a lovely living

Monthly Archives for April 2015



The reoccurring theme in my wardrobe as of late has been ‘draped’. I’m reaching for anything that will fully cover my 38 week bump of a belly. Surprisingly enough, the only piece of this outfit that is maternity, however, are the jeans. This goes to show that my love for loose layers isn’t limited to my maternity style. This draped cardigan has been a favorite of mine for years. It’s by the Saturday/Sunday brand sold at Anthropologie and I’m a big fan of the line. Check below for a few links to similar pieces that are currently available. Oh and please excuse the wild hair from this afternoon. If only I could control the elements!


This necklace was gifted to me from my most fab girlfriend. Isn’t it a stunner?





The dandelions could only keep this one preoccupied for so long :)



Details: Cardigan/Jacket (similar option here and here) / Motherhood Maternity denim / DV by Dolce Vita booties (similar) / Stella & Dot necklace and bracelet / Rayban aviators


During the warmer months if we aren’t planning on grilling, I often find myself turning to the crockpot. I typically want to spend more time outdoors and less time over a hot stove. This crockpot recipe isn’t exactly typical, but it’s one that my family loves and I therefore turn to often. I can’t describe the flavor outside of being incredibly delicious and full of flavor, so you’ll have to trust me and give it a shot. It’s out of my Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Cookbook which I’ve had for years. It may have actually been a wedding gift, so if you were the gift giver, thank you!

Hungarian Goulash


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, sliced
1 can (14.5 ounces) beef-flavored broth
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon caraway seed, if desired
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup cold water
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into strips
8 cups hot cooked noodles, for serving


1. In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef in oil about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown; drain. Place beef and onion in slow cooker.
2. In medium bowl, mix broth, tomato paste, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, caraway seed and pepper; stir into beef mixture.
3. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours (or High heat setting 4 to 5 hours) or until beef is tender.
4. In small bowl, stir water and flour until well mixed; gradually stir into beef mixture. Stir in bell pepper. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 30 minutes longer. Serve goulash over noodles.

Not much rhyme or reason behind this dozen, other than all being items that I have my eye on. I always love a good summer tote and both this versatile straw option and the bright printed bag have me tempted. Last summer I purchased a chambray cap that I ended up wearing more than I initially expected. This year I have my eye on a few other options. I love the navy mesh but the bright floral is so fun and out of the ordinary! Oh and I cracked my iphone screen last week (tear) which means I’ll be getting a new one in a few weeks when my plan is up, and so begins the agonizing hunt for a new case. I think I put way too much thought into these things!

How about you? What fun items are currently on your wish list?



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Drapey Jacket


I haven’t been buying much of anything new lately, but when I saw this utility jacket at LOFT I eagerly awaited one of their 40% off sales. I love the sophisticated feel that comes with the soft, drapey material. I also love all of the details, including the cinched waist (which I’ll one day be able to utilize!), rolled sleeves and back detail. A great layer for the chilly spring days we’ve been encountering lately.








LOFT jacket / JCrew tank (similar) / Motherhood Maternity denim / BaubleBar necklace (similar) / Tortoise bracelet (similar) / Kate Spade sunglasses / Vivi earrings c/o (similar) / Michael Kors watch / D’ Orsay flats (similar option here and here)

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! Another week has flown by, but I have to say that during the last month of pregnancy, I am more than happy to have the time fly. Everyone is quite excited to meet this little girl and I’m really looking forward to being able to move at more than a snails pace someday soon! Funny story, my 2.5 year old daughter accompanied me on my weekly doctors appointment this week. She was watching intently as the nurse took my blood pressure, which was familiar to her because that’s what Doc McStuffin’s does, so the nurse asked her if she’d like her to take her blood pressure. Her response? “No, me don’t need to because me no have a baby in my belly” :)

Here’s a quick look into our week:

1) Starting a little prep work for Madelyn’s big girl room. Girls are way too fun to decorate for, how do you ever decide??


2) A special surprise from a more than special friend to brighten up my week. If anyone needs hooked up with a Stella & Dot stylist, I know plenty :)


3) What? The baby made me do it.


4) I have such a weakness for fresh flowers!


5) My husband and kids see it as practice, but I just see creepy!



Have a great weekend!!

Loving on Your Mother

With Mother’s Day being just over two weeks away (yikes!), I figured it was time to share a few of my ideas with you. I’d venture to say that most mother’s care mainly about getting to spend time with their children (unless you have young children, in which case you may want a relaxing day at the spa!). However, I don’t know any that would turn down a sweet momento of your love :) I must also add that my favorite gift from my children (and husband) last year was a journal that they started that will carry on from year to year. I’m more than excited to see what they come up with this year! You can see a little bit about it here.



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A Look Back on Style

I like to refer to my choice in clothing/accessories as my personal style as opposed to fashion. When I think of fashion, my mind first goes to fashion week and everything that’s currently of the moment. Not that I don’t love getting a taste of all of that, don’t get me wrong, but my style is something that lasts much longer than the latest trend. Sure, my style has gradually transformed over time and will continue to do so, but for the most part, what I’ve worn over the past few years would still be something I’d turn to today.

With that said, and being that I am now limited to about 1/100 of my closet, I wanted to share a few of my favorite outfits from last April. All are outfits I plan on wearing again and in the meantime I’m hoping they may serve as a bit of spring inspiration for you.


 Outfit 1: Graphic tee’s, scarves, sneakers and light denim are all everyday, go-to pieces that I will likely turn to for years to come.


Outfit 2: Another alternative wearing graphic tee’s and denim jackets but with the lovely addition of pink pants! I’m not sure I’ll ever let them go :)


Outfit 3: Wearing bold prints that suit you is a great way to allow your personality to shine. Another piece that will be hard to ever part with.

I’m thankful to have this blog as a resource to look back through. For those of you that don’t, you may want to start documenting outfits that you fall in love with. That way you can have a reference to look back on when you find yourself staring blankly into your closet come next year!


Now that the weather is pulling us outdoors and the thought of too much prep time in the kitchen is becoming less desirable, I wanted to share a quick recipe that I’ve used around here. It’s a basic skillet chicken topped with a mustard cream sauce that somehow transforms it into something spectacular. It’s so simple to whip up and yet ends up with incredible flavor that totally makes the dish. You may even want to use it to top your side dishes as I inevitably did :)

Here’s the recipe I used via Cooking Classy:


3 – 4 (6 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp honey


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to hot oil in skillet and cook 5 – 6 minutes per side until cooked through (chicken should register 165 degrees in thickest part of chicken on an instant read thermometer). Transfer to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm.

Add garlic to remaining oil in pan and saute 10 seconds, then add chicken broth, cream, mustard, thyme and sage and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened slightly, about 1 – 2 minutes. Stir in honey and (if needed) season lightly with salt. Serve chicken with sauce over top and garnish with additional thyme leaves if desired.

Spring Fling


This dress has been a staple in my closet for some time now. I know I wore it though my last pregnancy, but it’s also been great for throwing on as a swimsuit cover-up in addition to wearing around on those summer days that I don’t care to put an outfit together. I wore it as we were running around this past weekend, so I added a few elements like my safari vest (which I used to layer over another maxi as seen here last year) and beaded necklace to step it up a bit. Oh, and it was also in the 70’s so out came the sandals!








Details: Dress (old) / Madewell vest (similar options here and here) / LOFT necklace / Madewell sandals (similar) / Marc Jacobs sunglasses

Linking up with Style Sessions

High Five for Friday

Did you know that yesterday was National High Five Day? Well, now you do ;) I hope you all had a great week and were able to enjoy some beautiful weather. Although I saw that it snowed in a few places out west?? Let’s pretend it didn’t.

Here’s a look at our week:

1) A quarter mile walk took us 1.5 hours this week. It’s hilarious how distracted a 2.5 year old can be! Thankfully we had no where else to be…and she’s pretty darn cute.


2) Back to my soccer mom role and I’m totally fine with that.


3) Check out the May issue of InStyle, you may see a familiar face ;)


4) For any Lilly Pulitzer fans, this Sunday is the day to get to Target. You can check out the women’s, girl’s and line of home goods here.

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5) This little girl has been eagerly requesting that ‘baby sister come out now’. I don’t think I have any need to worry that our third child will lack any attention!



Enjoy your weekend!