a lovely living

Monthly Archives for March 2014

JM1Do you fellow parents notice how with each new season, children have outgrown everything from the year before? Lucky little ducks have an ever evolving wardrobe! Today I have my mini-models showing off some new pieces that have recently been added to their wardrobe for Spring/Summer. I also have a new appreciation for photographers that work with children on a regular basis. Wow.JM2My son has gone through a few growth spurts recently and his pants are beginning to get a bit short. With Spring on the horizon, I’ve been looking for some light-weight pants that will carry through summer at least. He’s going to need some new t-shirts as well, but for now some light-weight long sleeved shirts, such as this one, are perfect. This one happens to have 3/4 length sleeves which is perfect because my son hates when shirts hit his wrist (any other parents deal with weird nuances with their children? Don’t get me started on socks!). Come summer, we’ll be switching it up and wearing the shirt with some shorts and throwing some t-shirts on with the light-weight pants. Oh and incase you were wondering, this outfit is ‘cool’ approved by this 4 year old ;)

JM3Then there’s my little sweat pea of a daughter. Just as I do for myself, I find that layering is perfect during these in-between seasons. I can add new Spring shirts to her wardrobe, but until it’s warm enough to bare her arms we’ll continue to layer with little cardigans. It’s also fun to begin adding some bright, fun colors, such as her yellow polka dot pants. She looks fresh and Springy without me worrying that she’s too cold.

JM4And even though they are boy and girl, I love buying them the same shoes when possible. Their matching Converse complete their adorable looks.

Outfit details:

Madelyn: Target sweater / Target top / Gap pants (similar) / Converse shoes

Jack: JCrew top  / Gap pants / Converse shoes


High Five for Friday

It’s Friday and the last day of Spring Break around here. As wonderful as it would have been to escape to some warmer weather, we actually enjoyed ourselves and got a peek at a few beautiful days! We were able to visit with family, attend a birthday party, see Sesame Street Live, tackle dentist appointments and squeeze in some gym time all while trying to catch up on that lost hour of sleep! Somehow that measly hour seems to throw things off for longer than it should. All in all it was a great week. Hope yours was too!

Here’s a better look into our week:

1. Sesame Street Live was a hit! Madelyn remained captivated for the entire first half. The second half was full of a handful of mini meltdowns, but I guess that’s to be expected. She certainly wasn’t the only crying baby in that arena!


2. My proud, cavity-free big guy!! After he had finished he was allowed to pick a toy out of their box for himself and his sister. The ladies in the office couldn’t get over him choosing the same toy for each of them “so they wouldn’t fight over it”. Smart cookie.


3. It thrills me to say that I was actually a bit warm the afternoon I wore this outfit. It felt fantastic! Bye, bye winter!


4. A good friend of mine gave this jacket to Madelyn when she was a few months old and it’s not only adorable but came in handy during some downpours this week! Too bad she would not stand still for half of a second for me to take a picture. Busy little bugger!


5. Anytime I venture into Pier One my son asks to play at the tiny toy area that they have. This is how I found him :)


Have a fantastic weekend and see you next week!

Linking up with The Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday.


Embellished sweatshirts, I just can’t get enough (as seen by examples here and here). I couldn’t be happier that they’ll easily be transitioned into my Spring  wardrobe since they also come in short sleeves. As I’ve said before, they can totally make an outfit without forcing you to think about all the accessories you need to add since it’s an accessory all on it’s own.

I mentioned that Boden recently had a sample sale here in State College, PA, and these adorable nude pumps were the first thing I grabbed. They can totally class up an outfit and with a manageable heel I was still able to keep up running after my kids. What’s great about this outfit is that I can (and will) remove the necklace and throw on a pair of Converse for any other ordinary day.






navysweatshirt3Details: Juicy Couture jacket, old (similar) / JCrew Factory sweatshirt / JCrew Factory shirt / JCrew jeans / Boden shoes (similar) / JCrew Factory necklace / Rayban sunglasses


Chocolate Bark

bark12This was a recipe that I wanted to try out but wasn’t overly anxious about the outcome. I figured it would be a nice treat to have around the house for our family or when guests were over. There is a lot of chopping and crushing in preparation, but it is by no means difficult to make. There are a ton of options as to what ingredients you could use. I chose to add almonds, dried cranberries and dried apricots in addition to the coconut and pretzels. I could not keep my hands off of this stuff! Granted, I have a weakness when it comes to my sweet tooth, but the mix of salty and sweet in this concoction is just dangerous! If only I had given up chocolate this Lent, but alas, I did not. If this post is making you hungry, please follow the link to the recipe here.

barkLet me know what you think! And if you eat it all in one afternoon, I won’t judge ;)





wifey5I seem to have an on-going wishlist, which typically consists of clothing and accessories. I can’t help it, there are too many beautiful pieces out there! This t-shirt sat on my list for some time and I finally caved. It’s price ($46) is borderline too high for what I would like to pay for a t-shirt but I kept coming across it again and again and so I finally gave in. Since I received it a few weeks back I’ve been wearing it once (or twice) every week. The fit is perfect and the cute ‘wifey’ statement is just too fun to pass up.

By the end of this shoot my nose was red and my teeth were chattering. I couldn’t wait to throw on my wool coat! All for the sake of the pictures ;) I’m going to appreciate warm weather so much more this year!







 Details: LOFT jacket / ILY tee / LOFT denim / Baublebar necklace /  JCrew bracelet / Arturo Chiang pumps (similar) / Riley on Main scarf (gifted)


Lovely Hair

I’ve been on a kick of trying some new products lately. Sometimes I dislike them immediately, sometimes it takes me some time to decide how the product is working for me and every once in a while I immediately fall in love with a product. That just happens to be the case with two Living Proof products that I began using last week, Perfect Hair Day styling treatment and amp2 instant texture volumizer. Individually, I could feel the difference, but using them together resulted in a little bathroom conversation between my husband and myself that sounded like this:

Me: “Man does my hair look good!”

Jack: Glancing my way “I thought you were being sarcastic. People don’t usually say that.”

Perfect Hair Day styling treatment:

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 9.56.13 PM

I have yet to try the Living Proof shampoo and conditioner, but they’ve now been added to my list. I continue to shower with my normal shampoo and conditioner and once my hair has been towel dried but still damp, I’ve been applying a quarter sized amount (they recommend less for fine or short hair, but since my hair is so thick I use a bit more) of the PHD Styling treatment all over my hair. I then blow dry using my fingers and a round brush and find my hair styles much more easily, it has great volume (does not weigh your hair down), and no fly aways. It also has UV and heat protection which is great since I’m back to washing my hair on a daily basis.


amp2 instant texture volumizer:

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 9.55.55 PM


Since I cut my hair short, I’ve been sorting through all of my products trying to find ‘the one’ that will magically put the finishing touches on my styled hair. Well, I’ve found it. Once my hair is styled, I rub a small amount (which goes a long way) of amp2 instant texture volumizer between my fingers until it becomes transparent. I then work it into my hair from the back to the front, lifting and messing my hair as I go until I ultimately shape it into my desired style. My hair ends up feeling texturized yet moveable which is perfect because I can’t stand stiff hair. I also can’t stand sticky hair and this product takes care of that too. I can easily run my fingers or a comb through my hair which I do randomly throughout the day to re-shape, and it stays just as I put it. 

Having a good hair day can start you off on the right foot and it’s likely that these products could make you feel the same as I did! I hope so at least! If you try them, make sure you let me know what you thought, I’d love to know!

* This was not a sponsored post, just me sharing my thoughts on a product(s) I love!


High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, my friends! It’s finally March which means that Spring must be on the horizon! Additionally, we spring forward this weekend (don’t forget!). I don’t know about you other parents, but I love losing an hour because it means my kids are waking up an hour later! Just concentrate on that instead of the actual lost hour of sleep ;) We have spring break next week, since pre-schoolers obv need a break from all of their hard work and I’m doing my best to plan out the week so we all I keep my sanity. Entertaining children is no easy task!

Here’s a glimpse of my week:


  1. Realizing that my son can survive without me in the real-world (ie preschool) makes me proud yet saddens me at the same time. It’s not rare for me to get teary eyed when I hear how he handles certain situations or I see various projects he worked on. This would be one prime example. I love that he thought to include the both of us. I’m going to break this out the first time he utters the ‘H’ word to us many years from now ;)
  2. We frequently have dance parties before, during or after dinner in our house, but this moment was by far one of the sweetest!
  3. I tried out a few new products this week, and some of them were from Living Proof. Have any of you tried any of their products? I’ll definitely be doing a more detailed review on them because they are fantastic!
  4. My almost swimmer. He can’t wait to be floatie free!
  5. I know there were many of you that were thankful that I shared my love of Popcorners, so here’s another one of our families’ addictions, Trader Joe’s Three Layer Hummus. It is amazing. Try it with their Reduced Guilt Tortilla Chips and thank me later ;)

Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to change your clocks!

Linking up with The Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday

Family photos become important keepsakes for your family for years to come. There’s a good chance they’ll be hanging on your walls where you’ll be glancing at them (and the outfits you chose to wear) on a daily basis.  Styling outfits for your family doesn’t have to be as daunting as it may seem.

I was recently asked by our friends and owners of J&A Photography, Joel and Andrea, if I would put together some tips and tricks for styling outfits for photo shoots. I appreciate them thinking of me and I certainly have a thought (or eight) on the subject matter. Head on over to their blog where you can find my post and check out some of their amazing work while you’re there!

8 Tips for Styling your Photographs

Baked Oatmeal

oatmeal9I’m a big fan of oatmeal and the fact that my whole family enjoys it gives it extra bonus points in my book. A girlfriend of mine introduced me to this recipe and after trying her version I immediately added it to my recipe book. There are dozens of variations you could make by adding various fruits and nuts, but the outcome is a warm, delicious breakfast that your whole family will enjoy!

I only used 1/2C of sugar as opposed to the 3/4C the recipe calls for and it was plenty sweet. I also plan on substituting applesauce for the oil the next time, but I was all out when I made this. You can find the recipe I used here.

oatmealIt really is a simple as it looks. It can be thrown together in a few minutes during the evening and then it’s ready to pop in the oven the next morning. Yum!





Have you guys ever tried out the monochromatic look, intentionally or not? I’m linking up with my girlfriend Becky over at Mommy in Heels for the What She Wears link-up and this month they chose to have everyone style a monochromatic look. For some reason I had the hardest time putting this look together. I initially came out wearing all blush pink to which my husband remarked, “that’s a lot of pink”. Since I was already questioning the outfit in the first place, I took that as my cue to head back to my closet. It turns out that grey is a very popular color in my wardrobe (which I think I already knew), but I don’t typically wear it paired together because it can feel a bit too dull.  In the end, I ended up trying out two different grey outfits. I’m not sure I would have put either of them together had it not been for this link-up, but I appreciate being pushed out of my comfort zone every now and then.  Have a look and let me know which outfit you like the best, #1 or #2?


 Details: JCrew coat / LOFT sweater / LOFT pants / Monrow tank / Kate Spade bag (similar) / DV by Dolce Vita booties (similar) / Baublebar necklace (similar)


Details: Boden sweater (similar) / LOFT pants / Monrow tank / JCrew belt (old) / JCrew Factory necklace / Madewell tote / Blackstone boots

So what do you think? Have you ever or would you ever try a monochromatic look? I’m certainly going to keep it in mind moving forward!

Linking up with Mommy in Heels and Style Sessions

Older Newer