a lovely living

Peasant Blouse

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Boy did this past weekend fly! We attended my SIL’s baby shower on Saturday, celebrated my husband’s birthday yesterday and then today we move on to Madelyn’s 4th birthday! May is such a crazy month for us (as you can tell) but also so much fun! Despite all of the festivities, it rained nearly 100% of the weekend, blah. It was still drizzling while we shot this look which I wore to the baby shower, but I smiled pretty and told my husband to snap pics quickly, lol! I scored this top at TJMaxx but I have a bunch of other fun peasant blouse options for you to check out below!

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Details: Peasant Blouse via TJMaxx (similar option here and see my other picks below) / JCrew denim / DV booties (similar) / Stella & Dot tote / Necklace (similar)

Summer Tanks

As a follow-up to Wednesday’s post, I wanted to share some adorable tanks that will not only make getting dressed simple, but will make a statement as well. Florals, bows, gingham with fringe, eyelet hems and sweet ruffles are all details that will have people asking where you found your top ;) I’d happily throw on any one of these with cute sandals and blue or white denim and head out the door. Now we just need the temperature to catch up! So, which is your favorite?

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Crochet Top

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Finding a cute tank brings such a smile to my face because it makes for such an easy outfit! And as I think a few short weeks ahead to summer break while I have all three kiddos home, my time to sit and put an outfit together is going to be drastically reduced. So having some cute tops to quickly turn to makes my outfits a no-brainer and a far cry from boring…because that’s just no fun ;) Oh, and when they have the added bonus of being cotton like this one, I’m completely on board! Friday I’ll be sharing a bunch of my favorite tanks for summer, so check back for some fun and simple ways to make your outfit!

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Details: LOFT top / GAP denim / BaubleBar necklace (similar) / Stella & Dot tote / Sandals via TJMaxx (similar here and here) / Michael Kors watch / Le Specs sunglasses / Lucky Brand cuff (similar)

Mudroom

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To those of you with children, you know the importance of having a dedicated landing space for all their many, many belongings. Whether it’s an area in your garage, an entryway closet, a part of your laundry room or a mudroom, containing the stuff is crucial. After years of living in condos and apartments we are finally fortunate to have a designated spot for our mudroom. It’s also located in a very central part of our home. It falls right in between our garage, family room, kitchen and additionally has a powder room located off of it. With that being the case, it’s even more important to keep this in space in order and not merely a dumping zone!

Before we moved into our home last summer we tackled the majority of painting in just about every room. Our mudroom however, was a bit neglected. I was toying with the idea of wallpapering the space, but when I found out it would cost nearly $1000 to install the paper I had my eye on, well, that plan was put on hold. It took me a while to figure out my next direction, but I finally landed on painting it in Sherwin William’s Backdrop. It reads as a sort of chocolate gray and I looove the way it turned out. With that update came a spring cleaning and the storing away of all the winter coats, hats and gloves which left the room in a perfect state to be documented…and I promise it will never be quite as organized again (the shoes are all ready in complete disarray!).

I had previously shared with you the way I tackled this command center which we continue to utilize every single day. It’s the way I keep all of our incoming/outgoing mail/letters/bills etc organized. (Resources listed at end of post)

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This cubby area is predominantly used by the kids. The hooks hold their jackets, bags and backpacks and the baskets at the bottom are used for hats, scarves, gloves etc during the winter months and basically a ‘catch-all’ at all times.

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I found the bin on wheels at HomeGoods and it’s perfect for storing all of their shoes. It’s also the baby’s favorite place to play, go figure!

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My girlfriend, who’s kitchen I helped to design, found this piece of art from Target for her home. I loved it and knew it would work perfectly here to add some color into the space.

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If you have the space for a bench, it’s a wonderful piece to have in this area. And if it can serve as additional storage, even better! My MIL found this bench at Target (I sound like a broken record, don’t I?!) and I loved it. Of course it had sold out just about everywhere, but after calling around I managed to track one down near my brother in Pittsburgh, PA. I just had to twist his arm a little to pick it up for me ;)

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Sources:

Art: Target
Baskets: Target
Bench: Target (similar here and a large selection here)
Cabinet: Ballard
Mail bins: Target (here and here)
Mirror: Target
Paint: Sherwin Williams Backdrop
Rug: Target
Shoe bin: HomeGoods

 

 

Fit-and-Flare Shirt Dress

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My love for dresses this season continues…I ran into this one at TJMaxx (but I have a bunch of similar styles for you below) and couldn’t pass it up. I ended up wearing it this past weekend for my daughter’s baby dedication and birthday party. The fit and flare style is so fun to wear with it’s overly feminine appeal. It’s also classic which means it’ll hold a spot in my closet for quite some time!

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Details: Dress via TJMaxx (see options below) / Wedges (similar here and here) / BaubleBar necklace / Kate Spade bracelet (similar) / Michele Watch / Clutch (similar)

First Birthday / Banana Baby Cake

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I swear I was just in the hospital after giving birth to my sweet baby girl and yet today she is officially one year old! Is it too cliche to say time flies? Because it certainly is! Amongst the Mother’s Day celebrations yesterday, we also had Audrey dedicated at our church and celebrated her first birthday…it was quite a whirlwind! I had so much fun prepping for her party…I love decorating on my own terms, before they grow up and decide they want a monster truck/football/princess/sesame street party ;) I have a bunch of shots from her day, but I also wanted to share the recipe for her smash cake that I made (although nothing was smashed, she seemed quite confused until I cut it up for her…apparently she wasn’t up for the mess!). It’s a healthier version of cake and since it wasn’t destroyed everyone tried it and loved it! I iced it and topped it with fresh flowers and a ‘one’ banner from Glam Banners (so cute, isn’t it?!). One of my favorite cakes, for sure.

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I printed out a bunch of my Instagram pics using Postal Pix to displayed around the party.

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This is her ‘cheese’ :)

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Banana Baby Cake via Sugary & Buttery:

INGREDIENTS

• FOR THE CAKE:
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• ½ cup oatmeal (ground oats)
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ¼ teaspoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• ¼ cup oil
• ¼ cup plain applesauce {unsweetened}
• 2 eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 large bananas, mashed

• FOR THE FROSTING:
• 1 stick butter
• 1.5 packages (12oz) cream cheese
• ½ cup powdered sugar
• 1 tablespoon milk
• food coloring (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 325°F and grease three 5 inch cake pans, set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, excluding the sugar. Stir to combine and set aside.
3. In a different bowl, whip sugar, oil and applesauce together. Stir in eggs, vanilla and mashed banana. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.
4. Divide batter amongst cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Cool completely.
5. To make the frosting, whip butter with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes, add milk and powdered sugar. Keep whipping until it becomes creamy, for about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and whip until fluffy, 5 minutes. Add food coloring (if using) and whip until incorporated.
6. Layer, frost and decorate with flowers, sprinkles etc.

Loving Lately: Summer Sandals

Each year I tend to have one or two pairs of sandals that I end up turning to the majority of the time. This year I am having the hardest time deciding on a pair (or two) that will become my go-to’s! The first pair below seems to be the ‘it’ sandal this year and they’re most certainly in the running for me. But I’m just as obsessed with all of the other choices you see here. How’s a girl to pick between all the pretty options?! What do you think? Do you have a favorite?

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Audrey’s Nursery

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This sweet girl turns 1 in less than a week! The baby who I held in the hospital over Mother’s Day weekend last year is growing up all too quickly right before me. With her big celebration just ahead of us, I figured I’d share a look into her darling little nursery. I’m always so hesitant to share room/decor posts because I never quite feel like things are completely finished. But the longer I live in our home the more I realize that things are rarely finished. Just as I have something feeling put together, I no sooner find myself turning around and changing things anyway! So, finished or not, here’s the space Audrey spends a good amount of her time slumbering away in…

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The nursery is the smallest bedroom in our home, but funny enough it’s the room we all end up in the majority of evenings once all the kids have been bathed. It’s such a sweet, comfortable room that we all gravitate towards.

The wall color is Ancient Olive by Valspar which I found via another nursery on Pinterest. It fit perfectly with a chest of drawers I already had as well as with her rocker that has stripes in a similar shade.

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I had found these sequined ornaments around Christmastime and hung them on all of the kid’s doors. I liked them so much that I still haven’t taken them off :)

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I didn’t begin planning her room with a theme, but during one HomeGoods trip I found this canvas as well as the ‘ballerina’ pillow and well, that was that. I don’t like to push themes overboard, especially in small rooms, so those two elements were just enough to tie things together without overpowering anything.

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Our friends from J&A Photography shot newborn photos of Audrey and I love finally having them on display!

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Here’s an example of things never feeling complete….I had yet to figure out where exactly to hang this little saying that I found last summer at an antique store with my girlfriend and sister. So on her closet door it hangs…but to be honest, I kind of like it there.

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This basket from HomeGoods has been serving as Audrey’s hamper for now, but I love that it could easily be switched out and used as a toy bin or blanket basket in the future.

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Sources:

Paint: Valspar’s Ancient Olive
Crib: Pottery Barn
Changing table: Pottery Barn
Dresser: Pottery Barn
Curtains: Target
Pillow: HomeGoods
Mirror: Pottery Barn
Rocker: Target (updated version)
Basket: HomeGoods
Canvas: HomeGoods
Crib skirt: Target
Lamp: Target

Peplum Sweatshirt

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Peplum sweatshirt just may be one of my most favorite word combinations. If you search my blog for ‘peplum’ you’ll find everything from peplum jackets, shirts, tanks and even a little maternity styling, which goes to show my love for this ruffle detail. But if we are talking about a piece that easily works into my day to day wardrobe, this one is certainly it. For those that live locally, I found this sweatshirt (as well as the necklace) at Riley on Main but I tracked it down online as well. Paired with these jeans that I can’t get enough of, it’s kind of a perfect outfit for me. Oh and also a quick mention about this lip color…it’s actually a combo of Lorac’s matte lip color in pink taupe topped off with Butter’s lippy liquid lipstick in toff that the girls at Ulta helped me pick out for my sister’s wedding. And now I’ve been turning to the pair regularly. It comes off as a dusty mauve.

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Details: Dylan top via Riley on Main / Gap denim / DV booties (similar) / Necklace via Riley on Main (similar) / LeSpec sunglasses / Marc by Marc Jacobs watch (similar)

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