a lovely living

Monthly Archives for August 2014

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, all! We’ve been having a blast all week with our family and friends at Rehoboth Beach, DE. The weather could not have been better and we took full advantage of it. It’s hard to narrow down a top five this week, but I’ve certainly enjoyed 1) Being reunited with friends we don’t see often enough 2) Spending an entire week with part of my husband’s side of the family, including my 6 week old nephew 3) Running at the beach, the most relaxing way to workout 4) Seeing my son reunite with a friend he’s had since they were a few weeks old and enjoying the way they now interact with one another 5) I’d be lying if I didn’t add ice cream to my top five, but I suppose that would be tied with outlet shopping!


I hope you’ve had a great week as well. I know many of you have had kids starting back to school and I’ll be joining you with tears in my eyes next week as I send my son off to Kindergarten! Have a great long weekend and I’ll see you next week!

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



There’s something about the french language that is so appealing to me. I’m still kicking myself for not taking it in school. I suppose there’s still time, but for now I’ll work with the few words I know. Leave it to JCrew to create the cutest graphic sweatshirt to ease my way into fall. With this being the last week we’re unofficially able to wear white, I’ve been pairing everything with the crisp color.

Our week at the shore is being enjoyed throughly. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, everyday has been perfect! My son was actually fishing earlier in the day on this lake and was so proud when he caught not one but two (teeny, tiny) fish. And in a matter of a few days I’ll be watching him walk off to Kindergarten. We’ll get to that later!







Details: JCrew Factory sweatshirt / LOFT denim / Converse sneakers / Michelle watch / necklace gifted


I love finding new recipes that have a full list of ingredients that I know my family approves of. And it gets extra points when it can all be made in one dish! Not only is this casserole packed full of nutrients, but its also one that my relatively small family of four almost completely devoured. You know I appreciate simple and it really is. The chicken does not even need to be cooked prior to adding it to the dish. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


Here’s the recipe thanks to Pinch of Yum:

  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • ¼ cup cooked, crumbled bacon (optional… sort of)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning (like Emeril’s Essence or any basic blend you like)
  • ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese (any kind will work)
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
  1. Sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously grease a 9×13 baking dish (seriously, be generous because it really really sticks to the sides). Bring the chicken broth and ½ cup milk to a low boil in a saucepan. Whisk the other ½ cup milk with the poultry seasoning and flour; add the mixture to the boiling liquid and whisk until a smooth creamy sauce forms.
  2. Assembly: In a large bowl, mix the sauce from step one, one cup water, quinoa, and bacon and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips and lay the chicken breasts strips over the top of the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with the seasoning. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  3. Broccoli: While the casserole is in the oven, place the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute until it turns bright green and then run under cold water. Set aside.
  4. Bake: Remove the casserole from the oven, check the mixture by stirring it around in the pan, and if needed, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to get the right consistency. When the quinoa and chicken are cooked and the sauce is thickened, add the broccoli and a little bit of water (up to one cup) until the consistency is creamy and smooth and you can stir it up easily in the pan. Top with the cheese and bake for 5 minutes, or just long enough to melt the cheese.
You will know the quinoa is done when it is soft and looks as if it has popped open, with the germ of the kernel visible as a little spiral. With enough time, it should get that moisture soaked right up into a creamy sauce.

At the Beach

Pardon the lack of a post today. I’m taking the time to enjoy the view and beautiful people shown below. The weather at the shore couldn’t be more perfect, so we’ve been enjoying every minute. I hope to be back with you all tomorrow!




Sorry, I’m in full beach mode and watermelon was the only caption that would come to mind with this outfit! But honestly, I love these shades of pink and green together. Soft, feminine and right up my alley. I posted about this sweater last week as we transition into fall, and it’s even better in person. It’s light, super soft and incredibly comfortable. There are plenty of shades available, all on super sale, so you may want to check them out. This probably won’t be the last time I wear it this week.







Details: JCrew sweater / JCrew shorts / Pour La Victoire sandals via Gilt / Stella & Dot necklace / JCrew bracelet / Michael Kors watch

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, all! In a sense this was our last week of summer. We are heading to the shore tomorrow and as soon as we return school begins! So I spent my week prepping for school as well as for the beach. Packing for a week away with children requires much more work than it should, but for time away with friends and family it’s worth it! My brand new nephew who’s 5 weeks old will also be staying with us, so I’m very much looking forward to some auntie/nephew snuggle time :)

Here’s a peek at my week:

1) A little library time on a rainy afternoon to stock up on books for the drive to the beach!


2) Taking the time to clean my makeup brushes. This doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should!


3) Thanks to my sister for babysitting so I could enjoy a nice evening out with this guy.


4) A friend made me aware that the peaches at a local farm were ripe and ready. I absolutely love peach season!


5) The ALS challenge found me and I was happy to donate to assist in finding a cure. There are too many diseases without cures and too many people suffering in the meantime. The kids and I also joined in on the ice-bucket challenge fun…or insanity, that’s more like it!

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 10.20.35 PM

I’m going to do my best to continue posting next week, but just a warning, I may miss a day or two! Enjoy your weekend!
 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png

Cut-offs for Date Night

pepshorts1Somehow the summer has nearly passed and these denim cut-offs that I’ve had for years and wear daily have yet to make it on the blog. Granted, it’s typically cut-offs, a graphic tee and Converse, but for a date night with my handsome husband I had to spice things up a bit. Jack has been up and down while battling lyme disease lately, so when my sister offered to watch the kids for a night, we jumped at the chance to have some peaceful one on one time. Sometimes I have outfits planned out in advance, and other times I stare blankly at my closet until something comes together for me. I didn’t feel like getting out of these shorts so I added a dose of feminine with the peplum top and threw on a jacket to battle the air conditioned restaurant. I love the slightly edgy outcome.








Details: Peplum top (similar here and here) / LOFT’s Lou & Grey jacket (similar) /  JCrew shorts (similar) / Baublebar necklace / JCrew bracelet / Clutch via TJMaxx ( similar here and also love this option) / Michael Kors watch / DV by Dolce Vita shooties (options)

Shop the look:

Mexican Mac & Cheese


Let me apologize for my lack of recipe sharing recently. I know you’ve been on the edge of your seats waiting for that next perfect dinner idea ;) The whole Redbook ordeal was a little overwhelming last week, but I’ll get things back on track around here!

Did anyone else’s ears perk up at the sound of Mac & Cheese like mine did? I receive new recipes daily from the Mix and Match Mama and this one immediately went onto my grocery list. To be honest, it looked like the Hamburger Helper that I grew up on, but obviously it’s a bit more nutritious. I really enjoy making dinners from scratch because it’s nice to know everything that’s going into my meal. You have the option to use a packet of taco seasoning or chili powder for this recipe. I chose to use chili powder and I found by doing this that it also needed a touch of salt. That wouldn’t be necessary if using the seasoning with plenty of sodium included! Anyway, this was a hit, which was obvious when my husband went up for thirds!


Here’s the recipe via the Mix and Match Mama:


1 pound of pasta
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder (or a 1 ounce packet of taco seasoning)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 green onions, chopped
1 small (4 oz) can of chopped green chiles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt and Pepper


  • Over medium-high heat, bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop pasta.  Cook until al dente (about 6 or 7 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, brown ground beef in a drizzle of EVOO in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Once beef is browned and crumbly, stir in chili powder, bell pepper, green onions and chopped green chiles.  Reduce heat to low and saute about 5 minutes or until veggies are tender.
  • In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt butter.  Stir in flour and stir constantly for about a minute.  Stir in milk and reduce heat to low.  Stir another minute and then stir in cheese.  Stir until the cheese has melted into your sauce.
  • Drain pasta and add it to your large skillet filled with the ground beef mixture.  Pour cheesy sauce down over everything and stir until everything is covered in sauce.
  • Ladle the pasta mixture into bowls and garnish with a few extra green onions.

Transitioning with Sales

Tell me I’m not the only one that can get sucked into browsing JCrew sales for more time than I’d like to admit? It’s the darn super sales (sales on sale) that get me. Sale or no sale, I’m winding down on pretty much all warm weather purchases. Thankfully, most stores, JCrew in particular, already offer a number of items on sale that will prove to work well for the summer to fall transition. There are countless outfits that could be pieced together from their sale section alone, but I put together two different looks to give you some ideas. I’m not ready for fall just yet, but these outfits do tempt me!


 necklace / sweater / jeans / bag / bracelet / shoes

JCrew2earrings / sweatshirt / skirt / bag / bracelet / shoes

JCrew is currently offering an extra 30% off of final sale styles using code SHOPSALE.

Shop the looks:



No, I’m still not ready for fall to arrive, but since I’ve slowly begun shopping for a few fall pieces and the weather turned a bit chilly (hopefully temporarily), I decided to dip my toe in the fall water. I love these shooties (apparently I’ve been living under a rock not realizing that’s what they are called!) that I ordered a few weeks ago from the Anthro sale. The little bit of edge they give to an outfit is perfect and their stacked heel keeps them surprisingly comfortable. I’m also loving the print on this JCrew Factory tank. The colors say fall, but I would also throw it on with white denim to keep the look summery.









 Gap pants / JCrew Factory tank / Gap Factory jacket (similar) / DV by Dolce Vita shooties (options) / bracelet gifted / Kate Spade crossbody / Francesca’s necklace / Rayban aviators

 Shop the look: