a lovely living

Monthly Archives for July 2018

Today’s the day that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is finally open to the public! Fall styles at discounted prices, but only for a limited time.

There’s so much to navigate over there, but I’ve narrowed down some of my favorites in various categories to help give you a start. Sizes have been selling out, but I’m crossing my fingers that some things will re-stock. I’ve received a handful of things from my order and I’m loving so many pieces already. I’m not ready to bundle up in scarves and sweaters just yet, but it sure is tempting!





Coats & Jackets:




Pretty Paisley

Date nights aren’t always the easiest to schedule for my husband and I, but we both make great efforts to make them happen! As much as we are enjoying the summer months and having the kids home, the days can be especially draining on me. I love tucking the kids into bed, and curling up on the couch with my husband and our laptops (it’s when we get our best work done). But without those evenings out every once in a while, we tend to find ourselves in a rut or feeling slightly disconnected.  Those one on one nights that we try to schedule at least every other week are the best way for us to recharge. We’ve been dating for 23 years (no, I’m not kidding) and I don’t want them to end any time soon!

You’ve seen this pretty paisley top on here before, but I’ve been wearing it on repeat! Plus, it’s now marked down to just over $20, so if you were considering it, I’d grab one now! These shorts have been my go-to denim this summer. I love the high waist and raw hem. They can be worn down or cuffed depending on the look or comfort level you want. On a final note, this bag is restocked in neutral. It’s been out of stock for a while now, and despite being on backorder, it’s worth the wait!

Details: LOFT top / Madewell denim / Bag / Booties (similar) / Nickel & Suede earrings

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Black + Green

Hi guys! Can anyone believe it’s Monday already? I read something yesterday that said, “I need another day between Saturday and Sunday”, and I couldn’t agree more! I just can’t seem to keep up with our laundry this summer. I can’t quite figure out how my kids dirty clothes as quickly as they do, which doesn’t help in my attempt to keep up with the constant rotation of pool towels! If one thing is getting a workout, it’s our washer, lol!

This is the outfit that I wore to church over the weekend. When the Universal Thread line first came out at Target I can’t say I was overly impressed. But a few months in and I now find things catching my eye more often than not. I loved the color and style of this simple, everyday top. It works well with shorts and has enough give should you want to add a little knot in the front. And as with most things Target, you can’t beat the price!

Details: Universal Thread top / Madewell denim (similar here and here) / Espadrilles (similar here and here) / Bag / Nickel & Suede earrings / LeSpecs sunglasses (similar)

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Happy Friday, all! The #nsale insanity is officially underway. For those of you that have a Nordstrom card, shopping is opened up to you. For the rest, you can begin filling your carts until it opens to everyone else at the end of next week. On the chance that you’re unfamiliar, this is the sale where you can find all of your go-to fall pieces temporarily marked down before they jump back up in a few weeks. There are some great deals to be found and closet staples to be discovered. I had a hectic day yesterday so I haven’t had time to scroll through everything yet but I did scope it out and uncovered some of my initial favorites. I managed to get an order placed, so I’ll share some reviews once I get my hands on everything. But today, I’m sharing those first fav’s so you can grab yours before they sell out. And trust me, things do sell out (I lost two items while I was waiting to check out yesterday!), so don’t waste too much time.

I purchased my faux leather Spanx during last years sale and they were absolutely my most worn purchase. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve told about them and they continue to get rave review after rave review. If there’s one thing you buy, get these! This year I’m very excited to try this wrap sweater and this convertible wrap cardigan. This cardigan seems to already be a fan favorite, and I can see why! I grabbed a pair of Zella leggings which are perfect for lounging or your workouts. And when it comes to booties, it was difficult to narrow them down! I love the wedge on this pair, the perforation on these and this off-white pair is so different from any others I own.

I get that this sale can feel overwhelming and a bit out of control (I mean, it’s just a sale). But I’ll likely break things down, uncover my favorites in various departments and share them with you in smaller doses. We’ll keep it manageable ;) In the meantime, let me know what you’re finding!!

Click the images below for all the details.

Top Paint Picks

As many of you know, I’ve been helping to design and decorate homes over the past few years which is basically a dream come true for me! I began playing with paint colors when we moved into our home just over three years ago. Prior to that we had bounced from condo to condo where I never had much freedom to change anything. When we moved in to our home, I started slapping paint samples up on all of the walls. And when I say samples, I mean I went all out crazy! Seriously, you should see the shelves of sample paints we have collected in our garage. Jack loves it ;) But ultimately I began to uncover some of my favorite colors and took note that although there were 5 million shades of griege, I was easily able to narrow them down to a handful that I loved.

It wasn’t until I took Maria’s workshop a few months ago that I was able to clearly decipher that everything ultimately came down to the undertones when comparing all of the neutrals to one another. It finally gave confirmation as to why one greige could look amazing in my home, but ugly and dingy in another. What it comes down to is comparison. Compare, compare and compare and you’ll be able to see that some neutrals have green undertones and others have purple and depending on your furniture, carpet and other hard finishes, one color will ultimately rise up as the winner. Every home is different and when it comes to neutrals especially, there’s always the disclaimer that each color will look different in every home, and it can even vary from room to room. This isn’t to scare you (I promise) but rather to create an awareness that A) it’s smart to sample (or use a sample board) before you paint an entire room and B) you’re not crazy!

I do plan to discuss more on the topic in the future, but for now, I wanted to share six of my favorite paint colors that I have used time and again. I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of clients where I’ve handled everything from picking paint colors for a room or two to selecting every finish from the outside in on a new build. At least one, if not more, of these colors have been used on just about every project I’ve been involved with. And I should mention that my clients have loved them too, it’s not just me ;) So let me go into a bit of detail as to why I love each one and what spaces I’ve found them to be most useful in.

SW Accessible Beige: If I were to have a signature color, most of my clients would agree, it would be Accessible Beige. Although I love elements of gray in decor, I’m not one to go for typical grey walls. When I refer to ‘typical gray’ I’m referring to grays with a blue undertone and a cooler, crisper feel. I prefer the warmer grays/greige’s which is where this color falls. It’s also the color that I have running through the majority of our main floor, our basement, as well as our master bedroom and my sons room. When something works, run with it!

SW Agreeable Gray: I consider Agreeable Gray to fall within the greige category as well, although it certainly feels more gray than Accessible Beige. It has a warm violet undertone which keeps it feeling comfortable and inviting. It’s a very popular gray, as it should be!

SW Sea Salt: This color is such a dream. It is so soft, subtle and serene. It’s a mix of blue and green that in some rooms shows up looking more blue and in others the green can take charge. I don’t mind one way or the other because it always looks phenomenal. I adore this color in bathrooms or powder rooms as it looks beautiful next to the clean whites of the bathroom fixtures. I’ve also seen a number of people use it in their master bedroom where it can also look stunning.

SW Silver Strand: Silver Strand is what I turn to when I’m looking for something a bit more saturated and with a bit more punch than Sea Salt. It reads as more of a blue gray and is still soft and beautiful but with a richness to it. This is another color I turn to for baths and powder rooms.

SW Fawn Brindle: I love throwing this color into the mix of a color scheme. It’s another warm grey that adds beautiful contrast when you’re working with some lighter neutrals. I’ve used it in mudrooms and laundry rooms and love the visual interest it adds as you’re looking and moving from one room to another.

SW Alabaster: White walls seem to be the latest trend, but unless you have room after room full of bright, natural light, you may not be able to pull off an all-out bright white. Alabaster is such a pretty off-white that reads crisp and clean but at the same time offers a beautiful contrast to white trim and baseboards. I used this color in some bedrooms as well as the master bath of a project I recently wrapped up and I can’t tell you how many people were commenting on the color (the builders included!).


I’m most comfortable and have had much success with Sherwin Williams colors, but there are a number of colors from other brands that I’m quite fond of as well. We’ll have to hold out for another post on those down the road!

I’d love to know what some of your absolute favorite paint colors are. Share in the comments and let me know where you use them!




Striped Midi

Happy Monday, all! We are coming off of a weekend spent fully in the sunshine and it was glorious. Bike rides, amusement parks and plenty of pool time kept our family of five perfectly happy. This week we have the Central PA Arts Festival to look forward to locally and the big Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opening to card holders this Thursday! If you know what that is, you may already be sick of hearing about it ;) But if you don’t, I’ll have more details on it come Friday’s post!

I grabbed this dress at Target the other day when I passed it on my way to the paper towels. Your women’s clothing is right next to the paper goods too, right? ;) I love, love, love it! The pleated sleeves, the midi length and obviously the green and white stripes combine to make one adorable t-shirt dress. It’s perfect for the weekend, causal date nights, a laid back work environment and not to mention, the beach! This one will be in my suitcase for sure when we head to the shore next month. I’ve also been raving about this bag over on Instagram and how much I adore it. I love that I can easily toss it around, load it up with my personal items, throw in all the random things my kids throw at me and head out for the day. At under $30, I couldn’t pass it up!

Details: Target dress / Madewell bag / Nickel & Suede earrings / LeSpecs sunglasses / Booties (similar here and here) / Watch (similar)

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Insta Lately

Anyone else totally thrown off this week? It feels like the best Tuesday ever, being that it’s actually Friday! I hope you all had a wonderful 4th. I’m happy to report that after Audrey’s strong opposition to fireworks last year, she was bright eyed with excitement this time around! And despite the exquisite display, Madelyn managed to fall asleep in her fold up chair before the grand finale. All in all, it was a good day :)

I’ll leave you with some of my recent Instagram outfits that haven’t made it to the blog. Also known as my real life everyday. Maybe they’ll help inspire an outfit or two!

t-shirt / jeans / shoes / earrings

shirt / jeans

top / bottoms


t-shirt / denim

shirt / jeans / shoes / bag / earrings

t-shirt / pants / earrings

tank / shorts / shoes (similar) / sunglasses (similar)


Go Fourth with Sales!

Happy 4th everyone! We have a wonderful relaxing day ahead of us and I hope you do too! I didn’t have much planned for the blog today, but I wanted to pass along a few great sales that are happening so you didn’t miss them.

Have a great day and enjoy those fireworks!!

Anthropologie: Extra 40% off sale items

Dolce Vita: Extra 20% off sale with code: SUMMER20

H&M: Up to 70% off

LOFT: Extra 50% off sale styles

J.Crew: 30% off your purchase with code: ALLSTAR

J.Crew Factory: 50% off everything plus extra 20% off with code: SUPERSTAR

Madewell: 20% off summer must-haves with code SPARKLER

Old Navy: Entire store up to 60% off

Sole Society: Select styles up to 60% off


I hope you all had a great weekend and are looking forward to all the festivities this week! July 4th always creeps up quickly and I hate to see it go as the summer seems to fly by afterwards.

I wore this somewhat festive, yet always summer appropriate, watermelon top with my favorite denim skirt over the weekend. This top reminds me of one you’d find at Madewell, yet for a fraction of the price. It’s extremely light-weight and perfect for the current heat-wave. I should also mention these earrings that I’ve been wearing on constant repeat. I have a handful of Nickel & Suede earrings that I wear regularly, but this cork pair seems to be the most versatile yet. They feel casual enough for me to pair with t-shirts and denim shorts without feeling too flashy with their size. For reference, I wear their size medium, but they also come in small and large.

Details: Old Navy top / JCrew skirt (similar) / Bag / Wedges (similar) / Sunglasses (similar) / Nickel & Suede earrings

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