a lovely living

Monthly Archives for April 2014

For the most part, I find females extremely easy to shop for. That is, until I wait until the last minute and I’m stuck scrambling for ‘the perfect’ gift! I tend to spend my time focusing on my mother, grandmother and mother in-law and forget that I’m a mother as well! A week or so ago, I came across this blog post on Baby Gizmo which features a Mother’s Day Journal. As a mom of young children this quickly grabbed my attention. Instead of my husband having to get cards for the kids year after year, the journal can instead be used to document each passing year allowing your children to draw or write their messages directly into the journal. I immediately sent the link to my husband who will hopefully fulfill this wish, hint, hint!

Below you’ll find a handful of items that I’ve selected for both younger and older Mother’s (note how I did not say ‘old’, Mom?)

I get that coffee/tea cups are completely overdone, but if my kids gave me one that said ‘Home is where your Mom is’ I’d be using it every morning! Make sure you check out the Mom’s One Line A Day journal. For all of you Mom’s with young children, this thing is almost necessary if you want to remember all of the funny (and mischievous) things your kids do every.single.day. Name and initial necklaces are extremely common these days, but I love the idea of personalized name rings. You can have them just where you want them, wrapped around your finger ;) There are always beautiful vases to be given, sweet statement pillows, pretty nail colors (and maybe throw in a manicure gift cert. for extra points) or a style/beauty book. Every mom could use a little inspiration! Whatever you chose to get or do for her, decide soon because Mother’s Day will be here before you know it and you want to make sure she knows how much she’s appreciated!!

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What ideas have you come up with for this Mother’s Day?

graphict2One staple in my closet are graphic t-shirts. They are such an easy way to add to your outfit in a fun, casual way. They can be tucked into skirts, worn casually with shorts all summer long or thrown on with your jeans and layered up as I did here. Regardless of the graphic, it’s sure to say a little something about you. I wear my wifey tee constantly which is an obvious statement and then this one shows off some of my favorite colors. You certainly won’t be at a loss to find one because they… are…everywhere!








Details: JCrew t-shirt (similar) / JCrew jeans / Gap jacket (similar) / Old Navy scarf (similar) / necklace (old) / Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses / Converse sneakers


Peanut Butter Granola

pbuttergranolaI finally tried my hand at granola. Granted, it may be the easiest recipe out there, but it’s a good starting point, right? A friend of ours gave us some that she had made a few months back and since then I’ve been wanting to give it a shot. Store bought is good, but homemade (anything) is always better. My kids happen to love granola…and peanut butter, so this was a sure win with them. My only warning is to make sure you stir halfway through the cooking time. I made that mistake with the first batch and it ended up a little too brown around the edges. Other than that, there’s not much you could do wrong. I’ve listed the recipe below, which I found here at Cooking Classy. Her site has great ideas if you’re looking for some new recipes.peanut butter granola

Peanut Butter Granola


  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour oats into a mixing bowl, set aside. In a microwave safe mixing bowl (or it can also be melted in a saucepan), combine peanut butter, honey and brown sugar and heat mixture in microwave until runny and smooth, about 25 seconds. Pour mixture over oats in mixing bowl and toss mixture with a spatula until evenly coated.
  • Spread mixture onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet into an even layer and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 18 – 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through baking. Allow to cool completely (it wont be crunchy until it cools) and store in an airtight container.


High Five for Friday

Well this Friday happens to be the last Friday in April, say what?! I swear the month just started a few days ago! Despite being almost May, it sure feels like March again. After starting the week with a beautiful Easter day, I spent the rest of the week shivering because I refuse to turn back to boots or even socks for that matter.

On another note, if you have a moment, I’d greatly appreciate your vote as I’ve been nominated as a semi-finalist for Redbook’s Real Women Style Awards. Win or lose, I can’t wait for May 12th so that I can stop annoying everyone, myself included! But until then, you can vote here ;) Thanks guys!

Now, on to my week:

1) Celebrating holidays with children is the best. Even a simple task like color eggs is much more enjoyable when I get to look at these cute faces…all three of them ;)    H54F4255

2) If you follow me on Instagram, you saw this little girl downing jellybeans for breakfast Easter morning. How could I say no?!


3) I was frozen along the sidelines and this kid was full of adrenaline! Pardon the zoomed in pic, but this face just shows how fired up he was!


4) I love playing classic games with my 4 yo that I played when I was a child. We had some pretty heated rounds of Old Maid this week!


5) I have always loved Sour Patch Kids, but for the past few weeks I cannot get enough of them! I swear I have some stashed in all of my bags….this has to stop!



How did your week treat you?

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

Wifey: Take 2

wifeyhat5You know those t-shirts that become your staples that you reach for time and time again? I’ve had this shirt for a few months now and it’s been on heavy rotation ever since it arrived in the mail. Honestly, I’d take the whole darn collection from ILY Couture. From the tote to the necklace, the iphone case and the mint tank (quite possibly my favorite color) each piece is just adorable. They’d make a great gift for any ‘wifey’ to be! Since not only am I a wife, but a mother as well, I can’t wait to receive the Mami Tee that I have on order. I’m sure it’ll make it’s way on here too!

I’ve shown my wifey tee worn a bit dressier here and today I’m showing you one of the ways I wear it most often, with jeans and sneaks. Okay, maybe it’s most often worn with leggings, but this is a close second!





wifeyhat1Details: ILY Couture t-shirt / LOFT pants (old) / Converse sneakers / Madewell tote / Macy’s Nine West fedora / Tiffany bow necklace / JCrew Factory necklace (gifted)


It’s a wonderful feeling to go sock-less, let my toes breath and show off my pedicure! I don’t know why summer shoes are so much more tempting than winter shoes. Maybe it’s because they are smaller and cheaper than boots and it makes me feel like I can add a few more to my wardrobe, while staying within budget, of course ;) I’ve gathered a few that have recently caught my eye below. Each pair looks extremely versatile which makes them an even better bargain!


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What styles have you been eyeing up for summer?

Spring Dressing

bluedress6Up until this past year I had been living in Hoboken, NJ for nearly 10 years. With an abundance of stores (and Manhattan just across the river), shopping was never an issue. That being the case, I can’t say that Kohl’s was a store I chose to go into all that often. Now that I am living in Central PA, I find myself digging a bit deeper. I definitely do my share of online shopping, but sometimes I just want to take a pile of cloths into a fitting room and have a little fashion show, don’t you? Over the past year, I’ve found a number of great pieces from Kohl’s that I’ve been very happy with. This jacket came from them last year and I picked up this dress just a few weeks ago. To be honest, I probably would have paid twice (or three times) as much if I had seen this dress in Anthropologie. Yay for saving money!






 Details: Kohl’s Apt. 9 dress / Kohl’s jacket (similar) / Kate Spade bag (similar) / JCrew shoes / Kate Spade sunglasses / Madewell belt

Many, many thanks for all of your continued votes for Redbook’s Real Women Style Awards! You’ve been keeping me in the running and I appreciate it so very much!! You can continue to vote daily HERE



He is risen! He is risen indeed!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a blessed Easter! We enjoyed a great day with gorgeous weather which was appropriate for the occasion. Our morning started off with a touching church service that kept Jesus and his sacrifice at the forefront of my mind all day. Hearing and reading John 3:16 today had a much bigger impact than on most days, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

After a great start to the day, we headed to the Penn State Arboretum to take a few pics of the kids and then made our way to visit both of our families. I thought I’d share some of the shots I captured during our day, including all of the highs and the lows ;)

easterday13She sat for all of a second for us to get this pic.





This would be Madelyn prancing through the fresh mulch…


…and me explaining she cannot go through the mulch…


…and Madelyn in complete disgust that I could tell her ‘no’ to such a thing.




On to an Easter egg hunt at DeDe and Poppop’s. Madelyn sought out every piece of candy….


…and Jack was out for the eggs with the cash!




By this point she had played in the creek, rolled around in the back of a truck and eaten 10 too many crackers. At least she likes to dress like a girl!


Soccer, of course.


And a little guy time.

The bonus of a busy day is that they were out like a light when we got home!

High Five for Friday

It’s Friday again! Despite the winter weather we had a few days ago, it was a pretty good week. My husband and I had a parent teacher conference with my son’s preschool teacher. She only had great things to say which is basically what we expected. We laughed afterward thinking about how we’re going to be biting our nails when we go in for our daughter (who’s currently 1.5 yrs)! She is fun-loving, sweet and adorable but boy oh boy can she be feisty!! I’m going to enjoy the positive reviews for as long as I can :)

Here’s a peek at the rest of my week:

1) Pie in a jar was the chosen dessert on a date with my husband. I did let him have a few bites ;)H54F4181

2) I’m so excited and proud of my friend Rebecca of Mommy in Heels. She is in the process of turning her online shop, Elizabeth and West, into a brick and mortar store which is planned to open next month! If you live near York, PA you’ll have to check it out. I received my first purchase from her store this week and I cannot wait to wear it!  You’ll see soon enough ;)


3) I get that our children watch our every move, but it is hysterical to turn around and see my mini-me sweeping every exact spot that I just finished vacuuming!


4) 40% off at LOFT right now and boy do they have some beautiful spring pieces! I held myself from going crazy, but I did grab these linen pants yesterday.


5) If anyone missed this viral video this week, you may want to check it out. The world’s toughest job. If you’re not a parent you’re bound to have a surge of appreciation for your mother. And if you are a mother, you’ll want a box of tissues nearby!


I’m looking looking forward to this weekend and wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter! I haven’t decided if I’ll be posting on Monday or not. I guess it’ll be a surprise for us all!

Thanks for all of your continued votes for Redbook’s Real Women Style Awards! You can vote here and click the star in the right hand corner of my picture. Thanks SO much all!

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


Inspiration & Improvision

blue6I’ve always loved reading blogs and my reading has only increased since I’ve begun to blog myself. I’m constantly inspired by other bloggers in all areas from cooking, baking, decorating and of course fashion. I love that I am able to do the same for some of you as well. Not that I’d want you to feel the need to purchase what I’m wearing, but more-so that you may be able to turn to your own closet and put together something you may not have thought about before. Thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, Julia of Gal Meets Glam, this is exactly what I was able to do. After seeing this post, I was reminded of this particular top that I had in my own closet. Of course I’d love to be wearing the SJP bow pumps that she has on, but at $365 I think I’ll settle for my TJMaxx bargains. Improvising is crucial! And then you yourself can get out and inspire others ;)

Continued thanks for your votes for Redbook’s Real Women Style Awards! They are all greatly appreciated!




blue2Details: Madewell top (old) / Gap jeans / BCBG Generation shoes via TJMaxx / Target wallet / bracelet (gifted) / Kate Spade sunglasses