a lovely living

Monthly Archives for December 2020

Loving Lately: Winter Outfits

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front as I take in this time to spend with my family and have all eyes on our sweet new addition, Cinnamon. If you haven’t seen her yet, hop over to Instagram to meet our new cockapoo that we managed to surprise the kids with just before Christmas. We’re all pretty smitten and slowly learning the ropes!

This week in between Christmas and New Years is such a strange time of transition. Some are back to work, others are home and some may still be off visiting friends and family. As I’ve been browsing some of the sales as well as new arrivals popping up, I found myself pulling together outfits for myself that I figured may be helpful to you as well. Some of the pieces below I own, others are in my cart, but all of the outfits are made up of similar pieces many of you likely already own. Cozy sweaters and fleeces have gotten the most wear for me, and this robe…my goodness guys, this robe that Jack got me for my birthday is a little slice of heaven.

If you don’t hear from me before, I wish you a Happy New Year as we jump into 2021!!

**Click on images for item details**

Everyday Makeup Routine

This year has allowed (or required) many of us to stay home more than we typically are. Whether working remotely or being there with kids while they do school virtually, home is the place where it’s all happening. I have found that I am much more productive throughout my day when I am able to get a jumpstart. Trust me, this isn’t everyday, but I do make an effort to get up early, center myself in prayer, workout, shower and pull myself together. It sounds ambitious as I write that, but once you make it a habit, it actually becomes something you can look forward. Or maybe not! But I promise you’ll feel good afterward ;)

Part of pulling myself together means that I get dressed (even if it’s just loungewear) and put some makeup on. I frequently get asked about various beauty products that I use and although I don’t change my routine very often, I do add some things once in a while. I am by no means an expert in this area, but when it’s something you do everyday, I suppose we all become pros in our own right! Below is a visual of everything that I currently use on a regular basis.

Once I have a clean and moisturized face, I start by applying this Becca under eye brightening corrector. I have genetically dark circles and this product works better than anything else I’ve tried to even out the color. I then use Nars tinted moisturizer which has been a long-time favorite of mine. I don’t like the heaviness of foundation and this gives me the perfect amount of light-weight coverage. I had never been happy with any brush application until I found this one by Artis. I can’t tell you what a game changer it is. Their brushes can be used for liquids or powders and apply your makeup flawlessly! I also use and love this Artis brush which is a perfect size for applying my blush. The blush I use is Bare Minerals in the shade ‘hint’. When it comes to concealer, Bye Bye Undereye is my favorite, with a close second being Tarte’s Shape Tape. Regardless of which one I use, I’ve come to love applying Becca’s undereye setting powder afterwards. It has a way of locking in the concealer and giving it a nice matte finish. Hoola is what I use for my contouring which I apply under my cheek bones, along my hairline and on the sides of my nose. This highlighting palette is a newer item that’s quickly become a favorite. I apply this to blend and give an overall finished and almost airbrushed look. When it comes to eyes, you can find my three favorite eyeshadow palettes above. I use them all equally and have purchased the two smaller ones multiple times. Most days I use this eyeliner in Stingray, but only on my top lids. My long-time favorite mascara which is mainly due to the incredible wand is Benefit’s They’re Real. It does a great job of separating and lengthening my lashes. Finally, Most everyday I will add a mist of this All Nighter setting spray. Even if I’m not going anywhere, it still feels like a waste not to use it to lock everything in place. By the end the day, my makeup still looks fresh as I go to wash it off. Since I am home most days and wearing a mask if I’m out, I haven’t been wearing much lipstick, but when I do, this is one of my favorites in Anna. I do however, apply this lip balm often as it softens and adds a soft pink tint to my lips. One last thing to mention are brows. Since I had my eyebrows microbladed (best decision ever), I don’t do much to them outside of brushing and plucking as necessary. Previously though, I would use this volumizing gel as well as this eyebrow pencil to fill in the gaps.

For those that are on Instagram and would find it helpful, I saved a story where I walk through the application process and explain each step as I go.

Choose Joy

In a season that makes fear seem like the easiest response, I’m doing my best to focus on joy…and no, it’s not always easy. There have been so many blessings and silver linings amongst all of the junk that this year has brought, we just have to make the deliberate decision to focus on those. Otherwise it can be an easy spiral downward. As I pulled out my Christmas decorations, it was comical to see how many ‘joy’ pieces that I had. I’m always drawn to the Joy that Christmas brings, but this year it feels more important than ever.

You have the option of joy, peace or love in this sweatshirt, all great reminders in my opinion! Layer a chambray shirt underneath for a more pulled together look, or pair it with your favorite joggers to keep it comfortable. And if you’re looking for a classy but comfortable coat, you must check out this one. It also comes in blue and pink , has a bit of stretch to it which many coats do not, and is so soft and cozy!

Details: Coat / Sweatshirt / Jeans / Shirt / Hat (similar) / Boots (similar here and here)

Christmas Home Tour

I’m not sure that I’ve ever posted a holiday tour prior to now, and I’m not sure why. If for nothing else, this is going to prove helpful to me in years to come as I pull out my decorations each year and do my best to recall what I had previously done! Granted, I love changing things up with every new year, but it would be nice to have some point of reference. I’ll do my best to link exact or similar pieces at the bottom, but my hope is that this post will provide some inspiration for all those nooks, cranies, shelves and corners of your home. I always appreciate when others share peeks into their homes because you never know when inspiration will strike!

This Santa came from my grandmother’s basement and I couldn’t adore him more. He adds the perfect touch to our outdoor greenery. I flanked our door with two faux pine trees and Jack hangs live cedar garland around the door that we purchase each year locally from our Wegmans.

Some years I’ve gone a little more elaborate with the garland on our stairs, but I think I love the simplicity of this faux cedar more than anything.

The mantle is typically my starting point in decorating. I’m usually able to have a direction in mind once have it completed. This year ended up having a classic vibe and I’m loving the traditional reds and greens. I actually wrapped three garlands together on my mantle and fixed them with Command hooks on either end of the mantle. Swagging the garland leaves plenty of room on my otherwise narrow mantle for other pieces of decor.

I’ve gathered Christmas pillows over the years from various stores, but the bulk of them have been HomeGoods finds.

A few simple additions to the kitchen make a world of difference. I added another cedar garland above our sink and pulled out my festive towels.

I also placed a few framed pictures on our countertops. My very favorite is Madelyn’s first drawing of the nativity scene where she went so far as to give the animals eyelashes <3

I added this tree to our dining room last year and now I can’t imagine the room without it. I adore the soft glow of Christmas lights all around, the more the merrier!

I loved this swag that I found at Target this year. I couldn’t decide where to use it because it looked great in so many areas, but I eventually settled on hanging it over this mirror in our mudroom. I’ve never used anything here and love the warmth it adds to this space.

A swap of a bath mat, hand towels and a touch of decor and a powder room is quickly updated for the season.

Our family room ends up being the heart of Christmas for us. This is where we place our live tree and spend the most time as a family together.

I passed these trees in the Target dollar spot a bunch of times before I realized how well they’d work on one of my shelves. A friend gave me the idea to add lights to them and it totally turned it magical!

I’ve gone back and forth between tree collas and tree skirts, but with a live tree, I find it much easier to water without having to maneuver around the height of the collars. This faux fur skirt has a luxe look and brings another layer of warmth to the room.

I don’t do a major overhaul upstairs, but a few swaps here and there are just enough. Faux fur throws, accent pillows and the addition of some greenery go a long way in our bedrooms. I do the same for the kids, but their rooms weren’t camera ready, lol.

Shop Christmas Decor:

Family Photos

Today I wanted to share our most recent family photos you. With the kids being the ages they are (Jack 11, Madelyn, 8, Audrey 5), it seems as if they grow exponentially in between any professional photos we have done. This year in particular felt like we hit a sort of sweet spot…pre- teenage eye-rolling and post toddler defiance! Plus our children will do anything our friends Joel and Andrea of J&A Photography ask of them, so that’s a plus.

When it comes to pulling together outfits for families, my driving force is to end up feeling coordinated but not overly matchy. I typically work off of one piece of clothing that serves as inspiration, in this case it was the girls’ dresses. I’m thankful that they still love to wear the same thing and when I found this dress at Target I knew it was a winner. It was easy to work off of the navy for the rest of us and I had actually had a burgundy sweater ordered for little Jack that didn’t end up arriving on time. We found ourselves searching through Target the day prior to our shoot and ended up with this grey sweater that worked just fine. You certainly can mix in more than one print/pattern but you want to be sure that they don’t end up competing with one another. For example, with the floral print being quite large, I could potentially go with a navy button up shirt with a subtle pinstripe for little Jack, similar to how I added Jack’s burgundy striped tie. And when you do use prints, you always want to be sure to balance it out with some solid pieces. This will ensure your photos don’t end up feeling too busy, but allow the beauties in the pictures themselves to shine.

Outfits: My jumpsuit / Jack’s sweater / Girls’ dress (similar) and shoes

Kids may be the easiest group to shop for out of the bunch, but at the same time, every parent knows that unused toys can end up being quite the burden. They pile up quickly and can take up valuable space. Parents know their children the best, so I’m never afraid to ask what they are currently interested in and I always offer gift receipts because I don’t want my money ending up in an unused pile either! And if you are a parent shopping for your own child, then you are sure to know if they are bookworms, sports fanatics, crafty kids or they run wild with their imaginary play. Below I’ve gathered a bit of everything to help you shop your those special kiddos on your list!

**click images below for item details


My son was never big into imaginary play, but he’s always loved games, sports and reading. Jack has a dart board and air hockey table, but I have no doubt he’d loved a personalized basketball hoop inside as well. And for those of you that have young readers, one of these bed pillows is sure to be a hit. If your kids are into video games, the Nintendo Switch or this Lite version are great options. In my house, the girls are all about imaginary play and crafting. They go crazy over sets like this one and love getting new paints or watercolors as well. Audrey serves us ice cream from this set every, single, day! And I know she’d love a cookie set such as this one too. If your kids have been making blanket tents/forts around your house, maybe one that’s already assembled would peak your interest, and a sleeping bag to go with it. Since many kids are currently at home more than usual, any game such as hopscotch to get some energy out is a good idea, as is a chore chart to both reward them and encourage some extra help around the house. We all need that!