Lilly Pulitzer for Pottery Barn Picks

Shower curtain | Hand towels | Flamingo lamp | Pineapple lamp | Palm leaves | Whale cooler | Floral pillows | Tassel beach towel | Gold pillow | Storage baskets | Leaf hooks | Gold mirror

Happy first day of spring! Have you heard the news? The Lilly Pulitzer collaboration with Pottery BarnPB Teen, and Pottery Barn Kids is back for spring! This collection first launched last year, and some of the fun and colorful pieces have been brought back. But there are also so many fun new ones! There are plenty of gorgeous furniture pieces, but most of my favorites could be added to an existing room. These pieces really make me wish I had more space in my apartment to buy some of them, but I could easily make room for a tassel beach towel, fun pillow covers, or the flamingo lamp! Which are your favorites?

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Red Dress and Tassel Scarf

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

J. Crew Factory dress | Johnny Was scarf | Lauren Ralph Lauren bag c/o | Similar heels | Becca Beauty lipstick c/o Influenster

 One of my favorite parts about spring is that I start wearing dresses more often! I wear skirts pretty often in the winter with tights or boots, but I wear dresses on most days when it is warmer. So here is a dress for the transition time, to ease into dress season! This ponte dress is so comfortable and has been perfect for work, but I think would also be great to dress down with a fun jacket and mules or sneakers. On a more beauty-related note, I have also been loving this lipstick from Becca Beauty, the "flame" shade is a great muted red that I think is perfect for the end of winter!

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Navy Sweater and Loafer Mules

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

J. Crew Factory sweater | Madewell scarf | Madewell "Roadtripper" jeans | J. Crew loafer mules | Similar trench | Loren Hope studs | Similar bag

Navy and pink, I'm sure no one is surprised...I've been wearing this sweater non-stop lately, I bought the light pink version last year from the retail J. Crew store, but I am loving the new colors that J. Crew Factory did this year! I found it on major sale during January along with these loafer mules for under $20 each! I also recently bought my first pair of Madewell jeans and I cannot believe it has taken me this long! I sized down a little from what I usually wear and I think they are a perfect fit. Plus if you bring in an old pair of jeans (any brand), they use the denim to insulate Habitat for Humanity homes and give you a $20 off coupon on a new pair!

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30 Gingham Pieces for Spring

First row: midi dress | multi-colored dress | black jumpsuit | bow-back jumpsuit | high-neck jumpsuit
Second row: puff-sleeve top | yellow top | pleated skirt | pink pants | ruffle swimsuit | gray dress
Third row: ruffle dress | green dress | pink trench | wrap dress | red dress
Fourth row: ruffle skirt | red headband | blue bag | bow headband | button-down shirt
Fifth row: blue flats | pink and green heels | black slides | red sneakers
Sixth row: beige dress | red off-the-shoulder dress | romper | navy bow top | red swimsuit

If you have read here for awhile you know I'm a big fan of gingham. If not, I've styled just a few posts featuring it, including: this short sleeve dress, these work pants, this drawstring skirt, this sundress, this flute sleeve dress, this bell sleeve top, these espadrille wedges, and this tailgate dress! Some people say it reminds them of a tablecloth, I say it's a fun and versatile print! I don't pattern mix too often, but if I do, it is usually with gingham. I have seen it everywhere for the last few seasons, and I'm so glad it is back again for spring this year.  So I thought I would round up some fun pieces to build some spring outfits this year!

Thanks for reading!

Velvet Wrap Skirt

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

BB Dakota velvet wrap skirt | Similar silk top | Baublebar for Target earrings c/o | Brahmin Lane bag | Sam Edelman booties | Becca Beauty lipstick (color "flame") c/o Influenster

I had to get one last dressy winter look on the blog with this velvet skirt! I found it marked way down at a recent Girl Tribe Co. warehouse sale and have worn it a few times styled like this or with a black sweater and riding boots. I always find it a little tough to dress up during the winter but after the holidays where its no longer acceptable to wear tons of sequins...so this skirt has brought a few options. You also may recognize this top, I first styled it two years ago but still wear it pretty often!
PS the 6th anniversary of Caralina Style was at the end of February! I normally dedicate a whole post to it, but it completely slipped my mind this year. So I would just like to thank you whether you have been following along for years or just recently found my little corner of the internet!

Thanks for reading!

Fitness Friday XIII

Welcome back to Fitness Friday! My monthly breakdown of my workout schedule, new foods and healthy habits I'm trying to get into, and activewear picks. This February edition marks a whole year, and I have so much fun putting this post together each month! Also, I did not mean to have 3 fitness posts in a row, I have just had several outfit shoots rained out lately...anyway I have tried a few fun new classes this month. But also have had to cancel quite several classes due to catching the flu this week. I am hoping it doesn't keep me from moving for too long, and can't wait to get back! And in case you missed them, here are the Fitness Friday posts from January and last December!

Week of 2/3-2/9
XHAUST (HIIT) at Jamie Scott Fitness (free class week)
Power 45 (barre) at Flywheel Sports
DropSound (silent disco style) Yoga with SweatNET (free)
C2 (hot yoga) at CorePower Yoga
Air Core at AIR Aerial Fitness
treadPower at treadHappy

Week of 2/10-2/16
CoreFormer (pilates) at Core 704 (free opening week)
Hot yoga at VIBE5 Yoga and Fitness
Air Flow (aerial yoga) at AIR
Ballet Fit Theory at Fit Atelier
Barre at AIR

Week of 2/17-2/23
Method 45 (cycling) at Flywheel Sports (free with SweatNET)
Yoga Sculpt at CorePower Yoga
Ballet Fit Theory at Fit Atelier
Reform at Pure Barre
Barre at AIR

Week of 2/24-today
Hot yoga at VIBE5
...and then I got the flu!
I was supposed to go to but had to cancel:
Open Ballet at Charlotte Ballet
Ballet Fit Theory at Fit Atelier
SweatNET event at Core 704
Barre at AIR

I ended up with 17 workouts since my last post, which is pretty good for getting the flu at the end, right? I tried three new classes and two studios: treadPower at treadHappy which is a group running studio somewhat new to Charlotte. The class went back and forth between a treadmill and on the floor with weights. They have several types of classes, including a few that are just running. I have never liked running but really enjoyed the class! The way it was broken up, I was only running for a few minutes at a time, which I think is just what I needed. I also went to the new location of Core 704 for a Coreformer class, which is their version of a pilates reformer. It was pretty tough and my abs were sore for days, but I will definitely be back! I also have been to plenty of classes at CorePower Yoga before, but usually only for the C2 or C1, which are just hot yoga with a short core section. However, they have opened up a lot more classes on ClassPass lately so I finally got to try their signature Yoga Sculpt! It is definitely my new favorite of their classes, I was expecting hot yoga with some weight work. But it was a little more than I was expecting, there was even a cardio section. And as always, I got a few free workouts in with my SweatNET membership around Charlotte! They have so many fun events coming up, so if you're in Charlotte and aren't a member yet, you can join here!

  1. If you missed Wednesday's post, I talked all about nutrition coaching! Head over there for details on macro counting and how that has been affecting my diet.
  2. Separate the nutrition coaching, I took on the Sugar Free February challenge, which went pretty well! Although one way I went around it was making these coconut sugar brownies for Valentine's Day. They still have most of the ingredients of regular brownies but refined sugar is replaced with coconut sugar, and it also a flourless recipe. I really liked them, and thought they only tasted a little different from a classic brownie regular!
  3. Going off of macro counting, I have made this sweet potato wedge recipe every week to get my carbs in! It is very simple to make, and saves fairly well if you make a big batch at the beginning of the week.

Thanks for reading!

Wellness Wednesday: Nutrition Coaching with Noor

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Lilly Pulitzer "Weekender" leggings | Lilly Pulitzer "Teegan" sports bra | lulu lemon "Define" jacket | Adidas sneakers

I'm taking a little bit of a different approach to a fitness post this week to share my progress with nutrition coaching, and it is going to be a long one! As you probably know from some of my recent posts, I have started to really make nutrition a priority within the last year. If you are new, I basically just ate pretty terribly. Noor and I have followed each other on Instagram for awhile, and she recently reached out to me after reading my last Wellness Wednesday post, where I shared some of the nutrition progress I have made on my own. She has been helping me take that progress even further! She recently moved to Asheville, NC from California and offers remote nutrition coaching. Her Instagram is also super motivating and positive (and has photos of her gorgeous wedding)! Instead of trying to explain her service myself, I asked her a few questions about her background and coaching process:

1. Introduce yourself, and break down your nutrition coaching process!
Hi there! My name is Noor; my background includes BS degrees in Biology, Development and Women's Studies, and I am currently finishing up my masters in Nutrition! I view myself as a scientist and nutritionist, but have taken on the label of "coach" since I dwell in overlapping areas, and realized I am often called such! I played collegiate tennis, so I've been involved in the strength and conditioning + fitness world since I was about 14 years old. I went on to pursue my passion of fitness by participating in sports including tennis, distance running, weightlifting, and CrossFit, which is where I found my love for coaching and helping others.
I quickly came to realize, as most of us do, that nutrition, not solely exercise, is the foundation of health and fitness. I decided to make my nutrition a priority and hired a nutrition-specific coach to supplement my athletic endeavors. Long story short, it started out fine, but after a period of time, the coach had me eating a total caloric intake of under 1,000 calories. I didn't know any better at the time, but this was not supporting my workouts or body-type, and needless to say, I began to feel awful. It was after this experience and after watching so many around me follow fad diets or "coaches" without a strong background who were giving out cookie-cutter programs that didn't take the individual into consideration, that I decided to pursue a formal education in nutrition. 
I love the science behind what I do, so I look to include some simplified educational info to my clients too! My clientele range from those who are struggling to maintain their weight on very low calories and are experiencing metabolic damage/adaptation (often from being in a caloric deficit or previously dieting for too long or too aggressively), your average girl wanting to lose some weight, and fitness instructors and athletes wanting to get to a certain degree of leanness, fuel their workouts properly, and/or simply "look the part", as many say. My main focuses are in muscle building, fat loss, maintenance, and reversing metabolic damage in those who need it. Therefore, I believe in completely individualized, personalized programming. Meaning that no two people are doing the same exact thing, because no two people are exactly the same! A mindset I have always had is that my job is a very personal thing, so when someone is working with me, lines of communication are completely open. Health and fitness are not just about how we look, so communication is not only about physical changes, but also about their mental space, how someone is feeling, how their body is feeling, and questions that they may have as I view myself a resource for my clients.

2. What exactly are macros? Why do you use them for your clients?
Essentially, foods are made up of some combination of molecules labeled as fats, carbohydrates, or proteins. Things typically aren't simply a "protein" or simply a "carb", but instead are often specific ratios of a combination of 2, or all three, macronutrients. For example, peanut butter is often labeled as a fat, but in reality it is also comprised of protein AND carbs!
I love this second question! Carbs aren't the enemy and neither are fats; all three can work together to bring you  a well-balanced diet full of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients necessary for a healthy lifestyle. I don't believe that restrictive diets are maintainable, so a huge part of my practice is showing clients that starvation or restriction isn't the only way to lose weight, and that we CAN do this in a healthier, more-fulfilling way. Tracking macronutrients isn't for everyone, but for folks and athletes that are looking for physical changes, I find it to be extremely effective!

3. How do you determine macro targets for your clients?
Honestly, this is so highly individualized that I can't give an A+B=C answer, but I'll do my best! An online calculator can sometimes do a decent job guessing your basal metabolism or ballpark of caloric needs, but I get a lot of my information from the in-depth questionnaire I send my clients once they have committed to working with me! I not only factor in the obvious statistics of a client (think height, weight), but also body fat percentage, activity levels, types of exercise performed, personal preferences (to a slight degree), short-term and long-term goals, and most importantly previous history and metabolic function. Not everyone's metabolism and metabolic capacity are the same (a calculator doesn't take this into consideration), and by doing my research about the person, we come to a baseline starting point and make weekly adjustments towards the goal we are working on- whether that is getting that metabolism functioning again, fat loss, or muscle gain.
The biggest mistake I see is that people are either shying away from carbs and fats because they think that those will make them "fat", and/or they aren't eating nearly enough protein to support their leaner mass, or desired lean mass. Putting all of it together, most people are not eating enough as a whole and are shocked when we add in a significant amount of food of the right ratios are able to lose weight, get leaner, gain muscle, etc. Essentially, it comes down to taking the complete person, inclusive of previous history into consideration. Not just their height, weight, and activity levels.

My thoughts 3 weeks in:
I am about to finish up my third week of coaching with Noor and overall, I think it is going great!
We started with the questionnaire she mentioned above with details like my height/weight/body fat as well as my activity levels (the different classes I take each week), and my goals: which were to maintain my weight, build muscle, learn how to properly fuel my workouts, and add more healthy foods into my diet.  Noor also had me track my macros for a week with no targets prior to the official start. This was to give her an idea of how I was already eating, which turned out to be fairly high in fat and not as much protein as I should be taking in. She suggested I not share my exact macro counts because they were set for my specific height/weight/level of activity/a meat-eating diet, etc. but they have been set fairly high for protein and carbs, but lower in fat.
We do a weekly check-in via a spreadsheet where I give my macro counts, weight, and measurements. My weight and measurements have remained about the same so far (which is on track with my goals). I honestly rarely ever weighed myself before I started this coaching, I actually did not even own a scale. I had also never counted calories (which are not included in this process anyway), carbs, or anything before. So one thing I have been adjusting to during this coaching is just watching how often my weight actually fluctuates, and just simply getting into the habit of logging everything. As she mentioned in the questions above, during the weekly check-in I also list my specific workouts and share thoughts about things like my hunger levels, how I'm feeling overall, and ask any questions I have for Noor.
I was a little overwhelmed the first week trying to figure out how to fit a high protein but low fat count. The high carb count was no problem though, I had plenty of almost pure carb foods around! Noor also set a fiber minimum, mostly just to make sure I am eating whole foods, which has been fairly easy to reach as long as I am eating some fruits and veggies. Noor mentioned above it is pretty common for people to be shocked that they are just not eating enough as a whole, and that was definitely true for me! During that first week without the targets, I was surprised at how low my calorie intake was on a few of the days. Although I think it also goes along with it being the first week of Sugar Free February (separate from this program), I was taking in a lot more calories on the first few days when I was eating sugar. And it looked even more off because I was eating even more sugar than usual, knowing I wouldn't be having much of it for the next few weeks. It was sort of a learning curve I had to get over. I officially started tracking specific macros on a Thursday, and I had started to figure it out by the following Monday. I also learned that week that I should be timing my protein throughout the day, as I started off sort of front-loading it in the morning.
By the second week, my carb macro was slightly increased, but protein and fat were about the same. Unlike the first week, I had a decent plan in place and this week went much better. I also figured out about the right way to time my food, which is: a slightly heavier than usual breakfast, a morning snack, lunch (about the same as before), an afternoon snack, sometimes an after-work snack (also already typical), and a little larger dinner than usual! I think the third week has been going just as well as the second one (macro counts were kept the same), eating a lot of the same foods. I am such a creature of habit, I look to change it up every once in a while, but never mind rotating the same few meals. My main sources of protein have been: a protein bar in the morning, hard boiled eggs at lunch, chicken or plant based vegan "chick'n" at dinner, and a protein shake either after a morning workout or after work before an evening workout. My main sources of carbs have been: fruit (mostly apples, oranges, grapes) at lunch or throughout the day. Along with snacks like popcorn, rice cakes, dried fruit, and sweet potatoes as a side at dinner. I have not needed to be looking for ways to fit the fat macro, it is usually just already filled when looking to fill the protein or carb numbers. It has been a little difficult to find protein sources that don't also have a significant amount of fat that will throw that number off, but I have managed so far! I also need to mention that although it is ideal to stay within 5 grams of the macro targets each day, it is not always realistic, and that's ok! My office has a big breakfast during our weekly staff meeting, which usually throws off my fat count for the day. Or I like to have a few drinks with friends or family on the weekends, but I don't deprive myself of social activities or foods I enjoy just to have the right numbers at the end of the week! For me, this isn't a "no exceptions" radical plan, I am just trying to get into some healthy habits that have been set by a qualified professional with my specific body type in mind. It is actually fairly easy to work in a glass of wine (or 2), or a big dinner at a restaurant by either cutting back on an afternoon snack, or just going over some macro (usually fat), by a few grams. But the important part is knowing that it is ok to do that!I plan to go more depth about foods I have been eating to reach the macro targets and more thoughts as this process goes along for my next Wellness Wednesday post! I also have a few other post ideas while I am working with Noor, let me know if there is anything specific you would like to see! And if you're interested in her service for yourself, fill out her Google sheet to get started!
Full disclosure: Noor has offered her nutrition coaching service in exchange for my promotion. But even if that was not the case, I would still be sharing just as much about it! I have obviously been taking steps to working on my nutrition lately, but had not really considered doing anything like this coaching process before. But wow, am I glad I did! It has been so interesting just to see what I need to be doing for my specific body type and goals. She has also been the best resource! I have always had a lot of nutrition questions (how much water should I actually be drinking every day? Is protein just as important on rest days? etc.) that she is so great about giving detailed answers and how it applies to your specific body and diet. She is always so positive, informative, and you can tell is very passionate about helping people reach their goals!

Thanks for reading!