a lovely living

Dressing Up Denim

Happy Monday and Happy May, everyone! I feel as though I blinked and April passed by, did that happen to anyone else? And now we enter the month where my baby, Audrey, will turn two, Madelyn will turn five and my husband….well, we’ll celebrate his birthday in there too ;) After tackling a ton of yard work and installing some new landscaping over the weekend, I am wiped! Hopefully a few cups of coffee will get me rolling today!  I did pull myself together for church yesterday and I had fun dressing up this new denim skirt. It temporarily sold out as I was waiting for a sale, but restocked while they were offering 30% off and I quickly grabbed it! I love the button detail which makes it a bit unique. And this sweet top (coming in at $13!) is available in four colors…I’m tempted to get more!

Details: SheIn top c/o / JCrew denim skirt / Stella & Dot necklace (old, but similar) / Heels (similar) / Kate Spade bag (similar)

Instagram Style

Happy Friday, gang! My husband has been away all week and I am very much looking forward to his return home tonight! One parent to three little ones for a week makes for one exhausted momma!!  Having lost my photographer all week and for the sake of getting some sleep, I’m sharing some of my latest Instagram looks that haven’t made their way to the blog. You’ll note that these new jeans and this sleeveless sweater have been on repeat! Oh, and a number of you have taken to these shoes and let me just say, I think you have good taste ;) Wishing you all a lovely weekend! We’ll be tackling spring yard work and will be having some new landscaping installed. It’s funny the things that now excite me!!

Jacket (similar) / Sunglasses / Top (similar) / Denim / Tote / Shoes / Necklace

T-shirt / Crossbody / Denim (similar) / Sneakers / Necklace

Jacket (similar) / Sweater / Denim (similar) / Mules (similar)

Overalls (similar) / Shirt (similar) / Sneakers / Necklace

Jumpsuit

Sweatshirt / Denim

Sweater / T-shirt (similar) / Denim / Booties (similar) / Necklace (similar)

Chambray top (similar) / Denim / Necklace (similar) / Mules (similar)

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Well gang, I’m here with your 2.5 week warning that Mother’s Day is on it’s way! May is such a busy month around here as I’m sure it is for many of you, so I’m here to share some of my favorite ideas for younger moms and older moms alike in hopes that you can find that perfect little something to serve as a token of your appreciation.

 


Minted Photo Art
: Such a fun idea for a mother or grandmother alike. My children (with the help of their father) fill in a number of pages each year of a memory book with photos and drawings that collect over the years. There’s nothing a mother loves more than getting to see her children/grandchildren gathered together everday!

Fringe Tote: What a fun accessory to gift to a mother who is likely toting around a whole slew of stuff for her children all summer long. I know that’s not just me!!

Gardening Tools: I’ve been trying to get a handle on managing our landscaping and weeds over the past few years and having a set of pretty gardening tools makes it just a little bit more fun!

Kendra Scott Earrings: A statement for sure with these beautiful drop earrings. You can’t go wrong with something that’ll hold a spot in her jewelry box for years to come!

ILY Grandma T-shirt: Grandmas deserve cute statement t-shirts too! And there’s one for mom too, of course.

One Line A Day Memory Book: If you’ve followed for a while, you’ve likely seen this on here before and that’s because it’s a favorite of mine! This book is great for mothers of younger children because they may not care to remember every memory in the moment, but over time they’ll treasure it all looking back ;)

IT Cosmetic Brushes: I got some new brushes around Christmas time and it made me realize that it had been far too long since I had updated mine. They would certainly make a welcomed treat and likely something your mother doesn’t even realize could use an update!

Pom Pom Clutch: Sometimes fun, unexpected gifts are the most well received. This little clutch would serve well to a number of mothers that I can think of!

Pink + Pink

Happy Monday, all! I hope you enjoyed a lovely weekend. You may have caught on my Insta-stories how we ripped out our front landscaping, and by we I mean my brother (the landscaper) and my husband (the guy that loves ripping up anything)! We now have nice piles of dirt that I get to stare at all week long until they fill it in with beautiful new landscaping this coming weekend. We’ve been in our home for over a year and a half but I’m still getting a handle on maintaining a home…landscaping and all that goes into it included! You’ll have to follow along over the weekend to see the end result! My trust is in my brother ;) And if you’re local, his company does great work!!

I know you’ve seen this sweater before and I know some of you grabbed it before it sold out. And if you didn’t, I’m sorry! But to make up for it, I’ve tracked down a bunch of other adorable pink tops that I think will make up for it ;) The gist of the outfit anyway, is pairing pink with pink. This is how I had envisioned wearing this sweater from the moment I saw it, I just had to let the weather catch up to my plans!

Details: JCrew sweater (options below) / Zara pants (similar) / Shoes via TJMaxx (similar here and less expensive version here) / LeSpecs sunglasses

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Spring Finds Under $50

Spring seems to be in full swing lately. 70’s one day and 50’s the next which is typical here in central, PA. The grass is greener than ever, the buds are all out, and so are the weeds! ;) It’s always fun to sprinkle in a few new pieces into your spring wardrobe so today I’ve gathered a dozen items I’d love to add to mine, all under $50! This bag has actually already been added (you may have seen on Instagram) and I’ve loved the pop of color it’s added to a number of my outfits! I also love this tote which would be very practical for a summer running around with young children carrying all of the things. Ruffles and wraps and tie waist cargo shorts are all not so basic basics that would take your outfits up a notch and far from boring. And if you needed new shoes, platform sneakers and a fun pair of sandals would probably fit the bill. And don’t forget a cute cap to protect that pretty skin during all those practices and games this summer!

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Strawberry Pie

I’ve always wanted to prepare a strawberry pie and can’t say exactly why it took me so long to give it a try. As strawberry season moves in to full swing shortly, let me recommend you put those berry’s to good use! I made this pie for our Easter dinner with my family and it was a hit! Some even went for seconds ;) This is without a doubt the easiest pie I’ve ever tackled. If you use a pre-made crust (as I did, being short on time), it comes down to slicing berries, stirring a pot and adding in some ‘chill’ time! And then people can ohh and ahh at your slice of heaven ;)

Strawberry Pie via Sugar Apron:

Ingredients
9 inch pie crust
4-6 cups fresh strawberries, quartered and hulled
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 3oz. box of Strawberry Jell-O
3 tablespoons of cornstarch

Instructions
1. Bake pie crust in 9 inch deep pie dish and set aside to cool.
2. Put the water, sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Whisk constantly until it become thick, about 3 minutes.
4. Then whisk in the Jell-O and cook for a minute longer.
5. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 15min
6. As the glaze cools, place strawberries straight into the pie crust.
7. Pour the glaze over the strawberries.
8. Refrigerate until set.
9. You can decorate with whipped cream before serving.

Easter 2017

It has become our tradition to head to Penn State’s Arboretum after church on Easter to take family pictures. As much as my personality would like this to be an orderly process, I’ve come to understand that it goes much more smoothly when we go with the flow….the flow of the kids, that is!  We enjoyed a beautiful day this Easter, full of sunshine and squinting! The girls wore their matching dresses (my oldest, Madelyn, loves twinning with her little sis) from Old Navy and my son (as he typically does) chose to wear a bow-tie over a tie. His Headmaster at school is always sporting one and I’m pretty sure he’s had some influence over my little guy ;) My dress sold out at LOFT (I’m sorry!) but since Easter is over you don’t really need it now anyway, right? ;) And I recently grabbed these sandals (that resemble this Free People pair and this Jeffrey Campbell pair) for $25! You may want to scout out your local TJMaxx ASAP to see if you can grab a pair too. And in the meantime I’ll try to track down something similar that I can link to in future posts.

What follows is a lot of real life, a bunch of half smiles and loads of cuteness ;) You’ve been warned…

Girl’s dresses via Old Navy / Madelyn’s shoes via Target / Audrey’s shoes via Target / Jack’s shorts via Target / Jack’s Native shoes (love these for summer)

 

ShopBop Sale Picks

It’s been a long week and I was tempted to skip a post today, however it’s difficult for me to withhold any great sales from you! Through tonight you can get 20%-25% off your purchase at ShopBop, depending on how much you spend. This is a great time to grab some staples like a fresh pair of Converse, a new pair of denim or a great cross body. You can also get my beloved Madewell tote on sale or one of my favorite pairs of sunglasses (last seen here and here).  There’s also this peplum thermal which is great for spring and marked down (even more with their sale!) that you saw me in here. If you’re looking for a fun top, adorable t-shirt or great weekender for all your summer trips, they have those too! You may even find that perfect Mother’s Day gift and pat yourself on the back for being way ahead of the game ;) See all of my picks below and then take a look for yourself before the sale ends tonight!

Dressing Room Diaries: LOFT F&F

Ok ladies, LOFT has their Friends & Family sale going on (ie 40% off your purchase when you use code: FRIENDS), so I’m taking you back into the dressing room and sharing some of my favorites with you! I found a little bit of everything as I browsed around the store and that’s one of the reasons they are a favorite of mine. You can go in hunting down a dress to wear to a wedding or looking for the most comfortable pair of sweats to lounge around in and they’ve got you covered! Let’s jump in and I’ll show you what I found…

Let’s start with this beauty because it topped the charts for me! The shade of teal is gorgeous and the shape is on point! If you need a dress for an upcoming wedding, check this one out! It fit pretty true to size for me although it was slightly snug around the chest/underarm area, so I probably could have sized up one.

Let’s keep the ball rolling with the dresses and switch over to this sweet option. I included it on my Easter Dress post, but it’s even better in person. True to size and very comfortable too!

This lace, off the shoulder dress was the last one that I tried on. Beautiful, rich color and a loose fit, perfect for any upcoming parties on your calendar!

This sweater is lovely (check out the back and other colors available) and could easily go from being paired with denim or cut-offs to a skirt to take you right into the office. And about this skirt…oh, my goodness! I’m totally obsessed with the bow detail which takes it from any old black skirt to hello beautiful! It was hard to get a great shot, but I tried…

I promise these denim pants are not this bright in person! They lean much more towards mustard and look great paired with navy and much less like I’m heading to a sports game and forcing the color, lol! The sweater is super fun. Lightweight, with a pretty ruffle detail and it also comes in a soft white. Here’s a better look…

I love this embroidered top. I’d love to see it with white denim and some cognac wedges.

I’m going to move past this one quickly because you probably know I have some weird weakness for lightweight, green jackets and I just can’t get another one….although I’d love to!!

This is a great, cold shoulder casual top and it’s a great price too (especially on sale!). I love it paired with these pink denim pants, but it would look great with any number of bottoms this summer.

Here’s a better look at the detail.

Moving on to this boatneck sweatshirt that I fell in love with. Don’t get me wrong, I love dressing up, but this is my real life ;)  And when cute combines with casual, I’m all in! These are the raw hem denim I’ve been wearing regularly, also from LOFT, and you may have seen these shoes on my Instagram that I recently grabbed at Target (love them!).

I then threw on these striped linen pants from Lou & Grey. I loved them but they were slightly snug on my calves, and when I sized up the waist was too large. Bummer for me because I really liked them! I do run into that issue every so often, so I’m pretty sure it’s particular to just me! I still recommend them ;)

Being a lover of all the good t-shirts, I had to try this one on…I actually went back into the fitting room just for it! It’s Lou & Grey, so it’s super soft but it does run small, or very fitted. I’m typically an XS/S but I went with a medium here and love the way it fits.

I hope you get a chance to get in or browse online if you haven’t already! And don’t forget to use code FRIENDS at checkout! Let me know what goodies you find :)

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Coral Midi

There are some dresses that come and go in my closet and others hang around for years to come. This one falls into the latter category, for sure! I grabbed it last year when it only came in two (maybe three?) colors, but the secret must have gotten out because it’s back in five colors this time around, coral included! It’s such a sweet and versatile dress that can go from church, to brunches or upcoming showers. Not to mention, it’s only $68. These are the reasons that I included it in my spring wardrobe capsule, in case you caught it ;)

Details: WAYF dress / Pilcro jacket (similar) / Stella & Dot necklace (similar here and here) / Heels (similar)

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