a lovely living

Monthly Archives for May 2016

Red, White and Blue


Happy Memorial Day everyone and a huge thank you to all that serve and have served for our country!! I’m actually starting today off running a 5K with a few friends in our nearby town of Boalsburg, PA which claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. Pretty cool isn’t it? And if you follow certain fashion rules, this date also marks the official ‘okay’ to break out your white. I gave up that rule years ago because I love wearing it year round, but summer time is certainly the best! So with that, here’s my take on a tasteful red, white and blue outfit (which would be perfect for the 4th of July as well). Not overboard, but just enough to make a point. This top is so light and breezy and perfect for the hot, humid days that have recently been upon us! Oh, and it’s under $20 :)

If you find the time today, there are quite a few great sales going on. I have a list for you, so make sure to scroll through to the bottom of the post and check it out!






Details: SheIn top c/o / LOFT denim / Hat (similar options here and here) / Necklace (similar) / Shoes (similar)

Shop the Memorial Day Sales:

Anthropologie: Extra 30% off sale items
Banana Republic: 40% off with code BRTAKE40 (some exclusions)
Gap: 40% off with code LONGWKND (some exclusions)
Free People: additional 25% off sale items
JCrew: 30% off with code WEEKEND (some exclusions)
JCrew Factory: 50% off and extra 40% off clearance with code EXTRA40
LOFT: 60% off select styles and all sale items and 40% off new arrivals
Madewell: free shipping and extra 20% sale items with code META20
Nordstrom: Half Yearly Sale, save up to 40%
Old Navy: 50% off select items
Pottery Barn: Up to 25% off with code SAVEMORE
Serena & Lily: 20% off everything with code HEREWEGO
Sole Society: Up to 50% off select styles

Striped Tank


Well it’s officially hot outside and I’m already digging through my clothes pulling out everything that’s cool and comfortable. I spend my day with a 1 and 4 year old so those two criteria are a must! I recently ordered this tank from Nordstrom after I fell for this top (that I wear constantly) and I’m becoming quite fond of the brand in general. Certainly worth checking out!

Also worth checking out is Nordstrom’s half yearly sale. I have my picks you can check out at the end of the post, but if you see something you like, grab it fast because sizes are going quickly!






Details: LUSH tank / 7 For All Mankind denim (similar) / Madewell tote / Madewell sandals (this years version) / Le Spec sunglasses

Shop my picks from the Nordstrom Sale here:

Little Swimmers

We finally have some gorgeous weather upon us so my mind is quickly heading towards the pool! Last year I had a newborn so the pool wasn’t always an option for us. But if the bath is any indicator as to how my littlest lady enjoys the water, I think we’re in for some fun this year! With the majority of pools opening this coming weekend, I searched and gathered some of my favorite swimsuits for the little guys and gals in your life. I’m not going to lie, I totally wish some of these suits came in my size! Speaking of sizes, they are going quickly, so make sure you have your babes covered asap!


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Peasant Blouse


Boy did this past weekend fly! We attended my SIL’s baby shower on Saturday, celebrated my husband’s birthday yesterday and then today we move on to Madelyn’s 4th birthday! May is such a crazy month for us (as you can tell) but also so much fun! Despite all of the festivities, it rained nearly 100% of the weekend, blah. It was still drizzling while we shot this look which I wore to the baby shower, but I smiled pretty and told my husband to snap pics quickly, lol! I scored this top at TJMaxx but I have a bunch of other fun peasant blouse options for you to check out below!






Details: Peasant Blouse via TJMaxx (similar option here and see my other picks below) / JCrew denim / DV booties (similar) / Stella & Dot tote / Necklace (similar)

Summer Tanks

As a follow-up to Wednesday’s post, I wanted to share some adorable tanks that will not only make getting dressed simple, but will make a statement as well. Florals, bows, gingham with fringe, eyelet hems and sweet ruffles are all details that will have people asking where you found your top ;) I’d happily throw on any one of these with cute sandals and blue or white denim and head out the door. Now we just need the temperature to catch up! So, which is your favorite?


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Crochet Top


Finding a cute tank brings such a smile to my face because it makes for such an easy outfit! And as I think a few short weeks ahead to summer break while I have all three kiddos home, my time to sit and put an outfit together is going to be drastically reduced. So having some cute tops to quickly turn to makes my outfits a no-brainer and a far cry from boring…because that’s just no fun ;) Oh, and when they have the added bonus of being cotton like this one, I’m completely on board! Friday I’ll be sharing a bunch of my favorite tanks for summer, so check back for some fun and simple ways to make your outfit!







Details: LOFT top / GAP denim / BaubleBar necklace (similar) / Stella & Dot tote / Sandals via TJMaxx (similar here and here) / Michael Kors watch / Le Specs sunglasses / Lucky Brand cuff (similar)



To those of you with children, you know the importance of having a dedicated landing space for all their many, many belongings. Whether it’s an area in your garage, an entryway closet, a part of your laundry room or a mudroom, containing the stuff is crucial. After years of living in condos and apartments we are finally fortunate to have a designated spot for our mudroom. It’s also located in a very central part of our home. It falls right in between our garage, family room, kitchen and additionally has a powder room located off of it. With that being the case, it’s even more important to keep this in space in order and not merely a dumping zone!

Before we moved into our home last summer we tackled the majority of painting in just about every room. Our mudroom however, was a bit neglected. I was toying with the idea of wallpapering the space, but when I found out it would cost nearly $1000 to install the paper I had my eye on, well, that plan was put on hold. It took me a while to figure out my next direction, but I finally landed on painting it in Sherwin William’s Backdrop. It reads as a sort of chocolate gray and I looove the way it turned out. With that update came a spring cleaning and the storing away of all the winter coats, hats and gloves which left the room in a perfect state to be documented…and I promise it will never be quite as organized again (the shoes are all ready in complete disarray!).

I had previously shared with you the way I tackled this command center which we continue to utilize every single day. It’s the way I keep all of our incoming/outgoing mail/letters/bills etc organized. (Resources listed at end of post)



This cubby area is predominantly used by the kids. The hooks hold their jackets, bags and backpacks and the baskets at the bottom are used for hats, scarves, gloves etc during the winter months and basically a ‘catch-all’ at all times.



I found the bin on wheels at HomeGoods and it’s perfect for storing all of their shoes. It’s also the baby’s favorite place to play, go figure!


My girlfriend, who’s kitchen I helped to design, found this piece of art from Target for her home. I loved it and knew it would work perfectly here to add some color into the space.


If you have the space for a bench, it’s a wonderful piece to have in this area. And if it can serve as additional storage, even better! My MIL found this bench at Target (I sound like a broken record, don’t I?!) and I loved it. Of course it had sold out just about everywhere, but after calling around I managed to track one down near my brother in Pittsburgh, PA. I just had to twist his arm a little to pick it up for me ;)





Art: Target
Baskets: Target
Bench: Target (similar here and a large selection here)
Cabinet: Ballard
Mail bins: Target (here and here)
Mirror: Target
Paint: Sherwin Williams Backdrop
Rug: Target
Shoe bin: HomeGoods



Ruffle Cami


A fun, laid back outfit today to take you right into the weekend! I love finding new tops to pair with these flared jeans and this sweet ruffled cami worked perfectly. All I’m missing is a little self-tanner to tone down the brightness ;)






Details: SheIn top c/o / LOFT jacket (similar here and here) / JCrew Factory denim / Wedges (similar here ) / Pendant (similar) / Blair Ritchey bag (updated version)


My love for dresses this season continues…I ran into this one at TJMaxx (but I have a bunch of similar styles for you below) and couldn’t pass it up. I ended up wearing it this past weekend for my daughter’s baby dedication and birthday party. The fit and flare style is so fun to wear with it’s overly feminine appeal. It’s also classic which means it’ll hold a spot in my closet for quite some time!







Details: Dress via TJMaxx (see options below) / Wedges (similar here and here) / BaubleBar necklace / Kate Spade bracelet (similar) / Michele Watch / Clutch (similar)


I swear I was just in the hospital after giving birth to my sweet baby girl and yet today she is officially one year old! Is it too cliche to say time flies? Because it certainly is! Amongst the Mother’s Day celebrations yesterday, we also had Audrey dedicated at our church and celebrated her first birthday…it was quite a whirlwind! I had so much fun prepping for her party…I love decorating on my own terms, before they grow up and decide they want a monster truck/football/princess/sesame street party ;) I have a bunch of shots from her day, but I also wanted to share the recipe for her smash cake that I made (although nothing was smashed, she seemed quite confused until I cut it up for her…apparently she wasn’t up for the mess!). It’s a healthier version of cake and since it wasn’t destroyed everyone tried it and loved it! I iced it and topped it with fresh flowers and a ‘one’ banner from Glam Banners (so cute, isn’t it?!). One of my favorite cakes, for sure.



I printed out a bunch of my Instagram pics using Postal Pix to displayed around the party.






This is her ‘cheese’ :)













Banana Baby Cake via Sugary & Buttery:


• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• ½ cup oatmeal (ground oats)
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ¼ teaspoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• ¼ cup oil
• ¼ cup plain applesauce {unsweetened}
• 2 eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 large bananas, mashed

• 1 stick butter
• 1.5 packages (12oz) cream cheese
• ½ cup powdered sugar
• 1 tablespoon milk
• food coloring (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and grease three 5 inch cake pans, set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, excluding the sugar. Stir to combine and set aside.
3. In a different bowl, whip sugar, oil and applesauce together. Stir in eggs, vanilla and mashed banana. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.
4. Divide batter amongst cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Cool completely.
5. To make the frosting, whip butter with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes, add milk and powdered sugar. Keep whipping until it becomes creamy, for about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and whip until fluffy, 5 minutes. Add food coloring (if using) and whip until incorporated.
6. Layer, frost and decorate with flowers, sprinkles etc.