a lovely living

Monthly Archives for January 2015

High Five for Friday

Hello Friday! We had a fairly uneventful week around here, which can actually be a good thing. I’ve been having a few restless nights which I don’t exactly welcome, but that’s just all a part of this pregnancy game. Or should I say a warm up for what’s to come? Time is certainly flying by which is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. My daughter now gets her toy stethoscope out on a regular basis to chat with her little sister…via my belly button, of course. She’s going to be a terrific big sister (as is her brother, but he’s an old pro) but I’ll be sad to let go of her being my ‘baby’. I’m hanging on to that for these last few months!

Here’s a look back on my week:

1) Roller skating for the first time at a friend’s birthday party. He was a natural…after his wheels were tightened ;)


2) You can’t grow out of vests and scarves ;) Some current maternity favorites.


3) I haven’t gotten around to doing a post on this dinner, but it’s become a favorite around here so I wanted to pass along this Chicken Avocado Burrito recipe.


4) I know this isn’t unusual because I’ve seen a number of friends post pics of their daughters surrounded by dolls and animals in their beds, but seriously, how can one sleep this way?! I can barely have my husband brush up against me when it comes to getting my sleep!


5) I’ll leave you with this book that I just wrapped up studying with a handful of girlfriends. I love having a group of women that continue to push and lead me in my faith. This particular study was pretty eye opening when it comes to the way I pray. Certainly worth it on your own, but even better if you’re able to gather some friends to work through it with you.



Hope you had a pleasant week and I look forward to seeing you next week! Thanks for reading along!

Winter Florals


You are likely well aware of my love for pastels, but add in florals and I’m more than sold. I love this sweater’s soft contrast to the harsh winter weather, while remaining warm and cozy at the same time. Although some of that warmth may have something to do with my body serving as an incubator for a certain little someone ;) Typically I’m an icebox during the winter, but it hasn’t phased me nearly as much this year!






 Details: A&F sweater (similar) / Gap maternity denim (similar non-maternity) / Elie Tahari coat (option) / Necklace was my grandmothers (very similar) / Nixon watch / Anthropologie flats (similar)

Winter Getaway

So does anyone happen to be planning a tropical getaway within the next few months? Actually, no, don’t tell me, I’ll be extremely jealous. We’ve done winter getaways before and they are amazing. You come back feeling refreshed with a nice tan to carry you through the last bitter months of winter. It’s a genius idea for those of you that are able to make it happen. I need to work on making that a yearly priority! This year, we don’t have any trips planned, at least nothing tropical, but a girl can dream. I can also pretend I have a figure that would fit into these cute swimsuits, because at 23 weeks pregnant, that’s not happening. They try with the maternity suits, they really do, but I just don’t feel it. Anyway, for the sake of my dream, I’m packing my virtual bags and sharing them with you in case you’re lucky enough to be heading toward any sand and sunshine!
Take me away! (1)

one-piece suit / sandal / tote / coverup / sunglasses / bikini / bag


I love when I am able to recreate foods that bring me back to childhood. Rice-a-roni was a favorite side dish of mine while growing up. Actually it still is, but as we are always making efforts to cook with less processed and more fresh foods, I’m happy when I come across knock-off recipe’s that allow me to pull that off. This dish was rich, full of flavor and passed the ‘seconds test’ from my husband ;) My kids happen to love broccoli, but for those that don’t, this a great way to sneak it in. I served this as a side to these Baked Parmesan Pork Chops which were also outstanding. Just be careful not to over cook them as I almost did!



Baked Broccoli Cheese Rice via Cinnamon-Spice and Everything Nice:


4 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing pan
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and a few cracks fresh black pepper
2 + 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used only 2C and it was plenty)
1/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
3 cups cooked rice ( I used brown)
2 -3 cups cooked broccoli florets



Grease a 9×13-inch casserole pan. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large saucepan melt the butter over low heat; add garlic and saute until fragrant.

Whisk in flour and cook 3-4 minutes, whisking constantly.

Slowly whisk in milk, mustard and season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer 4 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Add 2 cups of cheddar cheese and parmesan; stir until mostly melted; remove from heat.

Stir in rice and broccoli florets, pour into casserole pan, sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese over top.

Bake 30 minutes until bubbly and lightly golden on top. Allow to set 5 minutes before serving.


It’s a…


…girl!! It looks like the girls are officially going to take over our household. In numbers at least ;) I wasn’t feeling strongly that it was one or the other, but when the technician gave us the news, I quickly realized I was totally expecting to hear ‘boy’. A wave of emotion hit me as I realized that this will likely be the completion of our family and that’s a crazy feeling. I’m thrilled nonetheless, that Madelyn will have a sister to grow up with and hopefully have a strong connection with as adults the way my sister and I do. And somehow Madelyn’s clothing purchases now seem much more justified knowing it will all get used more than once! As I laid there with these thoughts running through my head, my husband utters, “two weddings”. It’s okay my love, you have some time to prepare ;)

As for the outfit, which seems much less important, this style seems to be my go-to lately. A comfortable tee and an open sweater. Easy, comfortable and guaranteed to fit! Of course this sweater had to sell out yesterday, ugh. I just can’t seem to blog fast enough to keep up with everything selling out lately. Fortunately there are always alternatives such as this, this and this one (love!).






Details: A&F sweater (options here, here and here) / Preggers tee / Gap maternity pant (similar non-maternity) / Steve Madden boot (similar) / bracelet (similar) / JCrew Factory necklace / Baublebar necklace (similar)

 Linking up with this week’s Style Sessions

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, all! This week has sure been an adjustment for us. We had all gotten quite adjusted to sleeping in and taking advantage of Christmas break, but I think we’re finally getting back into the swing of things! I had a check-up this week and the baby looks to be right on track measuring in at just over a pound. We also found out the gender….which I’ll be revealing next week :) For the few of you that know, shhh! Any guesses from the rest of you?

Here’s a look at the rest of my week:

1) Little Suzy Snowflake enjoying some snow. Her coat can be found (on sale) here.


2) Our home always feels so bare once we get all of our Christmas decorations put away. Fresh flowers helped to fill that void and bring a little life back in to the house.


3) This week’s indulgence. These aren’t your ordinary jellybeans. There isn’t one that I turn away from.


4) 22 week baby bump. The second trimester is moving right along! You can find this ‘preggers’ tee here.


5) A little peek at baby Zerby rocking a mighty cute profile :)



How was your week? Have a fantastic weekend and I’ll see ya next week!

Personal Style


This look was obviously shot earlier as I wouldn’t dare step out of the house without a puffy coat, hat and mittens in this well-below freezing weather! Goodness it’s cold out there! I picked up this sweatshirt and scarf from Land’s End when I was hitting some Christmas sales. I also posted a sweater I found recently at Abercrombie on Instagram a few weeks ago and mentioned how I had previously felt too old to shop there. Then I find myself buying from Land’s End where I used to think I was too young to purchase from. I think it’s time to let go of some of my misconceptions and shop whatever items feel like me. I suppose that’s likely the definition of personal style, wouldn’t you say? One thing to note, however, is that sizing fluctuates. I find Abercrombie to run a bit small and Land’s End to run slightly large, so keep that in mind when shopping!






 Details: Land’s End sweatshirt (size down) / Land’s End scarf / JCrew maternity Pixie pant (non-maternity Pixie pant) / Madewell tote / Seychelles booties / Stella & Dot monogram necklace / Baublebar necklace (similar)

Do You Know Your Season?

A new year brings a fresh new start for many people. Many work on resolutions, others set goals they then strive to achieve. I often find myself giving our home a little refreshing early on in the year. With Santa and our families always being overly generous during the holidays, the aftermath can feel a bit overwhelming. We’ve already done a ‘toy cleanse’ with our children, getting rid of broken items or toys with missing parts and donating anything they no longer use. Another benefit of this process is discovering toys they had forgotten about which makes them feel brand new!

Once the toys are tackled, I then turn to our closets. Since we find ourselves often stuck indoors during the winter, it inevitably seems to be a great time to work on de-cluttering. I recently read somewhere (for the life of me I can’t remember where…let’s blame that on the pregnancy) how one woman tied a ribbon in her closet and placed everything to one side of it as she wore it. Time will soon tell what you’re always turning to and what you may not have touched in years. Those are the items you’ll need to consider purging. On this note, I want to touch on the subject of choosing clothing that works for you (or alternatively, what you should be tossing). I did a series titled ‘Making Color Work For You’ a few months into starting this blog. I know there are many of you that weren’t around for it, and others that may need a quick refresher as I always do. When you have a chance, take a few minutes to read through the following:

Making Color Work for You / Making Color Work For You: Part 2 / Making Color Work For You: Part 3 / Making Color Work For You: Part 4


(image source)

The process of color analysis (and determining whether you are a Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter) is the basis behind every clothing purchase I make. Knowing the colors that work the best with your skin tone, eye and hair color as well as finding your perfect shades of makeup, can make a world of difference. Reading through the series, you should be able to get a pretty good feeling of where you fall. Once you do this, a great idea would be to snap a pic of your color wheel and turn to it anytime you’re out shopping. As appealing as black can be, I know it’s a terrible color for me which makes it easy to pass by on the racks. Trust me, shopping (and purging) can be a much simpler process keeping this idea in mind.

Let me know, did you already know your season or were you able to gauge a good guess as to which you are?

Raspberry Thumbprints


Not only am I continuing to mourn the disappearance of our Christmas tree and decorations, but I’m also missing the piles of cookies that were abundant over the past few weeks! Let’s face that it’s likely to be cold, maybe even frigid, for the next few months. With the cold comes hot tea and cocoa, and where there’s hot tea and cocoa, cookies should obviously follow! That being said, these raspberry thumbprint cookies are a simple, delicious cookie to accompany the aforementioned beverages.  Luckily I managed to freeze a batch of these so I can have them at my disposal for the next few months…ok, maybe weeks ;)


Here’s the recipe via Parent Pretty:


1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup seedless red raspberry jam
sugar for sprinkling
1 cup powdered sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract


1. In a medium bowl beat butter medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the the 2/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Beat until well combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with electric mixer and then using a wooden spoon stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Using your thumb, press an indentation into the center of each ball. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the jam into each indentation and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.

3. For icing, in a medium bowl combine powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon water and 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract. Add enough of the remaining water to make a drizzling consistency. Drizzle cookies with icing.


Sweater Coat


Have you guys been doing any after Christmas shopping? I didn’t do much, but I did grab a few things. This sweater jacket for one, which I’m glad I threw in my cart immediately because it’s already sold out! Don’t worry, I’ve gathered a number of others below that are still in stock (and on sale!) for you to browse. The faux fur happens to be attached on this one, but you could just as easily throw a fur stole over any jacket to create the same look, and a more versatile one at that! Being that this is likely my last pregnancy, I’m not all that eager to purchase much maternity wear this time around, so I’m doing my best to purchase items that I’ll easily wear again next year post-baby. This most certainly falls into that category!









Details: Anthropologie sweater coat (see options below) / Target maternity jeans (similar non-maternity) / Gap maternity shirt (similar non-maternity) / Sperry wedges / JCrew Factory necklace / Stella & Dot monogram necklace

Shop a similar look:

sweatercoat01 1 / 2 / 3 / 4


1 / 2 / 3 / 4

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