a lovely living

Monthly Archives for October 2019

Last week I shared a go-to list of crock pot recipes that I hope you’ve been enjoying! This recipe was one that was recommended to me by a friend (also included on that list) and was one I was excited to try out. Guys, I have a renewed love for pork tenderloin! Holy cow was this fantastic. Or as Jack put it, ‘restaurant level’ food. And I promise you, I’m no restaurant level chef, but I can follow of recipe ;) Broiling the glaze at the end is optional, but I’d highly recommend it. It has a way of locking it the delicious glaze. You could serve it any number of ways, we chose brown rice and shaved brussel sprouts this time around. Make sure you move this one to the top of your list and let me know what you think!

Crock Pot Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin via Food52


1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 cup water
2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce


Mix together the seasonings: sage, salt, pepper and garlic, and rub over the tenderloin.

Place 1/2 cup water in slow cooker, followed by the tenderloin, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

1 hour before the roast is finished, mix together the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan: brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water, and soy sauce.

Heat over medium and stir until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.

Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. (For a more caramelized crust, remove from crock pot and place on aluminum lined sheet pan, glaze, and set under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, until bubbly and caramelized. Repeat 2 to 3 more times until desired crust is achieved.)

Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

A Beautiful Fall

I hate to jinx anything, but we have been having a gorgeous fall! The colors have been vibrant and the temperatures have been overwhelmingly mild. I love these days where I’m able to dress in lighter layers without completely bundling up. You know I’ve been in love with my Everlane wide leg pants for some time now and that love isn’t fading. I’ve worn this color all throughout the year, but there’s no denying that they go hand in hand with the Autumn season. I grabbed this cropped top from Loft which feels a little out of their norm and I love it! It pairs perfectly with any type of high waisted pants, as you can see here and makes for a great layer without being too bulky. This checkered scarf was the perfect addition for the outdoors yesterday and adds some much needed interest to an otherwise simple outfit.

I never turn down a pic with one of my little cuties (who’s not so little anymore!).

Details: Top / Pants / Scarf / Booties (similar) / Sunglasses / Earrings

Go-To Crock Pot Recipes

My crock pot is a work horse in our kitchen. With three kids and busy schedules all around, I love when I’m not required to be tied to the stove come five o’clock. With the mix of fall weather and after school sports and practices, I find myself reaching for the crock pot on a regular basis this time of year. And then I find myself preparing the same handful of recipes over and over… and over! I realized that I needed to expand my list of go-to’s so I took the logical step and reached out to my Instagram friends asking for recipe favs. My mouth watered as I scrolled through the responses! I decided the best way to round everything up would be to share everything in a blog post so that we can all bookmark and refer back.

Below you’ll find a go-to list of yours and my favorite crock pot recipes. If you have any others that you think everyone would enjoy, feel free to share! I plan to keep this list updated over time. Enjoy!

Beef Barley Soup
Beef, Tomato & Acini Di Pepe Soup
Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Chicken Burrito Bowl
Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Chicken Nachos
Cheesy Tortellini
Chicken Tortellini Soup
Creamy Tortellini Soup
Garlic Butter Chicken & Veggies
Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Hungarian Goulash
Pot Roast
Stuffed Pepper Soup
Sweet Potato Chili
Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches
Trisha Yearwood Pork Loin
Turkey Meatball Stroganoff
White Chicken Chili
Zuppa Toscano

Audrey’s Big Girl Room

Someone has a new bedroom and she’s pretty excited about it! Making the transition from a nursery to a big-kid room for Audrey may have been all fun for her, but it was a little more difficult on my end. We know our family feels complete, but saying goodbye to the crib and rocker that I used for all three of my babies was a little emotional for me. Thankfully all of her old furniture was passed along to another young family that will get a lot of use out of it. And now we’ll move on to making new memories in her big girl room! For those interested, you can see what her nursery looked like, here.

The bedding was my jumping off point for her room. I found the quilt and sham in a clearance corner at PB Kids and fell in love with the colors. It was the perfect inspiration piece to work off of and thankfully she loved it too (she’s an easy one to please!).

I knew a daybed was my best option for her room as it’s quite small and I needed to maximize space. I ordered the trundle as well which gives us more storage space as well as an additional bed to use for company or slumber parties down the road!

I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to hang above her bed, but when I came across these canvases I knew they were perfect. Her favorite part is that we refer to her as ‘wild child’.

I was back and forth on her wall color, but ultimately settled on BM Gray Cashmere. I had not used this color before and it turned out even better than I had expected. It’s a beautiful blue gray that makes her room feel soft and cozy.

I had my eye on this mirror before I ever knew what I was going to do with it. I have a thing for mirrors (just ask Jack!) and knew this one would be perfect somewhere, so I grabbed it when it went on sale and held on to it. It’s now sold out, so I’m thankful I did!

I wanted to utilize wall space as best I could, so I found these bookshelves and loved how the wood tones tied in to those in her mirror. The bars were actually a dark brown, so I took them off and gave them a quick coat of spray paint to soften the look.

Tall baskets are a must for my kids rooms. They make it easy for a quick clean up!

This night light was a fun find and Audrey loves it. It creates the sweetest little hearts on her wall come night time <3

A quick Target run was all I needed to find the perfect accent pillows to complete her bed. I love the mix of pink and blue!

Both Audrey and I are thrilled with how it turned out. I’m hopeful that she’s going to love it for years to come! If not, I’ll trade with her ;)


Wall color: BM Grey Cashmere
Bedding: Pottery Barn Kids
Accent pillows: Pink / Blue
Wall Art: Lindsay Letters
Bed: Wayfair
Dresser: Wayfair
Lamp: Target
Mirror: PierOne
Side Table: Target
Book Shelves: Pottery Barn Kids
Nightlight: Target

A Really Good Blazer

Hi guys! If you didn’t catch it on Instagram yet, yes, I cut my hair again. I find myself on a constant cycle of letting it grow out (and by grow out, I mean chin length, lol) and then taking it back to what I refer to as ‘short‘. I get bored easily and my hair grows quickly, so I know it’ll always be back :) I have very thick hair which makes it a little more difficult to maintain and I can only grow it out so long until I reach the point where I’m done. And then it goes. So for now, I’ll be having some fun again with my shaggy pixie!

I picked up this blazer at the end of last week and found myself wearing it both Saturday and Sunday. Blazers seem to be having such a moment (are they ever not tho?) and when I saw it in this pink I crossed my fingers that the fit would be good. It exceeded my expectations in every way and it the perfect weight to be able to layer under or over. Sleeve length is where I tend to have issues, but there’s plenty of length here without requiring me to size up. In Loft, I’m typically between a 0-2 and went with the 0 here, so I’d say it runs slightly on the larger side. At the moment, you can catch it for 40% off!

I went with a monochromatic look for the base of this outfit. You could go with light, medium or dark denim based on what you had in your closet. Any would work as long as you find colors that are fairly similar. Just as I share all too often about the importance of a good chambray shirt, I think having one with a bit of flair is almost as important. I’ve had mine in my closet for a few years, but there are always similar options available, I’m sharing some below.

Details: Blazer / Top (similar below) / Denim (similar) / Boots / Earrings / Sunglasses

Shop the Look:

Sweater Weather

Happy Friday! With cooler weather creeping in, sweaters have been on my radar. I’ve only purchased a couple so far, but I wanted to share some of the others that have been catching my eye. There are so many great options, many of which are currently on sale. Speaking of sales, here are a few that are happening now and worth taking advantage of:

25% off almost everything at Anthro
40% your Loft purchase
40% off outerwear, boots, sweaters and more at JCrew

I hope you all have a great weekend enjoying all those fun, fall activities!

When it comes to closet workhorses, my chambray shirt is definitely in the top 5. Every so often I’ll update my go-to, this one being my current favorite, but overall, a denim shirt is a denim shirt. Just as a good pair of jeans coordinate with a million different outfits, a denim shirt can work just as hard. I took some time to play around with various ways I have worn or plan to wear mine during the fall season. Here’s what I came up with…

Cardigan / Chambray / Pants / Slides

I love this casual yet pulled together look, not to mention the pretty color combination. The shirt and pants bring some structure and the sweater adds some necessary warmth. A blazer and a sleek bootie could easily be swapped here for a more dressed up look.

Jacket (similar) / Chambray / Jeans / Boots (similar)

I’m far from ‘biker chic’ but that’s the first thing that comes to mind here! Cool vibes with the boots, black denim and cropped jacket give off a laid back yet intentional look.

Chambray / Pants / Boots / Scarf (similar)

This lady-like outfit is one I’d wear again and again, especially if I had a reason to dress up regularly! Perfect for a classroom or office, these wide leg pants and suede booties definitely make a statement. A neck scarf adds the perfect accent and gives it a little more personality.

Cardigan / Chambray / Leggings / Slides (similar)

For those with a laid-back lifestyle, leggings are there for you! Spanx leggings are my current favorites and have been for a few years now. They are a little pricy, but the fit and quality are very much worth it in my opinion. I wear the faux leather the most often, but this animal print which is new to me, may end up in a close second. Pair this look with slides or even a solid pair of sneakers and a long cardigan for an easy, on-the-go look.

I hope these looks gave you some refreshing new ideas and a reason to pull out your chambray shirt and put it to work!

Fall Layering

There are so many changes during fall. Colors change, leaves fall and temps go from high to low to high to low, day in and day out. Currently here in PA, we wake with 40 degree temps that rise to the 60’s by late afternoon only to rapidly drop the minute the sun begins to set. This may be an annoyance if you aren’t properly layered, but this is actually one of my favorite aspects of the season…the layers.

This is where those scarves, jackets and cardigans come into play. Starting with a base layer of pants (or overalls) and a top leaves a blank slate for layering overtop. I typically let one piece be a little bolder with a print or a pattern and keep the rest of the look rather neutral. In this case, I let my scarf make the statement and coordinated colors off of it. I layered a jacket and my scarf for the morning, then lost the jacket for a bit during the day and by evening threw on this cardigan for a little more comfort. The layers allowed me to fluctuate throughout the day without completely needing to change my outfit. A scarf or jacket are pieces that can easily be tossed in your car or even your tote if you’re running around the city making it easy to stay comfortable all day long!

Details: Overalls (see options below) / Top / Boots (similar below) / Jacket (similar) / Scarf (similar) / Earrings / Sunglasses

Although this post will prove to be most helpful to parents with young children, it can also serve as a resourceful gift guide to others. I’m talking the types of gifts that parents are grateful to receive and not merely count down the days until the batteries die ;) I’ve realized lately as we’ve done a little reorganizing that there are a few things that make a big impact in our household. Some provide much needed organization, others are practical aids and the rest are toys that trigger creativity and can keep our littles entertained for hours on end.

Let’s start practical. This sign may bring a smile to the face of any adult, but my kids still need that reminder every now and then. This one just happens to be nailed to the wall! Raincoats seem to be most used in our household in the fall (followed up by spring). This brand has been our go-to for years thanks to the quality, added layer for warmth and cute styles that my girls especially have always loved. When Audrey receives Madelyn’s hand-me-downs, they appear practically brand new. When it comes to sleep there are two products that we’ve found very helpful. The first being a night light. As soon as our kids switched to toddler beds and were no longer restricted by a crib railing, we were a little un-nerved that they’d have full discretion as to their wake-up time. Thankfully we found this nightlight that glowed a cool blue for night time and a warm yellow for morning. The best part is you get to set those times! I also saw this cute new option that’s now available and looks very similar in terms of how it works. My kids have basically outgrown that one, but as I’m currently working on Audrey’s big girl room, I found this sweet nightlight to give her that same peace of mind in the pitch black. I don’t know if it’s purposeful or not, but it creates little hearts on her bedroom walls <3 Lastly, my older two both have this alarm clock by their beds. I love the simplistic look and the fact that it’s rubber and isn’t harmed if they knock it off of their nightstand. In years past, we had some rough school mornings before I took the initiative to give them their own alarms. Since then they wake up and are dressed before I make my way downstairs in the morning! My detail oriented son even travels with his anywhere we go, ha!

When it comes to organization, there’s A LOT that I could talk about and at the same time so much more that I could learn. But for the sake of today’s post, there are two very useful and practical products that we use. These small-ish storage bins are fantastic for containing all of those various toys and crafts and keeping them compartmentalized. They slide under most beds but also stack well in closets or on shelves. Then there’s this storage unit that isn’t anything new and likely something you’ve seen used in playrooms all over Pinterest. My lightbulb moment was seeing it in my girlfriend’s daughter’s closet. It’s exactly what I needed in Madelyn’s room to both help organize her closet and also create a ton of storage for all of her arts and crafts that she enjoys creating in her room. It was a total game changer and immediately gave everything a place in her room as soon as it was put in.

Finally, on to the fun! This wasn’t meant to be a toy guide by any means, but there are a few products in the toy category that are so simplistic in nature but provide a ton of entertainment that I figured I’d share. Legos may seem like such an obvious go-to, but it wasn’t until we merged them all into a bin and put them in our family room where the kids had easy access, that they really started digging into them. Jack has always loved building new sets that he receives, but he’ll now sit alongside his sisters creating any random thing on any given day. Additionally it’s something that my husband and I enjoy sitting down and joining the kids with too! Along the same lines, I bought a box of these Plus Plus blocks for Audrey a while back and I never would have guessed how much she would love them. She likes Legos, but they can still be a little difficult for her (at age 4) to maneuver perfectly, so these were a great alternative for her. They also make them in smaller sizes for older kids as another option. With all of our accessibility to music these days, it felt a little backwards when Madelyn asked us for a cd player earlier this year. But on the other hand, there was something I appreciated about being able to gift her something that I also used and loved as a child. Well, actually I was probably a teenager (because, cassette tapes!), but still ;) She takes that thing all around the house, singing and dancing with her girlfriends. She also reads the lyrics on the cd covers just as I did many years ago! And finally are these water beads. If you know them, you know them. If not, you may not get it until you try them! They start out as tiny beads and grow to marble sized jelly-like beads once submerged in water. The kids scoop and dump and pretend to cook beside me in the kitchen most times. It’s hard to comprehend why, but you’ll likely find yourself losing track of time with them as well!

Color Blocked

Part of the fun in dressing for fall is pulling together all the pretty color combos. Navy is a great way to ground an outfit (denim is another easy option), and color blocked sweaters bring in a bold and playful element. You can find them in soft or bold colors based on your preference and style. I’ve gathered a handful of my picks for you to check out below. Let the sweater make the statement and keep the rest of your outfit simple. And we all love simple (or at the very least, easy) when it comes to pulling an outfit together, right?!

Details: Sweater (see other options below) / Pants / Boots / Earrings / Ring