it before I shared any of this with you. Once I realized it was a sure thing, I reached out to the company to partner up! My friends at Ollie were kind enough to offer my readers 50% off your first box here! I can't wait for you guys to try it out, this deal is so good! It ends up being cheaper than most dry bags of dog food with the promo! Feel free to contact me with any questions.

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My Easy 5 Step AM Skincare Routine

Happy Monday, everybody! I wanted get this week started off right with my morning skincare routine. It wasn't until my early twenties when I started to realize how important taking care of your skin is- we have one chance to preserve and protect our skin, we must take care of it! If we're being totally honest here, I am constantly exploring new products (thank you free samples from Sephora ROUGE) so the products that I use vary. However, if you are a complete skincare newbie- this might be a good start for you because these are the products that I continue to go back to over and over again. I have combination oily & dry skin, so many of these products are excellent for all skin types!

Pro tip: I love buying at Sephora online because you get a promo & free samples on every order. Something many people don't know- you can return ANY product ANY time for ANY reason, no matter what. So if you decide you buy one of these products and end up not liking it, you can return it! Sephora is owned by Louis Vuitton so their return policy is AMAZING! They are also offering 2x points for VIB's until 1/22 so now is a great time to get stocked up on your skincare! All images are clickable, which means you can shop the products directly from this post! 

Step 1 // Cleanse

This cleanser is the bee's knees. Does anyone say that anymore? No, okay well I LOVE it! I use it in the morning and at night, it has a way of cleaning the skin that doesn't make your skin feel dry or that 'tight' feeling. When it comes to faces that are both dry and oily, it takes a clever cleanser to balance the two. This gentle, frothy face wash carefully does both jobs without canceling each other out. Skin feels comfortably refreshed after cleansing—never tight, pulled, or parched. Great for all skin types, it’s enriched with aromatic bergamot, spearmint, and lavender to add pleasure to the process. I've tried dozens of cleansers and this one by far takes the cake- the bottle also lasts FOREVER. I probably buy a new one every 4-5 months even though I use it twice a day! 

Step 2 // Tone

Most people are very skeptical of toners, I'll admit I was too. Growing up, I used toners that left your face with that burning feeling- something I learned that you NEVER want to do. You never want to use products that make your skin feel tight or pulled. The key to this is using a toner without alcohol in it. This one has purifying chamomile and linden extracts—to remove every last trace of cleanser, leaving skin pH balanced, de-stressed, and spa-refreshed. Pro tip: Do you ever see acne in your hairline or jawline? It could be because you're not rinsing your face wash off thoroughly! Be sure to rinse well and use a toner on a cotton square to make sure it's ready to go. 

Step 3 // Brush Teeth

I know this isn't technically skincare but I've read that you should let your toner set into your skin for a minute before you apply serum or moisturizer to get maximum performance from it. My dad bought me this toothpaste for Christmas and I'm obsessed! It beats every whitening & freshening toothpaste I've ever tried, really leaving your mouth with that clean feeling for hours! This tube also lasts a long time, I feel like we usually blow through toothpaste within two weeks and we've been using the same tube for about a month now!

Step 4 // Apply Serum/ Moisturizer

Some days I apply a serum and a moisturizer, some days I apply just one or the other depending on my motivation and how my skin feels. If it feels dry, I'll apply both. This is a great time to add SPF - yes we need SPF all year round! I love this super lightweight moisturizer that doubles as a versatile sunscreen to protect from UVA/UVB rays, pollution, and free radicals while improving skin’s texture and tone. 
My thoughts on the anti-aging serum: it's never to early to start anti-aging. This powerful, age-fighting serum visibly improves fine lines and wrinkles in as little as two weeks. The cocktail of ingredients helps give skin the look of resilient bounce while creating the appearance of firmer, more lifted skin. 

Step 5 // Eye Cream

Eye creams are ESSENTIAL- I was so skeptical of these, as I wasn't sure what they'd be able to do for me but they have significantly improved the dark circles underneath my eyes. This one is good for all skin types, even the most sensitive of skin, Bye Bye Under Eye Cream is a luxurious moisturizing treatment clinically shown to address key signs of aging and visibly smooth the under-eye area. 

BONUS: Step 6 // Apply Makeup

Now that your skin is prepped and clean, you are ready to apply makeup! In case you missed it, I recently posted my 7 step natural beauty tutorial on the blog. I also have a video saved to the Highlights on my Instagram page. 

Are you loving these product roundups? Or maybe you'd like to see something different? Please let me know in the comments below! xo

The Secret Behind My Long Lashes (1st Video Tutorial!)

Hello, friends! It seems that this post is long overdue, as I've been getting countless requests about this for awhile now! The above photo is 100% my lashes. You voted on my story last week that you wanted to see my health journey post first, this was a close second. The inspiration for my long lashes came out of pure laziness. I have always loved the look of full lashes but I could not stand the idea of lash extensions (ain't nobody got time for that)! Applying false lashes on myself is also a low-key disaster... I can never get them to lay correctly and sometimes they look overly false. Cue my three step daily routine for the most epic lashes you'll ever have! I've teamed up with my incredibly talented sister, Kristen to make my first ever video! I've included the product details below. This post is NOT sponsored whatsoever, these products are what I use and love every single day. 

Step 1: Use A Curler

I used to be terrified of eyelash curlers because I'd always hear horror stories of people pulling their lashes out. After overcoming this, I decided to try one and it ROCKED my world! I find that the curler does a great job of lifting the lashes, creating a more wide eyed look! Shop the curler here! 

Step 2: Apply tubular mascara

Not all mascaras are equal! I was incredibly skeptical of this mascara when I first tried it, but it has changed the game for me. This revolutionary tubular volumizing mascara forms water-resistant tubes 360° around lashes, dries instantly and will not smudge or smear. Better than waterproof, the 24-hour formula stays just-applied looking yet slides off with only warm water without leaving a trace. The precision brush grabs lashes at the roots to lengthen even the shortest hairs for the look of a naturally lush lash line. Shop my favorite mascara at Nordstrom here or on Amazon here!

Step 3: Swipe the serum

In June 2017 I started looking for a lash solution that would be low maintenance so I could work smarter, not harder towards lengthy lashes! My fabulous friend Nina told me to try RevitaLash after complimenting her gorgeous lashes. I was incredibly skeptical, especially due to the price tag of $99 but she assured me it would last well over three months (my first tube lasted me 6 months) and I would not regret it. RevitaLash Advanced is proven to transform the appearance of lashes and making them stronger. This proprietary blend of scientifically-advanced technology and natural botanicals help protect against breakage and brittleness, improve flexibility, moisture and shine. Here are a few other benefits:

• Defends eyelashes from daily aggressors and conditions to help protect from brittleness and breakage.
• High impact BioPeptin Complex, peptides and botanicals saturate the lashes with moisture, keeping them soft, luxurious and healthy-looking.
• Daily use provides immediate conditioning benefits leading to healthier-looking, more luxurious lashes. 
• Ophthalmologist Reviewed, Dermatologist Reviewed, Clinically Tested, Hypoallergenic, Non-Irritating. 
• My favorite part: a portion of all proceeds benefit breast cancer research initiatives.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial! I am really interested to hear your feedback on how you enjoyed the video piece and if you'd like to see more. Again, no products are sponsored in this post- I truly use and love these items everyday!

My Health Journey: 2018

This year I'm feeling more motivated than ever to move my body and find more of a balance. I've tried numerous diets & workout plans and they've all worked for awhile... but then I get bored or fall far off the bandwagon, it seems impossible to jump back on. Earlier this week on my Instagram Story, I hesitantly posted that I completed four days of a couch to 5K program. I don't think I totally got my message across because I got an overwhelming amount of responses asking how I completed a 5K in four days! 😂 After clearing it up, many of you requested a post about it!

I recently became inspired by my beautiful, foxy, 57-year-old mother during a conversation we had a few weeks ago. We were talking about running and how she's completed one full marathon, four half-marathons and dozens of 5-8K races. She also mentioned how she'd like to do another marathon before she turns 60, describing the "runner's high" as one of the best feelings she's ever had. 

My mother (center)  bribing my sister & I to run 😂  we picked up the pace when we saw the cameras! 

My mother (center)  bribing my sister & I to run 😂  we picked up the pace when we saw the cameras! 

Exercise Goals: Move your body 4-5x a week and run a 5K

Now, let me break it down for you: I was NEVER a runner, I'm still not. I played sports in high school but that's as far as I went. I loath running- or at least I did. But I kept thinking about my mom's "runner's high" and wondering if I'd ever be able to feel that. I secretly challenged myself to a "couch to 5K" program- when you go from a couch potato to running a 5K within 6-8 weeks, depending on how frequently you want to train. I found the 5K Runner App seemed to work the best for me (this is not sponsored at all, by the way)! It's a free for the first 5 training sessions, then it has an in app purchase if you want the whole thing... I didn't realize that part but I was already committed to it so I bought it. Here's what the app I'm using as well as a few others recommended by you to use!

The whole point of using the app is to gradually build your endurance so it gradually helps you build your ability to run. The app I use eases you into the program with 1 minute of running, 1 minute and 30 seconds of power walking. I found this WAY more achievable than I ever thought!

Healthy Eating Goal: Be more aware of what I'm eating

When it comes to establishing better habits, I am choosing to use the Weight Watchers app to track and become more aware of my eating habits (again, not sponsored in any way). It's just incredibly helpful for me to be healthy when I am aware of what I'm putting in my mouth. A free version of this tracking concept is "Lose It." For whatever reason, I'm more likely to commit to something when I pay for it. But it works very similarly if you're looking for something like that! Or you could simply use a journal and write everything down if you prefer. I am trying not to get caught up on counting calories or the number on the scale. Instead, I'm focusing on portion control and eating higher quality, less processed foods. I've only been doing it for 7 days now and I simply feel better and less bloated. 

Self Care/ Mental Health Goals:

As I've discussed before, self-love is a journey- NOT a destination. It's something I work on every single day. One of my goals for 2018 is to be kinder to myself, especially when I speak about or to myself. I'd also like to learn more about meditation and try it for five minutes a day. It may not sound like much but smaller goals are more attainable, so I'd like to start there. I am also working on trying to be more present by limiting my screen time every day and having phone-free zones at night. 

Sports Bra Recommendations (by popular demand):


Let's talk about sports bras for a full bust! I consider myself a bra expert because I've worked in the lingerie industry for four years which has allowed me to understand the science/ technology behind them. If that doesn't persuade you, I wear one every day. There was a time in my life when I was wearing two to three sports bras when I worked out because I couldn't find one with enough support & modesty. Lo and behold, I've found you FOUR, yes FOUR different sports bras that I wear on rotation, instead of on top of one another. 🙌🏼 I was just beside myself to go from zero that could handle high impact to FOUR different options! I personally cannot wear a racerback bra, it's too much pressure on my neck but all of these give you an option to hook them into a racerback if you prefer that look!
All of the pictures are clickable, which means you can shop them directly from this post. 😍

Be sure to check out my Instagram story today for an exclusive break down of all four of these bras. I love and wear all of them. You might not need four, but hopefully I can help you decide which one is best for you! Please feel free to leave any questions / concerns that you may have. Some people may be scared away by the price however, you need to invest in your bras. This is something you're wearing EVERY DAY and you deserve to feel supported- literally. 

Let's Get Caught Up: Volume 3, 2017 Yearly Edition

Let's Get Caught Up: Volume 3, 2017 Yearly Edition

2017, that’s a wrap! This year had so many ups and downs, full of lots of love and so much learning, but to say it was a transformative year is an understatement! Learn what I’ll be clinking to this #NYE 🥂 and why I’m even more excited for what’s to come in 2018!

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The Clock Is Ticking! Gift Guide For The Last Minute Shopper

It's the final countdown! *cue that song- you know which one I'm talking about! We're getting close, everybody! Earlier this week, I posted an Instagram Poll and I was pleasantly surprised to see how many last minute shoppers there are! I have to hand it to you, I have a lot of respect for the last minute shopper! I have too many control issues to shop this late... However, I've secretly always wanted to be a late shopper, maybe next year! Nonetheless, I'd like to present you with my first EVER roundup for last minute shopping! 

I've rounded up a list of my favorite online stores and their delivery dates. As always, the fonts in bold and images are clickable so you can shop them directly from my site! If you're looking for some great last minute gifts, look no further than Amazon & Nordstrom!

Amazon:

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When in doubt, give a gift card! But a cool one! 

I've rounded up my absolute FAVORITE, not-so-typical options for a gift cards, click the rectangular button to direct you to the link! All links will give you the option to print it or email it.

What it is: Rent designer pieces, they have something for everyone. Filter dresses, clothing and accessories by date, size, occasion and more. Bonus: they typically send you two sizes, just in case to assure it will fit! Their customer service is also phenomenal! 

Why they'll love it: They'll be able to rent designer clothing for any event from casual everyday wear to formal black tie. They'll get 100,000s of options at their fingertips. Give the gift of trying new things, having more fun and going for it.

What it is: credit towards the famous ride sharing app! 

Why they'll love it: they'll be able to use it for all of their transportation needs! 

That wraps up my gift guide for the last minute shopper! I hope this helps speed up your last minute shopping so you can get to spending more time with loved ones & indulging! 

-SHOP THE POST-

Under $50 Gift Guide: One Stop Shopping For Everyone On Your List

Hey Everybody! It feels so good to be back in action with a new computer, just in time for another holiday gift guide– gifts under $50! A lot of these items are under $20 which is even more exciting. It's such a snowy day here in Buffalo, so what better way to spend it than a little online shopping? I will be showcasing quite a few of these on my Instagram Story, showing you how they work and why I love them so be sure to check that out later on.

Be sure to click on the images or font in bold to shop these fabulous gifts!

For the homebody:

Bliss Plush Throw: This blanket was gifted to us a couple years ago and we fight over who gets to use it! It is so cozy and it's the perfect size to cover yourself AND it folds up and stores nicely. It also comes in a wide variety of colors to match that special someone's home.

Capri BLUE Volcano candle: I've posted about these candles a few times and I just cannot get enough. They smell amazing and they look fabulous on a coffee table or counter space. I like to group them by three so this would be a perfect gift if you're looking to spend around $50. They are also great alone if you're looking for a good stocking stuffer. 

His & Her Slippers: In the winter, my feet are ALWAYS cold so I love having a house slipper to wear around my home. I also like to bring them to other people's houses when I take my shoes off! And of course, Brian likes to copy me so he just bought himself a pair of slippers to wear around the house too! All of these pairs are from DSW and they're having a promotion right now: $10 off $49 using code GOGREEN.

For the traveler:

Jackery Portable Charger:  Alright, so I can tell you that I own four different portable chargers- yes FOUR! This one has to be my favorite one because it lasts a long time (probably get about 4-5 charges to it) AND it is light/portable enough to fit in a small purse or pocket. My other chargers don't last nearly this long but if they do, they're too heavy to carry around all day. It also doubles as a flashlight- never know when you may need one! This one is only $18 right now on Amazon!

Happy Plugs Wireless Earbud Plus Bluetooth Headphones: I was very skeptical to join the bluetooth headphone club, call me old fashioned- but these headphones are AWESOME! For the price, they have excellent sound quality and they are very easy to pair with any device. They also come in quite a few colors- so they're perfect for EVERYONE! The price depends on the color you select but they are all under $30. 

For the one who likes to treat themselves:

Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask: My friend Kelly just bought me this for my birthday after I saw her post about it, it's safe to say- I'M OBSESSED! I'm such a sucker for Korean skincare products. It is a bubble mud mask that provides pore cleaning and black head removal. Whenever I do a face mask, Brian always likes to join in on the fun too- face masks are for everybody! This one is also very fun to apply. Your snapchat friends with thank you! Cashing in under $10, it makes the perfect gift or stocking stuffer. If you're still not sold, check out this article from the Today Show about it!

Sephora Gift Set: If you haven't already seen it, Sephora just launched their Holiday Gift Finder. It sorts by who you're shopping for & price- so awesome! I've linked a few of my favorite gift sets for him & her, something for everyone. They are also a great value because they include products that would be way more expensive if you were to buy them all together. 

For the one who has everything:

Knock Knock Fill In Journal: These books are PERFECT for the sentimental people in your life that appreciate the thoughtful gifts. Simply fill in the blanks of this diminutive volume and voilà: it becomes a personalized gift your fam will read again and again; make it as playful, prideful, or poetic as you please! Brian bought me the "What I Love About Us" book for my birthday and it was by far my favorite gift. Coming in under $15, depending on the one you choose- you can't go wrong. Perfect for your significant other, mom, grandma, sister, dad, teacher, friend- the list goes on and on! 

Happy Socks: you can never really go wrong with socks: everyone needs them and everyone rarely buys them for themselves! Loving this set for the festive season with this Holiday Socks Gift Box. This collection of seasonal favorites makes a perfect present for that stylish someone in your life. Happy Socks are my favorite because they're unisex too- offering every design in unisex sizing! 

Are you loving this gift guide? Tell me what you liked and what you want to see more of in the comments below. Happy Shopping! 

Friday Favorites: Size Inclusive Holiday Style

Happy Friday! Ready or not, the holiday season is here. I cannot believe it is December 1st! I am always excited for the holiday's, but this year especially! Last night on my Instagram Stories, I asked and you voted that you wanted to see some holiday style! It was a 50/50 split between holiday party looks and holiday date night looks so I thought I'd show you a little bit of both! It is very important to me to highlight brands that are SIZE INCLUSIVE- meaning they have a wide range of sizes for EVERY body!

The Dress Shop: Eliza J

If you are looking for a fabulous holiday party dress, you have to check out Eliza J dresses. I've selected a few of my favorites! I love how inclusive their sizing is- ranging from 0 to 16 and then plus sizes! I have quite a few of these dresses and I'm always so impressed with the quality and fit. You will not be disappointed. 

Get Your Party Pants On: Old Navy

Old Navy has been my go-to lately for all things! Their pants are also incredible. I love their fit and often times I even have to size down in their pants- which NEVER happens! Major props to Old Navy for no separating their regular & plus sizing. They offer 00 to 20 on the same product page! Another bonus: most of them are under $30! 

Cozy Coats: Asos

I am proud to say that I've inherited my love for coats from my mother- she has closets full of beautiful coats. ASOS has been an incredible retailer supporting a large range of sizes, check out these gorgeous coats. BEST PART: some of these are up to 30% off, no code needed!

Sparkle & Shine: BaubleBar

If you haven't already heard of BaubleBar- I'm about to change your life! I am constantly amazed by their fun, trendy, yet timeless pieces. What's a holiday season without a little holiday sparkle? These are a few of my favorite pieces right now! They make fabulous gifts too! BEST PART: Everything on their site is 25% until December 8th using code GIFT25

Cutie with a Bootie: DSW

I've been shopping at DSW since as long as I can remember! It is one of the only places that I can find size 11 shoes. They also carry wide width and wide calf styles. Cute boots are a must-have this season, especially with all of your holiday looks!  These are a few of my favorite styles this season.

The Final Touch: Lips from Sephora

Wrapping up this list with an essential- lip color! I always forget to put lip color on until I'm in the car and scrambling through my purse to find something. Lips complete the look and make me feel put together. Here are a few of my favorites this season! BEST PART: some lipsticks are up to 50% off this weekend, no code needed!

What are your favorites from this list? Would you like to see more of these round ups? Your feedback means everything to me! Hope this helps.

Cyber Monday: Best Clothing Deals

Best Clothing Deals for Women & Men:

It has been so fun for me to use the polls on Instagram Stories feature to see what type of content you'd like me to create! This year I decided to take part in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday fun. You voted and you want to see the best deals on clothing! The reason why I chose these brands are because they are size inclusive- some of the brands run up to a size 18, some brands are exclusively plus sizes. I can assure you -there is something in here for everyone. Here's what I've found, happy shopping! All of the store names are clickable, click on them and it will take you to their website!

Ann Taylor

Free shipping & 50% off everything using code BESTMONDAY

ASOS

30% off everything! This is a great deal - I also love how size inclusive their brand is. If you haven't checked out this site, now is your chance! Use code EPIC30

Banana Republic 

50% off everything and no minimum for free shipping. Very exciting because I rarely see BR more than 40% off!

Bare Necessities

Up to 50% off, extra 15% off today and everything ships free!

BaubleBar

Had to sneak this one in, too good of a deal to pass up! 35% off everything using code CYBER25

Bergdorf Goodman

Save up to 40% high end designer goods

Eloquii

50% off your entire purchase, $100 towards your next purchase, free shipping

Express

50% off everything and free shipping!

Gap

50% off everything with code CYBER plus an extra 10% off with code TREAT

H&M

30% off EVERYTHING- yes, EVERYTHING! Women's, Men, Children and Home!
In stores and online! 

J Crew

40% off + an additional 10% off but hurry!!! Offer expires noon Monday. Use code SHOPFAST

Lane Bryant

40% off site wide, free shipping over $50! This is a major deal for my curvy ladies! Use code BLACKFRIDAY

LOFT

50% off everything and free shipping! Women's, petites and maternity. They also have really adorable jewelry & accessories! Use code CLICK

Macy's

extra 20% off sale items until Wednesday 11/29, this is including ALL SALE- clothing and other items! Use code CYBER

Madewell

25% off your entire order using code DONTSTRESS

Nordstrom

Extra 25% off sale items! Free shipping & returns too!

Old Navy

50% off everything - no exclusions! If you haven't checked out Old Navy lately, now is your chance! They've really stepped it up and they're offering really trendy items at AMAZING prices.

Target

extra 15% off EVERYTHING! 

Torrid

BOGO 50% or 30% off everything and free shipping!


Do you like these sort of round-up lists? I enjoy making them! Please let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more of them!

Cyber Monday: Gift Guide

Happy Cyber Monday, everybody! The best Monday of the year - am I right? I've never done a Cyber Monday roundup before, so this post is extra exciting for me! This weekend on Insta Stories I asked you all if you were interested in seeing a roundup of holiday gifts that happen to be on sale today, and based on the amazing feedback it was a no-brainer that I had to create this gift guide for you all!  So without further adieu, happy shopping! Don't forget to treat yourself - or in my case, I need to not treat myself too much!  All of the store names are clickable, if you click the font in bold will bring you right to the site!


GIFT GUIDE UNDER $50

  1.  BaubleBar Earrings - you can't go wrong with this one, every time I wear BaubleBar jewelry - people always ask me where they're from. Perfect for a stylish mom, sister or friend! Their entire website is also 35% off right now with code CYBER35

2. Women's Gemma Velvet Driving Slippers - Mossimo Supply Co. Gray 9 - slippers are an absolute must! I'm embarrassed to say that I have over five pairs. These are my favorite pick because they're inexpensive but still great quality. I love them because you can wear them outdoors since they have such a great grip on the bottom. Target is also having an additional 15% off for Cyber Monday! Women's Gemma Velvet Driving Slippers - Mossimo Supply Co

3. For the whiskey drinker, I've found this Godinger Barware, Dublin Whiskey DecanterAnd it's only $16!  I used to always see these containers when I was little and wonder what they were because they looked so fancy!  This one is great because it looks expensive but it's not! Definitely getting this for Brian- don't tell him!

4. Capri Blue candles - In Mississippi, the artisans of Capri Blue honor the traditions of candle-makers from generations past by hand-pouring their signature soy wax blends into recycled glass vessels. Each clean-burning formula absorbs more fragrance oil than any other natural wax candle—and lasts twice as long.  They are perfect for the candle lover in your life or a fabulous hostess gift! They're also 20% off at Anthropologie today!

5. For all of my fellow pet lovers out there, Petco is having a major Cyber Monday sale! Not a store you'd think of right? But I got all of my furry friends' gifts from the Cyber Monday sale at Petco last year. Up to 65% off! 

6. Rae Dunn Coffee Mug -  I have a few of these and I just love the minimalistic design and functionality of it! Fits ALL the coffee and looks cute in the cupboard.

7. Gift set from The Body Shop - everything is 50% off online today!! This special edition Coconut Premium Collection of bath and body treats will soften, smooth, and moisturize the skin, leaving it with a delightfully tropical scent. This gift box also contains a word search – so get ready to have some fun this holiday season!

8. Give the gift of style through Rent The Runway! Or rent your holiday party dress. 30% off all rentals - even you first month of unlimited rentals through Rent The Runway. Use code HAPPYDAY30 at checkout. 

9. Nordstrom At Home Copper Monogram Bottle Stopper - Perfect hostess gift or for your favorite wine-o. A copper letter gleams atop a polished steel stopper that adds a personal touch while keeping wine drinkable. Letters available: a, b, c, d, g, h, j, k, l, m, r, s, w. 

10. Faux Fur Pompom Beanie - A matching faux fur pompom is the fuzzy cherry on top of this cute and cozy knit beanie. Comes in grey and navy. This gift is perfect for all ages- it looks adorable on everyone- cannot believe this is only $15!

Do you like these gift guides? Would you like to see more of them? Please let me know in the comments below!

Why I'm Showing Extra Gratitude This Year

One of the reasons why I love Thanksgiving is it is a time to reflect on all of the things that have happened over the past year, and pay tribute to all of the things that I have to be grateful for. Another reason I love this time of year is that my birthday always falls on or near Thanksgiving– and this year it happens to actually fall on Turkey Day! So in honor of this double whammy of a day, I wanted to take some time to reflect on my past year and think about how far I have come (with all of you on this journey) and create a list of the things I am grateful for.  

Showing gratitude doesn't always come as second nature to me, so this post took some time and effort, but it was very meaningful for me to write!  It is important for me to remind myself of the many things I have to be grateful for. And let me tell you, this was an exercise well worth the discomfort.

After you read my list, I have a challenge for you too– take some time today, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, to come up with a list of things that you're grateful for. If it doesn’t come naturally, don’t let that stop you from still giving thanks. There is still much to be thankful for, no matter the circumstances. In no particular order, here is my list of what I am grateful for this year:  

  1. I am thankful for my health- for being able to travel as much as I do, to move the way I do and being able enjoy all of life's indulgences (pizza, cheese, olives, whipped cream frosting, did I mention pizza?)
  2. I am thankful for working in an industry that is constantly evolving. In the past eight (EIGHT?!) years that I've been working as a model, the opportunities for my peers and I have significantly increased.
  3. With that said, I am thankful for ability to share my work with you. With just a hope of inspiring one person, my passion is sharing thoughtful content that is MORE than just beautiful pictures. 
  4.  I am thankful for my circle of friends and mentors- those who inspire me, motivate me and challenge me to be the best version of myself. 
  5. I am thankful for my future groom, Brian. I'm thankful for finding a partner in life that makes me laugh, challenges me and believes in me. I look forward to a lifetime of laughing, growing and learning with him.
  6. I am thankful for the house that Brian and I have made into a home.  It's where we've built the figurative foundation of our relationship. It's my safe place- where I can be 110% myself. 
  7. I am thankful for my rescue dog, Walter. We're coming up on two years since we adopted him and he forever changed our world. Walter has taught me the true meaning of second chances, unconditional love and forgiveness.
  8. I am thankful for my supportive and loving family who continue to support my career- no matter what. Also grateful for divorced parents who have put their differences aside to be friends. It means the most to me that they can spend the holidays with my sister and I so that we can be a family... especially on vacation this year! Grateful to be writing this post from Florida this holiday.
  9. I am thankful for living in a town full of creative people and opportunities in Buffalo, NY. A town full of friendly neighbors, family, friends and good food.
  10. I am thankful for all of the excitement and opportunity that was in 2017. Sometimes I shake my head in disbelief when I realize that it all is happening to me. Not sure what I did to deserve this incredible life, but I'm excited to see what unfolds in this 25th year of life coming up!

What is on your list of things that you are grateful for? I'd love to hear, please share them in the comments!

 

swimsuit details available through http://liketk.it/2tyvH 💘

The Ultimate Girl Power Friday: Glamour Women Of The Year Summit

I had the privilege of attending Glamour Magazine's Women Of The Year Summit. This invitation-only full-day summit, created by the editors of Glamour put me in the room with the most amazing female trailblazers and newsmakers—the women breaking down barriers and making headlines all across the world.

The day was filled with compelling conversations, moving dialogue, action plans, and breakout sessions covering the issues that matter most to women, which is why I wanted to share the day with you all! The event took place at Brooklyn Museum for an epic day chock-full of inspiring, hilarious, thought-provoking, community-building content and awesome immersive experiences. 

It is my mission to inspire my audience! I want to support and show you all that I know about boss women. In case you missed my Snapchat (@caralynm) or Instagram Story (@CaralynMirand), here are my top five favorite moments from the day:

Cameron Russell Speaking Out About Sexual Harassment in the Modeling Industry.

Model, writer, and activist Cameron Russell gave an incredible speech about the sexual harassment experiences she's dealt with through the years. "At its best, modeling is a creative partnership," she says. But at its worst, the industry allows for opportunities where gatekeepers can abuse their power. "I didn't consent to any of this," she explains. "I think the correct word is tolerate...without tolerating these things, I couldn't have worked as a model."

Ashley Graham and Mattel presenting the first Hijab-Wearing Barbie for US Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad

Ashely was the perfect person to present this because she received her very own custom Barbie last year with NO thigh gap! As a young girl, Ibtihaj used to sew tiny hijabs onto her dolls. Now, she hopes this will inspire little girls across the country to embrace what makes themselves unique. "This is such a big moment for little girls everywhere," she says. 

Photo Credit: Craig Barritt - Getty Images for Glamour

Photo Credit: Craig Barritt - Getty Images for Glamour

SURPRISE GUEST Dr. Jill Biden and Joe Biden talking about finding purpose in work, relationships and each other.

These two surprised EVERYONE when they were announced by Glamour Editor-In-Chief Cynthia Leive. They discussed the former Vice President's new memoir about their late son, Beau that passed. The conversation flowed freely from everything to their relationship with the Obama's to sexual assault. Joe says that his father always told him, "The greatest sin a person can commit is the abuse of power." It's time to change the culture, he says. "Women hold up half the sky, and it's time this ends," he continues. "Don't let this slow up. This is the time to fundamentally change the culture of how women are treated in American society."

The Biden's also discussed their admirable relationship. "Everybody knows I love her more than she loves me," Joe jokes. They have built a marriage based on respect and kindness. Jill similtaniously made the audience go "aww" when she described that she was having a rough day, and she discovered a bouquet of yellow flowers in her car that Joe had left for her. "He knew how I was feeling," she says. "I thought that was so kind." #GOALS.

Photo Credit: Craig Barritt - Getty Images for Glamour

Photo Credit: Craig Barritt - Getty Images for Glamour

Lunch with DVF (casual)

At a power lunch hosted by PepsiCo, Ruchi Bhowmik, senior vice president of public policy and government affairs for North America at PepsiCo, introduced a conversation between artist and poet Cleo Wade and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. The women started the discussion by talking about beauty. "Beauty is perfect in it’s imperfection," Diane says. "If you have a big nose, that actually may be your biggest asset. It’s all about the character. When I work with models, I always tell them, 'Don’t be a model, be a woman. Just focus on being on the woman you want to be, and then own it.'"

Photo: Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images

Photo: Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images

Photo: Caralyn Mirand

Photo: Caralyn Mirand

Epic speech from Naomi Campbell about getting what you want

Model, actress, and activist Naomi Campbell gave an incredible monologue on how to stand up for yourself. "I always encourage people to ask for what you want," she says. "When you’re told no, you should ask for feedback so you can get better." She shared how she worked hard to get her first cover of French Vogue, after initially being told no. That experience then gave her the confidence to try for the American Vogue cover. For her, it was more than getting a cover. "Those pictures weren’t just victories for me," she says. "They were victories for women of color around the world."

Photo by Craig Barritt, Getty Images

Photo by Craig Barritt, Getty Images

Overall it was an incredible day that left me feeling so inspired and motivated to continue on with my own journey. I left the day with a huge smile on my face. In addition to an incredible swag bag, I felt that I was leaving with SO much stuff to think about.  There was so much girl power in one room- it left me wanting to join the women on that stage one day. 

Descriptions of the event credit to Glamour Magazine Blog.

To view the full schedule and streaming from the day, check it out here!
Major thank you to Glamour Magazine for the invitation, I hope to be included in this powerful day next year!

Let's Get Caught Up: Volume 2

This week on my Instagram Story, I asked what kinds of things you wanted to see on the blog and you all voted for me to write another "Let's Get Caught Up" post! I've been having so much fun with these Instagram Polls- it's been so interesting to see what you all have been thinking. More often than not, your answers are very surprising to me! They've been super helpful though when it comes to creating content that you want to see. The first "Let's Get Caught Up" did so well, so here we go again!

Some things I've been up to lately:

  • Joined a new gym! Every now and then I need to switch things up to keep myself motivated and excited about working out. I've found when things get monotonous, I put less effort in. The new gym I joined is offered to only women- which I have been loving!
  • Had the honor of joining my friend and fellow bride-to-be Kristin during her dress shopping journey. We didn't end up finding anything, but we had a fun day! We don't get to see each other often, so anytime we get together is a good time. It's been so fun to go through this wedding planning process with her.
  • Worked New York City's lingerie Market Week for one of my favorite clients! It's five days of meetings when companies / retailers come visit lingerie brands to see what new styles they want to buy for the coming year. My job as a model is to fit the bras perfectly and show the buyers how the garments fit on a real body! So basically it’s live modeling, standing in a board room in my undies. 😂👙  Sounds weird, but I've gotten used to it! 
  • Traveled to Miami for a three day work trip for another one of my clients! It was so nice to feel the sunshine and see palm trees- even though I was inside working most of the time. It really makes me excited for my Thanksgiving/birthday vacation down in Florida!
  • Lastly, I have been working on a REALLY exciting project for about six weeks now. I've had to keep it a secret, but I will finally be able to announce it on Monday! I cannot wait! Please stay tuned on my Instagram around midday for the special announcement. 😍  In the meantime, I'll be taking a little social media break over this weekend to focus on family time and to decompress. I'll be back on Monday with my special news!

Some things I'm loving lately:

  • I've been fully embracing the mule / slides trend this year - it's borderline addition status. That's why I was SO EXCITED to find a pair that were only $40! Check them here!
  • Ollie dog food- well, I haven't been enjoying it but my dog Walter sure has! It's wholesome, human-grade, and full of fruits and veggies—nothing artificial ever. It has customized portions based on your dog's activity level, age, and more. I am currently working on getting a special discount code from them for you! Stay tuned for that!  🐾 
  • Anyone looking for a digital camera, I just bought this Sony one and my life is changed forever! It's the best digital camera out there right now and it's SO easy to use. 
  • One of my all time favorite bloggers @MalloryErvin just posted her pregnancy announcement and it made me shed a lil tear- so stinking cute! 
  • SOUP! I love trying all different kinds of soups during the fall- sometimes to a fault (I'm bad at eating leftovers). However this Skinnytaste southwestern inspired soup is a winner! 

Sometimes it’s important for me to really relax, unwind and be away from social media. I often get so caught up in it and distracted that I need to make a conscious choice to take a break. What do you do to relax and unwind? I can't wait to read what you do in the comment section below! 

Take A Trip to 'B Kind City'

Happy #GirlPowerFriday, everybody! 2017 has been so special for me, especially due to the incredible people I've met and connected with. Cue Katie Monacelli, creator of bkindcity- BKC for short. She's a bright light with contagious energy that makes you want to hug a stranger. 

Katie describes her company as east coast streetwear meets west coast unisex apparel company with a feel good/ feels good vibe.  Bkindcity is a group of inspired individuals, looking to affect the perspective of commercial society with a culture of creative positivity and kindness.  Through the avenue of an apparel company, they have found a way to bring our vibe to the masses. The best part is? Katie always gives back. For every softest crew sweatshirt bought, she donates a meal to the Buffalo City Mission

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OK, so let's talk about these softest crew sweatshirts! You know that sweatshirt you can't take off? The one you wore to bed last night. The one you threw on this morning to go grab coffee? The one you wore to practice (and maybe the bar?) This is the softest thing you’ll ever put on your body.  Trust me- I NEVER take it off.  Not even kidding, I am sitting here typing this blog post in my black one now. Proud owner of a grey one too! Another reason I love this sweatshirt is it embodies Buffalo, or as we all it here the "Queen City" and "City of Good Neighbors". The sweatshirt even has our area code on the front! Honestly, not sure how this sweatshirt could get any better. 

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To purchase one of these sweatshirts, you can purchase them for $58 at Modern Nostalgia on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo. You can also contact Katie directly and she will ship worldwide to you! She also sells beanies, tanks, tees and many other sweatshirts. Most styles are shown on her Instagram!

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This post is NOT AT ALL SPONSORED. All opinions are my own and you know that I only share things that I love with you! However, if you'd like to purchase something from Katie- be sure to mention "Caralyn Mirand's post" to get 10% off! I can't wait for you to fall in love with this sweatshirt as much as I have!

Be sure to follow Katie @katiemonacelli and @bkindcity. Her positivity and kindness makes my feed so much brighter! 

Wedding Wednesday: Why Weddings Are More Than Dresses

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved going to weddings. As a three-time flower girl, I considered myself a professional. I'd often repurpose my flower girl dresses into halloween costumes because I loved them so much. The romantic in me has always gotten caught up in the magic of the day, seeing the love that the couple shares. Weddings are special because they're all different. Each one is an opportunity to get to know the couple better and for the couple to express themselves.

Last weekend, I had the honor of attending one of my best college friend's wedding. Courtney and Allen had their wedding ceremony at the top of Gunstock Mountain Resort, a perfect location for these adventurous souls. Since they have a passion for the great outdoors, I couldn't imagine a better location for them to exchange their vows! To get to the ceremony we had to take a twenty minute chair lift ride- a first for me. Fun fact: I've never been skiing! The ride up was beautiful.

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Brian and I rode up with my college friend, Kristin and her fiance, Sean. The shoe lover in me had to take a shoe shot on the way up!

Another reason why I love weddings is because it's a time for the guests to express themselves too. As this wedding was full of new experiences (going to a ski resort, taking a chairlift....) I took this as an opportunity to step out of my fashion comfort zone and try something I've never worn before, a jumpsuit!

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Okay, this is a major shout out to any ladies out there who have been interested in trying the jumpsuit trend. I was a little unsure if it was going to look good on me. The key to finding the perfect jumpsuit is fit and fabric. This Vince Camuto jumpsuit was perfect because it hit my waist at the right spot and it had a lot of stretch.  It felt like I was wearing sweatpants- sophisticated sweatpants. This came in clutch on the dance floor!

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Weddings are especially fun for Brian and I, now that we're in the thick of planning one ourselves. Although I don't think we need to match when we attend weddings, I think it's fun to coordinate. My red shoes (only $40) & red lip coordinated well with Brian's red tie. I also received endless compliments on my BaubleBar necklace

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What is your favorite part about weddings? Would you every try this jumpsuit trend? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave them in the comments below!