a lovely living

Monthly Archives for November 2018

Gift Guide: FOR HIM

Hello Friday! This week flew by for us. With the kids off school on Monday and preparations going on for a big fundraiser that’s happening at the kids school tonight, I really don’t know where the week went! I’m sure many of you have your Christmas shopping well underway, or at least started, so today I wanted to share my gift guide for all those guys in your life. Jack can be one of the more challenging people on my list to shop for, but I’m pretty sure he’d love more than one or two things from this guide. It helps that I requested his input as I worked on this post as well as the help from one of our most resourceful, stylish and in-the-know friends. Hopefully this can serve as a great aid as you check off that list!


Hoodie: Most guys love a good hoodie and I love this one that’s made from a thermal knit jersey. It would perfect to lounge in but could also be a great layer over top of a plaid button-up shirt.Scarf: I love a good tartan scarf, especially one that I could borrow for myself.

Wall Art: I think most guys would enjoy a piece of art that could serve as a memory of a past trip or dream and plan a vacation to come! Perfect for a home office or den area.

Hindsight: I haven’t read this book, but I know Jack would enjoy this. First off because the design is top notch (and was done by the design firm he used to work at), and second because who doesn’t want a behind the scenes look into JT’s life? I love this blurb about the book: ‘Living a creative life, observing and finding inspiration in the world, taking risks and listening to an inner voice—this is Justin Timberlake’.
Yeti: I’m sure I’ve shared this in years past, but if you don’t own one, you may not know how great these insulated tumblers really are. They make a perfect gifts for anyone on the go and keep your drinks hot or cold for hours on end.

Gloves: They may be typical, but practical is always appreciated! Jack is due for a new pair, so I have this pair sitting in my cart now.

Sneakers: These have been on Jack’s list for a while now. I love the look and the fact that they don’t look athletic, but perfect for everyday wear.

Smart Plug: I’ve seen and heard a number of people that use these plugs and if you have an Alexa, you should probably add this to your list. You can have it control anything that’s plugged into it, but it seems to be most resourceful for turning lights on/off, especially with all the added Christmas lights this time of year!

Putter: I won’t pretend to know anything about golf, but coming from my good friend, this has greatly improved his game!

Watch: Classy and timeless, you can’t go wrong with this handsome watch.

Pants: I don’t know about you, but Jack doesn’t shop for his own clothes. He leaves that to the hands of myself and I’m thinking it couldn’t hurt to add a little color to his winter wardrobe. These are also flannel lined and have some built in stretch which is always an added bonus!

Pretty Pastels

Many of you know that pastels are pretty much my favorite. I’ve always been drawn to the soft, beautiful shades any time of the year. I’ve shared this sweater on here before and absolutely love it. Not merely for the color, but the flattering faux wrap, the perfect weight (not too bulky nor too light), and the fact that it comes in various colors. It’s worth putting on your list. I more recently grabbed this scarf at LOFT for all the obvious reasons <3 It pairs perfectly with grey for those of you that may own a grey coat.

Speaking of coats, J.Crew is one of my absolute favorite places to purchase winter coats. I’ve owned this one for years and years and you’d never know it! The same goes for a number of others that I have from them. The quality is always top-notch, as is the fit. But I think my favorite thing is the variety of color options that they offer. From classic navy, camel and grey to a pop of red or pink, or a soft but unexpected shade of lavender or green. They’ve literally got you covered ;)

Lastly, I wanted to mention these earrings that I ordered through my friend at Noonday. I love their neutral look that allows me to pair them with most of my everyday outfits. I’m sure many of you have heard about their wonderful mission, but if not, you can check them out here.

Details: Sweater / Coat (similar here and here) / Denim (similar) / Scarf / Booties / Earrings


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! We hosted family here and had such a great day together. Our dining room, kitchen and kids table were all packed and the food was abundant. So much to be thankful for!

Now we turn our excitement towards Christmas and Black Friday which is well underway! I plan to keep this post updated through Monday so you can keep up not only with the sales, but also my top picks from everyone. There are some great deals to be had and some things are sure to sell out, so don’t miss out!


Abercrombie & Fitch: 50% off the Entire Store + Free Shipping

Anthropologie: 30% off everything

Crate & Barrel: 20% off select items + Free Shipping with NO Minimum

JCrew: 50% off purchase (and 60% off sale) with code CYBER

Kate Spade: Up to 30% off full-priced items and 40% off sale with code MORECHEER

LOFT: 50% off your purchase and Free Shipping with code CYBER

Madewell: 25% off your purchase with code SHOPALLDAY

Michaels: 50% off Christmas Decor plus a ton of Doorbusters and an EXTRA 30% off your online purchase with code CYBER30W (may pick up in store)

Nickel & Suede: Free Shipping

Nordstrom: Up to 60% off

Pottery Barn: 25% off site wide plus free shipping with code CYBER

Holiday Gift Guide: Kids

Hi guys! Today I’m sharing a gift guide for all those littles ones on your list. Whether you’re shopping for your own children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren or special friends, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to check them off here! Also, my guide from last year is just as relevant and most of the links should still be active for you, just in case you needed any more ideas.

: What kid doesn’t love a cute playhouse? There’s something about them that brings out the creativity in kids and keep them entertained endlessly!
Cuddle & Kind: I shared these dolls last year and had to include one again because they are just too cute! My girls have the bunnies and
Art Box: For all of your little artists! Madelyn is my little crafter and I love enabling her and providing as many supplies as I’m able, but if there’s a way to keep things somewhat organized with a kit like this, I’m all over it!
Smart Watch: Jack has had one of these for a few years and he and Madelyn both love it. They can take pictures and video with it and they love timing themselves as they set up obstacle courses and races through our house.
Disney Jewelry Box: Such a sweet gift this would make. You only have to narrow down which princess for your own little princess.
Firehouse: A fun play set for all of those kiddos that love their firetrucks! This two story firehouse will thrill them and encourage their imagination.
Water Wow Books: My cousin introduced me to these a while ago and I have kept one in my car ever since. The paint brush is filled with water that is used to paint a beautiful picture that eventually dries so that it can be used over and over again! Mess free and perfect for toddler and preschoolers.
Laser Tag: If you have older children, this is a gift that would most certainly excite them. I don’t love finding Nerf bullets all over the house, but lasers I can handle!
Alphabet Puzzle: A great gift for your preschooler, these alphabet puzzles make learning fun (and I sound like a commercial, lol).
Fingerling: I really can’t explain these, but all I know is that they are towards the top of both my daughter’s Christmas lists. They come in various colors and animals and they talk to you as well.
Coffee Set: If your children are like mine, they want to do everything they see us doing. Making coffee is no exception! We were gifted this set last year and it’s gotten a ton of use and goes perfectly with their play kitchen.
Princess Castle: Such a sweet gift for the littlest babes on your list. I love this adorably soft castle!

Winter Greens

I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is upon us! I’m hosting a bunch of family here so I’ve been in organizing/decorating mode the past few days. Thankfully my grandmother is tackling the turkey because those things still intimidate me! But I’ll be having fun prepping the table, tackling the pumpkin pie and making a few sides (this green bean casserole is a favorite of mine, I cheat with the canned french onions though).

I wore this outfit to church yesterday and was telling a few friends how I hold off on wearing my winter coats as long as possible. It seems like once you start, you’re wearing them for five straight months, so when I’m only running to/from the car, I like to layer up without the added bulk of a coat when I’m able. I walked into LOFT wearing this and one of the employees had on almost the exact same outfit, with this sweater which is currently available (mine is a few years old). The shirt is one I could have easily passed by but I’m so glad I didn’t. The colors are soft and beautiful and it lays really well, perfect for being able to layer under a sweater or blazer. And for those of you that grabbed this boyfriend cardigan when I shared it before, the greens match perfectly!

Details: Shirt / Sweater (similar here and here) / Scarf / Denim (similar) / Booties / Sunglasses

Shop the Look:


Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we are already living in a winter wonderland, so apparently it’s time to get these Holiday Gift Guides rolling! Since the gift guide ‘for her’ is the easiest for me to tackle, I figured we’d start there. Feel free to use it for those special women in your life or pass it along to a significant other as a sweet and subtle hint ;)


Slippers: A new pair of fuzzy slippers are always welcomed. And who can turn down these adorable stripes?!

Leather Tote: One of my favorites year after year. You cannot go wrong with this tote! Bonus points for add the monogram.

Faux Fur Scarf: A beautiful neutral cold weather accessory that any lovely lady would love.

PJ’s: I have these in navy and it’s my favorite set. Pink seems like the next best option!

Faux Fur Clutch: Adorable and playful, a perfect winter accessory.

Monogram Necklace: A thoughtful and stylish gift that any women would welcome.

Fleece: A cold weather must-have. I’ll take each and every cozy fleece with arms wide open.

Faux Fur Throw: Your only problem with this throw is narrowing down which color to get!

Wedge Bootie: I recently splurged on this bootie and I absolutely love it. They are great for winter yet the wedge adds the perfect amount of style (and height!).

Bathrobe: The perfect gift that every woman needs as she unwinds at the end of the day (or preps in the morning!).

Scarf: One of my favorite scarves this year. If I could I’d take one of every color!

Earrings: These are some of my favorite earrings. I have a few colors but the neutral colors get worn far more than any others.


Our Home: Master Bedroom

Our home is a work in progress. For someone like me, whose taste and style is constantly evolving, I’m learning to embrace the fact that no room in our home will ever be ‘finished’. I’m working on a talk I’m giving to our local MOP’s group and the topic will revolve around ‘Making your House your Home’. Being that they will all be mothers of young children, I want to enforce the fact that our homes will never be perfect. We all have a to-do list that’s miles long, a wish-list that may or may not ever be completely checked off and rooms that turn themselves upside down as soon as you turn your back. Our house is no different.

I feel an added pressure being that part of my career has become helping clients design rooms and specify color to showcase their spaces. Well, to my surprise no one has cared that things aren’t ever perfect in my home. It is lived in and loved and the best compliment I have ever received is that our house feels ‘homey’. In the end, that’s all I want. I want my kids to feel safe and loved and our guests to feel comfortable and welcomed in our home. My friends may laugh as I chase our kids around with a sweeper but hey, a girls gotta clean what a girls gotta clean!

Back to our master bedroom. This room came together piece by piece. It’s not a fancy space by any means with any architectural details, but it was a perfect blank palette that I had before me. Rooms often evolve from one source of inspiration for me and in this case it was our ‘love’ pillow that I found at a local decor shop. I had always had busy bedding in the past and knew I wanted something more subtle that would allow me to play with prints and bolder colors in the rest of the space without making the room feel too overwhelming. This Pottery Barn quilt has worked perfectly for us. We keep a bed blanket underneath and the extra quilt folded on top of the bed for when we need it during the winter.

The drapes are actually the second set that I’ve had in here. The first set I had was pretty, but when I laid eyes on these at HomeGoods one day I knew it’s what we needed. This is part of the reason I try not to rush decorating. In time, the right thing will always pop up. These nightstands followed shortly after and I haven’t regretted the bold choice since. Try not to worry about trendy colors, but focus on colors that speak to you and you’ll have a much deeper and longer lasting love for your space.

Jack and I have had these dressers since we were married. They aren’t likely what I’d pick today, but changing our furniture with every new color trend isn’t an option. They are classic enough and add depth to our room and so they will remain.

Our wedding photo actually served as our guest book and that’s another decision I don’t regret. It’s remained in our bedroom through every rental we’ve been in over the years and I love having it next to our bed now. Our kids love to make fun of us kissing as we cuddle together on weekend mornings.

This space above our tall dresser remained blank the first few years in our home. I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted there! I saw the ‘love’ sign one day at Target and then everything fell into place for me. I pulled the frames out of our basement and within an afternoon it was done. Again, all about timing.

This is my favorite candid picture that we have. There’s a whole big story as to why my son was even at this wedding, but that little kiss is what I’ll always remember about it.

Let me wrap up by saying that yes, I removed some of the clutter that’s ever evident in our room for the sake of pretty photos. Laundry baskets and kids toys scattered all over the floor are what make this place ours and I hope you are able to leave here not seeking perfection, but taking the time to wait and find the things that speak to you the most and enable you to create a space of your own that you’ll enjoy walking into each and every day.



Paint Color: SW Accessible Beige
Bed: Pottery Barn (similar)
Quilt: Pottery Barn
Bed Blanket (not shown): Serena & Lily
Bench: Home Goods (similar)
Drapes: Home Goods
Lamp: Pottery Barn
Jewelry Box: Pottery Barn (similar)
Love sign: Target (similar)
Nightstands: Home Goods (similar/similar)
Bedside lamps: Home Goods (similar)
Ceiling light: Pottery Barn

Cozy Chic

I hope you all had a great weekend! Things were pretty laid back here as we watched football and got things done around the house. I did manage to get my Christmas shopping off and running and in the meantime I’ll keep my fingers crossed that my kids don’t change their minds about their requests!

This sweater came home with me from the Loft sale last week and I’ve already worn it twice! I wasn’t lying when I said this was one great sweater. The colors are incredible, as is the feel. Thick and warm yet soft to the touch and overall not that heavy. I wore it with my go-to Madewell’s earlier in the week and then for church yesterday I paired it with these off-white jeans. I love pairing sweaters with lighter denim throughout the fall and winter because it’s just so pretty. I’ve also been wearing the heck out of this scarf already. Soft and cozy seem to be my prerequisites lately, and this one passed with flying colors. I’m always gravitating towards the pretty printed scarves when I’m shopping but then end up wishing I had more solid colors to pair with some of my outfits that are busy enough. This one comes in a number of solid colors, it was hard to narrow down my choice.

Details: Sweater / Denim (similar) / Scarf / Sunglasses / Boots (similar)

We Love LOFT Sale

Happy Friday guys! There’s a great Loft sale underway and I’ve got a lot of great pieces to share with you! Earlier this week I teamed up with my good friend Rebecca from Mommy in Heels over on Instagram to share how the same pieces look on different body shapes and sizes. I saved those images so you can find them easily on my highlights. So many of you reached out to say how helpful that was which I’m so happy to hear! No two bodies are the same and shopping online can be a difficult task, so I’m all for helping to ease that process for you all any way I can.

Our fab Loft ladies were busying un-boxing so many goodies when I was in there, so I know there’s even more that I’ll have to get back in to check out! For reference, I typically wear a size XS/S or a size 2. Here’s what I was able to try on and all the details:

I was excited to see this sweater in person. It’s beautiful. I love the color and it’s very soft. The sleeves ran slightly short on me even in a size small which was the only downside for me. I often struggle with Loft denim as I typically have a gap in the rear. That was minimal in these however, and if you typically have luck with their denim, I highly recommend this pair. Mid-rise, great medium wash and a perfect amount of distressing.

How cute is this preppy little look that Rebecca put together? I love a good striped turtleneck (well, a good striped anything really!), and this knit blazer is perfect paired over top. It has great stretch yet looked very structured and chic. You can find my metallic loafers here. Wearing XS top, 2 in the blazer and 2 in the denim.

The colors in this sweater were hard to pass up. The only downside here was that it wasn’t super soft and I’m pretty picky about my sweaters these days :) Wearing a size S.

You may as well go grab one of these in every color because this is a great tunic! It’s thin which makes it perfect for layering under a blazer or under your more fitted winter coats. I always love the classy look of a turtleneck. Wearing an XS.

I’m not sure I’ve ever tried on a more comfortable wrap dress. This thing really does fit like a glove and can easily be dressed up as much as you needed. I wore an XS here.

Such a great shirt dress in this beautiful plaid. If you’d prefer just the shirt, it comes in that as well which is a great option. How cute would it be with OTK boots and a fur vest? Wearing an XS.

Let’s call this our post-Thanksgiving dinner outfit! I brought home another pair of Lou & Grey joggers (seriously guys, if you don’t own a pair yet, pick a color or two and grab them now!) which I wear ALL the time. This super-soft striped top pairs perfectly with them as well as leggings or denim. Top is XS and bottoms are S (I have others in XS but they were out and the smalls fit very similarly).

There really were too many good sweaters in this round up. Although it isn’t, this one basically felt like cashmere. Long length which would allow it to pair well with leggings. Guaranteed you’d be reaching for this one over and over. Wearing an XS.

Very pretty everyday sweater and a great pair of Lou & Grey utility pants. The green was in store but doesn’t appear to be online yet. Wearing XS in both pieces.

Such a darling polka dot top. This would look so pretty with a red skirt or trousers for the holidays. These are my Madewell jeans that I had worn that day, this is the most similar pair.

I think this one topped the charts for me. This Lou & Grey sweater has an over-sized fit but still has a great shape. And not only is it soft, but the colors are SO pretty in person. I received compliments on it all day when I wore it yesterday. Can’t say enough about this one other than don’t let it sell out on you! Wearing the XS.

I love the navy/grey combo on this one, but even more I love the detail on the back…

So if you don’t sport short hair, get those pony tails ready! Wearing the XS.

This lace top makes for a great layering base. The mock neck adds an additional pretty detail without being overly feminine.

I grabbed this top not thinking it would be anything special but I absolutely loved it once I had it on. Maybe it’s the whole green-eyed thing, but I love the fit as well and plan on layering it under some of my cardigans. Wearing an XS.

And that’s all for today! I hope this helps you and provides some outfit inspiration! Have a great weekend!


Instagram Round-Up

Happy Wednesday! It’s time for a little round-up of some of my everyday outfits from Instagram. It’s so much easier to snap a quick pic than it is to plan out a whole shoot, and I know a lot of you enjoy more of these everyday outfits anyway, so I’m hoping this serves as a good source of inspiration for you! There are a lot of great pieces packed in here and worth looking into for the cold winter months ahead of us. Layering is the name of the game!

sweater (similar)

sweater / overalls (similar) / bodysuit


jacket (similar) / sweater / denim / booties

cardigan (similar) / shirt / denim

shirt / cardigan / hat / denim / booties

sweater / denim / shoes

cardigan / shirt / denim (similar)

scarf / cardigan (similar) / denim / booties

sweatshirt / denim