a lovely living


Pink + Blue Combo

I love a good pink and blue combo as you cans ee from today’s look. This light-weight, ribbed top from JCrew is different from anything else in my closet and I love the style of it. It comes in a bunch of colorways and although it’s cropped, it’s a great fit to allow for tucking it in without worrying about a bunch of excess material. I do recommend sizing up as it runs on the small side. You’ve seen these trousers a number of times which is a testimony to how much I love them. You’ll find similar options linked below. I added this cardigan for warmth and a neutral layer to ground the look and these adorable chambray heels that I ordered during a recent Loft sale. They make a great neutral shoe that will work with so many warm weather looks!

LOFT: New Arrivals

Loft has been filling up with all of their new spring/ summer arrivals! Their website is one that I feel never gives their clothes justice and it’s one store that I am thankful to have locally. I end up trying on pieces that I never would have given a second glance at online! I found a bunch of pieces to share with you today that I’m so excited to wear in the coming weeks and months. Loft’s Friends and Family sale is still taking place so it’s a great time to grab pieces at a deep discount!

top / pants / top / jeans

There were plenty of adorable tops to choose from. I loved the navy gingham and paired it with these cute pants (they run large, I’d size down) and would also love it with white denim. The lavender top looked much cuter on than it did on the hanger, I’m so glad I grabbed it! It lays nicely and the eyelet detail is so petty.

shirt / jeans / sweater

Jeans are hit or miss for me at Loft, but this pair was fabulous. I had to order one size down from my normal (which is typical at Loft for me in bottoms) and I’m hoping they work! The denim was soft, not rigid and the wash looked like a $200+ pair of jeans, which these are not! I brought the white linen shirt home because it’s a great basic for summer. I wear them alone with jeans/pants or unbuttoned over a tank or even with a swimsuit and shorts. This sleeveless navy sweater is a great staple. I have it in white from last year and wore it on repeat.

tank / pants / tank / jeans

Two great tanks that I brought home. Excellent quality. The grey henley tank has a longer length and is soft and comfortable. You could easily wear it as a pj top. The ribbed top is a bit more chic and could be worn under a cardigan or blazer for work.

tank / jeans / tank

Same top, different color ways. I wanted both but brought home the baby blue pinstriped version. I went with the small in this top as the arm holes were a little snug in the xs. I love the look of wearing this one untucked as well. It gives off Free People vibes (for a fraction of the cost).

dress / dress / dress

I loved this variety of dresses. The maxi came home with me and I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of it. I’ll probably drape this cardigan over top while it’s still chilly out and I’ll wear a denim jacket for other outings throughout summer. This tiered shirtdress was so sweet. You could wear sandals, wedges or even cute tennis shoes for a more casual vibe. The third dress is perfect for summer weekends where you want to be cute and comfy. Perfect for kids sporting events and practices!

tank / shorts / jacket / skort

Ending with some athleisure pieces. These drawstring shorts came in a few colorways and were a great fit (just size down, they run large). Enough length so you don’t feel exposed and a cool/comfy material. The ribbed tank has a shelf bra and will be a good option for yoga and beyond. This jacket is a true 90’s flashback and I loved it. I tried it on with the trending skort which is another great ‘mom on the go’ summer piece!

Below you’ll find all the pieces I shared above…

Blazer Basics

When I’m looking for a classic, go-to look, I typically reach in my closet for a blazer and let everything else quickly fall into place. Blazers make the perfect jacket for springtime and in the summer, they are a great option when you need to be in air conditioned spaces. I love pairing them over dresses just as much as I love wearing them with a t-shirt and jeans, or in this case, a bodysuit and jeans for a bit sleeker of a look. This blazer in particular, is one I have had for a year or two and I love the fit of it. It comes in some neutrals as well as a beautiful blue and purple that I’m tempted to grab. Depending on the outing, sneakers could certainly be an option to pair with this look, however for church I chose to wear this cute pair of heels. They are so comfortable and I highly recommend grabbing a pair. They’ll be my go-to’s this summer with my maxi dresses.

blazer / bodysuit (see similar below) / jeans / heels / headband (similar) / sunglasses

This year we spent Spring Break with the kids visiting Universal in Orlando, FL and we had a blast! The weather was perfection with a high in the low to mid 80’s everyday which we gratefully embraced. We stayed on-site at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel which is one of their premiere hotels. One of the biggest perks of staying in a premiere hotel is that unlimited express passes are included with your tickets, meaning your wait times for just about every ride are drastically reduced. Waiting in lines isn’t something anyone looks forward to, so this was a big perk in our book. You can also take advantage of early park entry when available (which comes with staying at any Universal hotel).

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Although the hotel was less than a 10 minute boat ride to the parks, it felt like a remote getaway when you were on property. Although it is a rather large resort, it felt quaint and charming….unless you were at the beach pool which was a non-stop party!

Beach pool at the Portofino

We loved the fact that they had three pools to choose from; the beach pool which was a lot of fun for the kids with a sandy beach and a waterslide, a large villa pool with lounge chairs and cabanas and a smaller, more remote pool on the opposite side of the hotel. No matter where you were, the service was fantastic and you always felt taken care of.

cocktails and mocktails with Jack

I should mention that I would not have known half of this information had it not been for Ashley with Great Adventures Travel Co. She is always so helpful booking our vacations and makes sure everything is planned out seamlessly. She’s a pleasure to work with if you are ever in need!

Another perk that’s an available add-on for Portofino guests is their Club Level. Not only are the rooms slightly larger (very much appreciated with a family of five) but you also get access to their Club Lounge which offers breakfast, snacks throughout the day and hot appetizers in the evening. Although they don’t claim to provide full meals outside of breakfast, it was more than enough food on the days we were on-site and able to take advantage of. Not to mention you could grab snacks, drinks and waters at any point during the day. It was well worth it for our family!

We purchased tickets for three park days which were interchangeable between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. The parks and hotels are all in one general area and very easy to navigate from one place to another.

My kids (especially the older two) are big Harry Potter fans, so this was a very special trip for them. They researched every ride and basically navigated us throughout the parks and Jack and I were more than happy to follow along! We rode the Hogwarts Express back and forth between the parks (which you are only able to do with a park to park ticket) a couple of times and everyone loved that.

Everyone was so friendly and there was a lot of comedic interaction which only made everything that much more appealing.

Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade were both very impressive…even for those of us that haven’t read through the series! It truly was a magical place.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but after having a frozen butterbeer it only left me wanting more! So yummy!

Jack bought an interactive wand that he was able to use throughout the Harry Potter areas. We all got a kick out that!

We didn’t ride every ride (some of the 3D and twisting and turning is a little more than we can handle), but we did ride most of them. Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure was probably about Audrey’s limit, but she claims it as her favorite ride!

After some of the more adventurous rides, we all welcomed a slower pace in Seuss Land! Overall, I’d say these parks are better for the older kids, but this area was so well done and quite adorable.

Speaking of adventurous rides, the VelociCoaster turned out to be a favorite for the three of us after we dug up the courage to ride it! It was intense but a very smooth ride. And it turns out you will survive going upside down with only a lap bar!

I stayed back with the girls while the guys rode the Hulk coaster, which they both loved! I remember riding this one as a kid, so I figured that was enough!

We all had one of the best meals at the Chocolate Emporium which came highly recommended by a number of people. It was located along Universal’s Citywalk, the hub of the area.

These trips always fly by, but we made the most of our time and had a great time visiting Universal, even with a few meltdowns and ‘hangry’ moments which are par for the course! We would certainly consider visiting again in future!

Two Toned

I have a funny feeling I’m going to be on the colorful trouser train for the foreseeable future! There’s something about brightening up these dreary months (at least for those of us in the north) with our wardrobe that makes things a bit more cheerful. You may have seen me wear these same pants last week with heels and a cardigan here. This week I styled them slightly differently with a pair of sneakers and a cropped sweater. I love wearing the same color in different tones for a fun, monochromatic look. This sweater is great with any high-waisted pant. It comes in a few colorways and is the perfect weight for spring. There are so many beautiful colors out this season that you could pull off this look in blue, purple, green or yellow just as easily!

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Loving Lately: Kitchen Refresh

As we slowly approach spring, not only do I find myself seeking out fun fresh colors for my wardrobe, but I also enjoy freshening up my kitchen. I never like a lot of clutter on my counter, but instead I focus on practical pieces that serve a function. What’s even better is when these functional pieces are beautiful on their own and blend right in with my decor. This especially holds true for those of you that have open shelving in your kitchen. I’d tuck away all those mis-matched mugs and display these beauties next to your coffee canister instead.

I should have began with this, but if you follow along on Instagram, you know having a mini lamp placed somewhere on your counter is a non-negotiable for me. Regardless of whether you have under counter lighting or not, a lamp in the evening hours provides the most perfect ambiance. You won’t regret adding one, I promise! I also love to decorate with practical items that can be utilized in various ways, such as using a tray to hold a lamp, a candle (I love this scent) or a candy dish alongside it. Filling a pretty pitcher with flowers or eucalyptus is a great way to bring some life into your home. I also personally love adding some art in the kitchen. Whether it’s on a shelf, leaning against your backsplash or hung with a command hook (my preference), it’s an easy way to add a little more beauty and personality to your home. A lot of these are very simple ideas, yet they can make a big impact!

Pretty in Pink

With February being the shortest month of them all, I try to fill it with hearts and all the shades of pink and red because, why not? I purchased these pink trousers last year and they have been such a fun addition to my closet. They look great with colorful tops and blouses but they also work perfectly with sweaters while we work our way through the colder months. Last year it was difficult to track down a pink pant like these, but this year I’ve already been seeing them pop up all over the place. People are catching on. I’ll be sure to link similar options that are currently available for you. This sweater is just adorable and is perfect for the winter to spring transition. I like having the option to wear it alone or opened and layered over a cami, bodysuit or even a cute graphic tee and jeans for a casual look.

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Quilted Coat

I love a good winter white look and this coat makes it easy to pull off! I pulled a few of my winter staples out which included this tunic sweater, faux leather leggings and chelsea boots. This sweater is a favorite of mine (I also have it in pink and green). It’s such an easy go-to that you can wear just about anywhere. If you like the style but don’t want to pay the price tag, you can find a great dupe here. Faux leather leggings are another favorite of mine as they instantly elevate any look! This coat is one I’ve had my eye on all season but I didn’t end up purchasing until it went on sale. It was perfect timing however as it’s not an overly bulky/heavy winter coat, so it’ll be great for the late winter months leading into spring, especially if you’re in the northeast as I am.

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Home Update: Work Nook

Today I’m sharing a small update that I recently made to our living room. In our home, our office (which you saw here) is dedicated to my husband who works full-time from home. I work from my laptop which follows me from room to room to meetings to coffee shops. I love the flexibility that I have, but I was in need of a dedicated work area to at least serve as a landing spot.

Our living room, which is just off of our kitchen, had an empty corner that previously only provided a home for a standing lamp. I have a chest of drawers on the right hand side of our fireplace and after having a light bulb moment when I saw someone on Instagram place a desk in an otherwise empty nook, I realized how perfectly I could fit a small writing desk in our opposing corner.

It had to be a very specific size, which actually wasn’t all that difficult to track down. I wanted something simple, yet a piece that would make a subtle statement. Pottery Barn’s Folsom Writing Desk is the one that I settled on. It checked all of my boxes perfectly and balanced out the room as a result.

Here’s a look at a design board I created. It includes exact and similar pieces in our living room which I will link below. Our ‘rose’ colored sleeper sofa came from Interior Define. It’s their Charley sofa that you can find here. I frequently get asked about our wall color which is SW Accessible Beige. It’s a beautiful color that brings a nice amount of warmth to our room. Our ottoman and wall art came from HomeGoods and our chairs were a score at the Anthropologie Home Outlet (locals, their outlet is in Pittsburgh!).

Without a doubt, my girls will be taking over this work area with all of their arts and crafts, and maybe a little homework here and there! A chair would have been a bit too obtrusive in the corner, so I opted for this upholstered cube instead. It’s discrete yet comfortable and tucks under the desk perfectly.

I feel like that corner now has a presence instead of just disappearing. I love rethinking rooms and areas of our home in order to make the best use of our spaces. With three growing kids we need to make the most of it all!

I’m linking as many exact pieces from our room as I am able. I’m also including similar pieces at a variety of price points as alternatives.

Loft: A Few New Arrivals

I stopped in Loft the other day to see what was new in store and found some really great pieces! I tried a little bit of lounge, a lot of cute tops and a couple of bottoms to balance things out. Everything I’ve shared is currently either 30-40% off at the moment, so it’s a great time to grab some new things if you’re in need. Most pieces ran true to size for me. For reference I’m 5’7″, wearing a small in most everything unless otherwise noted.

cardigan / cardigan

I love these bright and playful cardigans. They’re perfect for the winter weather but will transition well into spring as well. You could easily pair these with some colorful pants for a bolder look and wear the cardigans layered over a cami or button-up for some versatility in looks.

top / bottomstop / bottoms

Always nailing it on the cute matching sets, these Lou and Gray combos and so cute and so comfy. Sizing varied a bit for me with these pieces. Their bottoms tend to run a little big, so I’m in xs in both bottoms here. The navy set I’m wearing a small in the top, but an xs in the off-white as it ran pretty large.

top / denim

Love this top alone or as a layering piece under a cardigan (this red cardigan or this sweater blazer would be cute for Valentine’s day). I don’t always have luck with their denim, but these were a pretty good fit for me and I loved the kick crop fit.

top / top

I loved these lighter weight sweaters as well. I definitely fell for the ruffled collar and the green detail on the first one! And this ribbed wrap sweater was so pretty and also came in a few other great color ways. Both would make great options for work with trousers or weekend with denim.

shirt (my own denim)

I loved this oversized shirt. It’s a piece that can be worn any number of ways and is very functional, for my own closet at least. I paired it with my wide-leg denim that I had worn that day and wore the shirt open over a bodysuit to show a waist-line when worn this way. I also tried it on with a pair of their slim leg flared pants for another look….

shirt / pants

I like how the slim leg balances out the look when paired with an oversized top. I needed to size down one from my norlam in these pants for the best fit (which they unfortunately didn’t have in store for me).