a lovely living

Monthly Archives for January 2014

High Five for Friday

It’s Friday and this is one week I am happy to see come to an end! We had been on a nice little healthy streak and then began the dreaded cough Sunday night. Not me, although I wish it were, but my 4yo son. It’s that cough where you know you’re in for a week of no fun and praying it doesn’t spread to any of your other children. So far we’re ok in that department, although Miss Madelyn’s (1.5 yrs) nose started running last night. They can be so good at sharing all the wrong things ;) With that being said, here’s what my oh so exciting week looked like:


  1. I snuck this pic of my little man as he napped one afternoon this week. I kept starring at him because all I could see was his sweet baby face, taking him back to when he was 1. As fast as they grow, it’s nice to stop time if for only a minute.
  2. My mom came up one afternoon to keep the kids and where do I sneak off to? Target of course. While I was there, I found the perfect Valentine’s card for my husband to give to me. Why didn’t I just buy it?! But guys, I just did half of your work…just get yourself to Target!
  3. I picked up People’s StyleWatch and (although it seems rather obvious) I was thrilled to see pastels in their spring preview. So soft and beautiful, I can’t wait to put them on heavy rotation.
  4. With a sick child, it only seemed appropriate to make chicken noodle soup. To be honest, I had never really made it before, so I found myself randomly throwing things in. Maybe it’s something you just can’t mess up, but everyone thought it was amazing, and my little sick man gobbled it down!
  5. Any of you use Stitch Fix yet? A girlfriend of mine has been using it for a little while now and talked me in to trying it out. For those of you that don’t enjoy shopping for clothes (what??) this would be right up your alley. You fill out a profile (the more info you give the better) and a stylist will select pieces to send you based on your criteria. What you like, you pay for and keep and what you don’t like you simply return. I’ll do a full review once I receive my first order in a few weeks, but I’m excited to try it out!

Ok friends, have a great weekend and stay healthy!

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


oatmealchocolate7Sweet. Salty. Cookie. I’m sold. As if the dark chocolate and oatmeal combo wasn’t enough, a sprinkle of sea salt on these delicious cookies makes them hard to resist. This was another recipe that floated into my inbox from Real Simple and found its way right into my kitchen. They make a terrific addition to any occasion or simply a cold, snowy day spent indoors ;) You can find the recipe I used here and thank me later!








Love for the Little Ones

Last week I shared some ways to start prepping your home for Valentine’s Day. This week, I have children on my mind. There are so many adorable ways to shower your little ones with some Vday love. Etsy, as always, has some great goodies including these mini felt envelopes, some love bug onesies for twins or siblings, a sweet onesie with heart leg warmers, or the cutest tee for he or she. I also love these heart balloons and just may prep my little ones’ Valentine breakfast on these cute plates from where else but Target. What a lovely day they’re sure to have!

littlelove1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12


Old Favorites

favsweater3Since the cold weather doesn’t appear to be leaving us anytime soon (and by cold, I now mean anywhere from -15 – 30 degrees F) I find myself turning to sweaters that I know will keep me from shivering as I run around town. This sweater has been in my closet for years and it remains a favorite of mine. It’s thick but has enough structure and shape that keeps it from feeling boxy. They still make similar styles of this sweater that just so happen to be on sale right now. This coat is also available in various colors (I snagged the mint last year) at a great price. Looks like I’ll be continuing to turn to both of these for a while longer!








 Details: JCrew coat / TNA sweater via Artitzia / JCrew shirt  / Gap jeans / Madewell tote / RayBan aviators / JCrew factory necklace (gifted) / Tiffany bow necklace / DV Dolce Vita booties (similar)


Short Locks

You may know by now that when it comes to my hair, I’m always up for a change. It keeps things feeling fresh because honestly, I tend to tire of things (things, not people, don’t worry, my love!) all too quickly. When I started this blog 8-ish months ago, I had shoulder length blond hair. I then switched it up to try out my natural color with some ombre ends and then somewhere during the fall I started feeling inspired to go short again. I say again because most of my life I’ve had short hair. I had always wanted to go long, but for any of you who have attempted to grow out hair, you know how tough it can be. As I approached 30, I sucked it up and let it grow. There were parts of it that I enjoyed (like all of the different styles you can do with it), but what I did not enjoy was the sheer amount of time that it took to wash, dry and style my hair. I have rather thick hair, so the process always felt excruciatingly long.

Thanks to some bloggers, celebs and Pinterest, I finally caved and made the appointment with my stylist. Here are of few of the beautiful ladies that inspired this cut:

hair5Since ombre wasn’t an option any longer, I went back to adding a couple shades of highlights to soften my hair and ad some dimension. My hair still feels like it’s in the process of relaxing after the initial cut, but we’re starting to get used to each other. And the best part is that it takes less than 5 minutes to dry, I throw in a little product and I’m done. I love that! Well, here’s how it turned out:


I feel free! And cold, haha! Hair is hair, it’ll always grow back, that’s the fun about it. So for now, I’ll be enjoying my short sassy cut :)

High Five for Friday

Thank goodness for my slew of scarves and gloves and love for accessories because they are turning out to be quite handy this winter. Holy cow it’s been cold! Tons of indoor games and activities kept us busy this week while we hid from the beyond freezing weather. I also made a somewhat drastic change to my hair. If you follow along on Instagram, you’ve seen the sneak peek ;)

The rest of my week looked like this:



  1. If only hair could be changed with the snap of the fingers, I’d save a lot more time. But since it can’t, I’m thankful for wine to help pass the time.
  2. Candyland. Thank goodness he won this time. It ain’t pretty when he loses.
  3. Loving my new Brooks Ghost sneakers. They’ve had me up running (on the treadmill, I’m not that crazy) more than once this week.
  4. A little Valentine color has entered our household. The M&M’s have no chance.
  5. A lunch date with this beautiful little lady.

Hope your week was wonderful! Stay warm, friends!

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


Sale, Sale, Sale!

Anyone else feeling a little bombarded by all of the SALE emails flooding your inbox each day? It would be a full-time job to keep up with everything, but I’ve sorted through a bit of it and found some pieces I love (and a few that I own) at fantastic prices. Most of these items will transition well into spring which is an added bonus. You might recognize this sweatshirt that I wore here, or this lovely lace top from here, both of which are favorites of mine. I happened to come across this pencil skirt (#2) at Target while I was chatting away on the phone with my girlfriend yesterday. It’s full price online but if you can snag it in store it was only $11! It has an elastic waist and is therefore extremely comfortable, not to mention super sleek and perfect for spring. And how about this necklace (#5)?! It’s taking much self-control not to order it…so please, someone grab it!

sale1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Any items that have been catching your eye?


Add a Little Love

With Valentine’s Day creeping up on us, I’ve been searching for little additions that would add a touch of love to our home. I love the bowls and plates because they’d be adorable to use any day of the year. How cute to dress up your cupcakes or muffins with some heart wrappers? Granted, the wreath screams VALENTINE but how adorable is it?! And plus it looks fairly DIY if you were up for it. I also love the sweet and simple ‘be mine’ banner that would look so sweet over a mantle. Pillows are always an easy way to add some seasonal decoration as are the cute little candy dishes. A red and white table runner is perfect year round and I love the chevron pattern of the one below. Many of these items would make sweet little gifts as well…share the love!


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

Flannel + Fur

IMG_0738Want to know an easy way to quickly dress up a flannel shirt and jeans? Throw on a little fur! I love the way this fur vest and belt class up the outfit with very little effort. I found the vest on Ruelala a few months ago and am thankful to have it in my closet on snowy days like this. Speaking of Ruelala, do you guys find yourself shopping on discounts sites such as this often? These Seychelles boots came from Gilt which goes to show you my weakness for a good deal. It can be a little much keeping up with them (kind of like sorting through the sale rack at Macy’s) but finding some key pieces can really make it worth it.






IMG_0722Details: Gap shirt / DL 1961 denim / BB Dakota vest (found on Ruelala) / Madewell belt / Seychelles boots via Gilt (similar) / Kate Spade bag (similar) / Coat (old, but similar) / JCrew Factory necklace (gifted)



If you frequent my blog you probably know that I love my children, fashion and sweets. Oh, and my husband too ;) It’s true that I have a sweet tooth, but I also do my best to plan out and prepare healthy meals for our family. My 4yo son has always been a picky eater, but over time he’s come to like most of the meals I make, even if it does take him a good hour to finish his plate! Thankfully my 1yo daughter will eat just about anything I put in front of her, and then she’ll finish off her brothers! Today I have two recipes that have been on repeat for years in our house. They are healthy, delicious and win over both of my children. They also freeze well, so feel free to make an extra large batch!

Minestrone Soup – This soup does have a ton of ingredients, but that’s what makes it so tasty! I typically shy away when the grocery list is too long, but this one is worth it.



  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 C chopped carrots
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 4 C chicken broth (or two cups broth and 2 cups water)
  • 15oz tomato sauce
  • 1 can kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 can cannellini beans (drained)
  • 15 oz can green beans
  • 1 zucchini (quartered and sliced)
  • 1 yellow squash (quartered and sliced)
  • 2 C baby spinach chopped
  • 1 tbsp of crushed basil
  • 1 tbsp of dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 C shell or ditalini pasta
  • Grated parmesan for topping


  1. In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute onion for 4-5 minutes. Add carrots and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to saute until garlic is fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, cannellini beans, green beans,  zucchini,squash, spinach, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better.
  3. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.
  4. Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through place a few spoonfuls of cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.


Stuffed Pepper Soup – This one is my favorite slow cooker recipe. Whip it together in the morning and you’re set!

stuffed pepper


  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 C chopped onion
  • 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 1 large or 2 small green peppers chopped
  • 2/3 cup uncooked rice (We’ve been substituting quinoa lately and  love it! Just be sure to rinse before adding)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar packed
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, cook turkey, onion and garlic over medium heat until browned
  2. Drain any juices and transfer mixture to a slow cooker
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir gently to mix
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours adding water to thin if necessary.