a lovely living

Monthly Archives for May 2015


I never got around to having newborn photos taken with my other two children, so I was excited to have the chance to have them done with Audrey. I wanted to make sure Jack, myself and the other two children especially were tied in since they all play a big role in Audrey’s life. Our good friends Joel and Andrea of J&A Photography were kind enough to squeeze us in and take on the project, and boy did they deliver. We shared the same vision of keeping things simple for the shoot. I wanted Audrey to remain the focus and so I merely brought along a headband and a blanket for her and dressed our family in plain clothing and soft colors. Joel took charge from there (seriously, that guy is the baby whisperer!) and worked his magic. He didn’t even bat an eye when Audrey did her business on his props ;)

Joel and Andrea were kind enough to pass along some of my favorite photos so that I’d be able to share them with all of you. I’m absolutely thrilled with how they turned out. Now I’m set with the task of narrowing down my selections…..or just filling up our entire home ;)











Post-baby Stripes


Well, Audrey is two weeks old and we managed to pull off a quick outfit shoot. Let me be honest, as difficult as it can be dressing while pregnant, I think I dislike dressing a postpartum body even more. As eager as I am to get into my normal clothes, I know they aren’t in the cards just yet and I just about cringe as I continue to pull on my maternity pants.  Thankfully, all I need to do is look down at the sweet face of my newborn daughter and remember that it’s not about me, it’s about her, and she’s so worth it. And so begins my summer of cotton t-shirts, button-ups and nursing bras…oh how appealing they are!

I’ll be slowly working my way back into blogging, but it’s certainly going to be spotty for a bit. My evenings that used to be my relaxing time to sit and blog have turned into my time to either hold a sleeping baby or fall asleep along with her :) We’ll also be moving in a few short weeks so life is going to be hectic to say the least! You can always stay updated on new posts by following along on facebook or bloglovin’ if you’re not already. I look forward to sharing as I can!





Details: JCrew Factory shirt / JCrew pants / Stella & Dot necklace / Michael Kors watch / Kate Spade sunglasses / Sandals (similar)

Since having children myself, I have found it fascinating to hear about other birth stories. Every one is different and unique, as is the child that emerges. So should you have an interest, read on to hear about Audrey’s entrance into the world.


Before Audrey, I had only ever given birth by being induced. My kids made themselves nice and comfortable inside. I actually had an induction date set this time around as well, but am thankful she chose to get here a bit earlier. I was actually sleeping on our couch as I had been for the past few weeks because it was more comfortable for me, but I had yet to fall asleep by 3:30am. My son was up with a cough, my daughter had been up at least twice to use the potty and I was getting some braxton hicks contractions as I had been for the past few nights. Needless to say, I was wide awake when I felt a gush of water around 3:30am. Granted, that had never happened to me before, but I knew exactly what it was. I started texting some local friends and my mom and sister to see who was awake. Thankfully our neighborhood friend answered and was ready and willing to come stay with the other two kids until my mom could get here. I calmly woke Jack up and told him “I think it’s time”. He kicked into gear pretty quickly!

Shortly after 4am we were on our way to the hospital and we got checked in somewhere around 4:30am. My contractions were coming steadily by this point, but the pain was still manageable. After getting settled into a room and changed into my lovely gown, the nurse checked and told me I was a good 4cm dilated (10cm is push time, in case you are unaware). She asked if I would like an epidural and I said yes but it didn’t have to happen immediately as I was still managing the pain. She suggested I do some laps around the floor for 45 minutes or so to make sure my labor continued to progress and then we’d do the epidural. I started my first lap with Jack and just over half way around I felt my body start to give out. I felt weak and broke out in a cold sweat. I collapsed to my knees as I got through a contraction. As I stood back up I told Jack I had to get back to my bed. At this point I felt like a total wimp. I kept thinking ‘the nurse wants me to do this for 45 minutes?! How do women get through this? I’m maybe 5cm now and can’t even make it one lap??’

I made it back to the edge of my bed and held on to the railing for dear life as the contractions continued to come. I begged Jack to get a nurse to check me again and to hurry up and call for the epidural. The nurse slowly (seriously, it felt like 10 minutes but I know it wasn’t) came and helped me situate my body so she could check to see how dilated I was at this point. I remember hearing, ‘Ohhh….you’re 10cm’, and I had two thoughts. 1) I knew my plans for an epidural were out the window and 2) thank goodness I wasn’t crazy! At that point, everyone quickly shiftted gears. The lights flew on, the doctor was called, nurses were frantically running around and Jack was by my side keeping quiet, likely in shock as this was a whole new situation to him as well. As I laid on the bed, I literally couldn’t move my body as the contractions would not let up from that point on. I honestly don’t even remember pushing…this child was coming out whether everyone else was ready or not. I was told to move my legs up (I couldn’t) and to wait (wait???) but ready or not, she was coming. At 6:03am, Audrey Grace flew into the world as a perfectly healthy little girl.


Certainly not the labor and delivery that I had ever expected, but looking back, I’m thankful (and still shocked) that it all happened within 2.5 hours and didn’t drag on as many labors can. Audrey has been doing great at home and I’m working on managing three kids ;) Thankfully our families have been around to help, my mom has been up on a much more regular basis (thanks Mom!), and our local friends have been keeping us well fed. Seriously, you guys are fantastic!

Thanks to all of you as well for your kind words and well wishes. Each one is appreciated!

Now, for a different perspective and more humorous take on Audrey’s birth story, won’t you take a moment to see it through my husband’s eyes….

It’s 3:30 am. Marisa shakes me. “My water broke…” “Whmhm mwhh what is happening what? Water? Who broke what?” “The baby, we’re having the baby” “Oh snap, like in the movies right? We should probably like hurry like they do in the movies!” We threw a bunch of stuff in the car (or wait, Marisa had everything pre-packed perfectly, that was me throwing things) and got a move on. When we got to the hospital the lady who brought us up in the wheelchair was really pleasant. Marisa politely asked her “So, are you guys busy with babies tonight?”. “No…I have no idea…I don’t work on that floor” replied the pleasant lady. Fantastic. (The Labor and Delivery Nurses were amazing though). We got to the room and set up shop. I knew the game plan by now, do everything she says. Don’t offer anything out of the ordinary, just wait until she asks. If she wants water, she’ll ask for it. I tried to sneak in 2 mins of Madden Football on my phone but that got shot down really quick. Bottom line, don’t be annoying, just be loving :)

Everything seemed like a blur after that. One half a lap around the hallway, a bunch of nurses running around telling Marisa to SLOW DOWN, and finally we got to meet our beautiful little girl, Audrey.

What was more amazing though, was watching Marisa these past 2 weeks. Her strength continually amazes me. To go through all the pain of birth, come home and take care of all of us crazies is strength beyond measure.

Audrey Grace is the luckiest girl in the entire world to have Marisa as her Mommy.



As you may have guessed by now (and if you follow along on Instagram you know for sure) that Jack and I welcomed our third child, Audrey Grace, into the world this past Saturday. We are overjoyed with her and adjusting to being a family of 5. Just typing that still intimidates me! I plan on sharing a bit about her birth in the near future, but she was certainly ready to get here! I’ll be working my way back into blogging shortly, but in the meantime I’ll be catching a nap any chance I get ;)

High Five for Friday

There may not be a baby just yet, but it was certainly an eventful week in our household nonetheless! After living in apartments and condos (from Hoboken, NJ to State College, PA) for the entirety of our marriage, Jack and I finally closed on our very first home. You have no idea how excited we are to actually have stairs, our own garage, a yard and a hose. Yes, it’s the little things as well as the big things that we won’t be taking for granted anytime soon. We won’t be moving until the end of June which should give me just enough time to enjoy the new life that’s about to enter this world before all chaos breaks loose. These next fews months are bound to be spotty around here, but I’ll be posting as I am able and will be eager to finally get some decor posts up as we work to make the new house our home.

1.) Since we couldn’t celebrate over drinks, ice cream was the next best thing…just don’t tell the kids we did this without them!

2.) “Me do” would be the theme of this girl’s life at the moment. I try to pick my battles wisely these days :)


3.) I’ve been living in these lovelies all week.


4.) I received the sweetest handmade gift from a friend yesterday and it totally made my day. Who knew burp cloths could be so pretty?!


5.) As we head into Mother’s Day weekend, I want to wish all of you Mother’s a wonderful weekend full of all the love and appreciation you deserve! Here’s a look back at last year’s celebration with the two that give me the pleasure of being their Mom. Let’s just pretend we’re all smiling. #twooutofthreeaintbad


Bold Baubles

As much as I love my pastels, I’m totally falling for all of the bright, bold shades of jewelry that are available this season. Tassels and beading add great embellishment to many of the pieces which in turn adds to their overall appeal. The details feel fun and refreshing and seem to scream warm weather and sunshine. Top it off with an eventual tan and these pieces are sure to get some attention!



1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 89 / 10 / 11 / 12

Soft Grey


You know me and my love for soft shades.  Grey is a favorite neutral of mine and after pairing it with pink, baby blue would come in as a close second. Throwing on a sweater or shrug for chilly spring mornings makes for an easy transition when you need to remove a layer as things warm up later in the day. I only just received this shrug from ILY Couture last week but it already sold out! Although I have another option linked below, ILY Couture is currently offering 25% off site-wide so you want to check out their other goodies using code 48hours.







Details: ILY Couture shrug (similar option) / Motherhood Maternity shirt and denim (non-maternity option) / LOFT necklace / the Sak bag (options) / Anthropologie sandals / Kate Spade sunglasses / Nixon watch

Lemon Bars


Yes, lemon foods do make me think of springtime, but this time around I was just running with a craving. I had never made lemon bars before, but now that I have it won’t be the last! Buttery crust, amazing flavor and a crisp sugary top. Perfection in a bar. Oh and the recipe is by Ina Garten, need I say more? Maybe an idea to serve with Mother’s Day brunch??



Ina Garten’s Lemon Bars (via Something Swanky)

For the crust:
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup flour
Powdered Sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Line a 9×13 pan with foil or parchment, and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the flour and salt until dough forms.
4. Press the dough into the pan, building up 1/2 inch crust on all sides.
5. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Chill.
6. Whisk together all of the remaining ingredients (except the powdered sugar), and pour into the cooled crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes until filling is set. Let cool to room temperature or chill overnight.
7. Dust with powdered sugar before cutting and serving.


As I was looking back through some of my maternity style, I realized that I haven’t exposed you to one of my most worn items these past few months…leggings. I don’t by any means want you to think that I somehow managed to avoid them through this pregnancy because that wouldn’t be true in the least, especially during these last few weeks. Sweats and t-shirts may be what I turn to at home but I’m still doing my best to look somewhat pulled together during the week because life doesn’t stop, no matter how many weeks pregnant you are!

These sandals (which my mom gave me as an early Mother’s Day present…why does my mom buy me Mother’s Day presents? I don’t know, but I don’t turn them away!) and necklace are recent finds from Target that I’m likely to be turning to many times this summer. The sandals especially, because they wear like a dream. Since I haven’t jumped into Birkenstock’s yet, I’m using these as my stepping stone :)

As a side note, be sure to follow along on Instagram so you don’t miss the arrival of baby girl. I’m ready any day, but apparently she thinks she’s in charge ;)

pregwhite3 pregwhite4 pregwhite5 pregwhite6


Details: JCrew tunic / Gap vest (similar) / Madewell leggings / Target necklace / Target sandals / Michael Kors watch / Kate Spade sunglasses

Linking up with Style Sessions

High Five for Friday

Another week down my friends! Not much new here other than having a belly that’s slightly larger than last week. My cravings for sweets are just about out of control and I’m really going to have to reign that in….soon. Although you may appreciate the Lemon Bars post that will be forthcoming ;) Anything exciting going on with you?

Here’s a look back at my week:

1) My little gymnast following in the footsteps of her aunts.


2) It’s a good day when my 5 yo son declares it the best day he’s ever had! I guess my love of dino’s and reptiles must flourish a bit!


3) We don’t hesitate to take advantage of a date night when my sister offers to babysit! Sometimes just avoiding dinner/bath time/bedtime is the best treat :)


4) We enjoyed a number of gorgeous days this week and did our best to spend some time outdoors.


5) Here she is, snug as a bug while I do what I can to convince her it’s time to get out.



Have a fantastic weekend!