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Honeycrisp Apple Recipes

(my outfit: jeans | plaid top | vest is sold out, but found an exact dupe on Amazon HERE | riding boots, budget friendly version HERE)

We had a fun trip at the apple orchard this past weekend and came home with a big bag of yummy honey crisp apples! (By the way, if you are local to Columbus, the Orchard and Company is a great place for apple picking with the kids! So many fun activities, hay rides, farm animals, pony rides, pumpkin patch, corn pit, etc!) This year I was determined to actually try out some different recipes with our apples (rather than let them sit on our counter and rot like previous years 😬). So, off to Pinterest I went to pin alllll the apple recipes!

If you caught my instastories the past few days you know I've been making a lot of crockpot applesauce! Mostly because the boys love it and it's pretty easy to make! I also tried out the apple bacon and cheddar quesadillas and they were surprisingly really good! Linked to the recipes below plus some other recipes I'm hoping to try out!

Honeycrisp Apple Recipes

Bloomin' Baked Apples (these look so good!)

Of course your classic Apple Pie or these little Apple Hand Pies look so good!

Also, my favorite fall treat is sliced apples with caramel dip!

What are some of your favorite apple recipes? Comment below!

Loft Try On | September 2018

Happy Friday!! I wanted to post the photos of my Loft try on from yesterday because they are still having their 40% off sale today! Get 40% off your order (including sale items) with code: NEWNOW at checkout! They have some really cute new items for fall! I'm loving all the cardigans and sweaters! 

For reference:

I'm 5'2"
Typically wear a size XS/S in tops 
And size S/27/4 in bottoms

*I find that Loft runs a little big, so if you are in between sizes, size down!

Let's start with all my favorite cardigans...

This cardigan is SO soft and I'm loving this wine color for fall! (wearing size small) 

I loved this cardigan for the length and I didn't have one this color, so it came home with me! (wearing size small) 

This chenille cardigan was the softest thing ever!! I'm regretting not getting this one now and may order it! (wearing xs here, but I would order a small)

Next up are some of my favorite sweaters...

I'm getting all the fall vibes from this poncho style cowl neck sweater! I love it layered with this striped long sleeve tee

I'm also wearing the Loft modern skinny jeans which are SO comfortable and flattering! (wearing xs in the poncho and tee, wearing size 27/4 in the jeans. I would say each of these run a bit big, so if in between sizes, go down one size) 

I love the fringe detailing on this sweater! It looks cute with a front tuck or untucked! Super soft and thick, so would be good for cooler weather. (wearing a size small in this sweater, runs TTS)

Also loving the detailing on this tunic length sweater! It's long enough for me to wear with leggings (I'm 5'2"), but would be cute with skinny jeans too! (wearing a size xs here)

I love the little tie detailing on the sleeves of this sweater! This one was a little more lightweight and would be a good transitional weather sweater! (wearing size small)

I also LOVE these wine colored leggings (that look like jeans!)! They are so comfortable and soft! I They would be great for the upcoming holiday season! I brought this pair home with me! (wearing a 26/4)

This sweatshirt was so cozy! Perfect length for leggings as well! (I'm in an XS, but would probably order a small for a more oversized fit)

Other items I'm loving for fall...

This wrap blouse is so flattering and I love the print! Would be a great top for work and layered under a cardigan! (wearing a small)

Skirts and leather are both on trend for fall, then combine the 2 and you are set! I loved this leather skirt and the cut out detailing! The leather is really soft and comfortable! I'm wearing a size 4, but probably needed a size 2, so I would say size down in this skirt! 

I paired it with this lightweight grey sweater and this plaid infinity scarf! This would be a fun look to take from the office to date night! Just take off the scarf at night and add some statement jewelry and heels!

This tee shirt dress was SO soft and comfortable!! Would be perfect for layering with a denim jacket, cardigan or blanket scarf! (wearing small)

Last, but not least, I just adore this knit blazer with the elbow patches! The color is so pretty in person and would be a great casual or dressy layering piece for fall! (I'm in a size 2 petite, but would probably just order a regular size 2)

I would pair this blazer with this top and these jeans for a business casual look!

While I was in the store I also picked up this pendant locket necklace and this delicate layered necklace. I'm starting to be into more subtle jewelry and I just love the quality of loft's jewelry! 

Phew! That was a lot! Take advantage of this sale now before it's over! Happy weekend and Happy shopping! 

Shop everything I tried on below:

Shop all of my Loft favorites HERE!

Old Navy Try On | September 2018

I had a moment to myself last week and decided to pop into Old Navy for a quick try on session. I found some really great pieces for fall! I always love Old Navy because they always seem to be running some type of promotion and they always have affordable staple pieces for your wardrobe. Below are the items I tried on that I loved and you can shop all my favorite current Old Navy items at the end of the post!

For reference:

I'm 5' 2"
I am in a Small in all tops and XS in dresses

I loved this soft and cozy black and white striped sweater! Such a classic item to add to your fall and winter wardrobe.

This flutter sleeve paisley print blouse would be perfect for layering under a moto style jacket or cardigan

I love the style of these thermal henley tops layered under vests (like this one or this one) for fall! (***I sized up to a MEDIUM in this top bc it runs a bit snug!)

This striped long sleeve Luxe tee came home with me! It is super soft and light weight and just a great staple tee for fall!

This funnel neck pullover is the comfiest! Comes in a handful of colors and has pockets! Would be great paired with leggings too!

A long sleeve swing dress is such a great staple item to have for fall! You can dress it up with heels and some jewelry or dress it down with a blanket scarf or denim jacket and booties! So many different ways to style this dress! 

I love the style of these shirt dresses and this olive green one caught my eye! Such a great transitional dress! I love it paired with booties!

This chambray short sleeve shirt dress would be perfect paired with a cardigan and riding boots or booties for fall! 

Last, but not least, how cute is this pajama jumpsuit?! It is so soft and cozy and would be perfect for bumming around the house with a cardigan during those chilly fall and winter days! 

I hope you guys enjoy these mini try on posts! 

Shop all my favorite Old Navy items below:

Budget Friendly Fall Shoes

Fall is officially in full swing and I am so excited for this year's line up of shoes! I've purchased a handful of new pairs this year to change it up a bit and because I wanted to have a good selection of stylish AND comfortable shoes for any and all outfits. 

BONUS - All of my shoes are under $60! Most are under $40!

Here's a breakdown of my fall shoe line up:

Pointed Toe Flats ($23) - These are the perfect shoes for work or play! You can dress them up or down! They come in a handful of colors as well. These fit true to size and also come in wide options.

Bow Mules ($17) - I ordered these shoes from Amazon as soon as I found them! They are so comfortable and such a cute addition to any outfit! (Similar pair on sale under $30 HERE)

Wedge Sneakers ($30)  - I'm so glad I ventured out of my comfort zone with these! I wasn't sure if they were 'my style' but, having them on and seeing them in person, I am converted! I love the wedge sneaker trend and they are just s fun/trendy alternative to your normal sneakers. (Similar pair under $60 HERE | get $10 off at checkout with code: DSWFALL)

Peep Toe Block Heel Booties ($35) - I purchased these last year after I was sad I missed out on the Vince Camuto ones from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. As soon as I saw these at Target for less than half the price, I snagged a pair! I've gotten so much use out of these and they are a great transitional shoe from summer to fall!

Ankle Booties (prices vary depending on size) - Another Amazon shoe find, these were actually less than $35 when I bought them, but are now up to $60. That's one thing about buying shoes from Amazon, their prices can vary depending on demand and availability. BUT, I'm so glad I got these because they are the perfect ankle bootie and the fit is perfect!

Knee High Boots ($50) - These are my newest addition to my fall shoe line up and I'm totally smitten! They look like a designer pair and I just live the detailing at the top. Perfect to wear over leggings or skinny jeans! 

Over the Knee Boots ($60) - I ordered these about a month ago and I've been waiting for the temps to drop to start styling them! I've wanted a pair of over the knee boots for a while now, but wasn't ready to drop over $100 for a pair. I'm actually quite impressed with the quality of these for the price! And the retailer is currently running a BOGO 50% off PLUS 15% off your order!

Splurge Worthy Boots

Sam Edelman 'Penny' Riding Boots - I got these boots for my birthday almost 3 years ago and they have held up SO well! The leather is so soft and I just love the classic look of these boots. These are perfect with leggings or skinny jeans and are 100% worth the price!

Hunter Boots - I got my Hunter boots about 4 years ago and have gotten a TON of use out of them the past 4 falls/winters here in Ohio (and Illinois!)!! Rain, snow, sleet, slush... these babies handle it ALL! And they look cute with long socks over leggings or skinny jeans!

Shop the post below:

(Pin the image below to save)

How and Why I Started Blogging + Your Questions Answered

I have been meaning to write this post for a while now and wanted to somehow loop it in with the backstory of how my blog started and the evolution of it. I'm hoping this one isn't too lengthy, but if you have some time... Sit down with a fresh cup of hot coffee and enjoy!

How and Why I Started Blogging

Oh boy... where do I start? I guess at the beginning! I started blogging almost 7 years ago. It was around then that Pinterest became really popular and I came across a few blogs that were linked from some of my 'pins' that I just fell in love with. I loved the idea of having a creative outlet that combined home decor, fashion, and everyday life! I also loved the idea of keeping a somewhat personal journal online that you could share with people. I always loved writing and used journaling in the past as an outlet, but I loved that blogging was a way to connect with like minded people that had the same interests. 

My first blog was called 'Last Year Of Twenty Something' which was not a very good idea for a blog title because A. I wasn't going to be 29 forever... and B. It just didn't really tell my readers what my blog was all about. So, when I turned 30, I decided to change the title and actually bought my own domain as well to use for this blog. I knew I wanted to continue to blog about style, home decor, and life in general so Lovely Life Styling was what I chose! The 'Lovely' part comes from one of my favorite bible quotes: "Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8

I've always loved that passage and to me it means to focus your energy and mind on positive aspects in life. Think about things that are true, lovely and make you feel good. I think it is so easy to focus on all the negative aspects in life and especially with the way social media has impacted our lives. It is so easy to fall into the comparison trap and all the hardships that are happening all over the world, but if you just focus on the good things in your life and count all your blessings, you will in turn feel more inspired and happy! That's what I want this space to be about... Focusing on all the LOVELY aspects of LIFE!

The Evolution of My Blog

When I first started my blog, I was posting about random things. Recipes, new clothing and accessories, home decor, etc. It was all over the place! Then, when I got engaged right after I turned 30, the focus turned to wedding planning! There were 'wedding Wednesday' posts and DIY projects I completed for our wedding. Then, after our wedding I posted some recaps of our wedding. 

Then, when I got pregnant with Camden (about 4 months after we got married!), it was all about pregnancy! Then, after I had Camden, it was alllll about baby Camden! Fast forward to getting pregnant with Bennett (when Camden was 10 months!) and then having Bennett, it was all about baby stuff again for the next year! 

Once Bennett turned one, I started to turn the corner from zombie new mommy to beginning to feel like myself again. I still would occasionally blog and post about style and home decor, but it was mostly centered around the boys and motherhood up to that point. I started feeling a little more comfortable in my skin last year around this time which made me want to do a little shopping and actually feel like I could be put together on a daily basis. I've always loved fashion and style and putting together outfits is somewhat of a way for me to feel creative.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year and my focus has turned mainly to style. I love sharing my daily outfits, affordable and stylish pieces. I want to inspire others by showing them that they are worth the extra effort in the morning to look and feel their best! For me, if I wear sweats or my PJs all day I am not productive. If I throw on some jeans (or even leggings!) and a cute top, then I feel so much better and am ready to tackle my to do list. I want to inspire and empower others to do the same! That's not saying I won't ever post about home decor, pretty parties or motherhood. Those subjects will also be sprinkled in as well!

Your Questions Answered

Recently I dropped the Question box in my instagram stories and told you guys to go ahead and ask me anything! I was a little nervous about what type of questions I would get, but was pleasantly surprised to see most of the questions were about my boys, our family and my (daytime) job! Which prompted me to write this post as well! The questions I received and my answers are below...

Q1: "Your boys are so cute! Are you planning to have more kids?"

A: As of right now, no... We have our hands full as it is! 😆 BUT, we haven't completely closed that door yet. Just not on our immediate agenda! 

Q2: "How close in age are your cute boys? Would you say their age gap is good for your family?"

A: Camden and Bennett are 19 months apart! I got pregnant with Bennett when Camden was 10 months old! Camden wasn't even 2 yet when we had Bennett and I will say that came with some challenges. Camden was in a very needy stage when Bennett arrived, but I think he really started to love his little brother after a few months. There will always be an adjustment period going from one child to 2, no matter what the age gap. I LOVE how close in age they are now! They are just starting to really play together and like all the same things. It is so cute to see their little friendship grow! I feel like I could write an entire blog post about them and this subject!

Q3: "How long have you lived in Columbus?"

A: Pretty much my entire life! I grew up in a suburb of Columbus (Worthington), then went to Bowling Green State University for college (close to Toledo), then moved back to Columbus after I graduated. Bill and I met and got married here and moved to a suburb of Chicago (Plainfield, IL) when Camden was a little over one and I was pregnant with Bennett for Bill's job. After living there for a little over a year, we decided it was best for our family to move back to Columbus. We missed our friends and family being close and to be honest, I really think Columbus is such a great place to raise a family! 

Q4: "What is your job?"

I work as an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) analyst for a Real Estate Investment company based out of Colorado. Basically, my company buys apartment communities for sale and takes ownership and manages the properties. They also complete any upgrades needed such as interior renovations or adding amenities. 

What I do is help to manage and audit the websites for the properties. It is a unique business because each property is run as it's own small business and each property has it's own branding. I also help to optimize the websites for search engine results by updating content, photos, etc. There is a lot of technical backend work that goes along with SEO, so I will not bore you to death with the details!

I work about 32 - 36 hours per week remotely from home which helps me have a flexible schedule. The boys still go to daycare/school 3 days a week and my parents help watch them 1-2 days per week so I can finish up work projects, etc if need be! I love having this type of flexibility!

Q5: "How did you find out about your job? It is so awesome you get to work from home!"

A: This could turn into a whole blog post on it's own but basically I am somewhat related to the owner of the company. He is my mom's cousin! But to be honest, I maybe met him a handful of times before I got the job. My mom actually encouraged me to send him my resume because she had heard they were looking to hire someone to help with social media. A lot of the reason I was hired was because of my experience. I had been working in leasing and property management for 5+ years, I have a business degree and majored in marketing and had (at the time) my real estate license. I also mentioned on my resume that some of my skill sets included social media, blogging and knew my way around google analytics and I think that helped seal the deal as well!

When I started, the company had NO corporate marketing department. The company has since grown from owning and managing less than 40 properties to now owning and managing around 200 properties! I got in at a great time and we now have a marketing department of over 30 people spread out all over the country!


So there you go! Hopefully you now know a little bit more about me! If you are still reading this, kudos to you! I would be fast asleep by now! ha!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!