a lovely living

Fall Wardrobe Staples

Ok girls, this was a lot to cover in one post, but I did it and there’s no going back. After having requests from readers and friends alike, I decided to tackle the over riding question of ‘what are the fall wardrobe staples that I need?‘ I get it. Many of you enjoy being stylish, love reading blogs and magazines but don’t have the time to shop and work together a wardrobe that feels cohesive. You don’t have endless funds, but you also don’t want to waste your money on crap things that don’t wear well. You’ve likely heard of the whole Capsule Wardrobe concept. If not, search for it on Pinterest, they never let you down. It’s basically creating a wardrobe of around 37 articles of clothing each season and mix and matching from it. For those of you that feel that you can never piece outfits together, this may be your answer. Now, I’m not saying you need to start from scratch by shopping for 30 some pieces each season, but more so narrow down your wardrobe and then add what is missing. Did I confuse you? Let’s pretend not and continue…

Now, I didn’t exactly create a capsule, but it’s right along those lines. What I did was curate a board of what I feel are the fall staples you need to have in your closet in order to create daily outfits with ease. For those of you that work in a more professional atmosphere (ie you don’t have kids hanging on your legs day in and out), you may need to tweak this a bit ;) But those that I have been hearing from have flexible careers and/or are full-time moms of multiple children that want to keep some sense of style! I hear you. I started this blog as a way of holding myself accountable and for the most part, it’s worked!

So here you have my Fall Staple Wardrobe with a total of 32 pieces. I’m going to dive into the details of what I selected and why below the image. If you’re still with me, jump below and we’ll continue…

(click images below for details)

 

 

Tops: You can see that I’ve included a number of tops, because to me, they’re the most important. Some of these, such as my tanks and t-shirts, carry through all the seasons. For this reason, I often spend a little more on them so they have a better chance of lasting longer. Another point of a capsule wardrobe is to only include pieces you love. In my opinion, a good t-shirt is totally worth it. You’ll want some solids, but patterns such as stripes are always great to include because they add some interest to your overall outfit (think throwing on the long-sleeved striped tee with a utility vest, jeans and booties…done). Button up chambray, a must for all seasons. Alone, layered, you name it, you need it. And for fall, the same goes for a flannel…or two. The turtleneck sweater. I jumped on this last year and I only want more this year. It’s perfect because you can wear it alone, layered with a long sleeved tee or chambray under it and there’s no bulk if you need to throw a jacket over top. A cardigan is pretty obvious, and a t-shirt dress will get more wear than you’d think…and for you full-time moms, talk about looking pulled together…it’s just too simple! I threw a cute sweatshirt on here to keep things real. No shame in that!

Outerwear: To be honest, I didn’t wear many vests before I started blogging. But once I started seeing myself in photos I came to realize that a few tweaks to my outfits made a world of difference. A simple vest, be it utility or denim, can do so much for your outfit and give you just enough warmth for brisk fall days. Light anorak jackets are a must for me. They’re my go-to Sept-Nov. A denim jacket is a wardrobe staple if there ever was one. Just be careful on the cut. You don’t want it too boxy or over sized. Mine has a slim cut and hits at my waist (not hip). And the trench coat. I finally found the one this past spring after wanting one for years. Figure out if classic khaki is you or maybe army green or navy. And if you plan on keeping it around, you may want to invest a little more on this one. A definite staple for every spring and fall.

Bottoms: Denim. You need denim and you need to put up the fight until you find denim you love and that loves you back! Once you know some brands that work for you, you’ll be able to order a new pair every once in a while with much more ease. I included skinny jeans in a light and dark wash as well as black (which get worn very often in the fall and winter) as well as a looser pair of girlfriend jeans because sometimes my legs need a ‘skinny’ break. Also, leggings…again, keeping it real, they are a must.

Bags: Well, those of you who know me, need not even look! You know my Madewell tote bag has been by my side for years! Boring and predictable? Or classic and timeless? I vote for the latter ;) I threw in another bucket bag that I now have my eye on. But you get the concept. Get one you love with great quality and this will make getting out the door every day that much easier.

Jewelry: When it comes to my everyday jewelry, I keep it pretty classic and consistent. A few nice, go-to pieces and you’re set. You probably see me wearing my engrave-able necklace in every other post ;)

Shoes: This was tricky. Tricky to narrow down that is. I love shoes, but I also love comfort. So this is another place that I tend to splurge a bit (but not a lot…a budget is a budget). A pair or two of booties are a must. As are (for me) a pair of casual sneakers. I also included my Sperry’s because they are certainly a fall staple for me. Rain, pumpkin picking…these make all those outfits look just a bit better. And finally, I included a pair of mules. They are being added to my staples this year because of the shear ease of being able to slide my feet in them and walk out the door with a baby in one hand and my tote in the other, feeling perfectly put together…minus the goo that is inevitably on my shoulder ;)

That’s it! If you made it through, I congratulate you, my fingers hurt! But hopefully you feel slightly empowered and eager to tackle your fall wardrobe staples! Once you have a good handle on these, then you can have some fun adding in cute tops, fun dresses, scarves, lace up shoes, overalls, jumpsuits, faux fur, capes,statement necklaces, chokers and all the other fun trends going on! But basics first, trust me ;)

 

 

 

The Top Every Girl Needs

IMG_0637

Hope you guys had a great weekend! Yesterday I came down with the WORST migraine I’ve ever had. I don’t wish those on anybody, holy cow. By the evening I was able to get out of bed, stomach some soup and pull this post together. Thankfully I just wanted to show you the most comfortable top I own. It comes in a bunch of prints in an array of sizes, it’s $35 and you need one…or two. You’re welcome ;)

IMG_0682

IMG_0635

IMG_0650

IMG_0699

IMG_0642

IMG_0676

Details: Mod Cloth top / Gap denim (similar) / Keds sneakers / Necklace (similar) / Tote

Life Lately

I realized that I’ve been sharing more of my personal life over on Instagram and Snapchat lately, but haven’t shared as much here. So here’s a quick update on life around here for those that follow along and those that may be new around here…

IMG_4928

Madelyn turned 4 at the beginning of the summer and she’s preparing for 3-day preschool this fall. This girl is NON STOP, a great entertainer to her baby sister and is a coloring fanatic. Princess coloring books are her fav ;)

IMG_4578

This guy has had my heart since we were in high school <3 His struggle with Lyme Disease (which I talk more about here) over the past few years has certainly thrown us for some loops. Unfortunately he has yet to see any results and struggles daily to fight through it. We both have personally had our ups and downs with it but we are praying and fighting through it each and every day. We have grown stronger without a doubt and I thank God for that! And to the many that have reached out over the past few years, thank you. Every word is appreciated!

IMG_4819

Sweet Audrey has totally taken off this summer! She went from crawling, to walking to running and talking (well, Audrey talk) all around the house. She certainly makes her presence known and is no push-over to her older siblings!

IMG_4412

An early summer surprise that came with our new home! My favorite!

IMG_4829

This one is for the books. 4th of July in the pouring rain, terrified that the ‘farkler’ was going to get her :) And the outfit…I can’t even. You loose control after 3 kids, haha!

IMG_5166

We took little Jack to NYC with us a few weeks ago. It was so refreshing to realize that traveling with kids won’t always be so challenging! We had so much fun spending one on one time with him. Exploring the city, playing Pokemon (ha!), skipping any naptimes and eating dinner at what would be his bedtime. I can’t believe he’s starting 2nd grade in a few weeks!

IMG_5065

A very rare and peaceful moment. Maybe our only peaceful moment this summer? ;)

IMG_5106

Our whole crew! At my nephew’s 2nd Birthday party where Audrey was quite concerned about a life- sized Cookie Monster!

IMG_5057

I didn’t make a whole lot of progress on our house this summer, but my husband’s office is one room that’s coming together nicely. I had been on the hunt for a fiddle leaf fig tree for this corner and finally managed to track down the perfect one. Say some prayers for him, I’d really like to keep him around ;)

IMG_5385

One of my most recent shots of these three. They make sure life is anything but boring, that’s for sure! The days are long but the years short….oh how true!!

Cheers to a great weekend gang! See you next week!

 

 

Back To School: Outerwear

School has already begun in some parts of the country, and it’ll be here within the next few weeks for us. In some ways I’m eager for it to begin (back to routines that my kids thrive on) but in other ways not so much (our freedom to sleep in – when the baby allows – and plan our days with spontaneity). We’ve already shopped for their school supplies and I’ve purchased a few new pieces of clothing in preparation, but there are still things, like shoes and jackets that I have yet to tackle. Since I’ve been browsing, and I know many of you have young children as well, I wanted to share what I’ve found in the outerwear department. Sweater coats, rain jackets, vests and denim, I’ve gathered a bit of it all.

I have a similar sweater coat for Audrey (passed down from Madelyn) and it has gotten a ton of use over the past few years. I love vests for all of my children because they are wonderful as the weather transitions. Especially this one which has a bow detail on the back <3 My girlfriend brought it to my attention and I didn’t hesitate to order! I also love the adorable rain jackets such as this and this one. I always make sure I have one that fits each child because they are much better with hoods than umbrellas. And when they’re riding buses to/from school in the rain I want to make sure they’re covered. Oh, and does this ruffled moto jacket need any words? Pretty darn adorable all on its own ;)

backtoschool16

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15

Off The Shoulder

offtheshoulder

Today I’m sharing two off the shoulder looks that are very on trend at the moment. You know when it comes to certain trends I turn to affordable options, for the shear fact that I don’t know how long they’ll stick around, so that’s what you’re going to find with both of these. And let me now also add my little disclaimer before I continue. I love, love the look of off the shoulder tops. However, if you are in the baby/infant/toddler stage in your life, I do not recommend wearing these when you’ll be around them. When you lift your arms (as in lifting a child) your top will inevitably come over your shoulders leaving you with more of a Little House on the Prairie look than the chic look you may be going for ;) But for adult time, I’m all in!

The first look is for more of a date night/ girls night out. Skinny overalls paired with cute heels and a clutch and you’re set. My husband told me I looked like a southern bell which I took as a compliment as it was meant to be ;) The second look is a little more everyday. Perfect for picnics and all of your end of summer get togethers. I love the colors on this one because it’ll easily carry into September paired with jeans. I’ve also received a bunch of questions regarding these denim shorts. They’ve been my go-to all summer and luckily most sizes are still available.

So what do you think? Have you given this trend a try or do you plan on it?

IMG_0600

IMG_0624

IMG_0546

IMG_0558

IMG_0609

IMG_0613

IMG_0525

IMG_0611

Outfit 1: SheIn top c/o / Madewell overalls (similar) / Stella & Dot necklace / Vince Camuto heels via TJMaxx (similar)

Outfit 2: SheIn top c/o / JCrew Factory shorts / Vince Camuto booties / Stella & Dot necklace

Not Your Basic White Tee

IMG_0464

I love a good white t-shirt, but throw ruffle sleeves on the end and on my goodness! I’ve tried this shirt with my pink shift skirt that you saw on Monday, but love how it can be thrown on with jeans to create a fun and casual everyday look. This was my first spin in my new booties from the Nordstrom sale, and as much as I love them they are tucked back in my closet while we endure the hot, humid weather once again. But I know, I know, in no time at all I’ll be complaining about the cold ;) Wishing you all a lovely weekend ahead!

IMG_0507

IMG_0497

IMG_0485

IMG_0501

IMG_0513

IMG_0490

Details: LOFT top / Gap denim / Vince Camuto bootie / Necklace (similar here and here) / Cuff (similar)

Wishlist Wednesday

As the end of summer will be rolling around all too quickly, I’ve been taking into consideration how I plan to transition my wardrobe. Today’s wishlist includes pieces that will make the transition into fall seamless. You may have seen on Instagram that I purchased this top (in a different pattern) and am obsessed with the comfort level! I love it so much that I’m tempted to grab this one as well. I have a few chambray shirts, but I love the western detail on this one. I also have a sleeveless turtleneck sweater from last year and I’m glad to see they’re sticking around. Perfect alone for early fall, and layered up later on! And in the jacket department, I can see this anorak easily becoming my go-to this year in addition to my denim jacket which is available in an updated version here. The fit is right on and doesn’t leave you with a boxy silhouette. I also have my eye on some new denim, and these are both definitely in consideration. I love the cropped, mini flare look that’s going on but I need to do some trying on in order to find a pair that will do the trick. I do have high hopes for these however!

Thankfully we still have a beach vacation (or let’s call it a trip, because many of you know a vacation is not a vacation when children are involved ;)  ahead of us, so I plan on soaking up every last bit of summer during these next few weeks!

(click images for details)

 

Pink + Fig

IMG_0435

I’m loving this look and obsessed with the color combo! I actually purchased these two pieces on the same day at LOFT but hadn’t envisioned wearing them together at that time. I was actually flipping through an InStyle mag and came across a piece on pairing unexpected colors with pink. That’s when it hit me what a fun combo this would be! I grabbed the fig colored top in anticipation of fall, but love the fact that I can work it into my wardrobe now! A chic, feminine look, perfect for now…and then :) Also, I feel like the queen of the ‘front tuck’…if only I could take credit, ha! I do it on a regular basis with just about all of my t-shirts, as long as they have at least a slightly loose fit. I love the way that simple action can define your waist and take a look from frumpy and unflattering to a bit more polished and a lot more flattering! A quick and simple step that can make a big difference.

IMG_0447

IMG_0401

IMG_0457

IMG_0417

IMG_0439

IMG_0400

IMG_0454

IMG_0428

Details: LOFT top / LOFT skirt / Booties (similar) / Le Specs sunglasses / Necklace (similar)

Taco Zucchini Boats

zucchiniboat1

I’ve been making this meal since summer started and it quickly worked it’s way into regular rotation in our household. These taco zucchini boats check off two boxes, healthy and delicious! I usually serve them with a side of brown rice and a little sour cream and salsa. I prefer them made with ground turkey and my husband likes ground beef, so it’s totally up to your own preference. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

zucchiniboat

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats via Skinny Taste:

Ingredients:

4 medium (32 ounces) zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup mild salsa
1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 small onion, minced
2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
4 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup reduced fat Mexican blend shredded cheese
1/4 cup chopped scallions or cilantro, for topping

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place 1/4 cup of salsa in the bottom of a large baking dish.

Using a small spoon or melon baller, hollow out the center of the zucchini halves, leaving 1/4-inch thick shell on each half. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside 3/4 of a cup to add to the taco filling, (squeeze excess water with a paper towel) discarding the rest or save to use in another recipe. Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.

Brown turkey in a large skillet, breaking up while it cooks. When no longer pink add the spices and mix well. Add the onion, bell pepper, reserved zucchini, tomato sauce and water. Stir and cover, simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Using a spoon, fill the hollowed zucchini boats dividing the taco meat equally, about 1/3 cup in each, pressing firmly. Top each with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through. Top with scallions and serve with salsa on the side.

Nordstrom Sale: Home & Gift Ideas

With only a few days left of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and sizes/inventory running low on a lot of the clothing/shoes/accessories, I took to browsing the home goods that were available. There is a great selection of decor and accessories perfect for your own home or to stock up on for gifts! Here I’ve gathered some of my favorites for you to check out…

(Click images for details…)

 

Shop My Picks

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 10.49.56 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 9.39.44 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.14.25 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 1.11.58 PM

Get weekly updates!

Follow me on Instagram