Thursday, March 31, 2016

Looks & Life Lately {17}

Nothing is better than a nice weekend afternoon outside in the fresh air filled with sunshine.

Fresh blooms for a fresh season.

 Stella's cuddles, a glass of pinot and The Bachelor finale.

My mom and I skipped out for an afternoon of shopping a couple weeks ago - love all these brights.

Morning banana time - most for me, a little at the end for her.

Derek wanted to watch March Madness on the big screen , I wanted a martini - it was a win, win.

Birthday wine time.

An afternoon spent baking some eater goodies.  I wish these were still on our counter.

Now that it's getting warmer we're less lazy and have been getting together with friends frequently for drinks, dinners and such.

After a walk down to meet Derek at the coffee shop around the corner - another beautiful spring day.

Thanks for stopping by; have a good day! xx
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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Happenings {Spring Edition}

Happy Wednesday - halfway through the week! I'm sharing some happenings today - I love to do it a few times a year because they are fun for me to look back on in the future.

What we've been up to... 
Lots of time at home and we're loving it.  Since we got back from Palm Beach and our individual trips we've been laying low and it's another couple weeks before we're on the road again so we've been enjoying outings with family, friends and date nights, of course.  It's been nice to not have any set plans when the weekend hits and just be able to enjoy the weekend with a mix of activity and relaxation.

We had the best time celebrating Easter this past weekend too.

Enjoying the weather on the deck before hosting pre holiday celebrations

What I'm loving... 
Spring! We aren't fully into those gorgeous weather days but we're getting close and I'll take it.  Derek jumped the gun and uncovered our patio furniture (we're waiting to take the cushions out) so we're one step closer to summer.

What I'm wearing... 
Wearing - nothing super exciting (it's hard when it's 46 one day and 70 another!) but shopping is a different story.  I've been loading up my online shopping carts and making frequent trips to browse the mall as we head into a new season.  From the holidays until a few weeks ago I tried to avoid even looking.  I shared all my favorites for spring last week and I'm most loving anything floral.

Links to all the items above can be found here

What I'm working on... 
Travel planning, my favorite!  We've got a couple getaways on the horizon and I'm trying to plan them out well in advance so we don't get rushed like we usually do.

Spring cleaning has been in full force - closet clean outs (our master and all the other closets in the house), cabinets, garage... all of it!

What we're eating {and drinking}... 
We're to the point where the crockpot isn't permanently attached to the countertop, ha! We're slowly trading in those winter comfort meals for spring salads - shrimp caesar as well as greek are our favorites.  It's a little early but I've even whipped up a batch of pasta salad as well - now that really is my favorite summer lunch, dinner, side.  Appetizers too - we've had a few appetizers as dinner nights.

In addition to my white wine, I've been recently loving vodka, club soda and a little splash of peach schnapps.  The peach gives it a perfect little touch of flavor.  I've fallen in love with the Blue Moon Vanilla in a spring sampler pack that Derek picked up for me (if only you could get a WHOLE pack of the vanilla).

Our most recent appetizer spread

What I'm watching & reading... 
Many of my shows are coming to an end - what to do without all the drama at Sur or the Bachelor Mansion.  I'm looking forward to the comeback of Southern Charm, the start of Real Housewives of Dallas finishing out The People vs. OJ Simpson Series.  On the binge watching front it's been all about 90120 (the newer one) and Fixer Upper.

I've said it before but my favorite recent read was Emily Maynard's book, "I Said Yes".  Since I read it so quickly I'm going to give it a re-read later this month.

catching up on some DVR with Stella

What I'm excited about... 
Simple spring days.  There's such a happiness that spring brings along with it for me.  The excitement of summer on the horizon, meeting up with friends for dinners outside, endless time on the deck, outdoor activities -it's such a relaxed/fun/peaceful/low key time for us and I really look forward to the months ahead.  I finally feel out of my winter slump/laziness.

What I'm looking forward to next month... 
We're headed out west later this month and I can't wait - it'll be Derek's first time to see the state where I almost called home for four years.  This month also brings Penn State's Blue/White game - the annual spring game which is one step closer to football season, it's been too long since we had a good tailgate! Other than that April will be another low key month for us and we're looking forward to all the time to enjoy at home.

Previous "Happenings" Posts:
Winter Edition
2015 { Winter / Summer  Fall }

Linking up with  MelShay & Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Styling: Florals {A Top Now, A Dress Later}

Florals are one trend that I can't stray away from.  I also love a piece that can work now and also work mid-summer.  This floral dress is a new favorite of mine because it's short enough to be a top now but long enough to be a dress when the weather warms up even more.  I plan on getting a lot of use out if it both ways.  It's a light weight material so it's pretty much perfect for any occasion whether spring  or summer temperatures and the combination of colors is very feminine and neutral (so many things in my closet are bright - it's nice to have a subtle floral in the rotation too).  This pattern also comes in a few other items (good thing, since it's a favorite!) - long sleeve dress /  blouse / skirt.

dress (long sleeve style: here / shirt style: here / skirt style: here) / black jeanswedges / purse (similar style)

I've linked similar patterns in the widget below...

Monday, March 28, 2016

Celebrating Easter

Happy Monday, everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter - we sure did and I'm sad to see the holiday weekend go.  Derek and I hosted Easter Eve dinner for the second year in a row and we had the most delicious (and filling) brunch yesterday.  It was great seeing family and friends to celebrate.  The spring like weather made the weekend extra sweet.

For Easter Eve we had a leisurely cocktail hour complete with plenty of wine, our favorite feta dip, a cheese plate, caramelized onion pastries and crab balls.  All very delicious and we were even able to spend some time socializing on the deck too. 

I didn't think Stella would go for the bunny ears but luckily she didn't flinch and we got to get some cute photos in.

After some time to let the appetizers settle, it was time for the main event - honey baked ham, brown sugar roasted pineapple, broccoli salad, macaroni and cheese, potatoes and caesar salad.  Mom helped out big time so I only had to do the potatoes - in the crockpot, pineapple and salad.  There was hardly room for dessert (we have plenty of chocolate covered strawberries to enjoy this week) but a cookie platter (with my favorite holiday pretzels and thumbprint cookies), chocolate covered strawberries (some homemade, some store bought) and cream egg trifle cups were lightly snacked on.

You're never too old for dyeing Easter eggs, right?! Davey and I have been doing it literally every year (I think) since we were little.  Hard boiled eggs are one of my favorite snacks so they definitely get used around here.

I'm glad I scooped up the bunny ears in the Target $1 section, but I'm not so sure that Nash was.

Our little lady got her Easter basket before we took off for a great church service yesterday morning.

We all met up at my parent's house after church to get Easter baskets and such (my favorite) before heading off to a local brunch with the most amazing food.  I walked out completely stuffed and had to nap it off once we got home! A huge salad bar with an assortment of salads and antipasto, mushroom soup, all the breakfast fixings and cinnamon roll french toast, a pasta station, carving station - the lamb was my favorite,  flounder and salmon scampi, the traditional side dishes and an amazing dessert bar with a bananas foster station.

Have a good week! Cheers! xx 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Loving This Week... Hello, Spring!

Happy Spring! Well, Happy Spring a few days late - I was planning on sharing this post on Sunday but I couldn't follow through with it while we were getting snow flurries on the first day of spring.  It should be a semi-warm Easter in these parts (mid 60's) and sunny so I'm thankful for that.  Now, if it could just stay warm and sunny I'd love it.  Sharing an array of spring favorites below.

We have a lower deck which we rarely use (and I'd like to change that this summer) and I'm seriously considering two of these monogram chair swings if we can figure out how to hang them.  I've said it before but I'm having a very hard time staying away from anything floral, off the shoulder and tassel this year (see tops, bracelets, tote and dresses/romper below) and I'm also in need of some new beach gear - a straw hat and straw tote (I love this one even though it doesn't have a shoulder strap).  I think traveling for most people picks up in the warmer months and I'm always looking for anyway to keep my suitcase organized - these  little pouches are perfect for that.

*Check back around the start of summer for my favorite summer picks!

Easter Sales: (so far...)
+ Bloomingdales: 20% off $250+, $25 off $500+, 30% off $1,000+ *on most regular price items.  Loyalists get a $50 reward card for every $200 spent (if you're not a loyalist, it takes seconds to sign up!)
+ Lilly Pulitzer: Gifts with purchase (through Easter).  Bangle set with purchase of $150+ and set of four coasters with purchase of $300+.
+ Loft: 30% off (and 40% off select spring styles)
+ Banana Republic: 40% off (code "brspring")
+ Ann Taylor: 40% off (code "march40")
+ Old Navy: 40% off (code "enjoy")
+ Gap: 40% off (code "hoptoit")
+ J Crew: 25% off purchases of $125+ (code "shopmore")
+ J Crew Factory: 50% off (prices marked, no code needed)
+ Steve Madden: 20% off one item, 40% off 2 or more (code "more")
{Perfect time to pre order this tote and matching clutch - you basically get the clutch for about $10 with the discount!  Your card won't be charged until item is shipped}

Other Happenings:
+ I shared this recipe for Caesar Salad Bites earlier this week.  On the salad note, we are also huge greek salad fan - we've got a great little local restaurant that makes the most delicious version (we picked them up for lunch the other day!) and I'm trying to recreate it at home.  If anyone has any good greek salad recipes, please share with me below!

+ Dancing with the Stars was playing in the background on Monday (it's usually hit or miss for me depending on the season) and there are a few that I like but I am so Team Zee.  Ginger looked like she was having the best time out there.

+ Our Easter Eve menu was ever changed until yesterday when I needed to make the grocery list.  Holidays are the best to plan for and if you're still planning, you can find my inspiration and recipe ideas here.

+ If you missed reading up on my newest sponsor, Kelsey, you can do so here and today is also the last day for a chance to win her Lilly Pulitzer wine glass giveaway.  They are the perfect summer wine glass so don't miss out!

Happy Good Friday to all! Enjoy your celebrating this weekend and a very Happy Easter! xx

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thursday's Thoughts

Happy Thursday, all! I don't know about you but I am very ready for this holiday weekend that kicks off tonight. Today's post was actually suppose to be all about spring cleaning but Derek was out, I was comfy on the couch and Stella kept jumping up onto my lap to cuddle (how could I say no after her day, see details below) so a few Thursday thoughts will have to do instead.

On the spring cleaning note, here's a great checklist to follow along with.  I plan on tackling the rest of the closets, cabinets and drawers in the house but I think I'm going to cheat and have a cleaning service come in for a big deep clean and have the carpets done as well.

+ Yesterday was National Puppy Day - did everyone have fun celebrating their pups?  Stella celebrated by throwing up around the house multiple times.  The cause - some plastic from one of her toys and a piece of a tennis ball.

+ Our DVR is filled with shows that I need to catch up on but I can't pull myself away from watching old 90210 episodes.  I'm hooked.

+ Another thing I'm hooked on (and late to the party), Fixer Upper! I've been watching nonstop and my gosh Chip and Jo are great.  Even better is that my husband got me into it.  Most of my entire family and extended family watches - I guess we'll have a big group for book club when their book comes out this fall.  I've also already asked for a day trip to Waco when we're in Dallas this fall.  It wasn't hard to convince him - he was all in.

+ It took me all of about two days to finish Emily Maynard's book and I already want to re read it.  So good and if you haven't read it, you should.  She shares all about her faith and life experiences.

+ As much as I've been wanting to repeat this cadbury egg trifle that I made for Easter last year, I think I might be leaning more towards this bunny patch dirt pudding.  I also want to make a cookie platter with about four different things - I might just use half the batter so there's variety but we're not tempted with leftovers.

+ Five days in and I'm really loving this season of spring.  With the extra sunlight and slightly warmer temperatures, I'm so much more motivated to get things done.  Now if only the warm weather could stick for good.

Thanks for stopping by, Enjoy your day! Xx

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Shopping Session

It has been months since my last shopping session - way too long.  Spring is upon us and I can't seem to stop myself from browsing all the stores.  In my opinion this is the best season to shop and I could browse for hours. There's sure to be some sales this holiday weekend (I'll share Friday any that I see) so I've been making my picks to get ready.

Flamingo Espadrilles 
How perfect! I love that they are neutral color but I'm also still loving the flamingo trend so that's the perfect touch.  On the weekends, evenings or depending on the type of work day even sometimes then, espadrilles are my go to shoe in the spring time.  (available in pineapple here)

Floral Peplum Tankini
Bathing suit styles - especially tankinis and one pieces - are becoming so much more popular and available in more styles.  It's perfect because sometimes a girl just wants to be a little bit more covered up! Floral and peplum sold me right away but I also picked up (and love) this tiered top too.  I like that both tops can match the bottoms and with Target's BOGO 50% off right now, you can't beat the price.

I found these at the mall the other day and fell in love with the fit (it's hard when you're short!) and I also hate pants - dresses are my item of choice so that's saying a lot.  I'm going back Friday to pick up a couple pairs because I needed to check what colors I even needed first (they come in a ton of colors!  See them all here)

I couldn't leave out a Lilly item.  The Elsa tops are my favorite but I pretty much only wear them when it's a tad cooler so I'm loving this sleeveless style (available in four patterns, five in stores).

Steve Madden Sandals
Primarily I try to buy nude color shoes (with an occasional print or color) but I need to update my black sandals and love the style of these.

Pink Floral Dress
Florals, feminine and pale pink - three of my favorites.  It's a a great price point too.

Tie Tank Top
I love how this has the tie neck and it's a little more subtle when on.  This print has caught my eye on a lot of pieces (dress / t-shirt / long sleeve top)

Bloomstripe Shift Dress
The colors of this dress really grabbed me and the pattern.  It's different than many items in my closet and I'm always looking for some unique pieces to add to the collection. (30% off now)

Lace Peplum Top
Lavender isn't a color I have much of and it's classic spring. Peplum + lace is a fabulous combination too.

Pleated Dress
I saw this last week and have been kicking myself for not picking it up - such a sweet pattern.  Luckily, they had plenty in stock so I can scoop it up this weekend.

Sleeveless Blouse
Last but not least since it's 40% off, this one made it's way into my cart too.  The colors are perfect for spring whether alone or with a sweater.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Enjoy your day! xx

*Linking up with Jenn & Jessi for "What's Hap-pinning Wednesday"
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