a lovely living

Monthly Archives for December 2013

Raspberry Pound Cake Truffles


Happy New Years Eve everyone! Anyone heading to a party and want to take along a little dessert? If not, tuck this one away to try out later.

This was my first time making truffles and it won’t be the last. When it comes to baked goods, I am typically drawn to chocolate in one form or another, but these raspberry truffles were a welcomed change. I found this recipe in a Southern Living Christmas magazine. There are various types you can attempt once you make the pound cake including Bourbon-Pecan, Chocolate-Espresso and Candied-Ginger truffles. That or you can simply eat the other half of the un-used pound cake ;)







What to Wear on NYE?


Well 2013 has just about run its course and now it’s time to celebrate a new year. We’ve had our share of crazy NYE bashes getting all dolled up and carrying on until all hours of the night and we’ve also had plenty of NYE’s spent relaxing at home trying our best to stay awake until the ball dropped. This year falls somewhere in between. We’ll be celebrating at a friends house in the comfort of her home but with the excuse to get a little fancy.

This beautiful skirt is flattering and versatile, I can certainly see why it has made its rounds. I’ve seen it worn here by Lulu of Simply Lulu Style and here by Shelby of Glitter and Gingham which is also where I got the idea to pair it with this tee. I have a few other tops I’m still deciding between but I love the juxtaposition of the casual tee and the sparkly skirt. It’s definitely a top contender. I only wish I had this ‘cheers’ tee in my closet instead, it seems much more fitting for the occasion.






Details: JCrew skirt  (extra 40% off sale) / JCrew tee (similar) / JCrew pumps (old) / Lia Sophia necklace / bow (options)

How will you be spending your New Years Eve this year?


High Five for Friday

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! We are slowly coming down off of the Christmas rush. We celebrated Christmas Eve at my in-laws with a fantastic dinner followed by presents galore. My sister spent the night at our house on Christmas Eve so she was with us to celebrate the next morning before we headed off to my parents for the rest of the day. My 4yo son had so much fun handing out and tearing into presents. My 18mo old daughter however, ended up sick, the poor thing! For a little girl who doesn’t relax for a moment when she’s awake, she was quite the opposite just laying on me the entire time. Thankfully we have some time to sit, relax and nurse her back to health before we have to get back into the swing of our normal routine.

Here are some images from our holiday…H54F1227

  1. Can you guess what my son’s favorite gift was?
  2. My typically energetic babe looked like this for most of Christmas.
  3. My husband and I enjoying the first Christmas we were able to wake up in our own place. Not having to pack up the kids, the toys etc and travel from Hoboken, NJ to Hollidaysburg, PA was a dream this year!
  4. My MIL was all set for a little friendly competition. Her chocolate chip cookies vs. my raspberry almond truffles (recipe to follow next week). We never did get that final vote ;)
  5. Jack made cookies to set out for Santa along with some carrots for the reindeer. Santa enjoyed!

Have a wonderful weekend and safe travels to those heading back home!

Linking up with The Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday

Christmas Photos


With Christmas being tomorrow, I thought I would share some of my favorite shots from our holiday photo shoot. I am fortunate to have an extremely talented photographer for a cousin, Amanda of Amanda Kirkham Photography. If only she weren’t located in Lancaster, PA I’d be taking much more advantage of her talent! But for those of you in her area, I highly recommend.

The past few years, we’ve had fairly casual photos taken outside. This year the weather wasn’t cooperating, so I decided to take our attire up a notch since we were bound to be inside anyway. I dressed Madelyn up in her Christmas outfit and worked ours around that. That’s usually my first recommendation when planning family photos, pick one outfit you now you want worn and work around that. I kept the rest of the hues rather dark and added pops of red where I could. I’m more than happy with how they turned out!

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Bow Top


I can’t think of a much more festive top for this week than one covered in bows. They make everything a bit more pretty and turn an ordinary top into one that truly stands out. This top came from JCrew and with their crazy sales going on you can get it for a steal! Oh, and did I mention it’s a sweatshirt? You didn’t have to twist my arm!



High Five for Friday

It’s Friday! What a fun, busy week we had around here! I finished up my Christmas shopping , attended a mini retelling of the Christmas story at Jack’s preschool and enjoyed some birthday festivities. School is out until after New Years, so now my work’s really cut of for me!

Here are a few shots from this week:


  1. I picked up one of these Baby Lips at Ulta this week and I just love it. It moistures and ads a lovely color, this particular shade is pink punch. I do need to reapply throughout the day, but I assumed that would be the case as it is with any lipstick.
  2. My sneaky husband surprised me on my birthday with this beautiful Kate Spade bag. I fell in love with it a few months ago during one of their clearance sales and before I bought it, it sold out. He managed to track one down and even made sure it was shipped in a non-revealing box. He’s a keeper :)
  3. I have been eager to get a good (read: better than my iphone) camera for a while now. My husband finally agreed and it just arrived in time for Christmas. Even though I have no clue what I am doing, I’m anxious to break it in! You can look forward to some better photography here on A Lovely Living, woo hoo! Husband’s on a roll!
  4. My nugget keeping up with the trends while I grocery shopped.
  5. This handsome dude playing the cutest cow I’ve ever laid my eyes on.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy these last few days leading up to Christmas. It’ll all be over in a flash!

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

Tuxedo Top


Let me start by thanking you all for the many Birthday wishes you sent my way yesterday! It’s hard to not feel special with all of that love coming my way!

Now, moving on to the outfit. It’s amazing the marketing that blogs do for the economy in general. I never noticed this top until I saw it on Julia of Gal Meets Glam here. It looked so darn cute on her, so I waited for a sale and grabbed it. I often find myself buying the same colors and styles, but this was unlike anything else in my closet. Well, maybe not entirely unlike anything, being that it’s made out of sweatshirt material, and I surely have those in my closet! It’s comfortable yet polished, can be dressed up, down or in between. The belt came from LOFT and in addition to the coat, I love the touch of color and bling it brings to the outfit. I’m now tempted to buy pants in this color, it’s just so pretty. (more…)

Guess whose Birthday it is…

Okay, okay, it’s mine! But did you have any idea that I also share my Birthday with Brad Pitt (yeah, that’s right!), Christina Aguilera, Steven Spielberg and Katie Holmes? Somehow I didn’t end up on the big screen, hmm.

32 years ago my mother welcomed me into the world with a bruised tailbone and hives (as a reaction from medication). She should have known she was in for it from that point on! She named me Marisa Christina which she had chosen years prior from a clothing label, setting me up for a love of fashion from day 1. Apparently I was choosing my own clothing and making my own decisions by age 3 (ok maybe it was 2). At that point she must have realized I was my father’s child. He was the one who bought their first house prior to her even seeing it. Thank goodness she had some less decisive and more sympathetic children after me!

I have heard many people claim that their 30’s were the best years of their lives. I honestly have no complaints at this point. Each year continues to be better than the last, I’m married to the man of my dreams (awe) and I have two beautiful children that mesmerize me each day. If anything, I’d rather slow down their aging process as opposed to mine!

Since cake and candles are very prevalent for me today, I thought I would quickly share my all time favorites with you.

My favorite (cup)cake: For those that have been to or live in/around NYC, you’ve most likely tried a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. I have had my share of cupcakes and this one takes the cake time and time again. Lucky for us out-of-towners, Magnolia ships! It’s not cheap, but maybe just on those special occasions ;)

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My favorite candle: As much as I love a classic Yankee candle, Voluspa just takes candles to a whole new level. I’d love to get my hands (or nose…my apologies for all of the witty-ness today!) on a diptyque candle to see what all the craze is about, but until then, Voluspa has my vote.

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Ok friends, I’m off to enjoy the day. In my case it includes, dropping my son off at school, taking a cycling class, showering, feeding my daughter, picking my son up from school, taking him to his swim lesson and then having the transmission fluid changed in our vehicle. My son however is planning to attend my birthday ‘party’, so there had better be a fun evening lined up for his sake!

Peanut Butter Bars


I know I should be posting some cookie recipes being that Christmas is next week, but honestly I’d take these bars over (or in addition to) cookies any day! Talk about an easy recipe. There are only five ingredients and no baking is required! If you allow yourself a good hour for them to chill in the fridge, these can definitely be whipped up at almost the last minute. Nutritious? Not exactly, although I did use Jif Natural ;) Everything in moderation my friends! (more…)

Winter Wonderland


Anyone else enjoy a little (or a ton) of snow this past weekend? It put a damper on some of our plans, but lucky for me, my sister got snowed-in at our place. In her case it means I got to feed her, blow-out her hair and dress her up in my clothes…come to think of it, she probably had this well planned out ;) (more…)