a lovely living

Monthly Archives for May 2014

High Five for Friday

I don’t know if it’s just me, but this 4 day week has totally thrown me off! Thankfully I didn’t miss anything important, but I found myself questioning what day it was multiple times per day! We had a great Memorial Day weekend full of picnics, swimming, a parade, a carnival, and some family time. It got me quite excited for the summer just ahead of us. Tomorrow we’ll be celebrating both my son and daughter’s birthday with our families. My son turns 5 next week, and my husband and daughter both had birthday’s last week, so it’s been one big non-stop celebration around here!

Here’s a look at our week:

1) This girl has always been crazy about shoes, but this week in particular she was out of control. Those little toes must have been in just about every pair of shoes that I own!


2) This is a shot of my husband outside playing soccer with our son. For those that are aware of his struggle with Lyme Disease this was a huge victory! He typically can’t even take a walk outdoors, let alone kick around the soccer ball long enough to tire out our son! We were told that he’d begin to have sporadic ‘good’ days only to be followed by big chunks of bad days. We’re currently back in the ‘bad’ day streak and as discouraged as he is, I’m sure appreciating that good day as well as the fact that something is actually working! Thanks for all of your continued prayers guys, this is one heck of a journey.


3) Party planning made easy thanks to none other than Target!! Those plates are actually plastic, ie washable and reusable. I found them in the dollar bin at the front of the store and thought they’d be perfect for all of our outdoor cooking/grilling this summer.


4) After reading a few blog reviews on the new Bare Minerals BareSkin foundation I decided to give it a shot. I’m a huge BM fan, so I was excited to try it out. I read that it’s not the best for oily skin, but my skin is typically on the normal to dry side. I’ve been using it all week and I really like the coverage that it gives. I may not be using it on hot summer days at the pool, but otherwise this looks like my new go-to.


5) A typical occurrence in our household, reapplying tattoo’s. I’m not joking that one of my daughter’s first words was ‘tattoo’. At least they get good practice counting as we wait for the tattoo to adhere :)



 Have a wonderful weekend all!!

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‘Tis the Season

Oh yes, that would be swimsuit season. I’m sure I wasn’t alone when I broke out my swimsuit this past Memorial Day weekend. It always feels awkward putting it on that first time of the season. I compare everything to how it looked last year and then notice how it’s not quite as bright as it used to be.  At that point I start eyeing up all the pretty new suits that are out there, and boy are there a ton! I tend to lean toward the conservative side (as I do with most of my wardrobe) especially when my pool time is spent splashing around with my kids….not reading a magazine and casually sipping a drink as I used to ;) However, when I say conservative, I don’t mean boring by any means. Below are some of my favorite suits in an array of prints, colors and styles. Which one strikes a chord with you?


Fun 1 / 2 / 3

Floral 1 / 2 / 3

Striped 1 / 2 / 3

Cherry Pie Bars


A few weeks ago I shared a way for you to sneak some health into dessert with these Chickpea Blondies. I’m sorry to report that there aren’t any hidden benefits in these bars per say, but there is a ton of flavor! Everything in moderation, that’s my motto. These bars reminded me of a cherry danish, especially with the icing drizzled on top. I ended up stealing a bite or two with my coffee once or twice in the morning, mmm, heaven. They’d make a perfect treat to bring to your picnic’s this summer!

cherry Here’s the recipe that I found thanks to Cooking Classy, here.


    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp almond extract
    • 1 1/2 (21 oz) cans cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2 – 3 Tbsp half and half


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (for thinner bars use a 15 by 10-inch baking dish). In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, then blend in vanilla and almond extracts. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Reserve and set aside 1 1/2 cups batter then spread remaining evenly into prepared baking dish. Top with cherry pie filling spreading into an even layer. Dollop small spoonfuls of the remaining batter evenly over top. Bake in preheated oven about 30 – 37 minutes (near lesser time for 15 by 10 baking dish and greater time for 13 by 9). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • For the glaze:
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together all glaze ingredients adding enough half and half to reach desired consistency. Pour into a resealable bag, seal bag and cut a small tip from one corner then drizzle over top of cooled bars. Allow glaze to set (to set it quicker chill in freezer) then cut into squares.


A Detailed Top


During the warmer months when layering isn’t always a comfortable option, I tend to rely a lot on cute tops to carry my outfit. Whether it’s a bit of embellishment or a fun graphic tee, it’s nice to have a slight element of interest going on. Sometimes a light scarf over a solid tee can also accomplish this goal. I’ll be gathering some of my favorite tops for you in an upcoming post, so hopefully they’ll give you some ideas on how to keep your outfit simple and interesting at the same time!





lucky7Details: Lucky Brand top / Stella & Dot necklace / 7 For All Mankind denim / Rayban sunglasses / Anthro bracelet / JCrew bracelet / Lucky Brand sandals / Clutch via TownHouse



High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, friends! I’m assuming many of you are already enjoying your long weekend. Interesting fact: Boalsburg (the town next door to us) claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. Although the long weekend is appreciated (well, for some of you, that doesn’t exactly apply to me!), we also remember those who have fallen serving for our wonderful country.

Memorial Day also marks the opening of pools around here and, more importantly, the (un)official go-ahead to wear white, yay! Okay, not exactly the most important part, but it is a perk for sure!

Our week has been full of celebrations as you can see here:

1) Not only was it my husband’s birthday (yesterday) and my daughter’s birthday (today), but this week also marked one year of A Lovely Living! In some ways it seems like I only just began this blog, but in other ways I feel leaps and bounds ahead of where I began. Most importantly I’m enjoying it more than ever and I’m looking forward to year #2! Thanks to all of you for reading. I appreciate each and every one of you and hope you’ve found at least one or two ways to make your life a little bit more lovely :)


2) This was taken while we were out for my husband’s birthday dinner last night (of course there’s not a shot of him??), but this little munchkin is officially 2 years old today. She brings so much light to all of our lives and I could never imagine life without this little firecracker. Happy Birthday Miss Madelyn Adena!


3) This little dude and I snuck out to the movie theater only to bring some popcorn back to the birthday guy. He’s kind of a fanatic!


4) This is what my daughter woke up to this morning. Anything to help tire our energetic 2yo out!!


5) To break the celebration pattern, I can’t wait to wear my new bandana! I have some practicing to do because this is a new accessory for me, but the colors and pattern were too pretty to pass by! If all goes well it’ll be styled in a post shortly!!



Enjoy your weekend! I’ll most likely be taking a break on Monday, but I’ll catch ya back here Tuesday!

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Just Another Day…

paradise2I enjoyed the irony in wearing this sweatshirt on a particularly rainy day this week. Paradise or not, it was the perfect layer that I needed to remain comfortable during the afternoon. I picked this up at Old Navy a few weeks ago and I’ve probably thrown it on half a dozen times already. It’s a great weight for chilly spring days or summer evenings when the sun goes down but you’re not ready to go inside. I’m also loving this one which would be quite festive (yet fashionable) around the 4th.





paradise1Details: Old Navy sweatshirt / Old Navy shirt / JCrew factory shorts (similar) / Converse shoes / Michelle watch / Anthro bracelet / necklace (similar)



Crustless Quiche


Breakfast can be one of my favorite meals of the day. I say that it can be because many weekday mornings I grab an english muffin or, if I’m lucky, make a quick smoothie. What I’d do for a leisurely cup of coffee, an egg sandwich and peace and quiet while I read up on my favorite blogs. Ah well, that’s not exactly the life I signed up for. I love my morning snuggles, but they are followed by quickly feeding and dressing my kids and running out to drop my son off at school. Weekends however, are a different story. Typically we’ll make pancakes, but I’m also a big fan of eggs served any which way. Quiche would fall into that category of course but I can’t say I’ve ever made one myself. I came across this recipe for a crustless quiche and pinned it immediately. Not to say that I’d ever turn down crust, but sometimes it can make the dish seem just a little too heavy for me. I followed this recipe exactly and it was wonderful. One of those foods that kept my husband returning for more…and a little more. I think the next time I’ll add some bacon and maybe a bit of onion to make it a bit more exciting. The recipe is posted below which I found thanks to A Cup of Jo.




Unsalted butter for greasing the pie dish
3 cups small broccoli florets (from about 1 large head of broccoli)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
6 large eggs
Pinch of nutmeg, preferably freshly grated


Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack in the middle position. Butter a 10-inch glass pie dish, then set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and season it generously with salt; it should taste like seawater. When it returns to a boil, add the broccoli and gently boil, stirring once or twice, until just crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, then thoroughly pat dry and scatter over the bottom of the pie dish. Scatter the cheese evenly over top.

In a 1-quart measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste until smooth, then pour over the cheese. Bake until the custard is just set in the center, 35 to 40 minutes. (Don’t worry if the center is a little trembly; it will cook a little more as it rests.) Let cool slightly before serving.

More Chambray Please

chambraytop1It’s probably fair to say that I have mentioned both chambray and TJMaxx more than a handful of times on this blog. I hope chambray decides to stay around for a while because I just adore it. And as TJMaxx always does, it works it’s wonders giving me exactly what I didn’t know I wanted for an amount I’m comfortable spending. Well done.

I found this top and a similar tank by Stone and Cloth recently at TJMaxx. This brand is frequently sold at Anthropologie (another fav of mine) so when it started popping up here I was quite excited. They make such comfortable clothing and you know I’m a sucker for that. The basic chambray was the perfect backdrop for this new necklace of mine. I know the smaller, more delicate necklaces are moving on in, but I don’t plan on retiring my statement necklaces anytime soon!






chambraytop2Details: Cloth and Stone top via TJMaxx (similar here and here) / Zara pants / Stella and Dot necklace and tote / Shoes (old) / Rayban sunglasses / Anthro bracelet / Marc by Marc Jacobs watch

I’ll leave you with a glimpse of the shenanigans that go on behind the camera. This particular afternoon my daughter borrowed my son’s John Deer cap. I love the girl’s confidence that allows her to pull of whatever she wants!





Happy Monday, all! I’m happy to see this weekend end. First of all because we decided to jump in and spring clean. The after effect is great but the process is just not what I call fun. Especially when you have two little ones tearing it up right behind you, ha! And second, on a totally different note, my feet had a reaction to my new favorite sandals that I talked about here. Ugh. This has actually happened to me once before and I couldn’t figure it out that time either. I was fine wearing them but by the evening my feet were itching like crazy! This lasted allll weekend. Have any of you ever had this happen? I’m sure I could go get tested for allergies, but what salesperson is going to know every chemical used in making shoes anyway? Well this time I’m not giving up. I ordered a pair of sandal insoles that are actually made for odor protection, but they stick to the bottom and cover the entire sole of the shoe, so that should solve the problem, right? That’s my thinking. But if any of you have ever dealt with something similar and figured it out please let me know! Or I’ll chalk it up to just being weird ;)

Okay, enough about that and on to some things I’ve been loving lately. No real rhyme or reason to this mix, but maybe something will catch your eye. You’ll likely be seeing a piece or two in some upcoming posts!


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


High Five for Friday

It’s hitting me that summer is just around the corner. There are three weeks of school left, a week until Memorial Day weekend and temperatures have been (off and on) hot and humid. I’ve been busy signing my son up for camps, lessons and classes as we prepare to enter our last summer before my oldest child enters the big K. We won’t spend too much time on that thought because I’m emotional enough about it!

Here’s a look at what went on during my week:

1) Evening walks with my two little loves.

H54F51632) This would be Jack’s artistic depiction of me. I do appreciate my long eyelashes and bold lips.

H54F51653) I found one of the most comfortable pair of sandals I have ever owned. It doesn’t hurt that they’re pretty good looking too!

H54F51644) I’m in trouble. This was the little face that was looking at me after she crawled out of her crib, walked out the hallway and said, “hi, mommy”.

H54F51625) After this haircut, his stylist told me, “I wish every kid was as well behaved as he is while getting their haircut”. I was laughing in my head as I recalled the numerous attempts we would make at a haircut while he literally kicked and screamed his way out of every barber shop. Boy we’ve come a long way!



Have a wonderful weekend!


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