LUV is in the Air {Valentine’s Gift Guide for HER}

If your Valentine’s wish list hints have been a little too subtle OR you’re just stumped as to what to get that lucky lady in your life for LUV Day… there’s still a little bit of time left, and I’ve got you covered. Here are some of the items I have, LUV OR want for myself. With any of these, you’re sure to score major points this Valentine’s Day.

I’m currently obsessing over this jewelry designer and absolutely LUV’ing stackable rings. Jewelry is never a bad idea. Here are some of my favs rings that are sure to steal any gals heart…

And handbags… never a bad idea:

Other items I’m LUV’ing, including some items I’m currently swooning over for the home:

If you’re looking for your Valentine OR you want to treat yourself… hopefully you’ve found some inspiration. Happy LUV Day!

Continue Reading

Reliving Our Trip to The Oscars with World Market

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cost Plus World Market and contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Three years ago, we had the amazing experience of attending The Oscars. If you consider my bucket list… there’s nothing I’d have ranked higher… and it happened. To date, it was the most amazing night of my life, and one I know my husband and I will never forget. Each year since, I try to make viewing the event from home super special. Whether sitting and watching it with my husband, kids or girlfriends, I always make a big deal of cuddling up on our sofa with fancy cocktails and appetizers & hor d’oeuvres and reliving the night that is forever ingrained in my memory.

This year, I had the honor of working with Cost Plus World Market to create the perfect night at home. If you, too, enjoy watching The Oscars (or any of the award shows), I’m showing you the items I used to create the perfect setting… (And if any of y’all are interested in seeing some photos from our night at The Oscars, stay tuned to the bottom of this blog post. But don’t skip yet, because I’m giving you some good tips for your own Oscar viewing experience first!)

Did y’all know that World Market has food? I mean, you see me regularly link their items for the home, but this opportunity really gave me the chance to dive into the Food & Beverage section of their website and see all of the options they had to offer for Easy Entertaining. (Side bar, to any of my local Tampa/Clearwater friends… a little birdie told me there may be a World Market store coming locally to us! I cannot confirm this 100%. But if this rumor is true, I know I’ll definitely be doing some of my food and entertaining shopping here if/when this should happen. I am thoroughly impressed after trying out their food delivery services!)

So honest truth, I’m not much of a cook. I LUV good, healthy food. But I REALLY LUV good, healthy, EASY food. So World Market’s Gourmet Delivered foods make entertaining super easy, super tasty, and you’re sure to have a spread that looks pretty too! I ordered the Perfect Picnic Antipasti Selection, and let me tell you… it is DELICIOUS! The flavors are complex and rich, and the kit arrived to my door, refrigerated, within a couple days. I added some grapes to the spread, threw them on this gorgeous marble cutting board with copper handle (which matches my new kitchen table gorgeously) and this large, slate cheese board that comes with 3 pieces of stone chalk, making it perfect for labeling foods or writing something festive! I LUV that I can order this set (for no more than it would cost me to round these foods up at the grocery store) and it arrives to my door without ever leaving the house. I can throw it on the boards, and I have an instant party (would also be great for a picnic or date night OR VALENTINE’S DAY). Like I said… easy. Here’s a couple photos to give you an idea of how it arrived.

When it’s time for the show, I’ll plug in a set of frosted bulb string lights for that Hollywood kinda feel and we’ll dim the lights to make it extra cozy.

I usually set the food up right in front of the sofa, so we can be really lazy and don’t have to miss a second of the show. Or the red carpet… because let’s get real, that’s my favorite part.

Even if the kids don’t make it up late enough to watch the show with us, I really like to include them in the fun. I remember coming home from LA that year, bringing them their “Best Sister” & “Best Brother” Oscar trophies and telling them all about our amazing weekend. The kids still like to talk about how “Mommy and Daddy met the people in the TV”. This year, I let the kids pop their own popcorn with this retro popcorn popper. My daughter and her friend had a blast pouring the kernels into the machine and watching it pop. Even if they can’t be up for the show, I LUV taking out their trophies and reminiscing as we watch the preshow and hang out together.

I’m so excited for this year’s show, and hope you have found some bit of inspiration today to use in your own plans for this award season. Let me know how you celebrate The Oscars and what you’re most excited about this season… (I, personally, cannot wait to see what’s trending on the red carpet!)

Shop this post:

Oh… and as, promised… a few shots from our night at The Oscars… Forgive the poor quality of the photos. These were snapped on my older iphone before my blogging days. 😉

    

Thanks for stopping by and reliving this wonderful night with me! Can’t wait to see how you celebrate this year!

Continue Reading

Easy, Guilt-Free Mini Banana Muffins {You Can Make with Ingredients Usually in Your Home}

Yesterday, I posted on my Instagram stories my easy, guilt-free peanut butter, banana mini muffins, and got TONS of questions about them! So, I’m sharing the complete recipe with you here! Feel free to Pin it for easy reference, by clicking on the “Pin it” icon at the very bottom of the post. If you LUV it as much as we do, you’ll probably make these a staple in your home. The substance of these muffins is the bananas (You want really ripe bananas, so I usually make this recipe when I have overly ripe bananas laying around that haven’t been eaten.) and peanut butter. (You can probably make these with any nut butter of your preference, if you have allergies or want to go with a healthier option.) I also stated in my stories that there are several options for using your overly ripe bananas, so don’t throw them away! Peel them and freeze them for use in your smoothies or make 2-step banana pancakes.  Anywho… these muffins are delicious and perfect for snacking and satisfying your sweet tooth! They’re flour-free and oh so yummy!

As I said in my stories, if I have enough to, I always double or triple this recipe, because my family pops them like candy and we tend to go through them quickly. If you triple the recipe and use a mini muffin tray, you can stretch this recipe to make around 60 mini-muffins, give or take a little.

Recipe (again, you can double or triple this, but this is the single recipe):

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix…

1 banana

1/4 tsp. baking soda

pinch of salt

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 egg

3 tbsp. honey

1/2 cup peanut butter

Mix all ingredients, and when the mixture is nice and smooth, add dairy, nut & soy-free mini chocolate chips. Mix again until they’re evenly distributed.

I spray my muffin tin(s) with coconut oil spray so they don’t stick and then scoop the mixture into the muffin cavity about 3/4 full.

(I try to use organic options whenever possible.)

Bake for 7-9 minutes, depending on your oven.

And voila…

Shop this post:

Make these before a playdate, get-together or just to have for the week so you can snack on them or give them to your family for breakfast. You can also alter the recipe by skipping the chocolate chips and adding blueberries if you use a regular-sized muffin tray. Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy and LUV them as much as we do!

Continue Reading

How I’m Getting Organized in the New Year and Why I Don’t Like to Use My Phone for My Calendar

My organization struggles usually do not lie in the organization of my home, but more the organization of my brain. Does anyone else know what I’m talking about? I blame it on “pregnancy brain” that never really went away, though my husband said it existed long before children. (How dare he?!) Anyone who knows me knows I’m notoriously forgetful and have done the occasional double-booking of events. (I don’t know what they’re talking about. I think it’s a conspiracy.) But nonetheless, I’m going to take a step this year to try to work on this personal challenge, and it’s starting with my new Simplified Planner.

 

First of all, I don’t do virtual calendars (any of my brands that collaborate with me, just close your ears/eyes now). I know this confession sets me back to the last decade, but it’s true. I’ve tried. It’s just not me. I like to write my events/tasks/lists in a tangible form that I can open and see without having to click through. As a blogger, I stare at my phone too often through the day. It’s my communication source for business and personal use, and I can operate almost every aspect of my life through this little device. When I put my kids to bed and make their lunches and try to regroup for the following day, I just don’t want to open my phone back up and stare at it some more. I like to grab my planner, open it and make my plan for the following day(s). It’s just my personal preference, and I happen to know I’m not the only one. Not even in 2017. So, stop judging.

So I bought myself a fancy new planner. (I even had it monogrammed, because monogramming makes EVERYTHING better.) I’m spending these first couple weeks plugging in any important info, and I plan to use this to help me with my business AND personal calendar, and it’s even great for goal setting.

There are sections for weekly prep, including reminders to plan your meals ahead, organize your tasks for the week and inspiration for personal time. There’s enough daily space to write out as much as you need AND monthly calendars, if you’re like me, and you like to look at your whole month in a glance. AND… there are tons of additional products to help you with specific areas you want to tidy and organize. Here are some of my favorites…

Because I LUV words of affirmation wherever visible, I also really LUV her gold foil-pressed prints for framing on your wall. Hang over your desk or in a high-traffic location for daily reminders of what’s important to you.

Check out her entire website to see all of the amazing items Emily Ley has to offer. Emily happens to live locally to me, and she’s really a great person. She started this company from her home office and inspires women everywhere to not only follow their dreams, but to remember what’s really important in life. I’m excited to implement my planner in my daily routine, and I’ll try to check in with you occasionally on my Instagram stories with how my planner has been helping me with my organizational goals in the new year.

Continue Reading

Last-Minute Gifts that Can Arrive Before Christmas with Amazon Prime

Are you “one of those” who still hasn’t gotten your Christmas shopping done? 😉 Don’t worry- I’d guess the majority of us still have some sort of shopping and/or wrapping to get done. (I haven’t wrapped one present yet, so I’m “one of those”, too!) Don’t want to leave your couch? I’ve got you covered. Here are some creative gift ideas (that I know I would LUV to receive) that you can order from the comfort of your home (or office) and have arrive before Christmas with Amazon Prime. Because let’s be honest… we all have a “Priming” problem. Happy Shopping and Merry {almost} Christmas!

Click on the links below to take you straight to the products…

Continue Reading

Our 2016 Family Photos with Lydia L Photography

Every year, we get all spruced up and take our holiday photos. My husband and kids are not huge fans of having family photos taken, but they put on a happy face and aren’t allowed to complain ONCE since they know I only ask them to do “official” family photos once a year! (Though as my blogging career expands, that’s changing a little. Sorry guys!) Lydia of Lydia L Photography found me through Instagram and reached out about a collaboration, and I was immediately excited when I saw her work. I LUV that her photo style is both classic and whimsical and was excited to work with her this year.

But when I actually got to the shoot and saw her in action… Well, I knew this was going to be a good relationship. 🙂 Even my husband commented about how great she was at posing us and getting our children to participate! She was completely professional, and she was extremely knowledgable at working with lighting and posing all of us in ways that she knew would look both organic and endearing. Of all of the photos that she sent, here are the ones I selected as my favorites… You’re getting a sneak peak before I’ve even sent out my Christmas cards (which NEVER happens), so I hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think!

logo6 logo3

logo10 logo9

logo14 logo4 logo15

logo25 logo17

logo1 logo22

logo26 logo27

logo24 logo20

As my kids get bigger (at a pace that makes my stomach hurt), it’s so extremely important to me that I document these years. I LUV having photos taken around the same time each year so I can truly see how much they’ve changed from the photos the year before. It’s amazing to me how much bigger they seem with each passing year, and I know I’ll cherish these photos all the days of my life.

LUV what you see? Here’s some even more exciting news… Lydia will be giving away a FREE MINI SESSION to one of my lucky followers in the Tampa Bay/Sarasota/Bradenton/St. Petersburg, Florida area. Stay tuned to my Instagram and to Lydia’s Instagram in the coming days for details to enter SOON!

Shop this post:

luvbecsignature

Continue Reading

Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide {What’s On My List}

fullsizerender-39

 

I’ve sent my list to the Big Guy, and here are some of the items I’m hoping he is stuffing in my Christmas stocking!  Here are the links to what you see above and some of the other items I’m LUVing… Go ahead and forward this to “your” Santa. 😉

luvbecsignature

Continue Reading

COMFY & COZY Gift Guide

fullsizerender-37

The holidays give me all kinds of cozy feels. As soon as my tree(s) are up, I just want to throw on some comfy jammies and slippers, light a candle and sit by the tree. If you’re looking for the perfect holiday jammies/robe/slippers, etc… here are some of my favs…

Now go pour yourself a cup of Joe and snuggle up. Give yourself permission to just enjoy life for a moment. After all, it IS the most wonderful time of the year.

luvbecsignature

Continue Reading

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS

Black Friday is full of amazing deals, but it can be hard to know where to start! Here I’m sharing the ones I’m excited about, so take a look, and hopefully this will help you narrow it down…

fullsizerender-10

American Eagle is my go-to for jeans. Since I wear jeans on the daily, I tend to think of myself as the jean connoisseur. AE is 40% off everything right now PLUS free shipping! They have the coziest sweaters and dresses for the fall/winter months, and their boot selection is one of my favs as well. Here are a few of my favorite things from AE…

Banana Republic is having 50% off 5 regular priced items. (NO EXCLUSIONS!) Here are some of the items I LUV…

 

Bauble Bar is 30% off through 11/27! I literally LUV everything! Just do yourself a favor and head there to shop! They have great jewelry to complete your holiday outfits, great items to add to your holiday wish-list and great gift ideas for others!

Nordstrom has an extra 20% off selected sale items and a 40% off designer sale. Nordstrom has so many awesome deals right now, but it can be a little intimidating to sift through. So I’ve done the hard work for you and found all of the deals, and these are some of my favorites…

Revolve has up to 65% off!

Shopbop has some great deals right now…

Spend $200+, get 15% off; Spend $500+, get 20% off; Spend $800+, get 25% off through 11/28! Use code: GOBIG16

Tory Burch has 30% off purchases of $250 or more with code THANKS through 11/28!

And my favorite, Urban Outfitters has Buy one, Get one 50% off all apparel through today!

Hope this helps you narrow down where you want to spend your Black Friday! Skip the lines and all the headaches and shop cyber! I know I am!

luvbecsignature

 

Continue Reading

Pumpkin Patchin’

Today we went pumpkin picking and painted/carved our pumpkins. I can’t believe I’ve been picking pumpkins with my handsome hubs for 15 years!? Even though he and I end up usually doing most of the carving, sharing these traditions with our kids is so important to me. I thought I’d share a look inside a special day for us…

dsc_0048

We started at a pumpkin patch close to our house but couldn’t seem to find just the right ones. Though the hunt is half the fun, right?

dsc_0064

So we headed to the second patch, where we found just the right ones…

dsc_0085

This patch had some “spookies” (as we call them) and my oldest was less than stoked. Last year, my little guy was also petrified of anything spooky. But a couple weeks ago, I took him on a long walk to check out the decorations in my neighborhood during the day. Apparently seeing them in the light (and touching them and lifting their drapes to see they were made of plastic and batteries) really helped him conquer his fears. Emerson wanted nothing to do with them still, but Corbin hopped right up and said, “See Sissy! They’re just pretend!”

dsc_0090dsc_0092dsc_0091

First Corbin hunted for his perfect pumpkin…

dsc_0098

He said, “You like the white ones, Mommy.” Yup. 😉

dsc_0105

He found his pretty quickly…

dsc_0109

Em, on the other hand, likes to really take her time.

dsc_0107

dsc_0111

dsc_0115

She thought she’d decided on a white one…

img_0575

But then she changed her mind.

img_0578

Here we are with the winners…

img_0571

dsc_0145

img_0569

Links to me and Em’s matching outfits (FYI: You can get both of our dresses for around $30 total!)…

Thanks for following along with us! I rarely share our personal stories on here, but I’m trying to make a point to change that every once in a while. Hope you enjoyed… 🙂

luvbecsignature

Continue Reading