Sneak Peek: Saks Summer Beauty Week

IMG_0023Hello, lovelies!

Tomorrow, hubs and I are heading out on vacation- woohoo! We are heading back to our honeymoon spot in St. Barth to celebrate our third wedding anniversary, and I am super excited for some R&R. Be sure to follow along on Instagram this week at @sweetcarolinerva if you want to see some snaps of our travels!

Before jetting off, I wanted to make sure you knew about a celebration coming up next week at Saks Fifth Avenue at Stony Point Shopping Center. The beauty squad at Saks is hosting Summer Beauty Week (June 1-4), and it’s going to be amazing!

The team at Saks is showcasing products that will beat the heat and give you that gorgeous summer glow all season long. PLUS, you get a gift with your beauty purchases. Score! Here’s the skinny on the Summer Beauty Week events:

  • June 1: Complimentary brow threading with any purchase from 6pm-8:30pm with Style by Zahra
  • June 3: Stay cool with King of Pops (yum!) and enjoy a fashion show at 1pm, featuring summer inspired beauty looks.
  • June 4: Infused water tastings with Brewed Well from 1pm-3:30pm

I got a sneak peek today, and it was so much fun! The YSL national makeup artists were in Richmond this week, so I had the special treat of having my makeup done by their team of talented experts. But first, I had to hit up the Saks’ shoe department (because sale. Duh.) How adorable are these Tory Burch Shaw Espadrilles? Perfect for St. Barth!


I was then pampered by the YSL beauty team with a morning makeover! All of the YSL products— from skincare to makeup–look and feel fabulous. My skin has felt hydrated and plump all day, and the makeup is just beautiful.


(P.S. How cute are these two?)

I started off with the Or Rouge Cleansing Creme. This stuff smells amazing and I instantly felt my skin transform. It felt wonderful going on and was so refreshing!


After I was fresh faced, I had my makeup done using all YSL products. I was really impressed with all of the products she used on me– from the eyeshadow palette to the blush! There were three products that really stood out to me, though!

YSL Forever Youth Liberator Eye Zone Serum


This stuff is magical! I haven’t slept well this week– stress? vacation excitement? binge-listening to My Favorite Murder podcast? who knows?– so my eyes have been feeling a little tired and blah. This serum was cooling and refreshing, and really, really perked up my eye area. I looked soooooo much better after she applied this serum (you do not want to see the “before.”)

Click here to purchase!

YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Highlighter


This bad boy has a cult following, and it’s easy to see why. Highlighter + concealer + contour = magic potion for your skin. This gives you an instant glow and really gives your makeup a polished, dewy, and clean look.

Click here to purchase!

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick No. 70 – Le Nu


This is the PERFECT lipstick color for summer! It looks great on any skin tone and is the perfect pink — slightly brown, slightly coral, super flattering. I had to snag a tube for myself!

Click here to purchase!

Here’s the final result!


I love the fresh and summery look! 

If you’re looking for high quality, beautiful skin care and makeup, get yourself to Saks and the Yves St. Laurent counter! You can thank me later!

Thank you to my friends at Saks for a fun day of beauty! Can’t wait to return for Summer Beauty Week, June 1-4!


Yves St. Laurent: Perfection of Style at VMFA

VMFAbysl-700x450There are few names in the fashion world that are simply iconic: Dior. Chanel. Armani. Gucci. Versace. And then, there are some icons that require three names, like Yves St. Laurent.

I absolutely loved learning about the history of these fashion houses in a college elective course (I think it was called “The Art of Fashion”), which gave some historical context to these decades-old couture legends. I’ve also always admired YSL’s ability to capture the feminine essence in an exact moment of time, while also possessing the ability to remain timeless and classic throughout different eras. So when I received a media preview invitation in the mail with a big, pink, statement bow on it, I excitedly (and immediately) marked my calendar to check out the Yves St. Laurent: The Perfection of Style exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.


I took this one of Gigi in the lobby at Quirk. Isn’t she gorge?

I was so fortunate to be able to attend the opening gala at the VMFA the night before the media preview, as well. We invited New York-based fashion blogger Gergana (or Gigi) of Fashion is My Forte to join us for the gala. We were able to show Gigi some of our favorite Richmond spots before and after the gala, including:



The gala was black-tie, which meant it was time to Rent the Runway! I ended up going with a beautiful Badgley Mischka stunner, the Fluorescent Chiffon Gown in pink (and I mean PINK!) Badgley Mischka sure knows how to make a girl feel special, I’ll tell you that!

I paired my dress with a pair of turquoise beaded tassel earrings (you can buy similar ones HERE ) and a white, sparkly vintage envelope clutch from Halycon Vintage in Richmond (you can find a similar one HERE on Etsy, or just stop in Halycon sometime! They always have a great collection of fun, festive and sparkly clutches!)

The exhibition itself was absolutely exquisite– and extensive. It’s the largest collection of his pieces, inspiration boards, self-portraits, letters, jewelry, accessories, videos, photos, and more. I can’t wait to go back and spend some more time in the gallery and soaking it all in! Check out this fun teaser video from the VMFA:

“I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style” / Yves Saint Laurent

I took a few photos while I was there, but can’t wait to snap some more. Stay tuned for an updated post!

The YSL exhibition will run through August 27, 2017 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (200 N. Boulevard). You can buy tickets here!

I hope you love it as much as I did!

RVA Social Calendar: Wine, Women + Shoes

I am so excited to share this event with you all! Do you like wine? Do you like shoes? Are you a woman? Do you like supporting great causes? Well, this is the perfect chance for you to combine all of those things.

Please join me on Sunday, October 30th from 2:00-5:30pm at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa in Short Pump for Wine, Women and Shoes, a fundraiser benefiting the forensic nurses at St. Mary’s Hospital.  These nurses are absolutely incredible community leaders and angels, providing care to victims of child abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and workplace violence. These individuals are so inspiring and doing extremely important work, and this is a perfect opportunity to show your support. Click here to buy your tickets!

Here’s a fantastic video to give you an overview of the program:

There will be a silent auction and some awesome swag bags, and a great opportunity for networking!

I hope to see you on the 30th! Click here to buy your tickets!


About last night…


As I write this post sitting on our screened-in back porch, it’s cool and rainy. I’m sitting here listening to the gentle sound of raindrops and breeze through the oak tree leaves– it’s incredibly peaceful. With such gloomy weather this morning, it’s hard to believe that only a few hours ago, we were dining al fresco under the light of globe string lights and a huge, uplit Magnolia tree. We had course after course of rustic Italian cuisine paired with perfectly complimentary Italian wines. Laughter, storytelling with new friends, and Catarina Valente softly playing in the background. An unforgettable dining experience.

This is Dinner in the Field.

Curious what this is all about? Here’s an explanation from the Chefs themselves– Paige and Gregorio:

My husband Gregorio and I are a Chef team, who fell in love while cooking and eating together in Southern Italy.

I had recently completed my culinary studies in Italy and Gregorio, an Italian native, was continuing to learn his craft from family members, who had been teaching him ever since he was tall enough to reach the counter. When Gregorio and I met, neither one of us could speak very much of the other’s language, but lucky, food became our universal language. We formed a strong connection in the kitchen–learning from each other, one dish at a time.  After just a few weeks, we were inseparable as we shared our passion for creating large family meals from food grown right outside Gregorio’s doorstep–milk from his cousin’s cow, orange juice from his orange tree, eggs from his Aunt’s chickens, and vegetables from his sister’s garden.  

These relaxed, alfresco family dinners on the Southern Coast of Italy inspired us to return to my hometown of Richmond and share our experience with the people of VA. Each Dinner in the Field event is focused on cooking from the ground up.  First, we find the local seasonally specific ingredients, then we find the breathtaking location, and lastly we create a menu to compliment the entire experience. 

We hope to see you at one of their family tables this summer. 

Working at Virginia Tourism, we have highlighted Dinner in the Field in our marketing– from an advetorial in Food Network magazine to connecting our friends from SORTEDfood with Chef Paige for cooking lessons on a boat and the Dinner in the Field experience for themselves. I had heard how special this evening was– most of these dinners sell out within 10 minutes of posting tickets — but I hadn’t yet experienced it myself. And I am so very glad I had that opportunity last night!

We arrived at the stunning Seven Springs, less than 20 miles from the heart of Richmond in King William county. The farm boasts expansive acreage dotted with little cottages, beautiful old trees, a fenced-in area for their Hog Island sheep, and a manor house (frequently visited by George Washington). Note to soon-to-be-brides: this is the most perfect place to get married. Look into having your wedding here!

*All photos courtesy Don Mears Photography/Seven Springs Farm

We strolled around the grounds with glasses of prosecco in hand, then relaxed in the outdoor living room while Chef Paige introduced the first course — the apertivo.

  • Rustici con riccota e pomodori secchi (a light, flaky pastry with ricotta cream, basil, and sun dried tomatoes)
  • Aged parmigiano reggiano cheese and local honey

adored the rustici — it was light and refreshing but also decadent in a way, as well! So yummy.

IMG_1006Next, Chef Paige asked us to find our seats at the long dining room table a few yards away, next to a beautiful Magnolia tree. The table was decorated with seasonal vegetables and bouquets of basil as centerpieces. Paige and Gregorio would come out between each course to tell us about what we were about to eat. Many of the ingredients were just hours or days off the vine– which meant they retained maximum sweetness and nutrients. And we also learned: never ever refrigerate your tomatoes! Each course was absolutely incredible.

Chef Paige and Gregorio also share some of their guests’ favorite recipes on their blog, and I was so pleased to find the recipe for tiramisu and parmigiana this morning. Yay!

We were treated to the following courses, each were fresh, seasonal, and, well, pretty perfect.

  • Insalata: Italian green beans, potatoes, onions, cherry tomatoes, oregano and basil.
  • Primo: Rigatoni al Pesto com Gamberi (basil, parmigiano, garlic, pine nults, walnuts and pistachios, blended and sauteed with rigatoni pasta with zucchini and shrimp).
  • Secondo: Parmigiana (layers of sliced eggplant baked with fresh tomato sauce, parmiggiano reggiano, basil, and provola cheese)– this was my FAVORITE! And lucky for me (and you!) Chef Gregorio has shared his recipe here.
  • Dolce: Tiramisu’ (with mascarpone, coffee, and cacao). Recipe here!

We ended the night around 11pm and made our way back to downtown, still chatting the whole way about each course and what a dreamy evening it was.

I simply cannot say enough about what a magical experience Dinner in the Field was, and I can’t wait to return for another. Chefs Paige and Gregorio are hoping to soon open a restaurant to share Dinner in the Field with more people — so stay tuned for what is sure to be an in-demand destination restaurant!


Two very happy campers last night above – thank you Chefs Paige and Gregorio for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we will cherish forever!

RVA Social Calendar | Spring Pop-Up {presented by The SoGood + Ledbury)

Hey, RVA stylistas: you’re officially invited to an amazing pop-up event at the CCH Collection presented by Richmond-based darlings the SoGood and Ledbury. [Read more…]

Pin to Win from Elements Beauty Shop!

ab1157946277773f78361e3fdb151db7.jpg (510×200)TGIF, lovelies!

I’m so excited to announce that all of February, I’m teaming up with the ladies of Elements of Carytown to share some of our favorite beauty and skincare products with you!

This first post is a little introduction to Elements, located in charming Carytown. (PS: If you don’t live in Richmond, don’t worry! You can get all of these products delivered right to your door by ordering from their online shop!)

Elements of Carytown in Richmond, VA

Why You’ll Love It:

  • This boutique beauty shop is located in the heart of Richmond’s famed Carytown shopping district, so feel free to grab brunch with your bestie after loading up on your beauty goodies at one of the many restaurants dotting Cary Street.
  • Can’t make it to the brick-and-mortar? No problem. Just click here to visit their online shop. You can order from the comfort of your home. Even order in your PJ’s, if you want!
  • Elements has a great selection of premier luxury and natural beauty brands from all around the world. The ladies who own Elements are constantly on scouting missions trying to find you the best of the best.
  • You will find all-natural and organic products, as well as the most technologically advanced anti-aging skin care. Whatever you choose, all products at Elements are 100% Cruelty-Free.

Now, for the fun part! Pin your beauty favorites and you could win one of four Elements Beauty Shop gift cards!

Here’s how to enter:

[Read more…]

Throwback Thursdays // Revisiting “Caroline’s Plate” Column

Happy Little Friday, friends! Short work weeks are always welcome after a fun-filled holiday weekend. This week is no exception and has absolutely flown by!

Last week, as I was doing a little blog maintenance, I realized that my site was missing an “about me” section, which most bloggers these days have. So I created this “Meet Caroline” page, and take you back to where it all began: April 2009. At the time, I was single, working for a non-profit, and living in the Fan. I was craving some kind of creative outlet, so I began this blog as “Caroline’s Plate.” I think the tagline was, “a twenty-something’s take on life, love, and everything in between.”

I had so much fun writing about some of the things I loved most: music, food, fashion, DIY, interior design (not much has changed!) I also used this forum as a place to vent about bad dates, insufferable “man children” and what it was like to be single and living in Richmond, Virginia. Dating and romance quickly became the topic I was writing about most, and soon after, I was contacted by to see if I would write my column as a weekly for the local website.

I had so much fun doing that column. Every week, it was a new subject matter related to dating as a twenty-something. I shared personal stories and stories from friends; advice on cheap eats or holiday gifts for your new boyfriend or girlfriend. There was a survival guide for the Royal Wedding and a post on the Laws of Girl Code. There were even singles networking events called “Cocktails with Caroline,” which were awesome and a lot of fun.

After accepting a job as deputy communications director for the attorney general’s office in May 2011, it was time to bid my dating column adieu. A month later, I met my now-husband, Paul. And three years later, I’m still writing — only now, for Sweet Caroline. Not much has changed – I’m still writing about what I love. But I thought it would be fun to look back on a few columns that survived on Enjoy!

The Royal Wedding: A Survival Guide

The Royal Wedding: A Survival Guide

The royal wedding of Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton is less than two weeks away (!). Ladies, the jig is up: it’s time to put away your Kate Middleton voodoo dolls, accept defeat and try to enjoy the hoopla around the Wedding of the Century. To ease the pain of lonely hearts worldwide (or at least here in RVA), we’ve devised a Royal Wedding Survival Guide fit for a princess (or prince). Cheerio!

Lessons Learned from Mom

Caroline's Plate: Lessons Learned from Mom

Growing up as an only child required a lot of imagination.  While my friends occupied their days plotting ways to get their little brothers in trouble or partaking in screaming wars over My Little Ponies, most days I had to entertain myself.  I spent hours upon hours in my tree house, pretending it was a castle and I was the princess.  I crafted elaborate tales about Barbie and her fairytale life with Ken.  And I’d find any opportunity I could to delve into my mother’s make-up and jewelry, playing dress-up and pretending to be her.

The Laws of Girl Code

The Laws of Girl Code

On Sunday night, thousands of teenagers and teenagers-at-heart flanked the streets outside of Manhattan’s legendary Radio City Music Hall.  They screamed, cried, and waved at their favorite celebrities clad in Marchesa, Dior, and in Lady GaGa’s case, some kind of strange, bloody, sea monkey ensemble. Music, Moonmen and madness ensued at the 25th annual MTV Video Music Awards, and as usual, the audience had to expect the unexpected.

Romantic Getaways on the Cheap

Romantic Getaways on the Cheap

The sour economic times have been, let’s face it, a bit of a fun vacuum. Gone are the days of frivolous indulgences and gas that costs less per gallon than a Starbucks Venti. In today’s world, we have to pinch pennies whenever possible, work even harder, and play even less. The possibility of jetting off to an exotic beach destination or cozy B&B just isn’t in the cards anymore. Or is it?

Best Outdoor Date Ideas

Best Outdoor Date Ideas

This past Friday, patios in the Fan were filled to the brim with Richmonders taking long leisurely lunches (or enjoying an extra-early happy hour) thanks to the beautiful spring-like weather. Saturday turned out to be equally as beautiful, and one of the few days of the year that residents of the River City don’t feel the need to complain about the weather.

For more column archives, click here.


10 Reasons Why I Can’t Wait for Fall


H a p p y  M o n d a y, lovelies! Last week was an absolute whirlwind, traveling from Richmond to Bristol, VA-Tenn for the opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum to New Orleans for the Great American Seafood Cook Off! Happy to be home, sweet home.

Last week, we had unseasonably cool weather in Richmond. It was absolutely gorgeous! However, it gave me fall fever a bit early, and I have autumn on the brain. Here are ten things I simply can’t wait for this fall, after the jump!

[Read more…]

RECIPE | Peter Chang’s Chicken with Onion + Chili Pepper

We made this recipe tonight and it was absolutely delicious – with a definite spicy kick. The recipe comes from the glorious, beautiful 8040rk cookbook, which, according to the website is”more than a cookbook. It’s a who’s who, a what’s what, and a local travel guide for the hungry, a book that will find a happy home on many kitchen counters, coffee tables, and bookshelves in Richmond and beyond.”

I agree. The cookbook is an incredible compilation of dishes from Richmond’s most treasured chefs and restaurants. It’s as beautiful as it is useful, with enticing, interesting, and delicious dishes. (Want your own? Click here to order it online.)

download (1)

So, here’s your recipe for Peter Chang’s Chicken with Onion and Chili Peppers. Get the recipe after the jump!

[Read more…]

A Very Virginia Wedding

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It’s hard to believe nearly three weeks have passed since our magical Memorial Day weekend wedding! Paul and I had the best time the entire wedding weekend, followed by a week in paradise — St. Barth — on our honeymoon.

Now that some of the dust has settled, my name has been changed, and the thank-you-note process is well underway, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share some photographs and memories from our special day!

[Read more…]

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