a lovely living

Monthly Archives for September 2013

Sweater Weather


One of may favorite parts of fall? Sweaters. I love how warm and comfortable they are in the crisp, cool air. The time we have prior to needing additional outerwear is the best. In general, dressing for weekend, fall days is so easy when you can throw on a broken in pair of jeans, a sweater and a cute pair of flats. In this case I pulled out my leopard loafers which feel as though I am wearing slippers. I wouldn’t say I go crazy over animal prints (at least I haven’t yet), but subtle pieces here and there can really add to an outfit. (more…)

High Five for Friday

It’s Friday and our household has made it through our first week of fall. Jack is back in preschool and is overjoyed to be staying for ‘lunch bunch’ this year. This of course means that I get to pack his lunch daily, but he thinks it’s the coolest thing and has thus far been helping me pack. We’ll see how long that lasts! Overall, I’m happy to be back on a schedule packed with school pick ups and drop off’s, music classes, soccer practice, bible study and workout classes. Thank goodness my kids both nap. That hour of downtime is much appreciated!

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Strawberry Muffins


I subscribe to various sites and receive new recipes in my inbox on a daily basis. I love trying new foods so I’m always on the hunt for delicious recipes. When I received an email titled “8 Muffin Recipes Kids Will Love” I thought sure, why not? It’s for the kids. I opted for the Strawberry Muffins using this recipe and it turns out it was a great choice.  The muffins were moist, flavorful and the crumb topping added the perfect touch. Great for breakfast or an afternoon treat. Btw, you don’t need kids to make these ;) (more…)

Making Color Work for You

Personal style is a very important part of my life. The way in which one dresses speaks volumes about them as a person. Regardless of how much thought one puts into their outfits, they’re making a statement to everyone they encounter, including themselves. I love the show What Not to Wear. In this TLC reality show (which is now in its final season, boo) Stacy and Clinton have taken hundreds of women and shown them how clothing can work for them, increasing their self confidence and raising their outer beauty to match their inner beauty.

Another key element that I believe to be just as important to dressing well is wearing clothing in colors that are appropriate for you. Women in my mother’s generation seem to be well versed in the system of color-analysis, knowing which seasonal category they fall into (spring, summer, autumn, winter) and consequently what colors look the best on them. This includes the shades of make-up being worn. Somewhere along the line, the major emphasis on color seems to have dissipated. My mother was a color-analyst while I was growing up, so my appropriate colors were constantly drilled into my head. Now as an adult myself, I find the process of color analysis more appealing than ever. It’s an art and a science with beautiful end results.


Think the little black dress is for everyone? Think again. Black is not a neutral and does not work in a positive way for most people. Surprisingly, it only works best on one of the four seasons. Navy, however, is a great alternative that works for all seasons and is a shade I am constantly turning to. As much as I wish it were, black is not on my color palette, and for good reason because it looks awful on me. This isn’t to say that black can never be worn. I frequently wear black bottoms, but I do my best to keep it away from my face. When I do (rarely) wear a black top, I’ll wear a bold necklace or scarf in colors from my palette in order to draw the black away from my face. (more…)

Currently Loving: Zara

In addition to missing all of our friends from NY/NJ, I most certainly miss the shopping! I’m adjusting to the world of online shopping, but it was always nice being able to pop into any store to browse and try on on any given day. Thankfully many stores now often or always offer free shipping which is a great help…although maybe not for our mailman ;)

One such store that I greatly miss is Zara. Especially this season where they have so many pieces that I have my eye on. I love that I can find clothing and accessories ranging from feminine to fun and edgy all in one place. Not to mention (as I have I before) they have the most adorable children’s clothes.

Here’s what I would love to add to my closet this fall:


top with leather pockets / oversize sweater polka dot blouse / combination top (more…)

Wearing Stripes


It’s Monday and my families’ first official week of fall. After playing hooky last week while we were at the shore, my 4yo starts his second year of preschool today and subsequently gets us back on a schedule.

Even though our vacation is behind us, I now have this dress as a little memento. I had been eyeing it up ever since I had seen it on one of my favorite bloggers here at the beginning of the summer. It eventually went on sale, but not enough for me to hit purchase. Then, as I was browsing some boutiques one afternoon while we were in Stone Harbor, I happened to come across this dress in my size on a final sale rack. Sold. It’s adorable, has a great fit, can easily be dressed up or down and works well as we transition into fall with some booties and a jacket. (more…)

High Five for Friday

This is one Friday I am sad to see arrive as our week of fun at the shore comes to an end. Along with our friends and their two children, we have had an amazing week in Stone Harbor, NJ enjoying the town, the weather and the memories we’ve made.

As I mentioned on Monday, I knew we’d have anything but a dull week. The kids of course took care of that on their own, but to top it off, our fire alarm in the house we’re renting decided to start going off every 5 minutes around 10:30pm Wednesday night. After the third alarm, we called the police and a few minutes later we were on the driveway holding four groggy little ones. There were police cars, firetrucks, sirens and lights brightening up our block. Of course my son was scared, his friend Lily was enjoying the rainbow the lights were making, and the babies nearly stayed asleep the whole time. It turns out it was only a battery that needed replacing which is not what we would have guessed by the sound of the alarm!

Outside of the fire alarm and the typical meltdowns, we had a great time. Here’s a glimpse at our week:


  1. Quality time with my little ones during a week without distractions is priceless.
  2. Now that my son’s clothing has to pass the ‘cool’ test I was nervous to buy him this Stone Harbor shirt. Luckily I won him over with the crab since he had been so proud of ‘bashing’ the ones we ate a few evenings prior.
  3. My carefree baby in all her glory. Diving, sliding and face planting into the sandy water all week long.
  4. It’s obvious the kids had fun, but the adults found ways to have a little fun as well :)
  5. We decided to swap date nights with our friends during the week. On our turn, my husband and I went to the Backyard Restaurant. With outdoor seating set in a garden atmosphere, a relaxed setting and amazing food, we throughly enjoyed our night out.

I suppose it’s now time to embrace fall and football season (especially living in State College, PA), but I’m even happier to do it with a tan ;)

Have a great weekend!


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Cuffed Sleeves

I love a good button up shirt. I can’t tell you how many I have in my closet, and yet I am always finding a new one that I have to have. They can be casual, dressy, light, structured, flannel, oxford, chambray…in other words, versatile.

What’s funny though, is that I rarely wear them with the sleeves down, unless it happens to be a layering piece. A few stores, JCrew and Gap in particular, are expert sleeve cuffers (?). A few weeks ago I happened to come across a particular shirt at Gap that had the sleeves already cuffed. Had the sleeves not been cuffed when I tried in on, I can’t say for sure that I would have purchased it. However, when I put it on I felt like my outfit was much more polished with the help of such a simple trick. I have always rolled my sleeves, but I would typically gravitate to the double roll (folding back the cuff twice) and leaving it at that. This look had a different twist, looking effortless yet chic.

Here are the basic steps and a video in case you’re a visual learner like myself.

First of all, for some shirts, this may be easier to do prior to dressing. Start with your sleeve fully unbuttoned and pull the first roll to somewhere between your elbow and bicep, depending on how high you want the cuff. Then roll the sleeve a second time not quite to the top but leaving the top of the sleeve sticking out. JCrew often pulls out the ends and scrunches the sleeve at this point which gives it a more loose and comfortable look. In my video, I kept it more structured.

I’m sure some of you have been doing this for years, but I’m thrilled to finally have this particular cuffed sleeve figured out!

Some New Beauty Favorites

My beauty routine often becomes very monotonous. I can typically get through the process while my mind goes through the errands I need to run, the diapers I need to order and the emails I need to send. I look up and my face is done without even realizing I had picked up a brush. In part thanks to Birchbox and also to friends who have introduced me to new products (I rarely purchase products randomly), I’ve found a handful of new (to me) products that I’m becoming quite fond of.

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Benefit’s They’re Real mascara is amazing. It’s all about the wand and this one has it all. It thickens and lengthens lashes, but I love how the tip of this wand allows you to get those lashes that used to get left behind. They sell a mini version, so it may be worth checking out. (more…)

Cargo and Lace


There are some colors that pair so perfectly together and green and pink are two of them. In particular army green and light pink. I’m linking up with my girlfriend Becky at Mommy in Heels today as she and other bloggers display their military style. As I was sorting through my closet, I realized that as much as I am drawn to many military inspired pieces, apparently I don’t buy them. This will have to change. I do however, have my army green cargo pants (or tuscan olive as JCrew refers to them). I love the juxtaposition of the lace against the more rugged cargo pant. With the addition of some jewels, some studs and soft makeup, the outfit ended up feeling quite feminine. (more…)

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