a lovely living

Monthly Archives for August 2013

High Five for Friday

It’s finally here. The last friday of the summer and the day before we head to the shore! This week we spent our final afternoon at the community pool, visited with family, and met Jack’s new preschool teacher for the upcoming year. Madelyn quickly made herself comfortable in the classroom as well. She’s going to be quite disappointed when she doesn’t get to stay with her big brother on his first day!

The reoccurring theme of our week, however, was prepping for the shore. We’re heading to Stone Harbor, NJ which is one of our favorite places. Since most kids are now back to school, we’re expecting a low key week spent with some dear friends. Speaking of vacation, did anyone else come across this article this week? The author explains that you don’t take vacations with young children, but a trip. Vacation or a trip, we’re all excited! Talk to me next Friday and I’ll let you know how I feel then!

Here’s a peak at my week:



  1. My son’s fortune. Appropriate.
  2. My sous-chef and I squeezed in some cookie making.
  3. Some beach reading material. If only research was this fun in college!
  4. After grocery shopping, baking and packing, I sat down for a pedicure. Essie’s ‘peach daiquiri’.
  5. I made a batch of these bagels to bring along.

I hope you all enjoy a lovely long weekend! Even though I’ll be on vacation a trip next week, I have some posts lined up for you, so stay tuned!

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So maybe it was never a rule, but it was definitely a fashion faux pas to wear black and blue. In particular, black and navy blue. This season seems to be pushing past that and moving right on to embracing it. I have to say I’m welcoming this trend. I’ve always thought that the colors pair well together and can look quite classy. Especially in the fall when white is out, you have very few color options to pair with a navy top. Being able to throw on black trousers/denim/leather bottoms is very appealing.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, check out my black and blue inspiration board and let me know what you think. I’ll know I have been inspirational if I can win my mother over. After reading my post on mixing prints, she told me she’s too old school for that one. Not every trend is for every person, but I’m thinking this one has a broad appeal. And maybe not so much a trend but a rule that’s officially broken :)


  1. Mossimo top via Target
  2. alice + olivia top via Shop Bop
  3. Madewell top
  4. Juicy Couture pullover
  5. Ella Moss dress via Anthropologie
  6. LOFT top 
  7. BB Dakota top via Shop Bop (not navy, but I love this top!)
  8. Torn by Ronny Kobo dress via Shop Bop
  9. Wilfred Free cardigan via Aritzia
  10. alice + olivia top via Shop Bop
  11. Rebecca Taylor shift via Piperlime



Styling Family Photos

About a month or so ago, one of my good friends, Danielle, reached out to me asking if I would mind helping to style outfits for family photos she was having done. I was flattered of course, and was more than happy to help. She already knew that she wanted to use blues or greens for her family of four, but other than that she was open to anything. I ultimately went with a blue (once I found out the photos would be shot at the beach) and white palette and offered accents of orange or pink. Here’s what I sent to her and I’ll explain my selections in more detail below.


My advice was to use coordinating colors while keeping some pieces solid and adding pattern to others. I chose to add pattern to the girls’ outfits in my example, especially the little one, because there were so many fun options to choose from. I paired the guys’ tops with grey bottoms which seemed like a fresh change from the typical khaki color which could have also been used. I also thought it would be a great touch to add an accessory to my girlfriend’s dress, pulling out a pop of color from her daughters outfit.

Her family could make anything look beautiful because they’re all gorgeous, but look how she seamlessly pulled it all together:




Photography by Jeri Houseworth

Stunning, aren’t they?? And the shots of the kids melt my heart. Well done Danielle!

If you’re planning photos in the future, I recommend you create a coordinating color palette, keep some outfits solid and add prints/patterns to others while throwing in an accent color when appropriate. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to help!



I’ve mentioned how our family has been obsessed with blueberries this summer, but we’ve also been indulging in sweet, juicy peaches as well. For those that live in PA, Chambersburg peaches are simply amazing. I have a friend who graciously passed some on to me and although we were ripping right through them, I knew I had to finish them off before they turned to mush. I came across this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite food blogs, and couldn’t wait to try it. I’m typically the sweets fanatic in our house, but my husband couldn’t keep his hands off of this one. Nor could my 15 month old, who had a blueberry mustache for a few straight days. The cornmeal biscuit topping is incredibly delicious and the peach and blueberry mixture is the perfect combo, not to mention beautiful as well!


Pretty in Peplum


My favorite shopping trips are the ones where I discover items I love when I wasn’t necessarily looking for them. When I am on the hunt for an item it’s so much more difficult to find what I’m looking for. Am I alone here? My quick tidbit of advice is to grab those fav finds as you come across them because they may not be there when you need them. This outfit came together with recent purchases when I wasn’t looking for any of the pieces. I first tried out peplum in this post and when I came across this more structured top I knew I wanted to try it. That same day I found these navy pants on the clearance rack at Macy’s and knew they’d look great with the top. Might I add that with coupons and sales combined, I purchased the pants for $20 and the top for $18. Not too shabby eh? I’m not one to have much patience or time for clearance racks, but once in a while it pays off.


Details: Kohl’s ELLE top, Macy’s INC pants, Macy’s necklace, Talbots earrings, Marc by Marc Jacobs watch, Blair Ritchey mini lulu foldover, Arturo Chang pumps



I wore Essie’s Bobbing for Baubles which will be a regular on my nails this season.


I found these beauties (earrings) on a trip to Talbots with my Mother. It pays to shop with your mom, you never know what you’ll find.


My Blair Ritchey clutch paired all too perfectly, I couldn’t leave it out.

I have to add that I was laughing with one of my best girlfriends at her baby shower as we talked about peplum this past weekend. She’s due in a little over a month and has been eager to try out some peplum. I was thinking back to my previous peplum post where I noted that it adds a waistline to any figure. I should continue that sentence by adding, “unless you are pregnant” ;) Soon enough my friend!!





High Five for Friday

Friday already? Summer sure did fly by, but I suppose it always does. We are heading to the shore the week of Labor day, so in my book it’s still summer. However, the students of Penn State are telling me otherwise as they all roll back into town. It’s been a while now since my college days, but it still brings an excitement back into the air. A fresh start for a new season and a new year. I’m just thankful not to have the homework!

This is what part of my week looked like:



Clockwise from top left:

  • My 15 month old (as of today) putting the pedal to the metal and allowing me to practice with the Over app.
  • My 4 year old giving me a lesson on what is ‘cool’ and not ‘cute’. My mom told me I started dressing myself at age 3, so I guess I should be thankful for the extra year he gave me :)
  • Beaver stadium in the background of my run this week. My husband and I are growing excited to join in and become crazy PSU fans!
  • One of Jack’s best friends celebrated her birthday this week. Poor Cookie Monster was attacked by a swarm of anxious toddlers.
  • These shoes are already my favorite fall shoes. You know when you slip a shoe on that fits perfectly and makes your foot look sexy with just a bit of toe cleavage? Yes, I’m talking about your feet and not your chest ;) That’s these. Prepare to see them a lot this coming season.

How was your week? Are you ready for fall??

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Art is very personal. Although I do appreciate it, I have not found many pieces that I’ve fallen in love with or that have great meaning behind them. I do hope to add some pieces to our home in the future, but in the meantime I love having our walls full of photographs of our family. In particular, our children. They change so quickly and it’s nice to have a daily reminder of who they were and who they are now.

Months ago, my husband surprised me with a watercolor of our family that a good friend of his painted for us. Julia is beautiful, quirky and extremely talented. My husband gave Julia a photo which was shot by our good friends, John and Kris McElligott, during the fall of last year. Here’s what happened from there…

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Julia turned one piece of art…



(click to enlarge)

…into a totally unique piece for our family. I love that it’s her interpretation of the photo, adding to the color and drawing out our personalities. It’s fun, different and adds more character to our walls.

Although it is still our family hanging in that frame, it’s also a piece of art that has obvious meaning and I will treasure forever. Thank you Julia! Also thank you to Kris and John for capturing yet another perfect shot! And a final thanks to my father in law for the matting and framing. You’re the best!

What types of art are you drawn to and how do you decorate your home with it?


Scarf Savvy

I love wearing scarves. They’re a wonderful accessory to many outfits and a perfect transition as we look towards switching over to the fall season. I have a handful of ways that I wear a scarf, but when I came across this video I was completely captivated. It’s five minutes of your life that you won’t regret. Let me know what you think and then check out some scarves that caught my eye below.


What are your fav’s? I know a few were obvious, but who knew you could tie a scarf so many ways?? I’ll be trying out the bunny ear and the waterfall along with a few others.

Here are a few scarves that I currently have my eye on: (more…)


Chocolate and coconut are one of my favorite food pairings. This probably stems from my childhood days of loving Mounds bars, mmmm. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy a Mounds now days, but my slightly more sophisticated pallet can’t get enough of these coconut macaroons. I’ve made them a number of times over the years, and I only ever make them when I have somewhere they can be dispersed (ie the JEG party I co-hosted). You know what’ll happen if they stay in this house! They are delicious on their own, but adding the chocolate (sometimes dark, sometimes semi-sweet) takes them to a whole other level.


Casually Fancy

Hi all! Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend, I sure did! We started off Friday evening at the JEG party I co-hosted with Becky at Mommy in Heels. A big thank you to those that came out and joined us, we had a blast!


Obviously I came home with a few new goodies for my closet, this sequined shirt being one of them. Our days of wearing white are narrowing down, so I decided to pair it with white denim while I still could. It’d be too easy to dress this shirt up, so I went ahead and threw one of my favorite casual jackets over it to bring it down a notch. We were heading to church, not a night on the town after all. I added the butterfly broach which was passed on to me from my mother for another touch of fun.