Loving Lately

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Happy Sunday night, friends!   Just hanging out on the couch today, wishing it would warm up a little outside!   It's been crazy cold here this past week, and this coming week it's supposed to be up in the 40s and even close to 50 one day!   What is happening, Mother Nature?!?

I thought I'd share some of my recent purchases, some items currently in my cart(s), and some items on my winter wish list!   I'm all about the cozy & comfy clothes this year, and I'm loving a lot of the trends I've seen on different blogs and on Instagram, especially the mule shoes and ruffled sleeve tops and dresses!   

One of my recent purchases was this satchel/shoulder bag on Amazon!   I absolutely love the color and it's just the right size for me!  (And you can't beat the price!!)

I was looking for a 2018 planner about a month ago, and saw this one go on sale on Amazon!   I just love the design on the front and it's got perfect calendar space for me at this time.   I've always wanted an Erin Condren planner, so I figured this would be a great first one!

I also bought this super cute vest right before Thanksgiving!   I love the pockets in it!   I wore a long sleeved black tee underneath, but it would be cute with white or gray, or even a button-down shirt.

Here's what's in my shopping cart and on my wish list!

These Carlos Santana Ballet Flats--love the color!

Ankle Strap Ballet Flats--This color is only $13, but it comes in lots of different colors!

This tunic top, comes in quite a few colors and I love the button detail on the side!

A super comfy looking sweatshirt--great for weekend lounging!

This very cute cardigan, good for layering!

Another tunic top--love the lace detail along the bottom!

Ruffle Sleeved Sweater Dress from Nordstrom--I'd totally wear this to work!

These gold mules--they could be dressed up or down, and look so comfortable!

What trends are you all loving this winter season??   Let me know!   I'd love to try out different styles!  

Hope you all have a wonderful week and don't get too cold!  


2018 Blog & Instagram Goals

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year, Friends!     I hope you all had a wonderful time ringing in 2018, whether you went out on the town, stayed home with family or friends, or even hit the hay at 8 pm!   My husband worked New Year's Eve, so we just stayed home and had some snacks, and the kids were in bed by 10:00.   Sometime when they're bigger, I think it would be fun to have a party with some of our family!    

Since it is the new year, I figured my first post would be about my goals for the year, with the blog and with posting on Instagram.  I'm not sure how attainable all of these are, but I'm going to give it a shot, and hopefully will make some progress with what I'm trying to accomplish!

This year I'd like to......

Learn how to take better pictures with my current camera!  A DSLR camera isn't in my budget right now, so I'd like to use my point and shoot to take pictures.  I'd also love to take better iPhone photos and learn how to edit them also.

Engage with more people I follow on Instagram!  I usually hit the "like" button on posts I like, but I never take the time to ask questions or leave a comment for the people I follow.  I'd like to interact more with other bloggers, shops, and brands!

Collaborate with another blogger or a brand!    This one might be a stretch, but I'm gonna try!   I think it would be so fun to make friends with another blogger and work with them on something, or even help promote something for a brand I love!

Set up an email list!    I don't send a lot of stuff out, but it could be fun to do a newsletter or something??

Look into possibly migrating to Wordpress!   I love Blogger and it's easy to use, but would it be better to have my own domain and be able to customize more things?

What blog topics are you interested in reading more about?   Do you have any tips or advice that you could share about what I'd like to accomplish?    Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for visiting my blog throughout this year!   I had fun starting this blog in late 2016/early 2017, but I'm looking forward to what 2018 will bring!     Cheers to the new year!!  

Plus Size New Year's Dresses

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Day After Christmas, friends!   I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and holiday celebration with all of your loved ones!   This Christmas season just seemed to fly by for us, even though we had multiple parties to attend throughout the month. 

Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite picks for dresses for New Year's Eve festivities--we actually don't have any plans this year (which I'm secretly excited about), but my husband also works until 8, so it would be late going anywhere anyways.  I'm looking forward to a low-key evening with the kids, with some snacks and some New Year's Rockin' Eve!   I've selected a some dresses that would be perfect for a fun party, or going out on the town!   You can dress these up with fun jewelry or shoes also! 

Navy Sequin Lace Skater Dress

Black & Silver Sequin Dress

Black Velvet Swing Dress--Also comes in a rose color!

Cold-Shoulder Chiffon Dress

Cap Sleeve Fit & Flare Dress with Sequins

Wine Split Neck Dress     

Sequin Sheath Dress

Dress with Lace & Floral Flocking

Velvet Sheer Sleeve Dress

Do any of you have any fun plans for New Year's Eve?  I'd love to have a fun family party sometime, with lots of decorations and food and a balloon drop!   Wouldn't that be fun??

Cheers to 2018!!


Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Her

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Happy December, friends!    I can't believe we are only a couple weeks out from Christmas!   We had our first Christmas celebration yesterday, with my mom's side of the family!   It was such a fun time!   We have a few more parties throughout the month and I'm definitely looking forward to all of those!

Today, we're going to talk about some Stocking Stuffer Ideas!    Some of these are on my personal wish list for Christmas, and some I think are excellent ideas for your moms, sisters, girlfriends, etc.   I'm trying to include a variety of price ranges, depending on what you'd like to spend...

What are some small gifts and stocking stuffers on your wish list?   I really love the Kate Spade phone case and the monogrammed mugs!     I actually discovered the mascara from another blogger that I follow and I love it--doesn't break the bank either!     Let me know if you have any other fabulous gifts I could give to my family & friends!

Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday!  


Friday Finds

Friday, November 10, 2017

Happy Friday, Friends!   Hope you are all having a wonderful week--I'm actually off work today, so this is the start of a 3-Day Weekend!      I would like to say THANK YOU to all of our Veterans who have served our country so we could be where we are today!

Today is just going to be a round-up of lots of things I've been loving lately.....things I'd like for myself, for our home, gift ideas for the holidays, etc.   We've decided to postpone our kitchen upgrade/renovation to a time when the kids are a little bigger and are able to occupy themselves a little better.   But for now, we'd like to rearrange our living room, possibly hang our tv on the wall, and I'd love to create more of an "entryway" to our house, since we don't have a foyer.   I'm looking for some ideas for a tv stand, how to decorate around it, what to do with our end tables, a sofa slipcover, and things like that.    

If you read my blog post from Sunday, you'll know that I'm starting to look for a Cricut machine or something similar.   My biggest fear about that is either becoming too busy to keep a small business running, or actually getting bored with it and having spent all that money to buy a Cricut (because they're kind of expensive, in my opinion).   

Anyways, here are some cool things I've found lately that I'd like to share!

This super cute Weekender Bag from Scout on Amazon!   I'm loving this and it comes in all sorts of colors and patterns--does anyone have one?

This Round Mirror from Pier 1....I can't decide if I like round or rectangle mirrors more!

This Console Table from Wal-Mart

This Weathered Rose Mirror from Pottery Barn is gorgeous, but the price is a little steep for my liking :(

Loving this Bronze Mirror from Hobby Lobby!   And it's 50% off!

This Copper Leaf Mirror from Bed Bath & Beyond is only $50!    I usually get a 20% coupon from BBB every once in awhile, which would make it cheaper!

The Cricut Machine from Amazon!   Which model would you recommend??

Also loving these Placemats from the Hearth & Hand by Magnolia Collection.  I've been looking for placemats for our kitchen but have been unsuccessful--I think these will be the winners!

Do you have any recommendations for a mirror or Cricut machine that you think I should invest in?   Let me know in the comments below!     Stay tuned for another post this weekend--I'm trying a new recipe for Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crunch topping!  Yum!


Sunday Ramblings: Starting a Small Business

Sunday, November 5, 2017

I need advice.

I'd say I lead a fairly busy life, working full-time and having two kids.   But there's a sort of a longing, or nagging, if you will, to do something to let my explore my creativity.   What I'd really love to do is invest in a Cricut machine or something similar, and make some nice banners and other party decor.   

Look at all these gorgeous colors from Paper & More!!

I'm not sure if it's easier to sell through Etsy or set up your own website, or what.   Obviously I have a lot of research to do, but this idea keeps coming back around often enough that I'm really considering it.   I definitely don't want to copy off of other people, but I know there are currently a lot of people on Etsy who are selling the same types of products.   I'd have to create my own style and be able to say, "Hey, this is what sets me apart from everyone else!"    Is there a big demand for this type of product, or would I just be wasting my time?

And then I have to consider all the logistics of opening a small business, such as marketing, shipping, accounting, having supplies on hand, etc.....and sometimes I get overwhelmed by it.    But still, the idea keeps coming back.

I know I have a lot to think about regarding this idea.....can anyone give me any insight into starting a business (especially if you also work full-time)?    Or why you wouldn't do it anymore?

Thanks for all of your input!


Halloween & Overnight French Toast Bake

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween, Friends!    Hope you are all having a wonderful, festive time!    We had a fun weekend taking the kids to my in-law's to show them their costumes, and we went to my parents house on Sunday for brunch and pumpkin painting!  They had so much fun! 

Before we painted pumpkins, we enjoyed a kind of potluck brunch at my parents house.   I wanted to try out a new recipe and make something on the sweeter side to take with us.  Enter Pinterest searching.  I came across this Overnight French Toast Bake and thought it sounded delicious!   We didn't need a whole 9x13 pan, so I used a baking dish I have that I got for my wedding shower, and adjusted the ingredients accordingly.

(Courtesy of Cakes Cottage)

Ingredients (for the 9x13 pan)
-1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
-1 cup brown sugar + 3 tablespoons brown sugar
-1 loaf Texas Toast (Our grocery store was out, so I used brioche)
-4 eggs
-1 1/2 cups milk
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-2 teaspoons cinnamon
-1 tablespoon powdered sugar, plus more for sprinkling
-honey or maple syrup for topping

-Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in 1 cup of brown sugar until combined.

-Pour the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan

-In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar, and vanilla

-Place the bread in a single layer in your pan so it covers the whole bottom

-Pour half of the egg mixture over the layer of bread

-In a small bowl, stir together the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon

-Sprinkle half of the mixture over the first layer of bread

-Arrange a second layer of bread on top of the first, pour over the rest of the egg mixture, and sprinkle the remaining brown sugar & cinnamon on the top

-Cover with aluminum foil (or lid) and put in the fridge overnight....you can leave it in the fridge for a few hours, but it works best if left overnight.  
-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and let your dish sit at room temperature while the oven is warming up

-Bake for 30 minutes with the foil on top, and then bake for 15 minutes without foil until the top gets crispy

-Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and you can use maple syrup or honey for topping!   I actually didn't use any syrup and it was still delicious!

My bread arranging skills are less than stellar  :(

A super easy dish to make for a cold morning, or a perfect breakfast idea for Christmas morning--I think this is what I'm going to make!   I'm excited to keep trying recipes to share with you all!
Let me know if you have any requests!  

Until next time!


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