a lovely living

Monthly Archives for October 2018

Impromptu Family Photos

Hi guys! I hope you had a great weekend. We had a good one, despite the cooooold weather that set in. Regardless, my girls decided that they wanted to take pictures with ‘mommy’ this weekend, and I’m never one to turn that down! It was a last minute decision, so outfits aren’t perfectly matched and the girls’ hair wasn’t styled, but this is what our perfectly imperfect Sunday usually looks like. The kids were slightly more reluctant to give their big smiles when they felt the wind, but they were troopers, and we even coaxed the boys into joining us for a few shots.

I’ll share the details for some of the kids’ clothing (I think we can all agree someone needs to make us a pom-pom sweatshirt in our size!) below. The dress I’m wearing is one I’d highly recommend. It’s crazy soft and basically feels as though you’re wearing a nightgown. I’ll be wearing it on repeat for a while, so you’ll likely see it on here again!

Can you even handle this little wave??

Or this ‘cheese’ face that all three of my kids have gone through?!

My two favorite guys, goofing around per usual…

This one only wanted snuggles…

Or to hide…

Or to tell me it was time to go!

Jack x Jack.

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Friends & Family Sale: LOFT

Since we all love a good LOFT sale, I did my due diligence and tried on some of my favorites to share with you. Let’s just say there’s a lot of goodness, so be prepared!

Let’s start with this adorable cropped cardigan in the prettiest shade of pink. It pairs beautifully with the plums and greens of fall.

Here it is layered over one of their pretty fall tops. Paired with trousers or a pencil skirt, this would easily be work appropriate.

After discussing how I’ve been paring down my closet in Wednesday’s post, I had to really consider this top….because it’s soo pretty. I rationalized all the ways I could wear it….and then it came home with me. So stay tuned ;)

This sweater has gained popularity very quickly, and I can see why. The bold leopard print and the slight bubble sleeve give it a fun bit of flair.

Tunic sweaters are always great to have in your closet because they pair perfectly with leggings in addition to denim or dress pants. And it’s hard to pass up a this beautiful shade.

I love the plaid print and subtle ruffle detail on this blouse. It’s a great layering piece, as you can see here…

I’d love to see these pieces paired with some navy pants and heels. The jacket is very comfortable and the herringbone pattern is so pretty in person.

This hooded sweatshirt cardigan basically makes it ok to head out in your bathrobe, maybe even better.

I’m not sure any picture could do this dress justice. This Lou & Grey dress is made with their softest material, yet shaped into a chic little dress. Basically the best of both worlds.

 

Since we’re talking cozy, I’ve had this top for a few weeks now and have been changing into it just about every evening. You can pick between this pretty green or a lovely pink, but I promise you won’t regret this one. And if you want a great pair of black sweat pants, check these out.

This is a great casual sweater. It has a nice length although not quite tunic length and a hood is always a fun addition.

Lastly, here’s a great faux wrap top. Perfect for work or weekend and it’s sewn at the top so there’s no need to worry about it staying in place.

Shop the pieces:

 

Paring Down

I’ve been doing quite a bit of purging in my closet over the past few weeks. I frequently donate and consign a handful of items every so often but lately I’ve felt the urge to pare down my wardrobe a bit more. As a blogger, it’s most helpful to be able to share current clothing with you all (or at least very similar options) which means my closet is ever evolving, which also means it’s a lot of work to keep up with! I’m also discovering that, like many others, I mostly turn to the same handful of items day after day. With that in mind, I’ve been keeping my focus on the pieces I wear consistently and doing my best to make purchases that will fit into that revolving wheel. I decided to share with you some of my most worn pieces (or very similar pieces) that I’ve been wearing lately, in hopes that this may help you to mix and match your wardrobe in more ways than one (or two, or five!).  And funny enough, no one will even notice that you’ve only been rotating through a handful of pieces of clothing! I’ll have all of these items linked below for you if you’d like the details.

As a side note, I’m curious what modes you use to clean out your own closets. I’ve used ThredUp (which I have found to be convenient, though not very lucrative), local consignment stores, Poshmark, various FaceBook groups as well as donations. What have you found to work the best for you?

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Wrap Sweater

Happy Monday guys! My two oldest were up, dressed and eating breakfast before I was even up this morning. And even though I sent my son off to school in a jacket that he ‘hates’, I’m still chalking it up to a decent start to the week! You can find said jacket here. Despite his opinion, this momma thinks he looks adorable in it! Do you guys find a difference between girls and boys when it comes to dressing them? My son has always been particular with his clothing and we’re currently in the phase where he only wants to wear gym clothes. We do our best to compromise (okay, I do my best to compromise), but after offering a number of jackets to him I finally gave up and declared the last jacket I bought the final one. My girls definitely have an opinion in clothing as well, but I find they are much more open to things than Jack is. We may show up in (purposefully) mis-matched socks and shoes on the wrong feet, but hey, I can’t win every battle. Yesterday we went in to church with Audrey in knee-high socks and leggings pulled up above her knees so that her socks weren’t hidden!

Ok, enough of that tangent, apparently I needed to vent ;)

This wrap sweater is a favorite of mine this season. I actually purchased it a while back but haven’t had a chance to share it on here yet. It comes in a few beautiful colors and has such a wonderful fit. It’s not overly bulky and allows to be layered under or over top. This time of year I love tossing on a pretty scarf to add a little punch to an outfit. Did anyone else grab this one during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale? It’s since sold out but I have a number of other great options for you below. The booties are a recent purchase for me. I’ve been wearing a lot of the same booties for years now and I decided it was finally time to update some of them. This pair is comfortable and adds a nice amount of height without any discomfort, which is key for me! I find that this taupe shade goes with a large amount of my wardrobe, so I guarantee you’ll be seeing them more than a few times on here.

Details: Sweater / Pants / Scarf (sold out, see similar options below) / Booties / Earrings

Loving Lately

I hope your week has been going well! I’m off on my second field trip of the week, today with my 4th grader and his classmates visiting a few historical buildings in our area. We’re also stopping for ice cream, so you know I was sold on attending ;)

I have a bunch of great finds I wanted to share with you today. A few are recent purchases,  some are on order, and others I’d like to be on order! Fall brings out all the goodies, doesn’t it?! Beautiful scarves, cozy sweaters, warm layers and pretty details. I stopped dead in my scrolling when I came across this beauty, talk about detail! And don’t forget the basics. I love this cognac baseball cap, it’s such great quality at a can’t beat price. And a sweater tunic or two is essential for sure to layer up with in the coming months. Basically, you’ve got some decisions to make and I’ve got some narrowing down to do ;)

Happy shopping and cheers to a wonderful weekend ahead!

 

I realize I don’t share recipes as often as I used to on here, but I made the decision a while ago to only share those oh.my.goodness dishes when I came across them. Well, I came across one. We had this for the first time the other night and I admit, the kids need some warming up to it, but kids can be crazy. I on the other hand, can’t wait to make it again! It’s such a perfect fall meal. The butternut squash mixed with the sausage and topped with shaved parmesan makes for quite the flavorful combo. And the pureed butternut squash creates the most creamy sauce without the use of any cream. You can add any pasta you choose, but Trader Joe’s currently has this Fall Zuccehette pasta stocked which made it all the more festive. Give it a shot. And then let me know how much you loved it!

Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce, Spicy Sausage and Baby Spinach via Skinny Taste

INGREDIENTS:
11 oz (4 links) spicy chicken Italian sausage
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 tbsp whipped butter
10 oz pasta, wheat or gluten-free
1/4 cup shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh shaved parmesan cheese
4 sage leaves, sliced thin
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft.
Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender, blend until smooth.
Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions for al dente, reserving at least 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, sauté sausage over medium heat until browned, breaking up with a spoon as it cooks. When cooked through, set aside on a plate.
Reduce heat to medium-low and melt the butter, sauté the shallots and garlic until soft and golden, about 5 – 6 minutes.
Add pureed butternut squash, season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little of the reserved pasta water (I used about 1 cup) to thin out the sauce to your liking.
Add baby spinach and stir in parmesan cheese and sage. Toss in cooked pasta and sausage and mix until well coated.
Serve with additional parmesan cheese on the side if desired.

My Kind of Suit

I could discuss all the pros of blanket scarves on this post, but I’m pretty sure most of you are already on board that train. What some of you may need some convincing on however are bodysuits. I feel as though I’ve had them towards the bottom of my list for a while but then I saw this one from J.Crew and decided to give it a try. Well, I’ve already worn it twice this week and figure I’m going to need more before people start to question me! You know I love a good front tuck, but there are times I don’t even want to deal with that or am simply looking for a more put together look. It feels so good not to have to worry about my shirt coming untucked and I know a lot of you active women (need I even mention mothers!) can probably relate. And how much sense does it make to wear one of these with your overalls? Genius. Do I continue to mistakenly refer to it as a onesie, yes, yes I do. But call it what you will, these things are awesome. Especially when it comes to layering, it feels great to have things stay in place and not shift and ride up when they aren’t supposed to. They also come in all shapes and styles. As I did some searching, Free People seems to be leading the pack in this department. Make sure you scroll below to see a bunch of my favorites. You’d never even guess most of them were bodysuits!

Details: JCrew bodysuit / Scarf (similar, see more below) / Denim / Bag / Booties (similar) / Earrings

 

Sale Into the Weekend

Happy Friday guys! This week flew by, but I’m always ready for the weekend. We don’t have any major plans, just some of those oh-so-fun homeowner responsibilities to tackle. I absolutely love our home (and neighborhood) but there are times when I miss our rental days back in Hoboken. One quick phone call and any issues we ever had were quickly handled…by someone else ;) Those were the days! Regardless, I wouldn’t trade this house that’s become our home for anything.

There are a few noteworthy sales happening right now that I wanted to share with you. I’ve gathered some of my favorites from each retailer that you can find below. Happy shopping and happy weekend to you!

Anthropologie: Extra 40% off Sale

JCrew: 40% off purchase with code BIGSALE

Madewell: 20% off $100+ or 30% off $200+ with code ONYOURMARK

 

Beauty Go-To’s

It’s been quite a while since I’ve shared any of my beauty favorites on here. I’m always so flattered when I receive compliments on my make-up over on Instagram, and even more so when those of you ask for a tutorial! I’m far from a pro in this department (so a tutorial is a long-shot) but I have found a routine with a handful of products that’ve been working well for me for some time now. I’m not one to constantly try new products just for the sake of it, but I also don’t give up searching until I’m happy with the results. Here’s what’s been working well for me, you can scroll below for the details:

 

1. Bare Minerals Liner: Once in a while I’ll use a pencil liner, but I find that liquid liner lasts longer for me. And if you’re going through the trouble of putting on your make-up, you want it to last as long as possible, right?!

2. Bare Minerals Blush: This loose powder blush has been a long time favorite of mine. I’m not sure that all of the shades are shown online, but ‘secret’ is my go-to.

3. Nars Bronzing Powder: I do my best to keep my face from getting much sun, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want it to have some color! I love dusting a bit of this bronzer on my cheekbones, nose and forehead to add just a touch of color.

4. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under eye Concealer: I’ve gone through a few concealers over the years (I do have three little kids, lol) and this one is my favorite by far. You only need a dot and this stuff stays put, covering everything that needs to be covered.

5. Nars Tinted Moisturizer: I’ve gone back and forth on a few tinted moisturizers (I prefer them over foundations), but this is the one I keep coming back to. However this one is a close second.

6. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: When it comes to mascaras, I have two #1’s. The reason I love this one is because of the way it can thicken my lashes with just a few strokes of the brush.

7. MAC Eyeshadow: I tend to find an eyeshadow palette I love and stick with it until my favorite three (maybe four) colors run dry. I’m pretty obsessed with this one though, so there’s a chance I’d even repurchase it!

8. Benefit They’re Real Mascara: This would be my second top mascara. I’ve loved this one for years because it lengthens my lashes like no other!

9. MAC Eyebrow pencil: I’ve gone through at least three if not four of these brow pencils. I prefer the twist over those that need sharpened and they finally added a brush to this one which was long overdue!

10. Stila Stay All Day Lipstick: I’m constantly forgetting to reapply lipstick throughout the day. That’s why I turn to this all-day-lipstick quite often, and I always receive compliments when I do. Especially in the shade ‘portofino’ ;)

11. Bare Minerals Perfecting Veil: Post tinted moisturizer and bronzer, I’ll often add a dusting of this mineral veil. It helps to set and protect the makeup I’ve already applied and gives a softer overall look.

Fall Floral

Happy Monday and Happy October to you! In one sense I feel as though I’m still transitioning out of summer, but on the other hand I finished decorating my porch with pumpkins and mums this weekend. I love how everyone gets into this season. Not only with sweaters and blanket scarves and pumpkin everyyything, but with their decor as well. I was strolling Audrey through our neighborhood the other day and I couldn’t help but admire how pretty everyone’s front porch looked. The colors are all so striking and the flowers and pumpkins are all so fresh. I’m crossing my fingers that my mums last more than two weeks this year. And if you have a secret to making them last longer, do share!

I had parts of this outfit all set for a date night that fell through last week (our poor sitter ended up sick), but I threw on a trench coat and decided to make it work for church. I’ve worn this adorable floral top a handful of times already and I love how well it works to layer. It’s also super cute with army green pants and a denim jacket. And if you need to dress it up, you could always tuck it into a skirt and throw a blazer over it. But you know me, give me denim any day!

Details: H&M top / Levi denim (similar) / Trench coat / Mules (similar) / Nickel & Suede earrings / LeSpecs sunglasses (similar)