a lovely living

Monthly Archives for March 2018

Hi ladies! This post initiated with a friend/reader asking how she could blend her work week wardrobe with her weekend attire. I thought this was a great question which I don’t address very often being that my day to day can be pretty casual. I thought about putting some inspiration boards together, which I still may do down the road, but this time around I thought it best to get into the dressing room and show you first hand how I would merge some of these pieces and make them work a little bit harder for you. It was a time consuming process, but I really had a good time thinking outside of (my) box pulling these looks together for you. Obviously I wouldn’t be wearing black heels with all of these professional outfits, but it helps give you a better idea! I also don’t wear glasses, but I’d really love a pair of faux frames ;)

Everything will be linked at the bottom for easy reference and also take note that LOFT is currently having a 40% off sale!

Let’s get rolling.

I started out wearing this pretty dress. This idea could be done with any number of spring dresses that are out right now. For work, I threw on a pink blazer and a necklace. I didn’t dress the blazer down, but I think it would look adorable over a t-shirt and jeans.

I then dressed it down by adding a casual jacket and booties. A denim jacket could always be done as well.

Another idea is to throw a light weight sweater over top, or even a button down chambray and tie it in the front.

Keeping with this sweater, I paired it with pretty pink trousers and layered with this dressed up bomber jacket.

I adore the tie details…

This top is easy enough to dress down, but as an example I have it over the comfiest leggings (that have pockets!) with a denim jacket over top. This jacket is a really great quality in case you’re on the hunt. A perfect amount of stretch and distressing for me.

Back to this bomber jacket for a moment, here’s one way I’d dress it down for the weekend. Super easy thrown over a t-shirt with some distressed denim.

One of our awesome Loft ladies handed me this jumpsuit to play around with and I’m so glad she did! The fit is fantastic and I loved seeing how it could be taken from weekend…

…to weekday! A blazer, heels and a scarf and you are in business! (get it?)

I wanted to see how I could work these cropped chambray pants. I like this laid back look, although I’d love to be wearing my Converse with it.

Surprisingly to me, I actually liked the professional look better. There’s a chambray jacket to match (I’m not typically all for matchy-matchy, but it works well here) and the eyelet top keeps the look playful yet sophisticated.

Here’s another way you could wear this top. Maybe for a casual Friday look? Remove the jacket and switch to some kicks and you are weekend ready!

These denim jeans are absolutely adorable. I had seen them online and thought they were embroidered, but they’re actually stamped on there. A fun touch without being too in your face. I threw on this Lou & Grey sweater that’s perfect for spring.

It’s a piece that could easily be dressed up. If the pink/purple combo is too much for you, you could always pair it with black or navy trousers.

I honestly love these pants though. Really any pink pants! Here’s another look styling them. You could wear any of your everyday tanks or cami’s with a cardi overtop. And to work this in reverse, I love a cute cardigan over top of a graphic tee, some denim and booties.

Swap out the cardi for a blazer to give your look a bit more polish. A white button-up would take it up another notch too.

One final look with the pink pants (they could really be any color that fits you the best). This embroidered top is beautiful yet classy tucked into the trousers, keeping the look sleek and simple.

Then you could always pair it with jeans for the weekend or a cute denim skirt as the temps continue to creep up outside.

One final casual look that I wanted to share includes these chino’s. You guys should all check these out because they are awesome. You could probably swing this top with them and some heels/wedges for a lot of work environments.

And that’s that ladies!! I hope this was helpful for some of you. You’ll have to let me know so I know whether to keep this in mind for future posts as well!

Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Resurrection Sunday!

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Spring Decor

Decorating is a slow and ever evolving process for me and my home. Sometimes I’ll know exactly what I want where and other times it takes me years to be able to fill a space the way I want it filled. I love finding ‘inspiration’ pieces and working off of those special items, whether they tell a story, have a special meaning, or add a necessary pop to an area. I recently found this ‘love’ piece at Target which made things click for me. I shared on Instagram yesterday how it enabled me to pull from my own stash of frames and fill an empty area over one of our master bedroom dressers. I admit, I often over think things to an extreme; ‘how long will I love this?’, ‘do I really want to commit to this (or these) holes in the wall?’, ‘is this really what I want for the space?’. Anyone else? But I find once I commit, I always wonder why it took me so long!

Spring is a great time to add some fresh new accents to brighten up your home. Sometimes one new piece can spur you on to do a little rearranging and reorganizing that leads to a brand new space all-together. I love having a cute front door mat, especially because it’s something people take note of immediately upon arrival. Faux florals are something I fought for a while. In part because I was determined to have more real plants, but I’ve learned that not all places in my home offer enough sunlight to keep them in existence! Natural greens, however add so much to a room and my home is now full of a mix of both faux and live plants. The good thing is that faux arrangements have come a long way. You and your guests alike would have a hard time determining whether or not these lavender stems or this succulent required water or not. Many of you also know I’m a sucker for a good wreath. I’ve been making my own arrangements lately, but often search for inspiration before I hit up Michael’s on my own. I love the natural look of this bright and welcoming wreath for a front door. And there’s always boxwoods, which I adore. I have a wreath that floats around my home and is currently hanging in my powder room. Frames are always great to add as well. I’m always stocked and grab them when I find a good deal. It doesn’t take me long to fill them up! In addition to frames, mirrors are the other thing that I tend to hoard. I looove them and the way they come off as being a work of art on their own, without forcing color or business where it’s not needed. I have this lattice piece hanging in my entry hallway. It’s a lovely neutral piece that adds interest without competing with my other decor.

I hope this serves as a spark of inspiration for you! Have a great day guys!

1 / 2 / 3
4 / 5 / 6
7 / 8 / 9
10 / 11 / 12

Striped Button-up

Well guys, I’m still determined to fight off this cold weather. The wind hasn’t helped though, Jack kept telling me, “there’s nothing I can do about your Dennis the Menace hair.” So, for now, we roll with it!

If you’re considering a new jacket this spring, keep pink in consideration! There are so many cute options available that I’ll share with you below. You know I love the hue year-round, but blush just may be my favorite during springtime.

Also, this striped top is adorable! I love the high-low hemline, the crisp white and blue combo and the price point! I’m sure to be pairing it with white denim soon!

Details: SheIn top c/o / SheIn jacket c/o / Denim (similar) / Scarf (similar) / Booties (similar) / LeSpecs sunglasses / Nickel & Suede Earrings

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Back Around

With one week left until Easter, that leaves me (and a few of you) with one more week to follow through with my (our) no shopping sacrifice. I won’t lie, I have a few online carts filled, but I’ve also fallen into somewhat of a groove. My ban has lifted any sense of urgency with purchases and it has reassured me that there’s always going to be something else. The world won’t be ending because those shoes sold out in a size 8.5 ;) I realize there isn’t anything I need and there’s more than enough to play with in my own closet. Take this sweater for example. I was digging around and decided to pull it out again after wearing it a few times similarly to how I did in this post. I took it for a more casual spin this time by layering a chambray shirt underneath and I love the look that resulted. The sweater is perfect for Spring and it’s now marked down and still available in all four colors. I think it would also look cute layered over a t-shirt, I may play around with that next!

Details: JCrew sweater / Gap shirt / Madewell denim / Booties (similar) / LeSpecs sunglasses / Necklace / Jord watch

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Hi guys! I’m excited to share with you another design project that I was fortunate to be a part of today. This home was a major renovation that actually wrapped up toward the end of last year. The couple has now lived in their ‘new’ home for a few months and have begun to settle in quite nicely. I was brought on to select most all of the fixed finishes, paint colors, tile, light fixtures etc. and I had a wonderful time working with the owners as well as Steve Hackman Builders who seamlessly pulled it all together.

Since the owners were moving from another town, I wasn’t able to see their old home to get a sense of their style or the furniture/decor that would be relocating here. Thankfully I was able to get a sense of everything through our discussions, pictures and Pinterest of course! When I showed up to capture these images the other week, I was stunned to see how perfectly their belongings had transitioned into this home. I adore their bold style and loved seeing how happily they’ve adjusted.

I snapped a few images on my iphone when the renovation had just begun, and boy are they dramatic before and afters!

The kitchen cabinets were all refinished and the island was expanded with a beautiful butcher block top.

In an effort to both break up the white and add some visual interest, we created a mosaic backsplash behind the range. It remains one of the owners favorite accents!

The Quartz countertop we used was actually the same one I had selected back on this project. The owners of this home fell in love with it too and I can’t blame them!

Here’s another great before and after view…

Take note of their adorably sweet pup. You’ll see more of them floating around!

When it came to the entryway, not much was updated outside of the light fixture. The tile is so beautiful and unique that I used it as inspiration for their master bath that you’ll see shortly.

Off the entryway is their large living area. I admit I slightly questioned the fact that they wanted to keep the room dividers, but I think that was a very wise decision in the end. I love how they play off of the room and add an architectural interest to the area.

The floors were all added throughout this area, as was the dining light fixture which suites the space perfectly.

Moving back the hallway, I’ll share both the hallway bath as well as the master bath. Here’s a look at the before, going straight through both bathrooms…

…and the after, hallway bath.

That tile, right?! I was so thrilled that the owners were excited to try things that were slightly adventurous because this is one that certainly paid off. We followed the black and white theme with a pop of color on the walls and warmed it up with a round wooden mirror.

For the master bath, we ran with the serene blue/grays and gave it a clean, classy look.

As I had mentioned, here you can see where I pulled in the tile from the entryway. I love that it adds some class, color and makes a big impact in the space.

The colors used throughout the home really bring it to life. I love all of the artwork and decor the homeowners added since they moved in and am so happy that they found a beautiful home to suite all of their needs for decades to come!


Builders: Steve Hackman Builders

Paint: Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige
Counters: Cambria, Berwyn Quartz
Lighting: Hite Lighting Co.
Mosaic tile: Glazzio Tile, Could series in Iceland Morning

Master Bathroom:
Paint: Sherwin Williams Silvermist
Mosaic tile: Glazzio Tile, Versailles in Foggy Meadow
Lighting: Hite Lighting Co.
Mirror: Target

Hall bathroom:
Paint: Sherwin Williams Quietude
Floor tile: Interceramic, Cementine in Contrast Fogile
Lighting: Hite Lighting Co.
Mirror: HomeGoods

Powder Room:
Paint: Sherwin Williams Sea salt

Dining Room:
Lighting: Hite Lighting Co.


Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. We had a really nice family day on Saturday and then yesterday I was able to catch up with a couple of my college girlfriends. We all agreed that we haven’t changed at all in appearance in the 16 years that we’ve known each other ;) We met up to run a 10K St. Patrick’s day race on what turned out to be the most beautiful day, fifty degrees and sunny. Some of you know I pulled a muscle a few weeks ago, but I kept a slow pace along side my friend who is 29 weeks pregnant and was also planning to take it a little easy. Talk about an inspiration!

I pulled out this eyelet top over the weekend that I got from JCrew last spring. Eyelet is never really off-trend, but this season it is ON for sure. It’s actually hard not to run into it lately. It’s fun paired with denim to dress it up a bit, but many of the blouses look adorable with trousers and I’m thinking of trying it under my overalls as well. Scroll below to see all of the pretty options I found for you!

Details: JCrew top (similar here and here) / Madewell denim / Scarf (similar) / Mules (similar) / LeSpecs sunglasses / Nickel & Suede earrings

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Spring Sneaks

If there were such a thing as too many options, that may soon be the case when it comes to adorable sneakers. And I do mean adorable because many of these are almost too cute to wear! In addition to your basic everyday Converse, you could also grab some pretty pink Keds. I know I can be a little pink crazy, but when you can get your athleisure sneaks in blush, it’s hard not to be! And if the pinks don’t win you over, maybe we should talk embroidery for a moment? These slip-ons may be my favorite, but I’d take any of the three below. How perfect would they be with cut-offs and a simple white tee? Or with a cute t-shirt dress? Or white denim and a chambray button down? You get the point, yes? If embroidery happens to be a bit too much for you, maybe a perforated pair would be more up your alley? I love the bright white, but this sand colored option also makes a great neutral.

Maybe it’s a good thing I’m still on my shopping fast since it’s obvious my mind can’t be made up! How about you guys? What’s your favorite spring sneaker?

Everyday 1 / 2 / 3
Athleisure 1 / 2 / 3
Embroidered 1 / 2 / 3
Perforated 1 / 2 / 3

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any recipes on here. Part of this is because it’s been pitch black outside come dinner time making it nearly impossible to shoot anything I’ve cooked up. Another part of the reason was because I wasn’t feeling very authentic sharing recipes because they obviously aren’t mine. But the more I thought about it (and the more people were asking why I wasn’t sharing more) I realized that I had always shared recipes to inspire you guys to try something new. Something that’s not impossible to prepare (because I’m no pro here) and yes, something that someone else created. Just as I do with clothing that others create, I make it mine, take it for a spin and share it with you all. Similarly, I do the same with food. Sometimes it’s a hit, other times a flop. But those that pass multiple times with flying colors, I’ll be sharing again with you. My hope is that some of the them may end up on your family’s table too ;)

Skinny Taste is probably my favorite food blogger. Not only is her food overall healthy, but it’s always sooo incredibly flavorful. We have, no joke, been making this Turkey Meatball Stroganoff once a week for probably two months now. I’ve been preparing it on the stovetop but directions are also included for the slow cooker or instant-pot as well. My dutch oven is one of my most beloved pieces of cookware. I’m pretty sure it makes me a better cook than I really am! Plus, many of the recipes I use it for are one-pot dishes, and we all love less dishes, right?!

Turkey Meatball Stroganoff via Skinny Taste


1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound 93% ground turkey
1/3 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup chopped parsley, divided
3 tbsp fat free milk
3/4 tsp kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
3/4 cups water
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons beef Bouillon
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
8 ounces sliced Cremini mushrooms
1 sprig fresh thyme


Heat a large nonstick skillet or set the Instant Pot to saute and spray with oil; saute the onions over medium heat until golden, stirring 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and divide in two.

In a large bowl, combine half of the sautéed onions with the ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, 2 tbsp of the parsley, milk, 3/4 tsp salt and black pepper. Gently shape into 20 meatballs.

In a blender combine the water, sour cream, flour, tomato paste, boullion, Worcestershire sauce and paprika, blend until smooth.
Heat the skillet or Instant Pot back on saute, add the oil and brown half of the meatballs without disturbing (in two batches) about 2 minutes until no longer sticks, turn and brown an additional 2 minutes, set aside on a dish and repeat with remaining meatballs.

Place all the meatballs and remaining onion into the Instant pot, Slow Cooker or a large saucepan and pour the sauce over the meatballs along with the thyme and mushrooms.

For the Instant Pot: cook on high pressure 10 minutes. Let the pressure release on it’s own. When done, discard thyme, add the chopped parsley and serve over your favorite noodles.

For the stove top: add 2 tbsp water, bring to a boil then cook covered on low 20 to 25 minutes. When done, discard thyme, add the chopped parsley and serve over your favorite noodles.

For slow cooker: cook on low 6 to 8 hours. When done, discard thyme, add the chopped parsley and serve over your favorite noodles.



I hope your week is off to a great start! How’s everyone handling the time change? I feel for those of you with little ones! We’ve started off ok, but I know it’ll be hitting us by mid-week. Our kids are back to school again after spring break last week and I’m looking forward to a bit of a schedule once again.

I love that this t-shirt can take you from mimosas to cocktail hour. Sadly, I had neither yesterday, although i would have welcomed one! I love graphic’s tee’s, yet somehow I don’t have many in my closet. They’re on my shopping list come Easter, ie the end of my shopping fast! I’m going to share some of my favorites below. They’re perfect for spring, pairing them with denim jackets, denim skirts, overalls and then on to cut-offs in the summer.

Details: JCrew tee / Madewell denim (similar) / Cardigan (similar) / Mules (similar) / LeSpecs sunglasses

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Striped Henley

Hello Friday! My kids are home on spring break this week and although we’ve had some fun, it’s also been a week. After wrapping up pinkeye last week, we’ve been working through an ear infection as well as some nasty coughs and colds. Jack and Audrey are my two that always end up with incessant coughs that lead to an inevitable couple of sleepless nights. Never fun. We should be thankful however, that we do have this week to rest and recoop. That’s the blessing in disguise!

I’ve had this henley for a month or so and I’ve been throwing it on at least once a week. It’s perfect for lounging around in sweats but works just as well with overalls or regular denim. Cute and very comfortable. I did size up in this one (which also comes in some solid colors) and I’m glad I did. The sleeves don’t have much extra room, the area I have the most trouble with. And if you don’t yet own a jacket similar to the one I’m wearing, I’m linking a bunch for you below in a range of price points. They’re perfect for spring and they go with just about everything!

Details: JCrew shirt (solid colors) / JCrew denim (similar) / Jacket (similar) / Tote (similar) / Booties (similar) / LeSpecs Sunglasses / Stella & Dot necklace / Nickel & Suede earrings

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