a lovely living

Monthly Archives for December 2019

Sale Happy…and a little more

Hi, friends! Sorry for the lack of posts over this past week or so. This time between Christmas and New Years is always such a whirlwind! With a mix of relaxing, entertaining and traveling, it’s been hard to keep my days straight! After Christmas we headed to NY to visit my SIL and her family for a few days and then Jack and I took the kids into the city to see all the things. Despite the inevitable crowds we all had a really great time. The tree at Rockefeller was breathtaking as always and the girls went crazy over the Frozen II windows at Saks 5th Ave.

We also had an eye-opening moment with little Jack as he was struck by the amount of visible people in need while we walked the streets. It was a humbling moment as we took time to process his emotions and share with him that there are people in need everywhere, even though they may not be as visible. I reminded him how and why we donate and sponsor certain causes and how he’s helped us to pack food multiple times for families in need (he just hasn’t seen the end result). It’s a reminder to myself as well, that we can always be doing more to help and at the same time be thankful for how blessed we are, not taking anything for granted.

This post was originally meant to share some of my favorite pieces that have been drastically marked down. Now that feels a little silly! Although obviously not the most important thing, appreciating the beauty in style isn’t a bad thing either. Browse some sweaters, donate to a charity close to your heart…or do both. I’m not here to judge. I may have another post towards the end of the week, but I’ll wish you a Happy 2020 ahead of time! Here’s to a great year ahead!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

Do you guys have a favorite cookie that you look forward to making year after year? I do. And this chocolate chip cookie is it. The holiday season isn’t the only time it can be pulled out, but it’s likely the most popular. I’ve been making this recipe for years and it’s by far my favorite chocolate chip cookie. I love the rich chocolate and the sprinkle of kosher salt on top should be a must to balance the sweetness of almost any cookie, in my opinion.

Keep me posted if you try them. But if you decide to share them, be prepared to make them repeatedly ;)

Chocolate Chip Cookies via For Me, For You

2 cups minus 2 Tbsp. cake flour (8 1/2 oz)
1 2/3 cups bread flour (8 1/2 oz)
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. coarse salt, such as kosher
2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups; 10 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups (10 oz.) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (8 oz.) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks, preferably about 60% cacao content, such as Ghirardelli
Sea salt or kosher salt for garnishing

Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk well; then set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low; then add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. (Unless you have a plastic guard that sits around the rim of the bowl, this will make a big mess at first, with flour flying everywhere. I found that carefully holding a dish towel around the top of the bowl helped a lot.) Add the chocolate chips, and mix briefly to incorporate. Press plastic wrap against the dough, and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. The dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the bowl of dough from the refrigerator, and allow it to soften slightly. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Using a standard-size ice cream scoop – mine holds about 3 fluid ounces, or about 1/3 cup – scoop six mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, making sure to space them evenly. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and bake until golden brown but still soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies onto the rack to cool a bit more.

Insta Round-Up

It’s one week until Christmas which also means that today is my birthday :) Today I turn 38 and oddly enough, I’m ok with that! At one point in my life those numbers sounded ancient to me but now that I’m stepping into those shoes, I’m happy with where they’ve taken me. I’m at a place where I know life is hard, but the ups and downs are what have helped me to grow and become who I am today. I’ve followed a rather untraditional path that I couldn’t have forseen, but that fact that I get to be a wife, mother, stylist and designer is more than I could have dreamed. Thanks to all of you for being a part of that and following along on my little journey. I hope it’s been (and continues to be) beneficial to you in one way or another!

Today I’m rounding up all those outfits I’ve shared on Instagram that will hopefully provide some inspiration for you! Exact and/or similar items are listed below.

bodysuit / pants / earrings


I love a classic look that’s a bit playful. The large scale polka dots on this sweater bring a bit of fun to this look that I wore to church yesterday. I’ve been on the wide leg pant train for a bit now, so these are right up my alley. When I saw that the black was almost sold out (still available in a beautiful burgundy that I just may grab too!), I easily found some similar options for you (see below). The sweater is also quickly selling out, but it also comes in a navy/burgundy combo that would look fantastic with those previously mentioned burgundy pants ;) Also, the scarf that I have on is one of the softest I own, very warm, comes in a few others colors and is currently marked down! A pop of red lip, which always feels so bold for me, is just what so many holiday outfits call for. I typically choose this lipstick in ‘rubino’.

I hope you all enjoy this week, as hectic as it may be, and do your best to find a few peaceful moments in the midst of the beautiful chaos.

Details: Sweater / Pants (more options below) / Scarf / Shoes / Coat (see options below)

Holiday Gift Guide for Her

With less than two weeks until Christmas I’m sure many of you have a good handle on your gift lists. At the same time, I know those names that remain on your lists are the ones that you just can’t figure out what to get! Below you’ll find plenty of ideas for your friend, mother, sister etc. that’s been stumping you.

No one can turn down cute pj’s, cozy slippers or an adorable matching lounge set, especially this time of year. With many traveling over the holiday’s, this chic carry-on would make anyone’s day, as would these cute packing cubes. If they don’t yet own a monogram necklace, this one is one of my favorites. A cozy throw is a great option for anyone (here’s another one I’ve also had my eye on). Another cozy go-to is this pretty scarf. There are a bunch of color options and it’s super soft and warm! And for your stylish friend, these adorable barrettes or this chic bow hat are sure to make her smile!

In addition to the inevitable shopping, I hope you all are enjoying this magical season. We’ve been keeping busy with Christmas concerts, Santa trains, Christmas shops at school, get-togethers and I’ll have my annual Cookie Exchange next week. It always flies by, but these weeks can be full of fun if we take the time to breath and enjoy them (not the easiest thing!)

Fun & Festive

Regardless of where you’re heading, it’s fun to dress in festive attire during these weeks leading up to Christmas! Casual or dressy, it’s easy to make your outfit feel a little more merry. This sweater from Loft is a great place to start! It comes in both red and white, both of which are beautiful and could be paired with jeans just as easily as I did with black pants here. Speaking of black pants, I love the fit of these high-rise, skinny ankle pants. I’ve been wearing them with my white sneakers as well as dressing them up with leopard flats seen here and they’d look adorable with heels as well. I sized down one for the best fit. If you want an easy way to make an outfit pop, throw on a pair of leopard shoes. These get a ton of compliments every time I wear them and I have a number of adorable options for you to check out below. This pair might be my favorite!

When it comes to my most worn jacket (year after year), this camel coat takes the lead. It goes with SO many outfits and is such a classic color that you won’t grow tired of. This one in particular has a removable fur collar and 90% of the time I’m wearing it without. But for those times that call for a little extra, it’s the perfect accessory. I have a number of similar coats to share with you below, but if you happen to already own one similar (regardless of the color) you could always grab a faux fur stole to toss on and accomplish the same look!

Details: sweater / coat (old, see similar below) / pants / shoes (old, see similar below) / sunglasses (similar) / earrings (see similar below)

Shop the Look

Another gift guide to share with you all today, this one being one of the most difficult that I find to pull together! I could put endless options together for women, but guys always stump me. Maybe this is because my husband is somewhat of a minimalist. As long as he has the tech-y tools he needs to work and a few things in terms of health and fitness, he’s good to go. I was able to pull a few things out of him and gathered some other ideas on my own and I’m happy with the array that resulted.

Guys can be tricky when it comes to clothing, so I included a cute (can we say cute when referencing a guy’s gift?) hoodie, a cozy flannel lined sweater and a fleece lined henley. Between these three, I’d have my husband, brothers, and fathers taken care of! These sneakers may not be for every guy, but I really like the style and when I showed Jack he responded, ‘Oh I like those! Don’t buy them for me, but they’re nice!’ Ha! I’ve been seeing this Bose portable speaker pop up everywhere this season and while it does make sense for many guys, I have to say our kids probably get more use out of ours than we do! Along the minimalist line, Jack has a very similar wallet to this one (if you can really call it a wallet) and he loves how it doesn’t have any bulk to it. This wireless charger would be really great for any of your guys that head to an office for work or just need something portable at home.

In terms of health and fitness, Jack highly recommends these vitamins which aid in memory and focus, these (anything but ordinary) kettlebells and this crazy contraption of a massager. For guys (or gals) that do a lot of strength training, it’s very beneficial. When I asked him for a good book recommendation he didn’t hesitate when responding with David Goggin’s, Can’t Hurt Me. He told me he’d listened to it three times and was ready to listen to it again. A very inspirational read!

I hope this guide is helpful for you! All images below are clickable and will take you to the shopping link.

Love for Plaid

Cozy sweaters, layered over closet staples and topped with a festive plaid makes for one easy outfit equation! I’m loving this Amazon sweater which I’ve been wearing layered or on it’s own. It comes in a number of color options but I’ve been drawn to browns lately. It runs over-sized as I’m in the xs and still have plenty of room. Here, I’m wearing it over my go-to chambray and paired it with black denim and my ‘old lady shoes‘. It took me a while to order them as I was being indecisive, but I’m so glad I did because they are so cute and classy! Plus the chic, little heel is actually comfortable. My scarf was a gift from my bestie, but I’m linking another similar option for you below. Any good plaid would top this outfit off perfectly!

Details: Sweater / Shirt / Pants (similar) / Shoes / Scarf (similar) / Sunglasses / Earrings