Currently | February Edition

I realize that this is the last day of February! But, wanted these 'currently' posts to be a monthly thing, so might as well post it today! February has been kind of a 'blah' month for me personally. I took a little break from instagram over the weekend and it felt so good! I think I may try to disconnect from social media each weekend, even for just a day, to make sure I'm focusing on family time and just to recharge my batteries so to speak. If I've seemed a little distant from instagram and the blog recently, it's just because a few things have happened to make me reevaluate some things in my life. Nothing big or life changing! Just some family members' health concerns and some personal stuff that put some things in perspective for me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the blogging community and I think there are so many positive aspects of social media and instagram in particular. But, for some reason, recently I've felt a little 'icky' about instagram, so I decided to take a little break. But, I still love connecting with my followers/readers that way so I am continuing to just do what I enjoy! Hope that all makes sense lol! 

Now on to what I've been up to recently!



Currently, I am...

Wearing... these zella crop leggings, these nikes and an over sized tee shirt! Just came home from the gym! I'm trying to just throw on my workout clothes in the morning so I'm more motivated to work out! I've also been loving this $17 fleece pullover! I love that some of you have purchased it and are loving it too!

Watching... Well, since Bill and I finished Stranger Things (oh my goodness!) this month already, I have been focusing on more light hearted comedies lol! I'm not going to lie... Stranger Things freaked me out a bit! But, I loved the characters! We started watching the first episode of Shameless and we just weren't really into it? Does it get better?? And I'm still probably the only female that is not watching the Bachelor... I've heard I'm not missing much!

Listening to... 'Filthy' by JT is still on my main playlist and I'm loving his newer song with Chris Stapleton 'Say Something'. Also, loved his half time performance!! Besides music, I just started getting into podcasts (I know, I'm a little late on the game), so send me your recs for your favorite ones to listen to!

Reading... I got this morning devotional from Bill for my birthday and I've been enjoying reading it every morning while the coffee brews and before the babes wake up. It just sets the tone for the rest of my day! I highly recommend it!

Eating... Lots of Trader Joe's frozen meals because I've just been so lazy about cooking! Did you guys catch my Trader Joe's Haul on IG stories earlier this month? If you haven't (and you're interested in seeing what I get when I go there), I actually saved it to my highlights on my profile. Also, the crockpot has been a savior recently. I'm planning on having this meal for dinner tonight!

Enjoying... some nicer weather (after it rained for what feels like forever!) we've been having! We have even made a few trips to the park with the boys. Makes me so excited for spring!

Loving... These custom designed silhouettes of the boys! My brother designed and printed them and gave them to me as a Christmas gift! I finally found a good spot for them on the hallway wall leading into our bedroom. I found the floating frames from Amazon of course!



Wishing... I could take part in this awesome Shopbop sale going on right now! If you have any designer pieces on your wishlist, now's the time to snag them! I've just been on a little shopping freeze lately... whaaa whaaaaaaa.

Looking forward to... Spring time and warmer weather! Getting excited for Easter, spring decorating around the house, etc! There's already some adorable spring and Easter decor out at Target, of course! How cute is this wreathe and this throw pillow for Easter?!

What have you been up to this month?

Target Try On! (2-21-18)

If you follow my instastories, you know that I stopped into Target yesterday for a little try on session. As promised, I wanted to post everything here on the blog so it's easier for you all to shop! The purpose of a try on session is to take the work out of it for you!! You can see what these items look like on a REAL person and not a model with some fancy photoshopped background. My sizes are listed below for reference and I will tell you how each item fits (true to size, runs small/big, etc). All (affiliate) links to items will be directly under the photos or you can shop from the widget at the bottom of the post. 

Most of the items I tried on are from Target's new brand, Universal Thread. It kind of reminds me of a Madewell or Abercrombie with the muted tones and boho/casual style. Some items I loved and others, I wasn't fond of... But, most of what I tried on I really liked! So, here are a few winners below...

FOR SIZE REFERENCE:
I am 5'2"
I wear a 4/6 pants or 27/28 jeans
I typically wear a small in tops, but may size up to a medium for fit if it is a button up

So, without further ado... Here are my iphone photo, horrible dressing room lighting, try on session pics in all their glory!

Outfit 1: I loved this button up! It says it's 'red' as the color on the website, but it definitely is a pink and white stripe. I love that you can tie it in the front for a fun look too! It would be really cute for spring with white jeans or shorts as well! I am wearing a size small in the top. 

I also LOVE these dark wash jeggings! I am wearing a size 6 short here, but could probably go with the regular length, so I would say they run true to size. They are SO soft and comfy! Feel like leggings and look like jeans! 

I'm also wearing these booties (run true to size) in all the photos which are so cute and a perfect transition shoe into spring! 


Outfit 2: Probably my favorite and all of these items I will most likely purchase! I love how soft this button up plaid shirt is! It's also not heavy fabric, so it could definitely transition into spring and would look so cute with white jeans! I am wearing a size medium here (they didn't have any smalls) and I actually like the oversized fit of this one!

Wearing the same jeggins and booties as above...


Outfit 3: I love how soft this denim shirt is and I love it paired with these pink jeans.  I am wearing a size small in the top, but probably would size up to a medium for a better fit. I LOVE these pink raw hem skinny jeans! They are high waisted too, which is a plus! I am wearing a size 8 in the photo below (they didn't have my size) so, I would probably order my true size 6 in these (runs true to size).


Outfit 4: I was skeptical of the tie front cropped sweater, but after trying it on I am a believer! This sweater is so soft! And I actually love the tie front detail as well!


Outfit 5: Moving on from the Universal Thread line, I came across this cute little tank! I love how soft it is (I obviously love soft clothes apparently 😂) And perfect for the gym, running errands or just lounging! I also love it paired with this cropped zip up hoodie and my high waisted zella leggings!


Outfit 6 & 7: Both of these outfits are totally out of my comfort zone! I thought I would give them a try and you know what... I actually like them both! I think kimonos will be the new 'cardigan' of spring for me! And I'm loving this bell sleeved embroidered top! Would be so cute with white jeans for spring too! I am wearing a size small in all tops and XS/S the kimono.


Outfit 8: Last but certainly not least, I grabbed this dress last minute as it caught my eye! I was a little skeptical with the off the shoulder (sometimes I think off the shoulder can be a bit annoying), but I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this little number on! I love the bell sleeves and the cinched waist! I thought it went well with the booties too. Would be so cute for Easter! 


Of course, I didn't love everything I tried on... So, I will leave you with a few 'misses' ....

Believe it or not, these 2 tie front tops are all the range with a lot of other fashion bloggers... They just didn't do it for me! Could be because I have a short torso and wide hips, so this style isn't necessarily the most flattering on my body type. I also only found an XS in the plaid top and probably needed a small for better fit. The distressed high waisted shorts probably would have been better if I sized up! I'm wearing my normal size 6 in these and they were too tight and short for my liking! 

Phew! That was a lot! I hope you liked this post and that you found it helpful when shopping online with Target!

This post was in NO way sponsored, by the way. I just love these types of posts and follow a lot of bloggers on instagram that do these 'try on sessions' on their stories and I always find it so helpful when trying to shop online. 

Do you like this type of post? Please let me know in the comments below and I will keep doing them if this one is a hit!

Shop the post:

Favorite One Pieces under $50!

Hey, friends! This is totally a last minute post that was not planned ahead of time, but I had some friends ask about some one pieces for up coming trips, so I thought it would be good to share on the blog as well! Plus, I am starting to really get excited for my upcoming girls trip to Puerto Plata in early June and I'm starting to scope out all the best swim suits for the trip.

First of all, Target is having a great sale on swim wear right now! When you buy one, you get the second swim suit for 50% off! So, now is the time to stock up on your favorite styles. Also, I've rounded up a few of my favorites from Amazon that are also less than $50. Just FYI, I always size up for bathing suits especially because I'm a little on the 'busty' side (so, I usually order a medium in suits).

affiliate links below (left to right)
top row: one | two | three
middle row: four | five | six
bottom row: seven | eight | nine

So many cute styles online this year! There are 2 in the round up above that I own and love. I bought #4 and #9 last summer and I love them both! I got a size medium for both and they fit pretty well! Number 4 is great for those of you (like me) that are a little on the 'busty' side and need a bit more coverage in that area. And number 9 is a good one as well! I might even have to get that one in black this year! 

Both Target and Amazon offer free shipping (for Target card holders and Amazon prime members) and free returns, so I love ordering from both of these sites! 

Which ones are your favorites?

Shop the post:

Friday Finds | Vol. 5


Happy Friday, friends! This week flew by! I was busy catching up on work, house work, etc. But, it felt good to get back into the swing of things after traveling last week. Did you all have a nice Valentine's Day? I loved that both boys had little Vday parties in their daycare classes and they got so many cute little Valentines! They both came home yesterday with their little decorated boxes stuffed with goodies! It makes me so excited for these types of holidays as they grow up!

Bill was out of town the beginning of the week and returned home on Wednesday just in time to enjoy my homemade heart shaped pizza I made for him! The boys actually liked it too! It was a little bit more thick crusted for our liking, so I may try rolling out a bit thinner next time, but I'd say I did pretty well for my first homemade pizza experience. Bill also surprised me with a gorgeous bouquet of red roses! I mean, what girl doesn't want roses on Valentine's Day? 


I wanted to share a few finds from this week with you all before the weekend, so if you are bored you can do a little online shopping! I might be on a little shopping freeze for a while because I just booked a trip to Puerto Plata with some girlfriends for the first week of June! I'm so excited, but that means I need to rein in my shopping habit 😁  So, I will live vicariously through you all if you are shopping this weekend!

Here are a few things I have purchased recently that I'm loving:

1. AE High Waisted Distressed Jeans - These are still on sale for $37! I just received these in the mail this week and they are amazing. They have great stretch and the rips are just right. I don't think I will ever where anything other than high waisted pants for the rest of my life!

2. Fleece Pullover (Amazon) This fleece pullover is a dupe for this one from Abercrombie that is 3 times the cost! I will say when I received it in the mail, I can tell the quality is probably not as good as the A&F one, but it's still very cozy! It definitely has more of a dark blue/navy tone than black (like the picture shows) too. And it runs SMALL so size up at least one size! I got a medium and it fits good, but could have probably gone with a large for a looser fit (I'm normally S/M, Medium in pullovers/coats).

Also, wanted to share a few fun sales that are happening this weekend!

Loft is having a huge sale this weekend (I feel like they always have sales, but this is a good one!)! You get 40% off your purchase in stores or online with code: HAPPY! They are also offering 50% off all sale items! Here are a few of my favorites:


Here's a few Easter dress options:



Also, H&M is offering free shipping and up to 60% off selected styles this weekend! Make sure to check out their home decor section too!

Last, but not least, Nordstrom is having their winter sale with up to 40% off items through Feb 25th! As always, they always offer free shipping and returns, so I love shopping on line with them! Here are a few stand out sale items that I love:



That's all I got for this edition of Friday Finds! Hope you all have a fun weekend!

Fitting in Fitness

Let me just start by saying that I am no fitness guru... Far from it actually! I am horrible at trying to 'diet', I am never motivated to go to the gym, I love my comfort food, cheese and a glass of wine at night. I have no business talking about 'fitness' on this blog. However, I want to start changing my habits and sometimes the best way to stay motivated is to hold yourself accountable! By sharing this on the blog and making it 'public' I feel more accountable for my actions!




If I'm being honest, I probably have about 10 solid pounds to lose. It's not like I'm over weight or anything. I'm still a size 4/6, but I just haven't felt confident in my skin or what I'm wearing for a while now. I actually weighed less 3 months after giving birth to Bennett than I do now (thanks to breastfeeding and not having time to eat!). Fast forward a year and a half and I'm still holding on to what I affectionately refer to as my 'baby weight'. But, for me this new lifestyle is more than just a focus on weight loss. I want to feel healthy and look healthy! I want to have more energy during the day. And it would be nice if I could see some sort of ab definition in place of that flabby lose skin in my mid section. Being pregnant twice in 2 years really did a number on my core! So, a lot of my workouts are focused around building those core muscles again. And, I'm not on any sort of true 'diet', per say. I'm all about balance. If I completely restrict myself from some sort of food group, I will eventually crash and the effects are worse than before I started the diet.

My friend, Abby (from Mom With Muscles blog) taught me all about tracking my macros (grams of fat, carbs and protein I'm consuming per day) and keeping track of everything I eat in my MyFitnessPal app. This has helped me realize how I've gained weight and how I can lose and/or maintain my weight. Once I started tracking my macros, I realized that I'm really good at hitting my fats and carbs, but was horrible at hitting my protein goals for the day. So, I started adding more protein to my diet and I notice that I'm more full and satisfied throughout the day which helps me to stay under my daily calorie limit. 

Here are a few sample meals that I have been eating recently:

Breakfast (macros: carbs=18, fat=13, protein=16) 

2 hard boiled eggs OR scrambled egg whites with 1 whole egg mixed in, top with TJ's everything but the bagel seasoning (game changer!), with one piece of ezekiel bread (it's just flourless bread, you can find this at Trader Joe's or in the freezer section at your grocery store) toasted with ghee and also topped with TJ's seasoning OR roasted potatoes. (I also always start my day with a cup off coffee with sugar free creamer!)

Mid morning 'snack' (or second breakfast!)

Berry/Banana protein smoothie (macros: carbs=34, fat=9, protein=35)

half of a banana
handful of mixed frozen berries (I like raspberries, strawberries and blueberries)
handful of fresh spinach (or any greens you have on hand)
1 scoop of your favorite chocolate protein powder (I'm currently using this chocolate whey protein powder, but I think I may switch to a plant based protein powder like this one when it's gone)
1 cup of almond milk (I use unsweetened)
optional: a tbsp of peanut butter or almond butter
optional: 2 tbsps each of chia seeds and ground flaxseed (so many great health benefits from these. I found them both at Trader Joe's!)

Lunch (macros: carbs=19, fat=18, protein=24)

Some sort of salad with protein. I've been loving Trader Joe's kale and broccoli slaw (I will not use the whole packet of dressing and I omit the dried cranberries to save some carbs and fat) with some sliced left over rotisserie chicken (we usually get one every week from the grocery store!).

Or left overs from dinner

Mid afternoon snack (macros for Quest bar: carbs=4, fat=9, protein=21): I'm loving these RX bars or quest bars are great with high protein and lower carbs. And I'll usually have a cup of coffee with sugar free creamer for a pick me up!

Sample dinners (turkey taco salad macros: carbs=21, fat=12, protein=32) I try to make healthy meals with a protein and veggies. If there is a 'starch' component, I may swap out for something else like instead of rice I'll have more veggies or quinoa or I'll have a spaghetti squash instead of noodles, etc. 

  • turkey taco salad: ground turkey, taco seasoning, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, taco sauce, non fat greek yogurt. (I love taco Tuesdays! I'll serve with taco shells or tortillas for the boys, and I'll have a salad to save carbs and fat)
  • roasted chicken, steamed carrots, parmesan potatoes: grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, steam some carrots and make some sort of potatoes (I love the garlic parmesan potatoes from Trader Joe's!). I love having this meal on Sundays after our family grocery trip!
  • 10 min honey garlic shrimp with quinoa and stir fry veggies (onion, broccoli, peppers, etc) so quick and easy to make! 

Late night snack: I love these Oikos triple zero greek yogurts (they have 15 grams of protein! and no fat!) macros: carbs=13, fat=0, protein=15)

Total Macros for the day: carbs=106, fat=62 (this is a little high if I'm aiming for weight loss! goal is 55), protein=143!!! (Goal protein is around 128grams!)

Here's where the math geek in me comes into play... I always make sure to stay under 1400 calories for the day. If it is a cardio day, I may go up to 1500. My goal is to have a deficit of 500 calories per day (If it's a work day I will typically burn 1800 calories in a day, if I'm with the boys all day or it's a cardio day it may be more like 2000!). If I can keep up with this, that means I would lose one pound per week. (3,500 calories = 1 pound, so if I burn an extra 500 calories a day, that would be 3,500 per week). I love this fitness tracker that I wear everyday to track my steps and extra calories burned!

Of courses, I will allow myself a cheat day (or 2) on the weekends! If we are ordering pizza on a Friday night (which is pretty standard), I will definitely have a slice or 2! And you better believe I allow myself to have a few (ok, maybe more than a few) glasses of wine a week! I try to just eat as well as I can during the week. And, if I'm really trying to lose weight, I may omit the wine during the week. Again, it's all about balance!


Workouts

As far as my exercising goes, I just try my best to fit it in when I can. As I mentioned, I'm really trying to focus on strength training especially around my core. So, I typically will go to the gym twice a week for a longer cardio session (about 30-45 mins) with some ab work. Then, I'll try to do 2-3 at home workouts that consist of core strength training, yoga/stretching or leg work for 25 mins. That's it! When I go to the gym, it's typically in the morning right after I drop off the kids at school or while Bill is dropping them off around 8:30 - 9:15ish. Then, I come home and start my work day and may shower later in the day. Working form home gives me this flexibility, but if you work at an office, you may have to bring your shower supplies to the gym to get ready before work. 

Workout Routine:

Monday - gym: running for 25/30 mins around track, ab/core workout (15 mins)

Tuesday - core and leg workout (maybe tone it up 10 min abs, leg work out, etc total 25 mins)

Wednesday - break

Thursday - gym: 'butts and guts' class (55 min class focusing on core and glut strength training) OR running for 25/30 mins and 15 mins of ab workout.

Friday - either core/arm workout OR yoga OR running outside if it's nice out (25 mins)

Sat/Sun - off, family activity! Chasing toddlers is a workout!!

There you have it! It's not rocket science... I don't pay money for fancy shakes or workout apps... I just do what I know will work for me!!

I hope this helps you in your quest to become fit and healthy!

Please feel free to comment with any questions you may have or let me know what you are doing to stay fit!

Shop the post:


January 2018 Favorites

Happy Monday! Sorry for being MIA last week here on the blog, I was traveling for work and it was just too busy to post. It was a fun trip and great to see a lot of co-workers I don't get to see in person very often, but by Thursday I was so ready to be home and see my babies!

Before February gets away from me, I wanted to share some of the favorite items and links from the blog and instagram last month. For those of you who are new here, I use affiliate links through out most of my posts through a company called Reward Style, which is the company that created the LIKEtoKNOW.it app. If you aren't following me on LIKEtoKNOW.it (follow me here: https://www.liketoknow.it/lovelylifestyling), it is super easy to download the app and shop straight from your phone! You can also shop my instagram without the app by clicking on the tab at the top of the blog titled 'shop my instagram'. Basically, I am able to track all clicks and purchases through this service so it makes it easy to know what my readers like to see and purchase! I was actually pleasantly surprised with a lot of the popular purchases from last month!


Here are the top 5 most clicked on items from January:

#1 most click on item were these booties! Go figure! They've been so popular and I'm sure they will sell out of sizes quickly! So glad I snagged a pair!

#2 most clicked on was this Monogram Marley Lilly quilted pullover. Probably because I talked about it so much on the blog and instagram after I got mine for Christmas! AND it's still on sale for less than $40! I was happy to see that a few of you purchased this as well! I hope you are getting as much wear out of it as I am!


#3 most clicked on item were these A New Day loafers. These were in my Target cart (online) but, I just checked and there's only one size left available in the nude color! If you are a size 12, snag these before they are sold out!

#4 most clicked on item was this J. Crew Factory puffer vest (which is still on major sale!). This is such a classic layering piece that I keep pulling out of my closet for fall and winter year after year!


#5 most clicked on item was this Raw Edge V-Neck tee. They are the best, softest tees for $17 and I am wanting all the new colors for spring!



Top selling items were as follows...

#1 top selling item was this Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo which I mentioned in one of my Friday Favorites posts from last month. I was so surprised by this statistic, but I guess I have a lot of blondies that read the blog! Hello fellow blondes! I am actually placing my order for this shampoo as we speak!

#2 top selling item was this $26 activity tracker from Amazon! I'm so happy some of you purchased this as well. I love mine and have been wearing it daily to track my steps and calories burned. It also tracks sleep, but I don't use it for that function. It syncs to a free app on my phone as well. Such a great inexpensive dupe for a fitbit if you're not ready to fork over that much money for an activity tracker.

#3 top selling item was this hand held vacuum. I am obsessed with mine that I got for Christmas and pretty much use it every day!

#4 top selling item was the J. Crew Factory puffer vest. I'm sure a lot of you snagged it when it was on major sale last month! It is still on sale for 50% off currently!

#5 top selling item was the $17 raw edge v-neck tee! Again, I love mine and these are such a great staple tee for any season!

What does this say about my readers? It tells me that you all are as practical as I am when it comes to making purchases online! You know what you want and you want the best bang for your buck! I will continue to keep my eye out for some great deals on everyday items, fashion, beauty, home decor and more! I love sharing my finds!

Looking forward to sharing February's favorites next month!

Shop the post:


Home Decor Finds | H&M Home

Did you guys know that h&m carried home decor items? I knew they started offering home decor online a while ago, but until recently I hadn't really thought to check it out. I've been wanting to buy some little home decor accents to spruce up our home, so I decided to see what they had the other night. They actually have a lot of cute, trendy and affordable home decor items! I've rounded up some of my favorite pieces from their site below.

affiliate links: one | two | three | fourfive | six | seven | eight | nine | ten

I've been searching for little home decor accents to spruce up our living area for spring and I am in love with all the fun pillow covers h&m offers! In a house full of boys, it may be difficult for me to convince my husband that we need these pink velvet pillows for our couch, but I'm just loving all the blush and pink accents that are on trend right now. The pink pillows paired with these black and white patterned ones would be so fun! Also... give me ALLLL the cozy throw blankets, please. Like how cute and cozy is this cable knit one with the pom poms?!

I'm also on the hunt for more stylish and functional storage in our house and I'm loving all their woven baskets and I love these gold metal baskets for pantry organization!

Shop some more of my favorite h&m decor items below (click on the image to shop):