Friday, March 24, 2017

4 (MORE!) easy family meals!

You guys LOVED my last post featuring 4 easy family meal formulas!  Any one else absolutely dread coming up with dinner ideas? I'm okay with actually making dinner, it's just the deciding and planning that is the hardest for me.  Trying to find meals that all four of us enjoy and that are relatively easy and quick to make is NOT easy!   Here are four meals I have made for my family recent that are EASY and delicious - and most importantly, kid approved!


Mexican Rice Bowls
This is a CROCK POT meal that does NOT disappoint! I put the chicken, one whole can of salsa and a half jar of the corn salsa in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours.  Then right before serving, open the crock pot shred the chicken with two forks (it should pull apart really easily) and then mix it well with the salsa so the chicken can soak it up.  Then I layered rice (with chopped cilantro), the chicken, cheese, avocado and lime wedges in a bowl and served.  My whole family went nuts for this meal. It is so delicious!

Open Face Masala Chicken Wraps
This was the perfect after school throw it all together and then eat it later that night after practice meal.  I bough precooked chicken and put it in the crock pot with the simmer sauce for about an hour and a half on low. Since the chicken was already cooked I just wanted the flavor to infuse it.  You could do this on the stovetop if you have time too - I just like a more hands off approach.  Then right before dinner I threw the broccoli in the oven to roast (400 for 20 minutes with a sprinkle of olive oil and salt/peper) and the naan to warm up (5 minutes or so).  Then I laid the naan on the plate and layered the chicken and tzatziki on top... then you can eat it with fork and knife or roll up the naan and dig in.  This was another family approved meal.  The Trader Joes Tzatziki sauce is so good I wanted to eat it with a spoon! Yum!

Duh. We LOVE homemade pizza... and the Trader Joes pre-made dough is so incredibly yummy.  I like to roll out the dough and bake it on it's own for 5-10 minutes BEFORE putting toppings on.  I find it gives it a crispier crust in the end.  Also, you haven't lived until you've tried this Quattro Formaggio cheese blend. OMG! It brings pizza to a new level.

Greek Salad with Chicken
This is a perfect spring meal... I just pile on all the greek-ish toppings I can find... tomatoes, red onion, cucumber and feta are my favorites, and then throw the chicken on top (often cold - but you can heat it up too).  My kids don't love the idea of chicken IN a salad, so I put their chicken on the side. I mean, who would ever eat meat that had touched a vegetable, right!?!?  For salad dressing, a balsamic vinaigrette - either home made or store bought is my favorite. 

Want more meal ideas? Here are more!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

my everyday style: spring tassels!

What is it with spring and summer? We just want to put a tassel on everything? Or is it just me? Haha! I love a good tassel so when I saw this cardigan (buy here or here) with darling little lace-up and tassel details I was pretty quick to press "add to cart"!

Plus, with this 'it's spring, wait it's not spring, wait it is' weather a cardigan like this is perfect for pulling over long or short sleeve tops for just a little bit of extra warmth while spring figures itself out.  And I told you I was wearing these sneakers a ton... I really am! I always find Vans run a bit big, so I went down a half size.  It's funny because I have been trying to get my kids into Vans for years. I used to buy Vans for them when they were little... but as they got older they said they didn't like them anymore. But I've been wearing these so much both my kids want a pair now.  Hey, I guess I just need to lead my example. But really, they are the best shoes for spring and summer for guys, gals and especially kids!

Outfit Details:
Cardigan (here or here)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

instagram lately...

I just realized it's been FOREVER since I've done a little Instagram round up here on the blog... (well, except my vacation version recently).  What the heck have I been waiting for!?!? Instagram is one of my favorite places for sharing easy everyday looks that don't often make it here to the blog... so with that in mind I always like to round up my favorite Instagram
 posts here every once in a while. They also just so happen to be one of the most popular posts here, so it's a win-win!

Here are some recent Instagrams that were favorites...

I've been trying to update Instagram with new purchases and doing at-home try-ons when new arrivals get to my doorstep. You gals seem to love it!  Here are a few new pieces I got from Old Navy recently... watch for them in outfits on the blog soon! All these pieces are SO cute and all under $25 too!! (red/blue off the shoulder top, narrow stripe white/blue open back tee, black open back tee, wide(r) stripe white/blue dress)

Simple winter to spring look. (sweater, similar flats, bag - or less expensive option)

Ripped jeans and sneakers are my number one love lately. This pair of jeans is really old, but I found a super similar pair for under $100 and these new Vans sneakers (I ordered down a half size, Vans tend to run big for me) are on serious repeat these days. 

I recently did a bunch of try-ons at LOFT - their spring line is SO SO cute! I wanted it all. Here were a few of my favorites, from left: striped lace-up back sweater, red/white stripe tassel top, navy off the shoulder dress, bell sleeve top, striped dress. I also really love this top, but it's only online! 

Again with these sneakers!  Also... how fun is this tasseled cardigan (or buy here)!?!? It will be on the blog later this week, I LOVE it! It's a perfect extra layer over tees and tanks as spring slowly arrives.

Peonies are always a good idea this time of year, or really ANY fresh flowers in the house really. Plus, I grabbed this top and wore it for New Years Eve and I keep pulling it out, it's 'dressy' but oh so comfortable.  My nail color is this one - it's my favorite red!

Here are some more spring pieces I ordered... I didn't keep all of them, but there were some really cuties in the bunch! From the bottom: pale blue peplum top, black cold-shoulder tee (so cute!), striped blouse, ankle wrap flats

I'm super excited to rock these espadrilles on vacation SOON! They are so comfy and the knot detail is super on trend this spring/summer. 

I always seem to go back to the basics... and I am never disappointed.  Classic black flats (these are similar to the pair I own), ripped jeans, a striped top and oversize glasses are just what the doctor ordered some days.

Don't forget to follow me over on Instagram for more fun!

Monday, March 20, 2017

my everyday style: entrenched in spring!

In my mind it is 100% spring.  The weather man isn't quite in agreement with me on this, but I'll be darned. I can hardly stand the thought of winter coats and boots these days.  This is nothing new, it happens like clockwork every spring... the weather says "grab your coat and maybe even your boots" and I'm all "thanks, but no thanks." Living in the midwest is tough this time of year! I am so jealous of all you southern ladies living it up in the warmth!

So for now I am settling on plenty of layers to get me through the last of these cool days.  A spring sweater and a trench coat (mine is old - this one is cute!) are a match made in heaven for this type of weather.  The trench blocks the wind and the sweater keeps me warm.  I could wear some variation of this all.the.time. during these in between winter and spring days.  A trench coat has got to be one of my top 5 must-haves for spring... I rounded up a bunch of great options below... so be sure to check that out.  It's one of those pieces you buy once and then own for the rest of your life it's so classic.

And can we talk about bows on the backs of shirts!?!? Actually, there's not much to say. They are just awesome.  That's all. ;)

Outfit Details: 
Trench (old, but similar)

Shop my outfit...

Shop my top trench coat picks...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

travel diaries: the little white dress!

Confession: I don't always LOVE dresses. I mean, I like them and all, but they aren't naturally my first choice for spring and summer.  And I always feel a little sheepish for mentioning it because so many gals are all "dresses are life." The ironic thing is that every time I wear a dress, I am always SO happy I did.  But in general I just don't. Am I making any sense at all!?!? 

My point is this: I don't wear dresses as often as I SHOULD.  I tend to only buy and wear them for special events. But I really need to re-think dresses for everyday wear.  Take this little white dress for example... forget the fact red wine is off the table for the evening, this little white dress is so easy and versatile I want to start hoarding white dresses.  When we were on vacation a few weeks back I wore it on it's own, because it was so dang hot.  But for spring this dress would be perfect with a leather jacket, a military-inspired jacket or a denim jacket for an extra layer.  And while sandals are fun... espadrilles, sneakers, wedges or even ankle boots would be super cute with this dress.

You gals will be sad to know this dress is no longer available (I snagged it last fall on clearance for a trip that ended up being cancelled)... BUT I found tons of other REALLY cute white dresses for you (and I!) to love just as much and linked them up below. 

Outfit Details:

Shop more white dresses below....

Shop my head to toe look below...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

my everyday style: seeing stars!

I'm not usually one for prints when it comes to my wardrobe... but I can definitely get behind a delicate and sweet pattern like this star print shirt.  Especially for this awkward winter-into-spring season that seems to be dragging on forever. I need a little something extra - and a little print seems to be just the trick! My leather jacket is often my go-to for this tricky season too... it's not as bulky as a winter coat, but still is quite warm, especially when I layer underneath it.  This baby is by far one of the best investments I've ever made in my wardrobe.  And while mine is quite a few seasons old, I found THIS gorgeous one on sale and this one is pricier but worth mentioning too!

Another great piece for this in between season? These cropped flare jeans... I know, I know, they aren't for everyone.  I didn't think they would work for me until I tried them on to be truthful. But they are actually super fun to wear and perfect for showing off a little ankle while we wait for warmer temps.

Outfit Details:
Similar or Similar Leather Jacket
Sunglasses c/o Abaco

Monday, March 13, 2017

j.crew spring new arrivals!

J.Crew's new arrivals for spring are so stinking cute I can hardly stand it. I've got about the entire store in my online shopping cart (eek!) - now all I need is for this terrible late season snow storm we've got going on here to scoot on out!  It's pretty clear that pink is carrying over from winter straight into spring in my wardrobe. And my stand-by's of white and blue will definitely be back in new silhouettes and styles.

How cute would this lace up top be with this PINK peacoat trench!?!? I'm dying! I'm loving this chambray top with white jeans and sandals for warmer days. And I could see getting tons of wear out of this striped linen top through spring and summer.  Which are some of your favorites?

The best news of all!?!? All these gorgeous pieces are 25% off today ONLY with code: GETSHOPPING... so spruce up your Monday AND your closet today with these darling pieces...

top row:
the most perfect pale pink bagchambray swing top (so cute!), one shoulder navy swimsuit (I own a similar one and get so many compliments on it!), ankle wrap suede sandalslace-up t-shirt (also available in navy!)

middle row:

bottom row: 

Friday, March 10, 2017

travel diaries: spring break must-haves!

I've mentioned before, but the VIP for our recent vacation to Puerto Rico was these sandals. I wore them a TON... with shorts for the daytime, with dresses for dinner and to the pool.  I love when I buy a new piece for my closet and instantly know I made the right decision.  These sandals will be worn all spring and summer. I know that for sure!  But they weren't the only piece that got two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

This swim cover up is so dang cute and perfect for throwing over a swimsuit while pool or beach side.  With it's side ties and little ruffle it's about as cute as can be. It can be easily thrown in the wash too, which is important because: sweat, sunscreen, etc.  Lastly I had been eyeing this striped tote by Baggu for a while now and decided to go for it.  It's another winner, and here's why: it's totally packable.  My usual beach/pool bag is too rigid to be packed, but this one folds up small and flat and is perfect for throwing in a suitcase. Then when you arrive at your destination it can literally hold ALL the things.  Because if there is a time I need a big bag, that time is at the pool/beach.  It perfectly held towels, snacks, water, reading material and sunscreen.  With room to spare!

Outfit Details:
Swim Cover-up (under $50 and also available in black!)
Swimsuit (top & bottom)


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