a lovely living

Monthly Archives for July 2019

White on White

With only a few short days left in July, I began to realize how quickly summer is flying by. As hectic as it can be with all three kids home during the summer, I don’t wish these months away at all! I enjoy our laid back days with our only real commitment being swim team for the older two. The pool is the place where everyone is happy and entertained for hours on end. All they need is a snack bar break here and there ;) But swim team comes to an end this week and then we only have three weeks left (with vacation included) before school starts back, yikes!! I did their school supply shopping yesterday so that I didn’t have to have that on my mind and now I only need to focus on checking the rest of our fun summer to-do’s off of our list!

With these summer thoughts running through my mind, I decided to pull out a monochromatic white look for church yesterday. Does it make me nervous? A little. I likely wouldn’t wear this to a picnic, but at the same time it’s so refreshing that I wish I did it more often. This Madewell top is a popular one of theirs that I’ve had for a while now. The button detail down the back is such a playful detail and I love the pullover style. It took me half of summer to settle on a pair of white denim, and of course they are now nearly sold out, but there was a very close contender that you can find here. I probably tried on each pair 10 times to compare, but settled on mine because of the raw hem. Both pairs had a great fit however, that I was very happy with. Also, if you’re still looking for a great summer hat, this one is perfect. It’s light-weight and ‘packable’ which means it will hold its shape well!

Details: Shirt / Denim (similar) / Hat / Necklace / Watch (similar) / Slides

Picturesque Date Night

It may appear as though we ran off to Napa, but our latest date night took place a mere 15 minutes from our home. I always appreciate how picturesque it is here in central PA and I love discovering breathtaking new views that I never knew existed! Leave it to our good friends Joel and Andrea (of J&A Photography) to introduce us to their friends at Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery and let us serve as models for their latest project (that you could take advantage of, read on).

Jack and I have been making date nights a priority for the past few years and overall, we have a pretty good track record of getting out together, typically every other week. It’s so easy for him to get wrapped up in work and for me to keep my head buried in all things kids. I often find myself in ‘mom-mode’ and forget that I’m a wife too with a husband that wants to spend time with me in ‘wife-mode’! Whether we head out for dinner, ice-cream or to walk through the aisles of Target, we always enjoy our time together with the possibility of finishing a few conversations :)

When Joel and Andrea reached out to see if we’d be interested in participating in their latest mini-session (and that wine was included) we didn’t hesitate. In collaboration with Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery, Jack and I enjoyed a wine tasting, a walk through the vineyard and a photo shoot for just the two of us. I can’t tell you how strange it felt to have pictures taken without directing kids around. We haven’t had our own pictures taken since our wedding, 12 years ago!

For those of you that are local and looking for a great date night, J&A Photography will be holding their mini-sessions, ‘Wine and Say Cheese’ at Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery on August 16th and 17th. You can get all the details and find the link to register HERE. I can’t think of a better way to spend your evening! We are also hosting a joint giveaway that’s taking place over on Instagram that’s worth looking into ;)

The dress I chose to wear for the evening is a few years old, but I’ve included a bunch of similar options for you to check out below, including this popular Amazon piece. I’m a big fan of navy, but the green that they have in their selection is quite tempting!

For those of you that are interested in taking advantage of this fun and unique event, you can find all the details and registration link HERE.

Shop my look:

A Lot of Leopard

I don’t know what it is about leopard all of a sudden, but I swear it’s everywhere. My past few outfits on here have included leopard print and I’ve found myself adding more and more leopard pieces to my carts lately. Side note: I fill a lot of online carts and typically only check out with a few things, but it’s fun nonetheless because I don’t want to forget about something or miss getting that email ‘something in your cart is now on sale‘! Since it seems to be in my face everywhere I look, I figured I’d share some of my favorites with you.

When it comes to leopard, no matter how subtle the print, less is almost always more. There may be a few exceptions like a cute pair of matching pj’s or loungewear, but for the most part I wouldn’t push it. I’d keep the majority of your outfit solid and allow the leopard to make the statement. The great thing is that you can basically find leopard in the form of everything from a belt to a sweatshirt, even a blazer or a pair of sneakers! Go with whatever feels like you :)

A Little More Leopard

I know I just shared another great leopard top last week, but I seem to be gravitating to the print often these days! I’ve had this particular top since early spring (you can see how I styled it then) but the great thing is, it’s still available and on sale! It has a nice weight to it, not quite a t-shirt not a sweatshirt, but that perfect middle ground. It is great solo or worn as a layering piece (think under a blazer for work and a cute pencil skirt). I wore it with these awesome pull-on shorts. I love how they can come off some-what dressy while sporting an elastic waist! And when the temps drop or the AC kicks on, a cute denim jacket adds a finishing touch.

Details: Top / Shorts / Wedges / Jacket / Sunglasses / Bag (similar)

Today is the day that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens up to the general public! Yes, there are a number of things that have sold out, most of which sold out on day one. I ordered some things shortly after the sale opened to card-holders and I still had items get cancelled on me. But you know what? It’s not the end of the world and I’m not sitting around lusting over any of it. I did end up with a number of items that I am more than pleased with, that will all get a ton of wear and that I’m happy to have been able to purchase at a discounted price. So for those of you that may not have had the opportunity to shop early, don’t worry! There are still a bunch of things that I think are more than worth it that have not been bought up yet!

I’m very particular about my running shoes (I wear a certain pair of Asics) and only wear them on my runs, but I needed a good pair of sneakers that I could wear with all of my ‘running around town, atheisure outfits’. These fit the bill perfectly. I love that they are a neutral on top of being super comfortable. Oh and these socks, because they’re awesome and un-revealing. I didn’t take note of this pair of loafers until I was in store, and then I knew I needed them. The are comfortable yet chic and will go with so many of my outfits this fall. Of course I grabbed another one of my favorite sports bras and I’ll likely grab more of my fav undies before the sale ends. Also, Zella leggings are up there on my list. If you don’t own any, you’ll want to give them a try. I have both cropped and full length and love them both. This scoop neck tee is another good buy. It has a great fit, comes in a bunch of colors and is under $16.

Have a look at my favorites below, grab a few things that make sense for you and don’t sweat missing out. A new pair of the perfect booties will always find their way to you down the road ;)

A Little Leopard

My daughter (and her friends) are obsessed with leopards. Well, anything in the cat world to be honest, but leopards rank high at the moment. So needless to say, Madelyn was head over heels about my outfit selection, lol. Leopard print is easy to come across lately as I think more people are realizing that it doesn’t have to be overtly bold to make an impact. I love the subtleness of this top which will be a year round piece for me. I can already picture throwing on a denim jacket or a cardigan over top. And obviously for the work environment, a blazer would look fab. I love it with wide leg pants and some added height from these wedges (that are still under $50) that I’m wearing on repeat. All great pieces that would add more versatility to your wardrobe.

Details: Top / Pants (see options below) / Wedges / Sunglasses (similar)

Nordstrom Sale: Try-On

I hope you all had a great weekend! I made my way into Nordstrom on Saturday to work my way through the Anniversary Sale pieces. Unfortunately there were a lot of things not available in store in addition to many things already being sold out in my size. I didn’t get to try on any denim which was a bummer or many shoes either for that matter. Thankfully I have a few things coming from my online order, so I’ll report back on those.

Since a lot of what I was hoping to try wasn’t available, it pushed me to try some other things I may not have noticed online. There’s a lot to sort through in this sale, and honestly there’s a lot that’s not worth all the hype. There are however, some things that are definitely worth grabbing while on sale, should you have the need.

Let me warn you, the lighting in the dressing rooms was atrocious. I fought hard for some good angles to avoid shadows and allow you to have an accurate shot of these pieces, but it was not easy. In another life I’d love to be a lighting designer for dressing rooms…what a missing market!


Despite not having an appropriate event in mind for this jumpsuit, I took it into the fitting room with me because I had to try it. There’s a good chance I may order it before the sale is over (assuming my size is still in stock). The fit was TTS and had plenty of length in the legs which would be perfect with heels.


This light-weight sweatshirt has been a popular item. At the moment it’s sold out, but I’m hopeful they will restock. It’s soft and cozy and rurns TTS (I’m in the S).

Fleece hoodie

This is a great pull-over that comes in three different colors. It does run small though, I’m in the XS here and it was very snug. I definitely would have gone with a S if they had it, or possibly a M for extra layering room.


If you’ve felt Barefoot Dreams material before, you know it’s the softest thing you could ever wear. I loved the shape of this open front cardigan. Perfect for wrapping yourself up in during the fall/winter months.


Here’s another cozy cardigan with a lower price tag. I love the color of this one and on the plus side, it has pockets :)


If you need to stock up on basic tee’s, this one is the one! It’s $15.90 during the sale, comes in a bunch of colors and is TTS. I’m wearing a S here which is good if you want a little extra room for knotting it etc.


I brought it home in the striped option in the XS which had a little better fit for me.


Here’s another well-priced basic tee. The fit is a little boxier than the one above, but I do love the v-neck. I’m wearing a S in this one.


I liked but didn’t love this sweater. It was cute but just a little too boxy for me. I’m wearing the XS here, but I’m thinking I could have tried sizing up to make it a little more tunic-y.


When I first saw this online I was hopeful that it was similar to this one that I got last year during the sale. Unfortunately this one feels like a much cheaper version. It’s thinner and doesn’t fit nearly as well which was a bummer because I really liked last years version.


Despite this picture (oh the lighting), I really did like this sweater. Paired with leggings is a little ‘va-va-voom’ for me, but remember, I didn’t have any jeans to try on with it! I’d love it paired with some high-wasited denim. It runs TTS (I’m in the XS).

Faux Leather Leggings

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I love my Spanx faux leather leggings. They go on sale very infrequently, so they fall at the top of my list for must-haves from the sale. I wear a size S for reference.


Moving on to jackets, this is one I scrolled right past online, but in person I loved it. I probably should have bought it, but to be honest, I need to assess my coat closet to see what’s needed. I’m hoping they re-stock this print, but it’s also available in some solid colors. It’s a great water resistant, fall jacket with faux fur lining through the top body of the jacket.


Here’s one of the more popular jackets from the sale. For me it was way too short in the sleeves and had I sized up to a S it would have fit too over-sized for my liking. I do like the coat in general (especially the fleece lining), but for me the fit was a no-go.


Here’s another jacket I did not take note of online, but in person it’s a very chic piece that comes in a few very pretty, fall colors. It’s wool but light-weight and would make a great fall jacket. I’m wearing a size S for reference.


I’m slowly working my way to having a ‘grown-up’ pj drawer. I still have my fair share of t-shirts and comfy pants, but I have a handful of pajama sets and I really like them! This one is so soft and comfortable and comes in a few different color options. The light grey stripe is my favorite. I’m wearing a size small.


Here’s another cute set from Madewell. The colors were much prettier in person and this set ran on the larger side, I’m in the XS.


This was my favorite pair of sneakers from the sale. I got my TTS 8.5 but I think I’m going to size up to a 9 for a little more room as I typically do in sneakers.


This pair of loafers caught my eye in store and I loved them. They are classy yet casual, very comfortable and I can wear them for the better part of the year. I waited to get online to decide between this nude or the snakeskin, but ultimately ordered the nude. They run TTS.

I hope this post is helpful to you all despite not having everything I was hoping to try-on. Some items will re-stock intermittently throughout the sale, so if there’s something you have your eye on, I’d check back! Below you can find everything I tried in this post as well as some of my other picks that you can find from last week’s ‘first look‘ post.

Happy Friday!! Today marks the start of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for those of you that have a Nordstrom card and the sale will then open to the public next Friday. At first look, there isn’t anything that screams ‘I absolutely must have this‘ but that may change once I get to see some things in person tomorrow. I will have a try-on post to come, but for now I wanted to share the items that first caught my eye. Most of these items are basics that I purchase regardless and would certainly benefit from getting a discount!

I (and the rest of the influencer world) rave about these Spanx leggings because they really are everything and it’s great to be able to get them marked down. I’m 5’7″ and wear a size small in them for reference. I love Nordstrom’s Zella line, so I’m likely to grab another one of my favorite sports bras as well as a pair of leggings. I have this light-weight wrap sweater from last year and I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of it. I’m, not opposed to stocking up on a few sweaters, this cardigan has me intrigued and this striped pullover is very similar to one that I own from last year (and love). I’ve been stepping up my pj game lately but it’s not a place I like to spend too much just for the sake of matching my bedtime look. I’m definitely looking into this and this set. I was close to buying this sweater last year, but it took forever to go on sale, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes home with me. It does fit very oversized though, so you’ll likely want to size down. I’ve heard rave reviews on this blanket which still has a hefty price tag, but I’m thinking I might cave if I get my hands on it! This pair of wedges is very similar in look to my Ugg’s that I have from last year and everyone and their mother complimented me on them. Such a great fall/winter boot.

Have a look, let me know what you think and if there’s anything in particular you’re looking for in this sale let me know and I’ll try to track it down for you and include in another post :)

Insta Lately

Today I’m bringing some of Instagram over to you! Since I have more of a daily interaction on that social venue, I end up sharing more everyday content that some of you don’t get to see. I’ve been slowly dipping my toe into the Amazon Fashion trend and I’ve found a few great pieces so far. These leggings (not shown below) were one of the first things I tried and I was very impressed with them for just over $20. This fun tank is great for all things summer and this matching set might be might favorite so far! I was also in need of an updated chambray top and I couldn’t be happier with the fit and quality of this one, leave it to JCrew!

I hope you find some inspiration for your everyday here, even if it is just a pretty new pot for your plants to thrive it <3

tee / denim (similar)

I love the fit and feel of this linen top with the very flattering neckline.

white slide / coral slide / pointed mules / leopard sandals / leather mules

Don’t make me pick a favorite because I love them all! I do get asked about these slides all the time though, and no one believes their Crocs!

tank / denim shorts / sunglasses (similar) / swimsuit / black shorts / slides

More everyday pieces including this cute, affordable tank.


It took me a bit to track down the right pot for this Jade plant that now sits in my dining room, but I loved the subtle detailing on this one.

hat / sunglasses / shirt / shorts / belt bag / slides

More everyday wear in some of my favorite go-to pieces.

shirt / shorts

If you need a new chambray top, look no further! And pull-on shorts are my new favorites. This color is so good for summer.

sweatshirt / shorts

How could you not want to match in this set?! I love the soft greys in this camo set.

tank / similar denim

This tank seems to be quite a popular Amazon find. It’s great over a swim suit with some pull-on shorts or tucked into jeans and maybe a denim jacket over top!

coverup / swimsuit (old JCrew) / shorts

This has been my go-to cover-up so far this summer. Light-weight but provides great coverage when you need to avoid some of that sunshine.

Baby Blue

We are back from our trip up to NY/CT and ready for a fresh new week! My SIL lives in NY on the boarder of CT, so we spent a lot of our time in CT walking and shopping the adorable streets. I could easily get myself into a whole lot of trouble living up there, lol! There’s an Anthropologie the size of a small shopping mall that I walked through with silver-dollar eyes. We also spent some time at JCrew where I fell for this light blue sweater jacket that was 40% off at the time (I’ll keep you posted on their next sale, but they do have it marked down in a few other colors including a pretty subtle pink). I was torn between buying one of the more neutral (and maybe more practical) colors, but in the end I couldn’t pass up this pretty hue. Granted, it’s been hot and muggy lately, but I was so thankful to have this layer on for church and grocery shopping yesterday in the chilly AC. I wore it over top one of my favorite graphic tee’s and these pull-on shorts. Speaking of pull-on shorts, they are kind of my new fav. Kids have the right idea, who needs all those zippers and buttons :)

Details: Sweater Jacket / T-shirt / Shorts / Wedges / Sunglasses (similar)