a lovely living

Monthly Archives for June 2014

Navy + Pink

navypink1I’m sure I’ve mentioned before the love I have for the pairing of navy and pink. They just seem to compliment each other in such a beautiful way! Navy always seems to keep an outfit feeling classy, regardless of what color it’s paired with. This top has been a staple in my closet for a while now and you can see here how I wore it before dressed down with boyfriend jeans. This time I wore it for my cousins’ baby shower, so I dressed it up with my pink trousers (I told you they’d be getting much use!). Super girly and feminine, just the way I like it.







 Details: French Connection top (similar) / Zara trousers / shoes (similar) / Stella & Dot tote / JCrew Factory necklace / Anthropologie bracelet / Rayban sunglasses


I know you’re all thinking, it’s Friday isn’t it? Where’s the High Five for Friday?! Well, today I happen to be co-hosting a fantastic link-up with Lauren of Style Elixir and Alicia of The Dumbbelle. To all of my fellow bloggers, feel free to link-up below! And to all of my readers, please check out some of the inspiring other bloggers that link-up below. There are so many good ideas being shared, you never know what you may find!

I mentioned a few weeks ago in this post how I tend to rely a lot on tops to carry my outfit during the summer. Since layering isn’t always the best option in the heat of summertime, I often find myself searching for cute tops that have enough interest or detail to them allowing me to wear as few layers and accessories as possible. This way I can keep things simple and cool without lacking in style. I gathered a few of my favorite tops, a few of which I have and a few which I’d love to have, and pieced together some basic outfits for you to see how easy it can be to look cute and stay cool this season. The tops vary from t-shirts to tanks and blouses, but all outfits could easily take you to a variety of summer outings. Which outfits do you see yourself in?summertop5

Outfit 1: top / shorts / bag / shoes

Outfit 2: top / pants / shoes

Outfit 3: top / pants / hat / shoes

Outfit 4: top / skirt / hat / shoes

Outfit 5: top / skirt / shoes


Mint + Chambray


You guys know about my love of pastels and chambray, that’s likely a given by now, so you can understand my excitement about these pale mint shorts! With the slightest bit of tapered detail and a structured shirt that feels a bit more put together than a t-shirt, this outfit can carry you right through summer. What’s also great is the versatility of it all. For example, this same afternoon I later switched out the bottoms for white cut-off shorts, untucked the top and threw on a pair of flat sandals and carried on the rest of my busy afternoon with the kids. I guess the point I am trying to make is that it’s nice to have great basics in varying styles on hand. That way you’ll have no problem throwing something together whenever it’s needed!





mint3Details: JCrew top / JCrew shorts / JCrew shoes / Stella & Dot necklace / Rayban sunglasses / bracelet gifted


When you’re hosting a party or a picnic this summer, it can be tempting to just order a tray of sandwiches for your guests and be done with it (well, that part of it). That’s what I always did, until I came across this recipe, that is. I always feel like Joey from Friends when I think about my love of sandwiches. They just may be one of my favorite foods! I was intrigued when I saw these on Pinterest and gave them a shot for my children’s birthday party that we hosted. I was so impressed with how they turned out and had a hard time putting them down! There’s no magic to the recipe other than giving them the time to set and letting the flavor to sink in. I highly recommend!


There are a ton of ways you could vary this sandwich. I chose to use salami, prosciutto and pepperoni, but the possibilities are endless. I only wish I had a constant supply of these in my fridge!


Here’s the recipe which I found on Let’s Dish:

Serves: 8 servings
  • 1 ciabatta loaf
  • 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 1/2 pound sliced Italian cold cuts (salami, pepperoni, sopressata, mortadella, capocolla, prosciutto, etc.)
  • 1/2 pound sliced Provolone cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, arugula or basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional toppings:
  • Finely chopped olives (black or green)
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Roasted garlic
  1. Slice ciabatta loaf in half horizontally.
  2. Spread desired amount of pesto over the bottom half of the bread. Don’t over-saturate the bread.
  3. Layer the Italian meats over the pesto. Top with the sliced cheese.
  4. Layer the spinach or other greens over the cheese.
  5. Optional toppings can be added to either the top or the bottom of the sandwich.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Place the top half of the loaf over the sandwich fillings.
  8. Wrap the sandwich thoroughly with plastic wrap. Place a heavy cutting board or other flat object on top of sandwich and weight it down with a 2- to 4-lb. weight (such as a cast iron skillet or six-pack of soda).
  9. Let the sandwich sit for at least 6 hours, but preferably over night.
  10. Unwrap, cut into 8 pieces and serve.

Loving Lately: Crochet

When I hear the word crochet it immediately makes me think of grandma. Not my grandma, per say, but just grandmas in general. I’m going to have to let go of this misconception because that’s certainly not the case these days. I’ve found myself gravitating towards crochet detail on everything from shoes to dresses, bags and swimwear. Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think!



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I’d sure wear it! Would you?



Outside of hats, it’s not typical for me to wear any accessories on my head. Head bands often give me a headache and short hair doesn’t give as many options as long hair does when it comes to varying styles (ie ponytails, up-do’s, loose knots etc). I wasn’t on the hunt for a bandana, but I came across this one at JCrew a week or so ago and the print and colors had me. It’s such a fun accessory and in cases like this can totally make the outfit. After my husband referred to me as Aunt Jemima at home, I continued to get positive comments from friends and strangers alike. And just another little perk, it’s great for days that you don’t have the time to wash your hair!






Details: Calvin Klein top via TJMaxx (similar) / JCrew denim / JCrew bandana / Sandals via TJmaxx (similar) / Stella and Dot necklace / Clutch via TJMaxx / Rayban sunglasses / Marc by Marc Jacobs watch


High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, all! The celebrations continued in our household this week. My son turned 5 years old on Wednesday and today is his last day of preschool. I’m being hit with too many emotions to handle! 5 used to seem like such a scary age to handle, but here we are, diving right in. Next week will be quite the adjustment as we situate our lives into summer mode, but I’m looking forward to some pool time with my munchkins!

Here’s a glimpse into my week:

1) This girl sure loves her accessories. My grandmother gave this hat to her for her birthday and she’s been putting it to good use!


2) The cool kid on his new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bike. After the Power Rangers t-shirt I figured I may as well join in! Apparently I don’t know what cool is anyway ;)


3) Lunch on the go. We’re officially on the smoothie kick and I’m amazed at how much nutrition can be packed into these things!


4) I had wanted these Salt Water Sandals for my daughter last year but her feet never got big enough. She’s finally into a size 5 so I couldn’t wait to get them for her. A perk is that she can’t rip them off in the car as she does with all of her other shoes!


5) It’s rare to capture a sweet moment like this (I’d be much more likely to capture him tackling her), but when I do it just melts my heart.


 Have a fantastic weekend everyone!!

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Thanks to the Bloggers


Blogs are one of my main sources of inspiration. This serves in all areas from fashion, to food, decorating and more. The reason I love fashion blogs is because I can see what clothes look like on real people in their own environments. They’re also great because I gravitate towards bloggers that share my same taste in style and in many cases they’ve sold me on particular outfits. That was the case with this dress. When one of my favorite bloggers, Julia from Gal Meets Glam, wore this dress a few weeks ago, I fell in love. I loved the colors, the fitted top and the see through bottom with side slits. Maxi dresses are great, but on hot summer days they can really trap in the heat. This one on the other hand is extremely light and airy. Today I’m showing you how I wore it slightly more dressy with a necklace as well as a bit more casual with a fedora thrown on. The more versatile, the better worth your money!







Details: Dolce Vita dress (sold out here, but I also found it here and here) / Kate Spade crossbody (similar) / Kate Spade sunglasses / Nine West fedora / necklace (old) / Madewell sandals / Michelle watch

Have Your Cake


When it comes to birthday cakes (well, cakes in general), I tend to go back and forth between hiring a professional to handle it or tackling it myself. I have not yet had the urge to attempt playing with fondant, so that’s typically where I draw the line. Otherwise, I like to have some fun trying out new recipes. Cooking Classy is becoming a new favorite blog of mine, and when I saw this Lemon Blueberry cake she had made, I waited for a reason to try it. She made a three layer cake but since I didn’t feel the need for that large of a cake (nor did I have a third round cake pan), I used the extra batter to make a batch of cupcakes which my children could enjoy. Right… the children. The lemon, blueberry cake topped with a cream cheese frosting had amazing flavor. I like that it was slightly out of the ordinary for a birthday cake but perfect for the summer months.

cakeHere’s the recipe which was found on Cooking Classy:


  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, at room temperature, rinsed and drained well
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened (1 1/2 pkgs)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Blueberries and lemon slices, for garnish (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 9-inch round baking pans and line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper. Butter parchment paper and lightly dust pan with flour, shaking out excess.
  • Sift cake flour into a mixing bowl. Add all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk for 30 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (if you don’t have the paddle attachment that constantly scrapes sides of the bowl while mixing, then stop mixer occasionally throughout entire mixing process and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl), whip together butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest until mixture is pale and fluffy. In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, measure out milk then stir in sour cream and lemon juice, let rest 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix eggs into butter mixture one a time, then stir in lemon extract and vanilla extract. Toss blueberries with 3 Tbsp of the flour mixture. Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with remaining flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with 1/2 of the milk mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. Gently fold in blueberries. Divide mixture evenly among prepared baking pans. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 24 – 27 minutes. Cool in baking pans about 20 – 30 minute then invert onto wire racks to cool completely. Once cool, frost with cream cheese frosting and decorate with blueberries and lemon slices if desired. Store in an airtight container.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitter with the paddle attachment, whip butter until pale and fluffy. Add cream cheese and mix until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla and lemon extract and powdered sugar and blend several minutes longer until smooth and fluffy (if frosting seems slightly runny, you can chill it for a bit before frosting cake).
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


Polka Dot

polkadot6Since Memorial Day has come and gone I feel like we are in full summer mode. Despite school still being in session for another week, my wardrobe has basically been switched over with the exception of some light jackets that will remain in the mix. I saw this dress in grey via another blogger on Instagram and ran to Old Navy when I read that’s where it came from. What a perfect, easy, versatile, and comfortable dress for the summertime! I love the color and the drop waist which adds interest to its otherwise basic shape. I’m linking up with Mommy in Heels today for the What She Wears: Polka Dot link up, so this scarf was the perfect accessory to toss on. It also makes me look like I could jump right into this beautiful mural ;)






 Details: Old Navy dress (not available online) / Gap jacket, available at Gap Outlets (similar) / Madewell sandals, (similar) / Juicy Couture scarf / Rayban sunglasses


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