Double piercings + Dainty earrings

January 22, 2020

I finally did something that I've been thinking about for months: I got my ears double pierced! My friend Mary and I have been wanting to do it for a while now partly because we love Emily Schuman from Cupcakes and Cashmere and are inspired by her style. I'm happy to say we finally bit the bullet! I'll be honest, I was the one holding us back though. We kept setting a date to do it and then I would back out. I'm not sure why but the decision was giving me a lot of anxiety and I even talked to my therapist about it! On Saturday I was finally fully on board so we went to a local tattoo shop and now we have double piercings! Part of the reason that we'd been wanting to get the piercings was because we really love all of the beautiful dainty earrings that are out right now so I wanted to share some of my favorites. Since we've been talking about doing this for months I've had some time to start stockpiling earrings and I have my eye on a few more pieces too. I can't wait until I can start switching them out and really having fun with different mixing and matching!
I've been having the most luck finding cute things at Madewell, Cupcakes and Cashmere, Baublebar, Amazon, Etsy and Mejuri. Here are some of my favorites!
Madewell: I have these small chunky hoops (shown above) which are a really great staple as well as these pretty gem studs (also shown above). I like the studs better when they're kind of crawling up the ear but can't show that right now since I can't swap out my second earring yet. However, here is a picture I took of some barrettes where I happen to be wearing them in my preferred way before the double piercings :)

Cupcakes and Cashmere: I got these Harlow mini hoops for Christmas (shown above) and they're sooo cute and dainty in person. I have my eye on several more pairs from this shop but the one I'm most excited about is this pretty stud with an attached cuff. I have no plans to pierce my cartilage but I love the look. I'm also eyeing these pretty drops and these unique hoops.
BaubleBar: I got these simple pavĂ© huggies (above) and they're so cute and great quality. Again, I love the look of a cuff and am eyeing this set and these as well! These dainty hoops with a little sparkle are adorable and this chained double huggie is very cool. Trying to decide if I could pull that one off!

Amazon: If you're looking for a nice starter pack this set has a little bit of everything. Amazon as a whole has such a good selection of everything now that you could probably find any pair you're looking for on there!

Etsy: If you were looking for a really nice solid gold pair of hoops, these are beautiful. I'm loving this pair of unique studs. If you need a pair of dainty CZ studs as a staple in your jewelry collection these look really pretty and have great reviews.

Mejuri: This is a new to me brand but they Instagram targeted the sh*t out of me and I finally clicked over to discover some truly beautiful pieces! I plan on stealing this idea from one of my friends but I want to buy this delicate chain that can attach to any stud and add it on to my piercing earrings after a few weeks. That way they can stay in while I wait for them to heal but look a little bit more fun than just regular studs! I'm also loving these double hoops and these dainty drop earrings.

xo Catherine

Favorite Recent Purchases

January 20, 2020

It's been a while since I shared the things I can't get enough of so I'm back with another installment of favorite recent purchases!

Birdies. As we've well established by now I am a huge fan of the royal family. I won't get into all of the drama that's been going on with Harry and Meghan because I'm still trying to work out how I feel about it but I have been continually inspired by Meghan's style. After seeing some of my favorite bloggers post about Birdies I was intrigued and after seeing that Meghan has a pair and wears them a ton I was sold. I bought the seasonal green velvet edition of the Starling (they're on sale right now!) and am in love. They are so gorgeous in person and supremely comfortable. I went up a half size and cannot recommend enough. I want a second pair!
Amazon headbands. I had stocked up on headbands for summer but needed a few that were more wintery so I took to Amazon. I wanted a leopard one and an emerald green velvet one but unfortunately I wasn't able to find ones I liked that were sold alone so I bought some variety packs. I am now set on the winter headband front for a long time! Here are the velvet ones I got and the leopard. Lots to choose from!
Core 10 leggings. I posted about these on Instagram but wanted to share them here too. Core 10 is an Amazon athletic brand that I've been really into lately. I started playing tennis last year and joined a league in the fall so I was on the hunt for some new workout wear. I normally just workout at home so it doesn't matter what I wear but since I am now seen in public I needed some cute options! I bought these leggings in camo and black and am very impressed. I needed ones with pockets to hold tennis balls so these are great. They've held up really well and are nice and thick.
Madewell jeans. I had one pair of Madewell jeans and decided to buy another pair or two when they were doing 40% off for Black Friday. I got this pair of black skinnies and this pair of lighter wash skinnies. The black pair are pretty standard but I am really digging the lighter pair! I'm not normally a huge light wash denim fan but something about these is so great. The fit is amazing and I just all around feel so good when I wear them. 
My under-eye trifecta: Nars Creamy Concealer, Ole Henrickson Banana Bright Eye Cream and Weleda Skin Food. I also posted about these on Instagram because they're my new favorite trio. At night I use the skin food as eye cream because it is insanely hydrating. I'm talking wake-up-in-the-morning-and-my-under-eyes-still-feel-moist hydrated (gross, I know). Anyway, then I use the Ole Henrickson eye cream in the morning which works as a great base for under concealer. Apparently some people don't like the smell but I think it's delightful. My other final favorite under-eye product is the Nars creamy concealer. I knew this was a cult favorite but had yet to try and am so glad I did! The reason for this whole routine is that my skin is extremely dry. I think it's a combination of living in MN again and the fact that I use retinol regularly. The concealer I was previously using worked great when my skin was oilier but wasn't cutting it anymore. This one goes on great, you barely need any, lasts all day and doesn't really crease. My under eyes have never looked better!
J. Crew Factory tank tops. The final thing I wanted to share were these J. Crew tank tops that are a staple in my closet. I bought the tan version a few years ago and recently picked up the black. These are the best for wearing under anything sheer or thin to smooth things out. Most of my bras have lace on them and if I'm wearing a certain type of top you can see the lace texture which I don't like so I'll put one of these on underneath. They're also great if you want to wear a button down under a sweater. I'll wear one over the button down so that it's not all bunched up and the buttons won't show through the sweater that way.

That's all I've got for today! A random assortment but all great products. 

xo Catherine

Recent Reads: Vol. 23

January 6, 2020

Well hello there and happy 2020! As per usual I am very behind on sharing what I've been reading so some of these aren't so recent after all. There are some really good books on this list though and a lot of them are by women of color so definitely worth supporting these amazing authors!

Three Women. It feels like this was the “it” book of 2019. Lisa Taddeo spent years interviewing several women and narrowed it down to three that she followed for this book. There’s Maggie, who had a relationship with her high school teacher. There’s Lina, who is in an unfulfilling marriage. Finally, there’s Sloane whose husband likes to watch her have sex with other people. The book explores all of these women’s love lives and sexuality over the course of eight years. We read this for my book club and it definitely lead to a lot of great discussion. However, I overall did not like this book. I felt like it had the opportunity to be really great and interesting and empowering but it was mostly just sad. All three women were dealing with a lot of trauma and unhappiness in their lives and it just wasn’t enjoyable. 
Rating: B-

Park Avenue Summer. This is the novelization of Helen Gurly Brown becoming the Editor in Chief of Cosmo in 1965. It’s told from her fictional assistant Alice’s POV. Alice comes to New York from the midwest hoping to become a photographer and lands a job as Helen’s assistant. At this point in time Cosmo was a magazine for men and women but Helen is the one who built it into what it is today: a magazine for women. I didn’t know anything about Helen Gurly Brown so this was a fun way to read about her and it definitely had some Mad Men vibes, which was a bonus. 
Rating: B+

Her Royal Highness. This is the second book in the Royals series by Rachel Hawkins. You guys know I love a good royal novel! Millie is an American teen who applies to go to boarding school in Scotland and is thrilled when she is accepted. Upon arrival she finds that she is rooming with Princess Flora of Scotland and things do not get off to a good start. Flora and Millie can’t stand each other...that is until they start to develop feelings for one another. This book wasn’t amazing but it was pretty cute! A great beach read.
Rating: B

American Royals. I guess I spoke too soon about the “it” book of 2019 because this was definitely a contender as well! This is by Katharine McGee, who also wrote the Thousandth Floor series which is one of my favorites. American Royals reimagines what America would be like if George Washington was the first King of America and not the president. The book centers around Princess Beatrice, who will become queen one day, Princess Samantha, Prince Jefferson and the people who surround them. I really enjoyed this book even though it was very predictable at times. 
Rating: A-

An American Marriage. We read this for my book club as well and again had some really great discussions come out of this one. It explores what happens to a marriage when someone is wrongfully convicted of a crime. Celestial and Roy have only been married for a year when Roy is in the wrong place at the wrong time and is convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The book is told from both of their perspectives as they try to navigate an extremely unfortunate situation. The book takes a look at race, marriage, family relationships and the criminal justice system in a really interesting way. I was definitely invested and wanted to know how it ended but I was really annoyed by all of the main characters. They were all pretty unlikeable. 
Rating: B+

American Spy. Apparently I was very into books with “American” in the title this fall! Marie is an intelligence officer for the FBI in the ‘80’s where she is often overlooked because she is a young black woman amongst a lot of old white men. One day she is approached by a task force that wants her to get close to Thomas Sankara, the president of Burkina Faso who has Communist leanings. America sees him as a threat and wants Marie to get close to him, seduce him and pass along any information. The book is based on true events so it was fun to learn something new. I had basically zero knowledge about Burkina Faso or Sankara so I really enjoyed this and found myself doing a lot of googling while reading it. 
Rating: A

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Imagine what it must be like to be a therapist going to therapy. Lori Gottlieb is a real-life therapist who starts seeing a therapist after a personal crisis sends her into a tailspin. Her memoir is a combination of stories about her patients and her own experience as a patient. I really loved this book and it made me think about my own experience with therapy a little bit differently. Would definitely recommend!

Royal Holiday. I have read several of Jasmine Guillory’s books and thoroughly enjoyed every single one. This was no exception! Vivian is a native Californian in her 50’s who has only left the U.S. once. So when she has the opportunity to accompany her daughter Maddie to the U.K. over Christmas she jumps at it. Maddie is a stylist and has been selected to help the Dutchess (a thinly veiled Meghan Markle) pull looks for all of her Christmas events. Vivian and Maddie are staying at the Duke and Duchess’ cottage in Sandringham when Vivian meets Malcolm, a private secretary to the queen. Vivian and Malcolm hit it off and have a whirlwind holiday romance. It was the perfect holiday book but it wasn’t too Christmasy so you could enjoy it any time of the year!
Rating: A

My Sister the Serial Killer. After Korede’s sister Ayoola kills her third boyfriend in a row Korede must acknowledge that she is officially a serial killer. Worst of all she’s been protecting her by helping clean up and get rid of the bodies. Once Ayoola sets her sights on Tade, who Korede has been in love with for years, she is forced to deal with her complicitness and has to figure out how far she’ll go to protect her sister. I don’t think I would have ever picked this book for myself but I really enjoyed it. It’s a quick read and the chapters are short so you can really breeze through it. 
Rating: A

American Princess. One last book with “American” and something royal in the title! This book came recommended by Hitha and I checked it out from the library without really looking at the plot summary. It’s the novelization of Alice Roosevelt Longworth’s very interesting life. Alice was Theodore Roosevelt’s first daughter with his first wife who died during childbirth. She grows up in the white house while her father is president and everyone is enraptured by her, the press has even dubbed her Princess Alice. Another case where I didn’t know anything about the subject and loved learning something new in a novelized format. This book was a long one but I really liked it!
Rating: A

Unmarriageable. Another recommendation from Hitha! Unmarriageable is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice set in Pakistan circa 2000. Alysba Binat is one of the five unmarried Binat sisters, much to their mother’s distress. After Alys meets Valentine Darsee at a wedding it’s hate at first sight and yet they keep running into each other. I wasn’t a huge Pride and Prejudice fan when I read it, granted I was a sophomore in high school, but I love retellings of the classic story. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield was amazing and obviously Bridget Jones’s Diary is excellent. Anyway, I couldn’t put it down and just really really loved this book. 
Rating: A+

xo Catherine

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