a lovely living

Monthly Archives for December 2016

Navy Lace


I don’t know about you guys, but the majority of my week so far has been spent in sweats and flannels and slippers and all things cozy. After all the dressing up over the past few weeks and, oh, the cookies, comfort is all I’m seeking! This is the outfit I wore to our Christmas Eve service. I love the lace top which which will actually work well year-round and it’s currently marked down to $24! And the rest of LOFT has an extra 60% off sale and select full priced styles using code: FLASH. The sales are just out of control at the moment…hopefully you saw some of my top picks in Tuesday’s post ;)





Details: LOFT top / Pants (similar) / Noonday earrings / Shoes (similar) / Kate Spade bag (similar)

Post Christmas SALES

Hi, all!! I hope you had a great Christmas! This week is pretty low key around here. We’re spending time with our family and some friends as we approach the new year, and of course trying to catch a few good sales as well! This sweater hasn’t made it to the blog yet, but I’ve been wearing it all month and love it! I also grabbed these jeans recently (they are at steal at half off!) and love the cuffed detail. I also adore this coat, but I need a new coat like a need a …..well, let’s just say I don’t need one ;) Things are flying, but here are some goodies I’ve had my eye on that are still fairly stocked at the moment! Have you scored anything good??


Sales worth checking out:
Ann Taylor: 40% off full-prices items with code: SHOP40 and up to 70% off all sale styles
Anthropologie: Extra 40% off sale with code: TAGTIME
Boden: Up to 60% off sale items
J.Crew: Extra 50% off sale with code: THEBEST
LOFT: 50% off everything with code: TREATS

Green Anorak


I can hardly believe Christmas weekend has arrived, but it’s here! I wish you all a blessed Christmas and hope that your time spent with friends and family is full of love and laughter and your travels are smooth and uneventful! I don’t have my blog schedule figured out fully for next week, but I’m sure I’ll get a post or two in, so check back or make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter (over to your right) and you won’t miss a thing ;)

A few notes on this outfit…I tracked down these boots while I was on the hunt for an everyday boot that would work in the snow without necessarily being an all out snow boot (does that make sense?). I love them. The front can be flapped down to change up the style which is fun and they go with the majority of my everyday outfits. And on another note, I’m always nervous when I wear something that isn’t recent (ie this anorak) because I do my best to give you shopping options of your own that are similar to what I’m wearing and it drives me crazy when I can’t find anything. Well, that’s not the case here…apparently I haven’t searched for army green anorak’s with fur detail lately because there are a ton, haha! So if you happen to be on the hunt for one, you can check out my selection below!









Details: LOFT Anorak (old, see options below) / Sweater (old, similar here and here) / JCrew denim (similar) / Sorel boots / Hat (similar)

Shop Anorak’s/Parka’s:


Peppermint Mocha Cookies


I realize that I haven’t shared any recipe favorites in a while. It’s not that I haven’t dug up anything new and worth sharing, but more of a lack of time to capture it on camera. And with the sun setting at the crack of 5pm, well, that leaves me little daylight to work with! I did however, make it a point to shoot these delicious beauties! I’m hosting a cookie exchange this evening and decided to make both my go-to Chocolate Chip Cookie as well as these Peppermint Mocha Cookies. I made the chocolate chip cookies because my husband begged me to, but when you’re hosting or baking as a gift or whatnot, you want something a little bit fancy….and these fit the bill! They are certainly pretty, but my goodness are they good! So if you still have baking plans and have yet to decide which to do…..decision made ;)



Peppermint Mocha Cookies via Sally’s Baking Addiction:

yield: 20 COOKIES (can easily be doubled) prep time: 3 HOURS, 45 MINUTES total time: 5 HOURS

Make sure you chill the cookie dough for at least 3 hours. The longer, the better! Chilling helps the flavors develop, prevent spreading, and makes the otherwise sticky cookie dough easy to handle.

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (53g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons espresso powder or 1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (180g) mini or regular size semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 large candy canes, crushed


In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg, vanilla and peppermint extracts on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Switch to high speed and beat in the chocolate chips. The cookie dough will be sticky. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.

Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes– if the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.

Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls and place on the baking sheets.
Bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- so be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. They will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Melt the chopped white chocolate in a double boiler or (carefully!) use the microwave. For the microwave, place the white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Dip each completely cooled cookie halfway into the white chocolate and place onto a parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of the chocolate. Repeat with the rest of the cooled cookies. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator to help the chocolate set. Once set, enjoy!

Pom Pom Hat + Camel Coat


When you have a birthday exactly one week before Christmas, sometimes the celebrations can tend to blend together. But this year my friends and family filled the entire day with fun celebrations all of my own! Friends came by with flowers, my family came to bake cookies and sing to me (as every good family is required to do ;) and we got to double date with my sister and her husband. Not a bad Sunday at all!

I had planned on wearing a slightly more dressy and festive outfit, but it rained/snowed the majority of our weekend, so Hunter’s it was. I pulled out this plaid top from the back of my closet and the rest just fell into place. You might notice this coat from last week, but this time I removed the faux fur collar to take it down to a more casual level making a versatile coat even more versatile.

And on that note I’m signing off and going to bed. This old woman is tired ;)





I came SO close to biting the ice on this one!


Details: Top (old, see options below) / Denim (similar) / Ann Taylor coat / Hunter boots / Belt (similar here and here) / Hat (similar)

Shop the post:

Call Me Cozy


The temperature has been drastically dropping around here and in order to compensate I’ve been adding on the layers! I find it ironic however, that I very much enjoy every layer I can add (both because I hate being cold and I love styling each piece), but my children despise it! I find myself pleading and begging them to zip up their coats and wear their hats and gloves every single time we step outside. It’s going to be a long winter!!

As for the outfit, this sweater is suuuper comfy. It’s soft and has stretch to it and it comes in a bunch of colors. I sized up to get a little extra length and love the way it fits. Also, I grabbed these AG jeans Cyber Monday and there are still a few sizes left (similar can be found here). My high-rise denim collection has been growing over the past year and I can’t get enough. I love the way they fit and I don’t feel like I’m constantly needing to pull them up as I do in some other jeans. Plus, I typically have great luck in the fit of AG’s so when I can grab them on sale, I do! And finally, I picked up this scarf at LOFT recently and for the life of me can’t find it online. So, if you get into a store soon, you may luck out ;)







Details: Madewell sweater / AG jeans (similar here) / LOFT scarf ( available in store but similar here and love this one) / Booties (similar) / Gloves (similar)

Holiday Gift Guide: Under $25

I’m guessing by this point the majority of you have the bulk of your Christmas shopping well underway, but today I have my under $25 gift guide for you. Here you’ll find some odds and ends gifts for friends or hosts or to tack on to other gifts that don’t feel quite complete. And if I’m being honest, I always make a few purchases for myself as I’m shopping, so don’t feel bad if something strikes you…it’s under $25 after all ;)


1. Striped Scarf: It’s beautiful and it’s $13!

2. Ruffle Sleeve Sweater: Fun and festive at a great price point!

3. Bare Minerals 3 Piece Party Perfect Collection: Ok, this one is $26, but birthday or not, this is a great deal/gift! Mascara, liner and a Moxie lipgloss…you can’t go wrong!

4. Earrings: I love finding a pair of fun earrings that work for everyday wear.

5. Makeup Eraser: I don’t own one of these, although I’d like to. I’ve heard good things and I’d love to eliminate some/all of my makeup removers!

6. Lovable Livable Home: For any other Young House Love fans (if you don’t know them check them out!), I’d love to have this book under my tree!

7. Spotted Gloves: Super cute and 50% off at the moment!

8. Crystal Necklace: A beautiful, classic necklace that any number of women would love.

9. Faux Fur Scarf: A little faux fur can go along way in making an outfit (or a gift) complete!

10. Pom-pom Hat: Cute, fun and functional.

11. Barware: Both a corkscrew and bottle opener are available in this adorable polka dot pattern. Perfect hostess gift!

12. Knit Sweater: I tried this on the other day and it’s super cute. It has a loose, comfortable fit and the only reason I didn’t grab one was because I couldn’t decide on a color!

13. Mom’s One Line A Day Memory Book: I know I’ve shared this on here before, but this journal makes such a great gift! It helps every busy mom remember the good, the bad and the funny as the years fly right by!

14. Fingerless Gloves: I’m a big fan of fingerless gloves. There’s something about babies and phones that just require my fingers to be available :)

Faux Fancy


We woke up to fresh snow on the ground yesterday which didn’t accumulate to much (until this morning) but it sure was beautiful! I put this look together for church and knew I had to wear this coat that just so happens to be a birthday present from my mom…and yes, my birthday isn’t until next week….but it was at my house…and I’m weak!!! Sorry, Mom. Thank you, Mom! It is however 40% off and also comes in black, just so you know ;) Oh, and the fur is removable which makes it even more versatile. My top came from the lovely ladies at a local store, Helen Foxx, but I’m linking a bunch of may favorite party/festive/fancy tops below for you to check out.







Details: Ann Taylor coat (40% off with code SHOP40) / Top via Helen Foxx (similar option here) / JBrand pants (similar here and more budget friendly here) / Boots / JCrew Factory necklace

Shop festive tops here:

Holiday Party Style

This month is full of events for many of you. From corporate parties to preschool concerts, there’s quite an array of outfits that you’re likely needing to put together. Today I’m sharing four outfit ideas to give you a few ideas and hopefully get you through the next few weeks slightly more stress-free ;)

Outfit #1: dress / fur stole / earrings / pumps

Outfit #2: blazer / shirt / skirt / wedges

Outfit #3: top / pants / earrings / pumps

Outfit #4: sweater / pants / clutch / flats

Holiday Gift Guide: Guys

Today I hope to help you check a few things off of your list as I share my Holiday Gift Guide for the Guys! I enlisted the help of not only my husband, but one of our closest friends. The two of them may be best friends but they have very different personalities which gave me a great variety of items to work with. Let’s check it out…


1. Dollar Shave Club: The gift that you can gift for months to come and they can appreciate for as many months as you choose!

2. HEX Solo Wallet: For those minimalist guys that prefer to carry as little as possible.

3. JCrew Flannel: It’s hard to go wrong with a good flannel shirt.

4. Food & Beer: For the beer loving guys, this would be right up their alley. Assuming they enjoy food as well ;)

5. Sorel boots: Now that we have a driveway that tends to require shoveling in the winter, well, I like to make sure my husband looks good…and stays dry, I guess that’s probably more important ;)

6. Popcorn Popper: We have friends that make stove top popcorn anytime we are visiting and it’s the best! My husband and I are big popcorn fans as we enjoy many movie nights in the comfort of our own home (ie we have children that inhibit us from leaving whenever we’d like ;) so I know he’d appreciate this gift!

7. Catch All Tray: A handsome tray to gather those essentials for your guy. Plus it can be personalized which makes for an even better gift!

8. Baxter Clay Pomade: A strong hold, unscented, matte finish product that lasts through the day…according to my friend ;) Most guys don’t enjoy seeking out the perfect hair product, that’s why we’re here. Thinking my husband might need to try this one!

9. Wallet Ninja: This is new to me but apparently loved by many. A pocket tool the size of a credit card that does everything from opening mail and bottles to offering four screwdrivers and turns into a phone stand. For $10, I know a few guys on my list that are getting this! You can get more details on it here.

10. ROOTS Wool Hat: According to my friend, who is a slight perfectionist when it comes to his apparel, this is the perfect hat. Thick, warm, stylish and holds its shape after plenty of wear.

11. UGG Slipper: My husband lives in these at home and they live up to the brands quality that you expect, or in other words, they’re worth the price.

12. Lululemon Intent Short: Lounging or training, women aren’t the only ones that should enjoy the luxury this brand offers!

13. Clarisonic for Men: A cleansing system built specifically for the guys to help give a closer shave and healthier skin.

14. Amazon Echo: A voice activated home assistant that plays music, orders your toilet paper and does about a million other things!