a lovely living

Monthly Archives for April 2020

The days all seem to run together lately, but there’s one day that’s approaching that should certainly stand out from the rest…Mother’s Day. Moms around the world are in over-drive right now and they deserve some recognition now more than ever. Whether you decide to gift her with something sentimental, practical, or to pamper her a little, I’ve gathered an array of items that she’s sure to appreciate! I hope you find something special for yours….and then feel free to forward this to your spouse ;)

Insta Lately

Hi all! I figured it was time for a little ‘Insta Update’. I share so much of life and daily (quarantine) outfits over there and a lot of it never makes it over here to the blog. So for the sake of sharing and documenting, here’s what’s been going on over the past month or so…


A little positive self-talk can be good, even if it’s coming from a cute tee <3

sweatshirt / leggings

Sweatshirts are my daily go-to. This cute one is on clearance but still pretty well stocked. I sized up for a roomy fit.

pull-over / blue-light glasses

This quilted zip-up is on major sale and available in a bunch of pretty spring colors.

Pop-Tart Recipe

Since you have the time, this pop-tart recipe is one worth trying!

We decided to get dressed up as a family to celebrate Easter <3


Another cute and comfy sweatshirt.

Biking is everyone’s favorite activity lately. We’ve taken a bunch of family rides and Audrey is now training wheel free!

tank / sweatshirt / sweatpants

A few new basics. A great fitting tanks, cropped sweats that are great for Spring and another sweatshirt for my collection.

tank / sweatshirt / sweatpants

Same look in a flat lay.

dispensers / similar decals / similar dispensers

I shared these DIY dispensers and everyone loved them. Likely because we are washing our hands 2,524 times per day!

tank / sweatpants

The cutest tank for Mother’s Day or any day!

jacket / sweatpants / thermal / hat (similar)

Loving this jacket for our current, chilly Spring weather and all our outdoor walks.

Dunkin’ Donuts is currently offering DIY kits. They make great gifts to drop off to friends or to make yourself!

sandals / nail color

Found a cute pair of sandals. They run true to size and are very comfortable!

leggings / tank / hat

These Spanx active leggings are phenomenal. If you are ordering anything from Spanx for the first time, you can get 15% off your order with this code: http://fbuy.me/v/mzerby They run true to size, but if you’re in between sizes, I’d size up. I wear a S in their leggings for reference.


Can you tell this one is my favorite? ;)

Sephora: Sale Favorites

Sephora’s spring sale opens to Insiders today (just an fyi, it’s free to sign up) giving everyone access to 10-20% off their purchase. Cosmetics rarely go on sale, so I always enjoy taking advantage of any discount I can get. Most of the items you’ll see me sharing below have been long-time favorites of mine. Three more recent favs, all of which I’d recommend especially during this quarantine, are the tanning drops, makeup eraser and lip balm.

I’ve becomes a huge fan of the tanning drops over the past few months. I blend them into my face and body lotions twice per week and in turn get a sun kissed look that I am in desperate need of. The makeup eraser is a little piece of magic. Once wet, it quickly removes every drop of makeup from your face (mascara included). It’s a dream, I promise. And this lip balm not only moisturizes but also gives your lips a custom pink that compliments you.

Scroll on to read more about my other top picks or click on the images below to head to the product pages.

Becca Undereye Brightening Corrector: A long time favorite, this cream hides those genetic (or not genetic) dark undereyes like nothing else.

IT Buy Buy Undereye: My favorite full-coverage concealer.

Beauty Blender: Because they need refreshed every so often ;)

Moroccan Oil Styling Cream: I use a small pump of this on my wet hair just before blow drying. It’s for all hair types and helps to prevent frizz and also shape your ahir style.

Charlotte Tilbury cream shadow: This is a newer find and I love the way this cream shadow applies. It can be soft and subtle for everyday or easily bump it up for a more dramatic look. I have the shade ‘Jean’.

Gimme Brow: I have thin eyebrows that need all the help they can get. This brow gel applies easily and gives a very natural look, enhancing your brows.

NARS tinted moisturizer: It’s rare that I wear full foundation, but this tinted moisture is what I reach for nearly everyday that I apply makeup. Just enough coverage for an everyday look.

They’re Real mascara: Another longtime favorite, the wand on this mascara works wonders, grabbing and lengthening each and every lash.

Mineral Veil: I love using this powder to soften my makeup and hold everything in place.

IT CC cream: when I want more full-coverage than my tinted moisturizer, this is what I reach for and boy does it do the trick!

All Nighter: I’ll apply a few sprays of this on most days and it does a great job of keeping my makeup in place all day (or night) long. If you spend the time to apply your makeup, you may as well make it last!

Becca lipstick: A favorite lipstick of mine, it applies beautifully and they have some great color options. Orchid is my go-to.

Hoola bronzer: My go-to bronzer that gives me those touches of color exactly where I need them.

I don’t know where you fall in terms of home projects right now. When the quarantine initially began, I found myself tackling small projects around the house, like cleaning out drawers and reorganizing our pantry shelves. Then we did a big deep, spring clean throughout the house. We also began tackling some of the annual outdoor spring tasks, cleaning up the yard and landscaping. As the weeks have been rolling on, I figured we may as well jump on to some other projects that had previously been on the back burner. Like painting.

Our hall bath had paint that was chipping and peeling away around the shower (my kids like their showers toasty!), so although I wasn’t necessarily changing it because of the color, it was more out of necessity.

To the right you can see the old color. A soft, pretty, barely there light blue. It related well to the countertop and I didn’t have any problem with it. But since we were going to paint, I figured we may as well give it a change. I first thought about going very neutral to switch things up, but that left for a very boring palette. I ultimately decided to stick with a similar shade but took it a little richer. I still worked off of our countertop (which is the bossy element in that room), and pulled out a beautiful blue grey.

The top row above were the colors I had narrowed down. Zircon would have been a bit too gray, North Star a bit too blue, Olympus White not quite enough tint to it, so Sherwin Williams Reflection is the one that hit the mark.

You saw from above that I obviously sampled the color, because trust me, these miniature swatches can be deceiving!

My recommendation when sampling your color is to paint a large sample onto white cardboard or heavy cardstock leaving three edges with a white border and painting to the very edge on the fourth side. This will allow you to move it to various areas of your room (regardless of what space you’re talking about) while holding it up to windows, counters, furniture, etc. This will help to eliminate your current wall color from influencing the color you’re sampling. Basically, don’t do what I did above ;)

Thankfully Sherwin Williams is offering curbside pickup, so a quick phone order in and we had everything we needed to tackle the room.

I’ve been asked how we tackle these projects because yes, the whole painting process can be daunting. Thankfully, Jack is always open to these projects (we’ve painted almost every room in our home ourselves), and we balance each other out with the work. Prep work is key and Jack is very diligent in that regard. Remove everything you can, sand and spackle when necessary and cover your floors and other surfaces. He masks and trims and I handle all of the rolling. It’s quite therapeutic. We always make sure to paint two coats, even with good paint (we use Sherwin Williams Duration line) we still find we are happier when two coats are applied.

You can see in the image above how the blue/grey also relates to the floor tile, pulling out the grey amongst the other taupes and pink beiges.

I didn’t change out any decor at this time, so everything in there is what we previously had. I’ll do my best to link both exact and/or similar items for you below.

I’d love to hear about what projects you’re all getting yourselves into lately! And if you’re struggling with wrapping your head around the perfect paint color, make sure you reach out (via the Paint Consulting tab at the top of the page) so we can discuss your needs.

Shop the Room:

Loving Lately: PJ’s

Second to lounge-wear, my pajamas are getting more than their fair share of wear these days. Since I know we won’t have anyone randomly coming to our door, I don’t always have a reason to get out of my pj’s! I’m someone that can hold onto my sleepwear for much longer than I probably should. Once in a while I’ll add a few pieces, but overall, many of them are pretty shabby looking. I have a few matching sets and always turn to them first, so I decided it may be time to give that drawer a little refresh. I started digging (online) and found a bunch of cute sets, separates and slippers. You can see everything I found below if you’re also in the market for a little update!

It’s been a year and a half since we brought Crate & Barrel’s Lounge II sectional into our home and my only regret is having waited so long to decide on it! We knew our family room needed something big and cozy for our family of five, but making such a big (and expensive) decision felt daunting.

I knew I loved the shape which has clean lines and can fit into a multitude of design styles. I tracked this particular sofa down on a few trustworthy blogs to read everything I could, but still wanted to make sure that it was right for us. We don’t have a store nearby, so we made the trek to visit one a of couple hours away. We tied kids activities into the trip as well, so everyone was happy ;)

My two concerns were size and fabric. You know color was important to me, but so was durability. And when it came to size, there seemed to be endless options, but I wasn’t sure what was right for our space.

The Lounge II line includes chairs, sofas and sectionals in just about any shape or size you desire. We knew we wanted a sectional for our family room, but I couldn’t decide if we wanted the deep seat of the Lounge II or if we would rather the Petite version which shaves off fives inches from the seat (still leaving you with a good sized sofa). Sitting on it in person was very helpful. If I were looking to put this in our living room, Petite is likely what I would go with. But being that we would be using this in our family room to lounge on and watch movies and hang out with friends and family, the full-sized Lounge was what we ultimately decided upon. It is big and deep and our family absolutely loves it. It can easily seat eight adults and even more when you squeeze in.

We chose their Taft fabric in Cement and I couldn’t be happier with this neutral, woven upholstery. From afar it comes off as a light fabric, but up close you can see the texture that comforted me knowing with three young kids, mishaps could be somewhat disguised. This particular fabric is also labeled as being ‘family friendly, easy care, stain-resistant, highly durable, and made in the USA’. We don’t do a ton of eating in that room, but I’m happy to report that any marks have easily come up and it continues to look brand new (1.5 years later).

The cushions are all loose which allows me to go through every few months and flip them around. I do this both to the seat as well as the back cushions and it’s kept them in great shape. The seat cushions are fairly firm which was a welcome change from our previously beaten down couch.

It also came with five accent pillows in the same fabric, but I have since changed those out to add more personal style.

I grabbed my girls for a picture so that we could help give you a better idea on its size. At 5’7″ my feet don’t go anywhere near touching the ground when I sit back. So if you’re not looking to curl up and get cozy, this may not be the sofa for you. The Petitie may be a better alternative if that’s the case.

It’s honestly our favorite piece of furniture in our home and the one that gets the most use without a doubt. It was a big purchase, but worth every penny in my book! If you have any questions, be sure to leave them below and I’ll get back to you.

Shop the Room (similar and exact pieces):

That Hat Game

Anyone past due for a haircut or color? It’s getting interesting around here. I’ve been doing my best to keep my bangs trimmed up, but the rest is well on it’s way to getting out of control. The boys are begging me to cut their hair, but I keep promising them that they have way more faith in me than they should!

The quickest and easiest temporary solution would be to make sure your hat game is up to par. Not only will they hide what’s going on underneath, but they’re also a great way to shield your face from the the sun while you’re outside taking walks, playing with your kids or working in your yard. Someday we’ll be able to show off our cute hairstyles again, but until then, check out some of the cute options I’ve tracked down for you below…

Target + Studio McGee

There are only so many pieces of clothing that get me excited these days, and they all involve a lot of stretch. A new Studio Mcgee & Target collab full of beautiful home decor…. now that brings a smile to my face! Studio McGee has long been one of my favorite designers/decorators. And well, we know how high up Target falls in my line of favorites. So when it comes to getting designer styles at Target prices, it’s basically a match made in heaven. Most of us have never spent as much time at home as we currently are, so there doesn’t seem to be a better time to spruce things up than right now. Everything launches tomorrow and I’d be willing to bet things will sell out quickly. I’ve gathered my favorites below so you can start browsing along with me.

No-Bake Energy Bites

With so much time at home these days and every meal and snack in between being eaten there, I’ve realized that we need to keep more healthy options on hand. Energy bites are something I would guess many of you have tried, but if you’re like me, I had kind of forgotten about them. They are one of those snacks that feel like a treat and certainly satisfy a sweet tooth! Ingredients can vary a bit, but chances are you’ll have most things on hand. They are easy to make and hard to pass up!

No-Bake Energy Bites (recipe via Gimme Some Oven)

1 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup toasted shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips)
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Stir everything together. Stir all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
2. Chill. Cover the mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or until the mixture is chilled. (This will help the mixture stick together more easily.)
3. Roll into balls. Roll into mixture into 1-inch balls.
4. Serve. Then enjoy immediately! Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.