a lovely living

Monthly Archives for September 2013

Fall Tablescape


I’m new to tablescaping, being that this is our first year with an actual dining room table, but I’m working on it. For this season I wanted to decorate using items that would not only make it through October (Halloween) but also on to Thanksgiving. I browsed Pinterest for ideas/inspiration and found this and this which I loved.  I wanted to use some items that I already owned mixed in with some new bargains I scored at HomeGoods, TJMaxx, Target and Pier1.  I did grab a few pieces to add as Halloween approaches, but for now, this is what it looks like. (more…)

High Five for Friday

Well it’s officially fall and I couldn’t be happier. Crisp, chilly mornings and warm afternoon sunshine. Apples are abundant and farmer’s markets are better than ever. My son took a field trip to a local orchard and has been filling me in on the in’s and out’s of apples all week. In case you were wondering, green apples are sour. I didn’t bother asking him about golden delicious ;)

Here’s a look at the rest of my week:


  1. Beautiful flowers from a farmer’s market that my daughter relentlessly tried to destroy.
  2. One of my favorite mini readers took note of the jeweled collar I wore this week in this post. She totally nailed it.
  3. My son and daughter making sure I am constantly entertained. If I won’t get them a pet, she’ll just walk her brother.
  4. Morning runs are getting a bit chilly which is obvious by the sight of my breath as I puff up these hills.
  5. I loved my site reno from the start, but it’s been nice getting adjusted to her this week. What do you think?

How was your week?


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Make your own Oreo


Oreo’s are one of my favorite kind of cookie. I swear I start eating from the pack and my husband needs to pry it out of my hands. I knew I wanted to try this recipe when I came across it on Smitten Kitchen. They don’t taste exactly like an oreo (at least mine don’t), but they are delicious nonetheless. Just make sure you have milk in the fridge before you dive into these bad boys! (more…)

Ok friends, we’re now onto the third week of learning how to make color work for you. Last week I led you through the process of determining whether you are a cool or warm season. Now we’re going to take this one step further to determine which specific season you fall into. If you decided you are a cool season, you’ll now find out if you’re a summer or a winter. If you have come to the conclusion that you are a warm season, you’ll now break it down to see if you’re a spring or an autumn.

If you were a COOL season, please continue reading here to determine if you are a WINTER or a SUMMER. (WARMS, please scroll down)


Hair: Winter’s have dark brown, black, silver or white hair. If you are a Winter, you will not have blonde hair (although it may be possible in you youth).

Skin: Winter’s can have a wide range of skin tones. They can include porcelain white, beige, rosy beige, olive, cool beige, almond, cocoa, mocha, mahogany, and ebony to black with blue or redish undertones.

Eyes: Most Winter’s will have dark colored eyes but they can also have a cool hazel with blue or a green. A few Winter’s may have dark blue, gray blue, gray green or charcoal eyes. Gray rims around the iris are another Winter indicator.

As a visual, here are a few notable Winters. You’ll often see them wearing black and red which are perfect colors for them.


Winter’s, here is the color palette that will look the best on you. You are the lucky, and only, season that is able to pull off black and pure white. The rest of us should try to keep them away from our face as best we can. Winter’s should never wear shades of brown, orange or ivory. Winter’s should choose dark, bright and clear tones in contrast to Summer’s who would choose muted, softer and less intense colors. (more…)

Change is Inevitable

Change. I love it and I hate it. I know it’s inevitable and in many cases I am grateful and crave it. In others, I wish those winds would just blow on past me. I need a constant reminder to embrace it and accept it regardless of what it may bring my way.


Regarding fitness, I know how easy it can be to fall into a routine and get comfortable. Our bodies like that. What our bodies dislike is when we change the game on them. Just yesterday morning, in a cardio and strength interval class, our instructor warned us of how our bodies can become (in a sense) stale when we fail to shock our system every once in a while.  When it comes to my children, I often find myself wishing I could just freeze them where they are. As difficult as toddlerhood can be, the things they do and say are so stinkin’ cute that I want to bottle it all up. But at the same time I see friends and family with older children and love the relationships they can have with their ‘adult’ children. And of course there’s the promise of grandchildren who we will one day spoil the heck out of.

On the other hand, there’s a side of change that I jump all over. This is the side that drives my husband partly crazy. My tastes in fashion, decor, food etc. are always evolving causing me to adjust and tweak our home and my wardrobe in a nonstop cycle. There are the obvious fashion trends that come and go, but there are also design trends, that may stay around a bit longer, but eventually fade into something new as well. I would not say I have modern taste when it comes to interiors, but over the years there are some modern pieces that I am becoming drawn to. I embrace this sense of change and will see where it takes me. I don’t become attached to things because they are just that, things. So as new ‘things’ come into our home, old ‘things’ will simultaneously be going out.

This leads me to my new site. What do you think? Don’t ever get too comfortable with this site because I promise it will always be evolving along with my blogging, my tastes and preferences. I happen to have a super savvy designer for a husband, so when he has the time I hire him out :) Take a minute to get comfortable, navigate around and get connected. Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I do!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Part 3 of Making Color Work for You. I’m hoping this post answers a lot of your questions and gives you a good sense of what colors you should be selecting to look your best!

Jeweled Details


I’m a huge fan of the jewel embellished tops that you often see at JCrew. It’s such an easy way to add some sparkle to an outfit without trying at all. I had my eye on this sweater at JCrew, but when I came across this LOFT sweatshirt I was sold. The comfort of a sweatshirt with jeweled flair and puffed sleeves to spice it up? Perfect.  Obviously this outfit called for my studded Zara flats which paired all too well. (more…)

High Five for Friday

It’s Friday! It’s been a long, fun, exhausting week and I’m looking forward to a great weekend ahead. My husband and I started off this week celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary. I’d marry this man over and over every year if I could, and I’d wear a different dress each time :) I’d never say marriage is easy, but I do think the more you put into it the more you’ll get out. For all of you married people out there, there are two books that Jack and I would not want to live without; Love & Respect and The Five Love Languages. If you haven’t already, I’d very highly recommend getting your hands on these. We know we’re far from perfect, so we use all the help we can get!

Here’s a peak at the rest of my week:


  1. We started dating when we were 15, and he’s still putting up with me :)
  2. My seasonal changing of the bedding. Am I the only one who does this? I tire of things too quickly, so this rotation keeps our room feeling fresh.
  3. Last night I hosted a Matilda Jane party. Thanks to all of you ladies that came out! There are going to be some well dressed little ladies out there!
  4. We’re taking Jack to his first PSU game tomorrow. They’re calling for rain :/ I hope he is as happy as he was when we got to tour the stadium!
  5. I’m quite fond off this mini loaf pan (a gift from my girlfriend). It makes sharing so easy! (more…)

Apple Snack Cake

By now you probably know that I love trying out new recipes. I have found some great recipes from Real Simple over the past few years and with fall upon us, I decided to try their apple snack cake. I’m having a get together this evening and thought it would be a great addition to the gathering. This is extremely easy to make (it calls for applesauce so you don’t even need to peel an apple!) and extremely delicious.


Here’s the recipe which I found here. Mine ended up needing to stay in the oven for 35 minutes, but every oven tends to be a bit different. (more…)

Welcome to week 2 of making color work for you (here’s week 1 if you missed it). This week we’re going to start the process by determining whether you are a warm (Spring, Autumn) or cool (Summer, Winter) season. In general, warm palettes should have you envisioning warm desert like areas, ie brown sand, burnt oranges, green cactus etc. Cool palettes make you think of the Arctic, ie ice blues and whites, black and white penguins, and gray huskies.


Let’s start by taking a look at gold and silver. During a color analysis, drapes would be used to put across your shoulders/ chest and you would immediately see whether warm or cool tones looked best on you. Since you probably don’t have drapes lying around, instead take some of your necklaces and earrings and try on first the gold (warm) and then silver (cool) and see which makes your features pop. Your eyes, skin and teeth will all look better when you’re wearing the correct tone.

I am a cool season which means that silver is the best metal for me to wear. Although it is obvious that silver is a better option for me, this is also a rule that I tend to break because gold is so extremely popular right now. What I would never do, is pair black with gold. I mentioned before that black is not on my color palette, so pairing these two colors would be a very bad choice for me. When I do wear gold, it’s typically with a soft, cool, pastel color such as I did here. (more…)

Shoe Talk

This season I am very much looking forward to wearing my boots, booties and suede pumps, but during the week you are likely to find me in a more casual/comfortable option. I’m usually running here and there (not fun in pumps), taking my shoes off and on (not fun in boots), and trekking many miles each day (not fun in either). Thankfully, there are quite a few options for me to choose from that fit the bill.

My collection of TOMS is ever growing. Their comfort level is just unbeatable. I’m not opposed to sacrificing function for fashion, I’m often quite for it, but not during my chaotic days. Comfort often wins out. Converse are another fun option and they’re available in an array of options. I own the Shoreline style (shown below) which is made to be slip on and I find them to be more flattering on my foot. The traditional style makes my 8.5 foot look awkwardly long. Loafers and ballet flats are always classic options that I frequently turn to as well.

This collection would do nicely for me this fall…