a lovely living

Monthly Archives for November 2013

High Five for Friday

Anyone still in a food coma?? Fortunately I was able to manage getting through Thanksgiving dinner (for those who aren’t updated, today marks day 7 after having my wisdom teeth removed), but not enough to stuff myself which I found to be enjoyable. What I really mean is I was able to go all out with a piece of pie for dessert without feeling like I was forcing it down. Ok, I’m probably making some of you sick continuing to talk about food. On to shopping. So how many of you crazies are heading out to fight the crowds today? I’m not a big Black Friday shopper. I’m a bigger online shopper and find that the sales throughout the whole season are pretty darn good. For example, my sister and I already ordered Kate Spade wallets at 65% off…not too shabby. Check out their site for the sale.

I’m spending the day cleaning, doing a little decorating and getting some family photos taken by my sweet and talented cousin….just as soon as I can figure out what we’re all going to wear! In the meantime, you can have a look at the rest of my week…


  1. Christmas decorating has commenced. It still pains me, but yes, we have a fake tree. We realized a few years ago that my husband is allergic to pine and my heart broke a little. I love hiking out, finding the not-so-perfect-but-perfect-for-us tree, chopping it down, hauling it home and having the scent fill our home. What I do appreciate, however, is the lack of maintenance and mess and the ease of it all.
  2. A snow day this week called for cookie baking. I could not get them out of the oven fast enough for this little lady to chow down!
  3. Trader Joe’s has a boxed scone mix that I just tried out this week. Based on the crumbs that were left, everyone approved.
  4. My lovely siblings on Thanksgiving Day. I am the oldest out of the batch despite the size of my one brother….yes, he’s really that tall.
  5. I don’t make brussels sprouts all that often, but I will surely be making these again. Super easy and a perfect side dish.

Happy shopping everyone! Let me know what you find (online or in-store)!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday.

Snow Time


Well it may not officially be winter, but it sure feels like it! After having my wisdom teeth removed on Friday I decided it was time to actually get dressed and put some make-up on. I realize that I still look like I am storing a few acorns in my cheeks for winter, but I needed to get back into action, so that’s just how it is ;) School was cancelled yesterday so my husband and son spent the morning sledding around and building snowmen. I eventually ventured out but wasn’t quite as active! (more…)

Pumpkin Pie


Thanksgiving is two days away and I can’t think of a much more appropriate post than my favorite pumpkin pie. Let me start by saying that this is not your average pumpkin pie. It requires a bit more work than your typical pie, but I’ve been making this for the past few years and without a doubt, it’s worth it. This recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from Cook’s Illustrated. This pie is slightly different in that it incorporates canned yams in addition to the pumpkin puree, involves cooking the filling on the stove top and also requires pressing the filling through a fine mesh strainer. The end result is a flavorful pie that is smooth as pudding. If you haven’t baked your pies yet, give it a shot! (more…)



Well, I have survived for three days since having my wisdom teeth removed. Not a whole lot of anything was accomplished by me this weekend, but it did get me looking towards the week ahead (praying I’ll be able to eat by Thanksgiving!) and realizing how much I have to be thankful for. I figured I’d take a few minutes to make a list which includes the ultra-important to the very insignificant yet thankful for them nonetheless items.

I am thankful for:

  1. Let’s get the major ones out of the way right off the bat.  My friends and family and the health of all of them.
  2. A loving God and the grace and mercy he shows.
  3. Food on our table and shelter over our heads.
  4. A husband who understands and appreciates my desire to be a full time mom. (He basically had the kids on his own this past weekend and at one point told me how much he appreciated what I do and asked if I was sure I didn’t want to get an easier job ;) )
  5. The laughter of my children during the times they are playing nicely together…for the tears that eventually follow sending one of them running into my arms.
  6. Old friends and new friends and the way each one touches my life.
  7. Family that is now closer than they have been in over a decade and the help that they provide.
  8. The numerous times my son gets out of bed for “one last hug”.
  9. Sloppy kisses from my toddler.
  10. Starbucks eggnog latte’s and eggnog in general.
  11. Target (my apologies for being this far down the list).
  12. Pinterest, for allowing me to borrow the creativity of others.
  13. Chocolate covered raisins.
  14. Slow cookers.
  15. Scented candles. Especially sugar cookie which I just broke out yesterday.
  16. Speaking of scent, the scent of my baby who is losing it by the day. How I wish I could bottle it up!
  17. Uggs. No matter how ugly or out of style, they warm my feet like no other.
  18. Sweatpants. As much as I love to dress up, my whole family changes into sweats as soon as they get home. This includes my 4 yo son who can’t stand anything else on his legs!
  19. A sister who will always tell me the truth and a mother who will only find a way to compliment.
  20. In-laws that welcomed me in like their own daughter as a teenager and fought off any other girls that made any attempts.
  21. Chocolate chip cookies. Or just chocolate. Or cookies. Ok, I am thankful for sugar…happy?
  22. Snow for building snowmen and sled riding and creating the desire for hot chocolate.
  23. Sand, sun and beaches that we know are only a few seasons away. Or a flight away. Yeah, I like that better.

I would keep going on but I don’t need to take up your entire day!

So what is it that you are thankful for?

I’ll be back tomorrow with my favorite pumpkin pie. It takes a bit of work, but boy is it worth it! If you haven’t started your pies yet, you may want to give this one a shot!

High Five for Friday

Well this is one week I was not wishing to rush. Today I am having all four of my wisdom teeth removed and not exactly looking forward to it. My week began full of excitement as my husband and I were in NYC (which you probably know based on yesterday’s post), and is going to end with me looking like a chipmunk. If you don’t get a fashion post next week, you’ll know why!

My week looked a bit like this…


  1. It’s a good thing I’m going under because I don’t think I’d let the surgeon in!
  2. Call me crazy, but since I’m not going to have the option to eat solid foods, I figured I would try a juice cleanse which I have been wanting to do for a while now. My girlfriend has done it a few times and highly recommended it. I’ll be sure to share more on this once I get through it! They arrived yesterday and are waiting patiently for me to return home puffy faced and thirsty.
  3. I was able to connect with one of my best friends from college this week (she’s in the middle) along with one of her close friends from her hometown who happens to now live in my town…small world! Two lovely ladies that I thoroughly enjoy spending time with.
  4. My son came home from school with this “H is for Hero” cape. I’m thankful for the creative teachers he has in his life!
  5. And of course, NY, where my week began and where my mind will hopefully be during surgery!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth today for High Five for Friday and The Diary of a Real Housewife for Friday Favorites.

I heart NYC

As I had mentioned to you all, my husband Jack and I were able to enjoy a quick overnight trip in NYC this past Mon/Tues. It’s always nice to get some one on one time with each other, that includes the four hour drive to/from the city. Any time in the car sans kids is a mini vaca in and of itself! However, since we had kids, vacations have not been the same. There’s always a little piece of my heart missing and a thrilling excitement to get back home and have them run into my arms. I may miss then terribly, but that doesn’t hold me back from enjoying myself at the same time!

Jack had meetings scheduled so I had time to walk the streets, shop around and people watch. This new mom made me smile because she reminded me of myself walking around when Jack was a baby, carting him around and treating my stroller as my vehicle with every accessory imaginable (cup holders, bag hooks, rain cover, sun shade, seat liners and on and on).


When you stop to look up from the busy streets and sidewalks you get a chance to take in all of the beautiful architecture surrounding you.


Shopping, ohhh the shopping :) Here’s my mine rant/ piece of advice. As much as I love touching and feeling and trying on while I shop, for the most part it’s just not the smart way to do it. For example, I was excited to stop in Piperlime because it’s rather new and one of their only stores (I think they have on in CA too). Their website was offering 30% off site-wide and I was hoping this would carry over in their store. Of course it didn’t. I browsed through regardless and had I found anything  would have gone straight to their website and ordered on there, where they offer free shipping and returns too. Am I missing something? Why wouldn’t everyone order online? I guess what I realized is that it’s not terrible living in a town where I’m not surrounded by retail stores. Shopping online just makes more sense. (more…)

You’re My Inspiration!

Well it’s been approximately 6 months since I ventured into the blogging world and  although at times I still feel like an infant in this atmosphere, I also feel miles ahead of when I first began. I feel more confident in my skin and find it easier to share my thoughts and opinions with you all.  My thanks for all of this goes out to you, my readers. Those of you that take a few minutes out of your day and allow me to be a part of it. What excites me the most are days when you share ways that you have been inspired by something I have posted. Be it an outfit, a recipe or the courage to try something out of your element, you continue to inspire me to keep going (not that I want to stop!).

With that being said, I reached out to a few loyal readers asking permission that I may share ways that they have been inspired by A Lovely Living. I just love seeing everyone’s twist from various posts, it’s so very flattering! Going forward, please feel free to send along any shots of ways you’ve found inspiration from this site. I’d love to feature you on here too!


  1. This is my beautiful friend, Cora. She has fantastic style on her own, but her take on this post is absolutely adorable. She also incorporated this technique of cuffing her sleeves which adds to the cute/casual look.Inspiration3
  2. My friend Sarah shared with me her love for these energy bites. She grabs a few before heading to the gym and finds they give her that needed boost of energy!Inspiration4
  3. This is my lovely cousin, Nikki. After I posted this post, Nikki jumped on the sweater and asked the best way to style it. I think she did it perfectly!Inspiration5
  4. Nikki is also a wonderful baker. She tried the pumpkin coffee cake from this post. I haven’t even tested this one out yet, but now I’m even more tempted!inspiration1
  5. Then there’s this pretty lady. Brie is a little fashionista all on her own, but she pulled together some bold lips (from this post) and animal print (from this post) perfectly. Her girlfriend just happened to be coordinating as well :)inspiration2
  6. And last but certainly not least is this gorgeous mini-reader. Her mom found inspiration from this post and I can only dream of being able to pull off this look. Absolute perfection, especially when she was on her way to see Pinkalicious!

If you’re interested in being featured, send me a message through the contact me tab and I will be in touch.

Thanks again to all of you! xx


Chocolate Pudding Dessert


Since I’m a lover of just about anything sweet, it should come as no surprise that I love pudding. As childish as it may be I’d be happy to devour a box of instant pudding on my own.  This dessert, therefore, is right up my alley. We celebrated a friends birthday this past weekend so I decided to try this recipe out. I have had similar desserts in the past and this one was right up there with the best of them. There are multiple steps that need to be taken, but the recipe in itself is extremely easy and made for some happy taste-testers. (more…)

pastel3Pastels are are my favorite colors to wear. They are soft, subtle and beautiful. Blush pink is one color that’s always available, but I’m thrilled that the abundance of mint seems to be sticking around. This is another JCrew coat from a past season, but check out the beautiful colors they have available this year. They seem to nail coats in my opinion. The fit, styles and colors are always right on and worth the price, especially when purchased on sale. I have been on the hunt for a fun embellished sweatshirt, but wasn’t up for digging too deep into my pockets for one. On a trip to Kohl’s last week this one jumped out at me. After discounts and coupons I think I paid around $15 for it. You can’t beat that! (more…)

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, friends! As fall turns to winter I’m doing my best to keep the kids entertained indoors. We’ve spent time at the library, a local science center, ‘picture’ toy shopping (Jack takes pics of the toys he hopes to get for Christmas), and breaking out the crafts at home. Luckily they both enjoy helping me bake as well. As we were making banana bread this week I later noticed a big bite was taken out of a fresh tomato I had sitting on my counter…and then I spotted the spit out bite which was thankfully not in the bread ;) Tons of precious time with my babes but next week Jack and I are taking a quick trip to NYC. It’s based around meetings for him, but I’m sure I can keep myself occupied!

Here’s a glimpse of the rest of my week:


  1. Well, I started my Christmas shopping. I had so many coupons on hand that I figured I may as well tackle what I could before the crowds turn crazy. Our kids are at such a great age, where Jack is starting to get the hang of this whole Christmas thing (including what it’s actually about) and Madelyn is still just as excited to play with a box as she is the toy that came in it.
  2. I admire all of you parents that so willingly allow your kids to explore their creative side. No matter how often I do it, I still cringe a bit every time. But looking back on the pictures sure makes me glad I do it.
  3. Jack insisted on pushing his sister on a quick shopping trip. I think he’s making my job too easy ;)
  4. Thank you Anthropologie for reminding me that my birthday is coming up. If I’m going to get older at least I’m going to do it stylishly!
  5. We’re ready for snow and we have a few more hills here in Central PA than we did in Hoboken. It’s time to break these kids in!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth today for High Five for Friday.