Flowy Peplum Tops

This is a quick post with some options for looser-fitting, flowy peplum tops.  These are all great, affordable options!   They are certainly making me want to add some more peplum to my wardrobe!

I’ve had several people ask me where my top from Friday’s post was from.  I posted about it several months ago here.  It is sold out now, unfortunately, so I wanted to give some alternatives:

Frenchi Lace Hem Camisole

Frenchi Sheer Peplum Tank

Elodie Crochet Inset Peasant Tank


Sun & Shadow Print Dolman Sleeve Top with Peplum Hem

French Connection ‘Polly Plains’ Gathered Top

LOVE 21 Lace-Paneled Peplum Top Beige Medium

Asos loose peplum top

Asos Vera Moda Peplum Top

This page has lots of peplum options from Gap. Most of them look like looser, frill hem tops!

Hopefully this will help those of you who are looking for a similar, flowy peplum top!  Have a great Monday!

Five on Friday

Happy weekend and happy shopping!  Apparently today, my mind is mainly on purchases – for home decor and clothes.  Our Tar Heels sadly lost last night, so let’s just call it retail therapy!

I’m linking up with April, Christina, Natasha; Erika, Andrea and Narci; and Karli.  Thank you for stopping by!

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ONE: I ordered a necklace from April‘s sister’s Etsy shop, LauraCoxDesigns, and I’m really enjoying it.  Mine is a turquoise and gray “fringe necklace,” and will be perfect for wearing through the Summer. Plus you really can’t beat her prices!  I’m sure I will order from her again!

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TWO: We’re working on some home improvements, and one includes updating light fixtures.  The lights above our kitchen and dining room tables are old, standard ones that were installed by the builder years ago.  These are some options for the dining room and kitchen from World Market, and my mom found a great option for our foyer from Home Depot.  I’m looking forward to hopefully making some of these purchases soon!  If you have any ideas of other great lighting sources, please share!

Wood Bead Chandelier

Wood Bead Chandelier

Bead and Wire Teardrop Chandelier, World Market

Bead and Wire Teardrop Chandelier

Glass Hanging Pendant Lantern

Glass Hanging Pendant Lantern

Metal Orb Chandelier

Metal Orb Chandelier

THREE: In case you missed it, I had to share this again!  I collaborated with FTD for their blog, Fresh, on an Easter project.  Using their flowers and desserts, I decorated our dining room and gave tips on how to set up an Easter brunch.  Their blog has some really fun entertaining ideas and tips – even some for March Madness!

Easter centerpiece and brunch ideas

FOUR: Nordstrom shoes and Ebates.  So, I bought some shoes and spent more money than I ever do on sandals. I spotted these a while ago and fell in love.  DV shoes are amazing.  Nordstrom has them for 25% off, then I bought them through Ebates, so I will get another percentage back.  (By the way, I love Ebates.  I just ordered all of Davis’ Easter basket items, plus 2 pairs of shoes for Summer.  Right now I am owed $80 from them for recent online purchases and referring 2 friends.  If you shop online frequently, you really need to sign up!) 
Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Back to the shoes – I can’t wait for these to get here!  I only buy neutral shoes, and based on what I already have in my closet, I should be pretty set for awhile!

FIVE: Always.  I’m pretty sure most women are this way. ;) quote

Source

 

Have a fabulous weekend!

Summer-Ready Eating Plan

It’s that time of year again.  It’s getting warmer, vacations are being planned, and bathing suit time is right around the corner.  I am not trying to lose a bunch of weight, but, I’d like to feel better about my figure before wearing a bikini.  I’ve put myself on an “eating plan” and wanted to share it here.  I am a healthy eater by nature, but I wanted to change things up to feel and look better.

Here are the basic principles:

  • Eat healthy fats
  • Larger (filling) breakfast, medium lunch, smaller dinner
  • Fewer snacks
  • More water
  • Tons of vegetables
  • No desserts
  • Fewer high-sugar fruits
  • Work out more (that is a given)

My tips:

  • Prep food ahead of time: grill chicken, wash and slice veggies and fruit
  • Stock your refrigerator with produce.  You will choose healthier options if they are readily available to you.
  • Make your meals before you are starving.  If I prep my lunch before I get too hungry, I stay away from eating junk.
  • Try giving up sweets for a week.  You’ll get used to it and won’t crave them!  I have been doing this for about a month and have lost a couple pounds. 
  • Don’t be too much of a perfectionist about this.  

vegetable prep; healthy eating healthy eating tips

 

healthy costco shopping cart

BREAKFAST: Avocado toast with red pepper flakes, half a grapefruit, and coffee.  This honestly keeps me full until lunch, even with a morning workout.  If you’re wanting to lose weight, just eat 1 piece of toast (which is what I should do on days I don’t exercise).  Avocados are a great source of good fats, and are helpful for skin and hair.  Grapefruits are full of vitamin C, and are even an appetite suppressant.  They also have a ton of other health benefits.  I am officially addicted – grapefruit anything, please!  If you don’t have time to eat a grapefruit, just drink the juice.  Also, don’t add sugar.

healthy breakfast idea; avocado toast and grapefruit

LUNCH: I try to eat a big salad with plenty of vegetables, or healthy fruit, and a lean protein.  If you’re at home, a great alternative is eggs (healthy fats again) scrambled with spinach or kale.  Another idea is sauteed greens and vegetables, with some leftover chicken or fish.  I also sometimes have corn tortillas with greens, chicken or beans, and a little cheese.  I like to add something spicy to this meal, so that I will not overeat, such as salsa or sriracha. If I’m craving something sweet, an apple or another fruit does the trick!  I do typically have a few tortilla chips if I eat a salad.  I crave salty food much more than sweets.

sauteed vegetables healthy taco salad spinach salad with strawberries and walnuts clean eating lunch with detox water healthy black bean tacos healthy tacos; clean eating ideas

DINNER: Try and keep this meal smaller than the others.  I’ve been finding that I really do not need a carb or starch with dinner.  Ideally, we eat chicken or fish with vegetables.  I do try and fix a starch (sweet potato or brown rice) for the boys.  Last night we had a “taco” salad with romaine, a little brown rice, black beans, grilled chicken, tomatoes, cheddar, lime juice, and salsa.  I did not finish my portion.  Honestly, eating this way keeps me fuller longer.

clean eating, healthy dinner clean eating dinner clean eating dinner

SNACK: Most nights Todd and I have popcorn.  We are addicted!  But it has kind of become our thing and really it is not too unhealthy.  Make sure you’re buying non-GMO corn! (Trader Joe’s has a great organic version popped in olive oil.  Boom Chicka Pop is another good one).

If you need a snack during the day, try nuts or an apple.

I’ve also made smoothies for a snack, and even for lunch if I’m low on time.  My favorite is organic spinach (at least 1 cup), organic unsweetened coconut flakes, raw almond butter, banana, cocoa powder, almond or coconut milk, chia seeds, probiotic, crushed ice.

healthy smoothie with spinach, coconut, almond, banana, cocoa, chia seeds

If you have other ideas, I’d love to hear them!  And to see some of my other healthy meals, go to the Clean Eating category on my blog.

Thank you for reading!

Life Lately + Charleston Trip

Long time, no catching up on my blog.  So, here’s a little of our life this past month.  (I’m skipping the part when Davis was sick.  That took up too much of our March!)

We celebrated Sarah‘s birthday!  Ashley, Sarah, and I had a girls night.
IMG_8705 Then on her birthday we went to dinner with our families.  Davis was pumped to be with Cam and Bry, and also to be eating a grilled cheese!  These little ones are our hearts.  Thank goodness Bryleigh keeps these boys in line. ;) IMG_8739 IMG_8743 Todd caught us mid-laugh.  IMG_8747 IMG_8749 We’re working on some home improvements.  For a Christmas gift, my parents offered to help us with one of our projects.  So, we’re having our living room chairs recovered!  Now I need to find pillows. IMG_8826

Todd and I took a short trip to Charleston this past weekend.  We weren’t there long at all, but we made the most of it!  The reason we went was for a friend’s surprise 30th birthday.  It was great to see friends and have some time away.

On the way down we stopped at Five Loaves Cafe.  We loved the food. Five Loaves Cafe

I don’t have any pictures from the party, but we did take a selfie before it started.

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We left early on Sunday to get back to Charlotte.  On the way out we stopped for a quick breakfast and coffee.  I’m a lucky girl to have this man as my forever date.

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Overall life has been really busy.  Todd and I are thankful for the work we’ve had, but it’s been slightly crazy.  When we’ve had breaks, we’ve spent time with Davis and Kenan outside.  Spring weather just can’t be beat!

Another update is that we had a scare with Kenan last week.  He has a tumor on his abdomen, but we found out yesterday that it is benign, and nothing to worry about for now.  I was starting to get really really worried, and I’m so thankful he’s okay.  He is gigantic, but so sweet, fun, and patient.  This picture from last Summer shows his sweet spirit.

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Thank you for reading!  I’m planning to post more content soon, including my summer-ready eating plan.

How to Host an Easter Brunch and Egg Hunt

One of my favorite times of the year is when it turns Spring and the flowers really start to bloom!  Easter season is a time of new life, and a perfect time to celebrate together with family.  And it will be here so soon!  Though my Easter baskets are not yet complete, I do have some ideas for you on how to decorate for brunch and entertain your family or friends this year.

I had the opportunity to collaborate with FTD for their blog, Fresh, on an Easter project. Using one of their beautiful Spring flower arrangements, along with some of their Easter desserts, I created an Easter centerpiece and also offered some entertaining ideas. Please check out their blog to see my ideas on how to Host an Easter Brunch and Egg Hunt.

Fresh offers an abundance of creative insight and tips for every holiday and occasion. Their team, along with guest bloggers, put together gorgeous tablescapes, give tips on hosting, and offer fresh new ways to celebrate special occasions!

Here is a sneak peek of my post. Go here to see the full post.

Easter centerpiece and brunch ideas

Easter centerpiece and brunch ideas

 

Happy Spring, everyone! Thank you for reading

Five Favorites on Friday + Forever 21 Finds (free shipping!)

Whew, Friday.  I’m slowly catching up on blogging after a truly hectic couple of weeks.  Davis getting sick coupled with lots of work projects for both Todd and I, meant that my poor blog had to take a back seat.  But it made me realize how much I love this little online space of mine.  So, I’m back, grateful it’s the weekend, and looking forward to basketball, sunshine, and a short getaway with my husband.  Happy weekend!!!

Linking up with my Friday friends again today: April, Darci, Christina, Natasha; Karli; and Erika, Narci, and Andrea.

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ONE: You guys!  Forever 21 has FREE SHIPPING right now!  No minimum purchase!  I just received an order from Forever 21, and I wanted to share a couple items.  You’re probably all feeling the same way that I am, in wanting to fill up your closet with warm-weather clothes.  Here are 2 of my favorite purchases that are perfect for the transition into Spring:

Heather Grey Knit Top

I have worn this top twice this week!  It is SO comfortable!

forever 21 find

Love love love this light pink blazer!

TWO: I’m working on a “summer body” eating plan.  Nothing crazy!  I am just NOT ready to get into a bikini yet, so I’m trying to be better about my food choices, and do lots of toning.  I already eat very healthy, but I let myself snack way too often.  I’ve said this before, but tortilla chips are my downfall.  I have not been eating any sweets and it is great!  My goal is to fill up more at meals, eat more healthy fats, and less sugar.  I will post more next week.  Here is an example of my breakfasts:

healthy breakfast idea

THREE: I went on a date night with my two boys to Viva Chicken the other night.  Has anyone tried it? The food and service were great, and it was fast and inexpensive.  Plus it is pretty healthy!  We let Davis sit in the booth and he basically danced all through dinner. They’re the greatest!

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FOUR: Am I the only one who considers chopping her long hair at least 5 times a day? (you can see how long mine is in the picture above). Shorter hair is so in right now, but I just never like when I cut my hair.  I need to make up my mind and embrace it either way.  Ugh, girl problems. ;)  ;)
I do love this hair – it isn’t that short (but let’s be real, I’d never actually look like that):

medium length hair

 

source

FIVE: Found this on Miss Dixie’s blog recently.  Trying to make this a daily goal.

hard work quote

 

Five on Friday

Well, I can’t say we’ve had the greatest week. I’ll give you a hint: loads and loads of laundry + Pedialyte + Thomas the Train on tv.  The stomach bug hit our house (so far only our little guy has gotten sick) and our internet was down part of the week. Poor timing for sure! And seeing your child sick is about the worst thing ever. I’m just so thankful that this is only a virus and that he is getting better.

I do still have my 5 on Friday! Trying to keep a bit of normalcy around here.

Linking up with April, Christina, Natasha, and Darci for Five on Friday; Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Friday Favorites; and Karli for Oh Hey Friday!

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ONE: Denim on denim with caramel brown for Spring. Did anyone see Shay’s Pin-spired post this week? I love the looks she picked, and I pinned the one below.  I have paired a chambray shirt with jeans many times, but I don’t think I’ve added a belt. I also have a bag like this one, and it is perfect for carrying everything: diapers, toys, laptop, etc etc. Mine is from Old Navy last year, but here is another affordable option from Forever 21.

denim on denim with caramel accessories

source: crystalinmarie.com

TWO: The silk pillowcase. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to start sleeping on one, but I finally ordered some. Supposedly they help with wrinkles and they keep your hair more intact and less frizzy. I sleep with my face in my pillow – which is terrible for wrinkles – so I’m hoping this will help reduce the lines on my face when I wake up.

silk pillowcase

THREE: Balsamic Strawberry Crostini with Goat Cheese and Basil from Cooking for Keeps.  Make this!  It is delicious.  I made it for an event last week, and will definitely make it again.  Her pictures of this appetizer are gorgeous.  If you need an hors d’oeuvre for a baby shower, girls night, or even Easter, this is a great one! The strawberries are starting to be in season, and this is a perfect mix of sweet, salty, and slightly tangy. Plus, you’ve got to love pretty food!

strawberry balsamic basil goat cheese crostini recipe

FOUR: I downloaded the She Reads Truth app, and I’ve been keeping up with the devotion for Lent: “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross.” Highly recommend!  They have several other Bible-reading and devotional plans as well.

She Reads Truth

FIVE: This gorgeous mama turned 30 yesterday!!!! Casey and I have been friends for over 15 years, and she is like a sister to me. She lives in France, so we only see each other when she comes home once or twice a year. We dream of living in the same place and having coffee dates and girl time, but in the mean time, we text most days.  She is an incredible person and friend!  This is us with our kids last summer.

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I always look forward to Fridays and connecting with other bloggers this way.  I truly appreciate you visiting my site!  Thank you!