a lovely living

Monthly Archives for October 2019

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

LOFT: Try-On

It’s been a bit since I’ve been into our Loft, so I was excited to get in and try some things on. As of now, just about everything is on sale and I’m hoping that lasts a few more days! For reference in sizing, I’m 5’7″ and fluctuate between xs/s, 0-2 in their clothing. I’ll make sure to note anything that runs large or small.

dress

Don’t rule out above the knee dresses simply because the temps are starting to drop. I love styling this length of dress with over the knee boots and either a long cardigan or short jacket (like a denim or moto jacket).

dress

Talk about a perfect fall dress! The colors and the print are adorable and this is another one that could easily be layered upon. The closest to my size was a 4, but i’m guessing it runs pretty TTS in which case I would have gone with a 2.

blazer

Cute option for the office or classroom would be to add a blazer over top. This one has a great, comfortable fit to it.

dress

Such a great, basic midi. I love the ribbed material and the fact that you could layer basically anything over it!

Here’s a closer look at the material.

skirt (similar)

As long as you find a skirt that’s longer than the dress itself, you can layer overtop making this dress all the more versatile! This exact skirt is sold out online, but this one is similar.

moto jacket

And of course you can always throw a jacket on over top. This moto jacket is the prettiest blush pink in person. It does run big though, I had on the XS and it was still quite roomy.

sweater

This sweater was one of my favorites. It has a great fit but the color combo is what really drew me in. A lot of times I’ll go with a S in Loft sweaters, but the XS fit well in this case.

pants

I loved these navy, wide leg pants. Most of my wide leg pants are cropped, so I was happy to take home this full-length pair. Great fit, but runs large, I’m wearing the 0.

denim

I tried on two pairs of their high-waisted jeans and was pleasantly surprised. Great rise, no gap and I really liked the wash. I’m typically between a 0-2 in their denim and these worked best in the 0.

denim

Here’s another pair of their high-waisted jeans, in a dark wash. I may have liked these even better, especially with the frayed hem.

sweater

Loved this cute, striped sweater. Here’s a better look at the material…

sweater

I wouldn’t leave you without at least one leopard sweater! I loved that this one was warm, but slim at the same time without being overly bulky.

sweater / pants

Which makes it easy to tuck in and change up the look.

pants

These paper bag pants were super cute. They have a slim ankle fit which would be perfect with heels for the office.

top / pants

Here’s another pair of wide leg pants that I grabbed. They were comfy but I wasn’t overly impressed with the look or style of them.

top

I adored the top however. It’s a perfect color for me to layer with this fall. Drapey, relaxed fit and a nice, tunic length to it. I’m wearing a S but ordered an XS.

top

Speaking of layering, this top is a perfect base layer that comes in a bunch of colors. I love the ribbing and button detail on the sleeves.

wrap

Fall was made for plaids and this poncho fits right in. The perfect extra layer for those cooler temps.

top

One final blouse that I love in this navy stripe. Blues look great paired with all the orange and rust colors out for fall. It would be perfect layered under a cardi or duster.

A Madewell Sale

I love when a Madewell sale comes along because, in my opinion, they don’t happen frequently enough. I find some of my most worn pieces from Madewell. Pieces that I keep for years on end. Pieces that are worth the price, but even better when you can score them on sale. Sweaters and denim are probably my two favorite categories to shop here. Although their shoes and totes are right up there too. I’ve gathered my current favorites below for you to check out. Oh, and you can get up to 30% off your purchase right now, woo hoo! These boots keep selling out and restocking, so I quickly grabbed my size this morning. I’m not sure if I’m going to love them or not, but I was immediately drawn to them and they are unlike any others I have in my closet. I’m also trying out this bodysuit. The more I begin layering for fall, the more I appreciate a smooth base layer that I don’t need to worry about tucking and re-tucking. The bathroom issues are the least of my worries ;)