a lovely living

Monthly Archives for January 2019

A Joyful Closet

Today I’m sharing our freshly organized master closet. A closet that for the first time since we’ve lived here (over three years) finally brings me joy. I’ve shared a few rooms in our home with you all, but never would I have thought that our closet would be next on the list. When we moved in to our home, we had three young children, one of which was 7 weeks old. My goal was to get as many rooms painted (because you know that’s pretty much my thing), and get situated as quickly as we could. In terms of the closet, that meant toss it all in so it was out of sight and move on to the next room.

Three years passed and I never really gave it a second thought, more of a ‘I’ll get to that someday’. Well, with our arctic weather as of late, I haven’t had many chances to get outdoors to shoot much in terms of style content. So when I reached out to you all on Instagram asking what you’d be looking for me to share, the very first two responses centered around closet organization. Well, just picture me throwing my head back in laughter because here’s what I was looking at….

Glad that embarrassment is out of the way! Yikes. Barely an ounce of organization and a door I was happy to keep closed. Those Instagram suggestions resonated with me almost instantly and I knew without a doubt that I wanted to tackle our closet. I wouldn’t say that Jack and I have any sort of an impressive or Pinterest worthy closet, but I knew that it could be much more beautiful and functional than it currently was.

Now, I know Marie Kondo is all the rage right now, but at this point I had only seen one of her episodes and had never read her book (which I still haven’t). But I got the gist of how she has helped countless families organize their homes. By simplifying, and organizing and only keeping things that bring you joy, you’ll set yourself up with a structure that you’ll be able to follow going forward. She also suggests that you work by category, and not by room. So when it comes to your clothes, you gather them all and return those that bring you joy, one by one. So that’s what I did…

This all happened relatively quickly, I cleaned my closet and felt like I was on a roll.

I knew (and my BF confirmed) that matching hangers was step number 1 and would make a major impact. If that’s not something that bothers you, by all means, skip this step. But this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. Luckily, Target had some on sale, and wouldn’t you know, they were by Joy :) Totally meant to be. I love this particular hanger because of it’s thin shape that maximizes space and has the velvet to keep your clothing in place. I also picked up a few baskets and some shelf dividers which are pretty and very functional!

Well, this project turned from a few hours to a few days, because sorting and washing and folding and rehanging…..oh and three kids that also need fed and helped with homework and ran to this sport and this dance class etc. But I kept at it any chance I had. I took a few piles to a consignment shop and others to donate, but it wasn’t very hard to get it all out the door. Let me also mention that as a style blogger who’s constantly moving through clothing, I do purge my closet regularly, but there’s something much more powerful about having your entire wardrobe in one pile and having to mindfully decide which pieces bring you joy and which do not, that made me reconsider many pieces.

Well, I’m happy to report that Jack and I both worked though everything and are so happy with what went back in and the way it ultimately turned out.

For those interested, I’ll share a little bit about my approach to organization in here. Granted, every closet is set up a little differently and every individuals needs are going to vary, but some of these tips/tricks will hopefully translate and work well for you.

Keeping my sweaters stacked helps me to be able to see them all and these clear dividers keep them separated and tidy.

I have these particular baskets throughout our home and knew they’d work perfectly in our closet as well.

I decided to keep hats in one, swimwear/coverups in another and the third I plan to keep empty and fill with items that I’m ready to sell or donate (as opposed to piling them on the floor!).

This organizer is perfect for Jack’s ties and belts. Very sleek and streamlined.

I’ve had this scarf holder for years and it continues to serve it’s purpose well.

My belts are now very pared down to only those that I actually wear (when in doubt, if they are dusty, you probably don’t need it ;) ).

I purchased this shoe rack when we moved in and it actually works really well in our space. I have a few pairs of tall boots up on the shelf in their boxes, but the bulk of my shoes are kept here….

…and here. I decided to remove our behind the door hooks because all they created was more clutter. This shoe organizer turned out to be a much better use of space for us.

Jack’s clothing and my dresses and longer sweaters are what take up the bulk of the hanging space across the length of the one side of our closet. Jack works from home and has quite the minimal wardrobe, compared to mine!

Here’s the other side of the closet. You can see that we have our few travel bags stored on the top shelf and then I have my jewelry stored in trays/boxes on the middle shelf.

My everyday jewelry is now in my jewelry box on my dresser (which I also cleaned out) and it now gets daily use.

I have my pants on the lower rack and decided to move my shorts to hangers as well so that I could free up a drawer for my workout clothes. They are much better suited for a drawer than tossed on a shelf in here as they were before.

I have all of my hanging shirts on top, sorted in a way that made the most sense to me. I have my vests, followed by flannels and then the rest of my tops that can all be worn almost year round grouped by colors. That’s one other thing I should note, I don’t store clothing away in storage or another closet when it’s out of season, this is my year-round closet and there’s (now) plenty of space for it.

I decided to upgrade our hampers as well since Jack and I had been holding onto our collapsable hampers from our college days. These function much better for us, they are a great size and even have a divider that you can add to separate colors.

A few days of some fairly hard work have led to a whole lot of joy for us!

I thank you guys for giving me the inspiration and kick in the butt to put this project into motion, because in all honesty I don’t know when I would have gotten to it on my own! If you’re feeling overwhelmed in your own closet, let me be that little voice that nudges you along saying, ‘just do it’, it’s worth it, I promise!

But be warned. Once you start, you can’t stop! My drawers have now felt the effects of Marie Kondo as well!!

Here are some helpful products that could help get your closet organized:

Winter Style + Sales

Hi guys! Hope you all had a great weekend. We got to visit with some family, tackle some things around the house and I finally wrapped up my closet cleanse. I’ll be sharing how I purged and refreshed my closet with you all on Wednesday, including steps you can take to make yours a space that brings you joy too!

Today’s outfit consists mainly of pieces from LOFT and Madewell, both of which have sales running right now. I’ll share some of my top picks from both retailers below. This Lou & Grey tunic sweater is a keeper for sure. I shared it during my last try-on here. Although I wore it tucked in for this look, it has a good length to it which would work with leggings or a cute pair of joggers at home. It also comes in a really pretty shade of purple. I’ve shared this coat before which you can still find here, but the jeans you have yet to see and they are also a part of the sale running through today. The gold embellishments are actually sewn in, so there’s no risk of anything falling off from wear. I love that they’re not your typical black jean, yet they’re just as versatile.

Shop the Look:

Shop the Madewell Sale:

Shop the LOFT Sale:

A Really Good Anthro Sale

Hey guys! Short and sweet post today, but you know how I love sharing a good sale! Well, today Anthropologie is offering up to 50% off of some of their wear now and later pieces. This sale is only good for today, so keep that in mind when browsing. I included some of my favorite cozy and layering pieces as well as some outerwear and one of my most worn scarves this year that is finally marked down.

Thanks to all of you that responded on Instagram yesterday to content ideas you had for the blog. I’m brainstorming on some of them, especially those that were mentioned multiple times and already have one in the works! I love creating content that’s engaging for you all, so as always, if you have ideas that you’d like to see, just leave a reply below and if it’s a good fit for the blog I’ll do my best to incorporate it!

You guys know that I love sharing my style inspiration, but coming in as a close second is my love for working with paint. I love finding the perfect color or exact neutral that a room calls for. Understanding the way that undertones play such an important rule in picking paint colors (when it comes to neutrals especially) has made all the difference when specifying colors for my clients. Well, I didn’t understand any of that when I was selecting paint colors for our home 3.5 years ago. I painted a large white square in every room and then painted 10 different shades of greige to sit and stare at. I eventually came to a decision that I was happy with for every space, but it was quite a time (and money) consuming commitment. Studying under Color Expert, Maria Killam last year and making the investment to have her color boards on hand now makes this process exponentially easier! Having the top Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore colors on hand to move around and compare/contrast allows me not only to see how each shade would look, but also to show my clients why one color will work better than another.

With all that being said, today I wanted to share one of my favorite neutral paint colors, Sherwin Willams Accessible Beige. This color runs though most of our home including our living room, kitchen, master bedroom and our sons bedroom. These days I feel like the term beige can scare people away. We immediately picture those warm yellow and orange beiges of decades past and in fear turn to a grey that may end up feeling too cold. Accessible Beige actually borders being a gray and falls into the greige category. It technically has a green undertone but it can be a bit of a chameleon in different spaces. It gives a great warmth to our walls that I absolutely love and I have carried that love into a number of other homes that I’ve had the chance to work in. I wanted to share some of those spaces with you today so I can make a case for this beautiful hue.

Here’s our master bedroom that I have shared before (see the full post here). Making sure it worked with the carpet was key and then I was able to decorate around it.
Here’s another space from our master bedroom.
This was the first kitchen I had the pleasure of working on and although you can only see it here above the window, we carried the color through the bulk of their main level. I did end up cutting the paint by 50% here as the full strength of the Accessible Beige was reading too heavy in their space. A little lighter and brighter was all it needed!
This was another beautiful home that I helped specify color and finishes for. You can see that even with the blue gray island, the Accessible Beige compliments it and warms up the entire space.
Here’s another shot of the color in that same home. This is their mudroom that falls just off of the kitchen.
Here’s one final home that I was brought on to help renovate. I love how the Accessible Beige updated this home and worked well with much of the brown and orange decor.
Here’s a final shot of that same home from the front of the house, to give you another look at the way the wall color pulled everything together.

Lovely, isn’t it?! Now, I’m not saying that this color is guaranteed to work for you. I have certainly pulled it out in some homes where it did absolutely nothing for their rooms. But in the right places with the right complimentary colors, it can do wonders!

If you are local to central PA, planning a new build, renovation or just freshening up a room, read more about my consultations HERE.

As a side note, if you are planning to paint, I highly recommend ordering large painted swatches that you can hang and replace from Samplize. They have all the top paint brands and you typically have your swatches in hand the following day. These large samples made a world of difference in comparing and getting a better idea as to how each color will read in your space. You can check those out HERE.

Hearts All Over

We woke up to a few fresh inches of snow this morning and are expecting a lot more along with many of you this weekend! I stocked up at the grocery store yesterday, which I always forget to do, so I’m ready with crockpot meals, cinnamon buns and all the other random snack items that ended up in my cart!

I wore this outfit yesterday and couldn’t love the sweater more. Not only is the print great, and appropriate this time of year, but the fit is so chic! Loft is still offering 50% off, so make sure you check out my latest try-on to see what I found in store. This coat is one of my favorites from J.Crew. If you’ve followed for years, you’ve likely seen me wear this cocoon coat many times before and it honestly looks brand new! There are still a few select sizes in various colors on major discount. So if you can grab your size, it’ll be well worth it.

Have a great weekend, guys! Stay safe and warm!

Details: Sweater / Coat (similar) / Denim / Boots (similar here and here) / Hat (similar) / Sunglasses


Love LOFT Try-On

Hi guys! I was in LOFT over the weekend and found so many cute things that I figured it would be worth sharing with you on here. One of the best things about LOFT is that you can find just about any type of outfit you need. From sweats to lounge around in, to dresses that you can wear to work or a night out, they have you covered with that and everything in between. Here’s what I found this time around…

We’ll start with the cutest heart sweater that’s perfect all winter but most especially around Valentine’s Day <3 It runs true to size, I’m in an XS here for reference and like the fit although you could size up if you wanted a little more length.

Next is this pretty wrap sweater. It’s not a true wrap which I actually like. It keeps everything in place so you don’t have to worry about any shifting. I love that this could be worn with skinny jeans and booties or trousers and heels. TTS, I’m in an XS.

These are the pants I’m wearing in the above picture. I’m a sucker for a tuxedo stripe. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m prone to the ‘rear gap’ in many of Loft’s pants, and that holds true here. But if that doesn’t affect you, then you’ll likely adore these pants.

Such a pretty lightweight sweater. I love the floral print and although the neck is a bit wide, it lays nicely and would even look good with a button-up layered underneath.  Fit is TTS, I’m in an XS here but I would have sized up to S for more sleeve length if I would have ended up purchasing.

And of course, these adorable jeans. They have a great amount of stretch, so although I’m in my normal size here, I could have potentially sized down.

This top is actually referenced as a sweatshirt, but it’s the dressiest of sweatshirts. A skinny pair of trousers and some heels would look great with it. The pattern is beautiful and the neckline is so feminine and very Jackie O.

How adorable is this sweatshirt. I true sweatshirt material with the sweetest little embellishment. I’m wearing a S here and would say it’s TTS.

Yep, more tuxedo stripes! These are more of a legging but they have a zipper and hook closure making them a little more versatile for your wardrobe. I feel like this type of waist allows you do add a front tuck which you know is my bff.

Such a great polka dot, wrap dress. I love the navy/white combo, the fact that it can be worn for work, church or even a date night. The wrap is sewn in place and the dress zips up the back. It’s made of a thicker material so the shape is really great, keeping everything in place.

Oh ladies, this dress is so much fun! I’d pair it with some opaque tights and a cute bootie and earrings for date night (or Valentine’s Day). Fits TTS, I’m in an XS here.

This top is like a glorified thermal. I love the split hemline and the soft blush/grey color combo. I’d wear it with a cozy pair of Lou & Grey sweats for a perfect loungy outfit. I’m wearing a S here but would have sized down to a XS because I think it looks better a little more fitted and less oversized.

A terrible picture, but here I’m wearing the A+++ of all sweats that I rave about along with everyone else.

I love how different this sweater is from most that catch my eye. The colors, the pattern, the quality are all on point. I’m wearing a S but would have sized down had they had an XS in store. I feel like the S loses it’s shape on me. I’d love it a touch smaller with a little front tuck ;)

Call me a creature of habit. Or maybe I just know what I like. But a pastel hoodie is not something I’d pass up. I wore it all day yesterday and can vouch for the coziness. Perfect for lounging or traveling if you have any plans coming up. I’m wearing a S here, TTS.

Here’s another good lounge combo. This open front cardi is the softest thing ever and the Lou & Grey long sleeved tee underneath is perfect for layering and comes in a few color options.

And finally is this cute Lou & Grey swing sweater. It has a dolman sleeve and lays really well. I’m actually sitting in it now as I type this from my fav little coffee shop. I paired it with skinny jeans, booties and my Nickel & Suede earrings this time around.

It also comes in this bold purple which is very pretty, but as you know, I’m a sucker for all things muted in color :)


Fresh Snow

I hope you all had a great weekend. We woke up to the prettiest snow yesterday. Just a few inches to cover the ground without trapping anyone in is the perfect amount for me!

On Friday I shared a bunch of recent finds from Target. This sweater happens to be another bullseye gem. In addition to this pretty olive, it also comes in a beautiful cream color. The fit is great, being fitted but not clingy. The Who What Wear line has been one of my favorite lines that Target has carried for a while now. They just seem to get it right, from quality to style and price point. I threw on my Ugg wedges with this outfit because they can handle the snow without requiring me to be in a ‘snow’ boot. Sizes are starting to dwindle (despite the fact that they have yet to go on sale), so I’ll put a few links to various retailers below. I don’t regret this investment one bit.

Details: Sweater / Coat (similar) / Jeans / Scarf (similar) / Wedges

Bundled Up

Happy Friday guys! I don’t know about you, but this week flew by for me. I’m not complaining though, I’m ready for a sleep-in day :) Target was one of my pit-stops earlier this week and I ended up trying on a bunch of cute things that I found. This hooded sweatshirt was one of them and I immediately loved it. It’s cropped and closer to a sweater material and also comes in a pretty light grey. I’m typically a sale shopper, but I don’t hold tightly to that rule when I’m in Target because their prices tend to be more budget friendly. I’ll link more of what I found below for you to check out, there are some goodies!!

Details: Sweatshirt / Coat / Denim (similar) / Boots / Hat (similar) / Sunglasses

Home Decor Refresh

Happy Wednesday! I love how I joked on Monday about us having rather mild weather lately, only to wake up yesterday morning to a 2 hour school delay due to an ice storm, lol. Serves me right! Regardless of the ice, snow or rain that we may be encountering, I’m guessing most of you have gotten most of your Christmas decor tucked away and are back to a clean slate with your house. I always end up tweaking and reorganizing during this process which leads to a little refresh throughout our home. It always excites and inspires me to change things around and often times all that’s required is finding a new pillow or mirror or plant or whatever it is that just brings an area new life. I picked up a faux plant at HomeGoods last week that led to a whole spiral of changes in my living room and left the whole thing feeling fresh and updated.

I’ve gathered a number of new decor items that may help to serve as some inspiration for you during this long winter to spring transition. A new welcome mat to greet your guests, a mirror for your mantel or to update a bathroom, a cozy throw to cuddle up with or a simple centerpiece for your table. Who knows, you may find that switching one thing will cause you to start rearranging and end up with a new space all of your own!


Last week felt as though we were taking a step back into reality, but this week we are all in! Our house is pretty much back in order, thank goodness! I’m much more motivated when I’m decorating, but tearing down is just not nearly as much fun. Not to mention the mess it leaves behind, yikes! But we are now back under control and things are feeling much more fresh around here. To go along with that, our weather has been fairly mild. And by mild, I mean the temps haven’t gone below freezing within the past week or so, so it’s ok to expose an ankle here and there ;) Great timing because I realized that these booties happen to be on clearance for a steal! They come in a bunch of color options and are still decently stocked. I’ve been getting so much wear out of this ivory pair, but honestly it’s the shape of the bootie that I love. The cutout at the ankle has a way of elongating the leg that’s so flattering. An overall, perfect everyday bootie. And I can’t forget to mention this fun, striped sweater. I’m bummed that it’s not currently on sale (because you know that’s the best time to shop!), but I’ll keep an eye on that for you!

Details: Sweater / Coat (similar) / Denim / Booties / Earrings