Office Decoration Aspirations

I’ve spoken about decorating your workspace in the past, but the truth is, I’ve never actually gotten around to finally decorating the “office” in our home… which is currently acting as a storage room. There you will find Christmas decorations, bins of books, old trophies and horse show ribbons, and miscellaneous other JUNK that we just can’t seem to part with. However, I’d really like to whip this room into shape and have it actually be useful as an office.

When trying to work in other rooms of my home, there are about a million distractions. Whether it’s the television, cats playing, or the rugs and counters begging to be cleaned, I just can’t seem to concentrate hence my need for an office.

Right now, the walls are painted a bright baby blue that used to be a kid’s room and I’d really like to paint the walls white with a navy blue accent wall. I think this color would be perfect:

I already have a desk and a shelf but both are a light wood. I love the rustic look of old furniture so I found a little furniture distressing “how to” that doesn’t look too difficult. Here is the supposed end result:

While I do have the essential furniture pieces (desk, chair, shelf), I’d really like to spice up the room and add a pop of color. I found this upholstered chair from Target that doesn’t break the bank but would still look pretty cute. Now the question is one or two?

I think the only thing left would be some blue drapes to compliment the accent wall and of course some wall hangings and maybe a small table to go in between the chairs. What are your thoughts?

02. December 2013 by Lynn
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What to Eat Before and After a Workout

As I’m trying to get fit this winter, I’ve been making some minor adjustments to my routine along the way. One thing I definitely need to change is what I eat before and after a workout. I realize that nutrition and exercise go hand in hand and if I expect to see results, I have to eat like it and apparently coffee isn’t considered a good pre-workout meal… According to Livestrong, it’s important to try to drink two to three cups of water a few hours before you workout and remember to bring your water bottle with you. Hydrate throughout the day to replace all the H20 you lost while sweating it out.

Pre-Workout Food

A mixture of carbs (yes, carbs are necessary) and some protein is what you should be aiming for in any pre-workout food, regardless of the time of day. Fruit and yogurt are ideal to eat before the gym at any time, particularly for breakfast. If you are heading to the gym in the middle of the day or toward the evening, some lean chicken and a salad or veggies work well to provide enough fuel for your workout. Even a few bites of oatmeal or a banana is better than nothing!

Post-Workout Food

According to personal trainer, Jarret Del Bene, you should eat within 30 minutes after your workout so your body doesn’t start burning muscle. I personally never feel hungry right after a workout but I definitely plan on starting to make a habit of grabbing some protein such as a handful of almonds or a small protein shake – enough to hold me over until my next meal. Almost any small snack will do to prevent overeating later on because you suddenly realize you’re starving.


What foods do you recommend for before and after a workout?

07. November 2013 by Lynn
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Cable Knit Sweater Outfit Inspiration

There’s no better time of the year to embrace some adorable cable knit sweaters than the upcoming holiday months. I typically buy “classic” pieces of clothing that I know won’t go out of style and cable knit sweaters is definitely included on that list. Perfect with a simple tank underneath or layered with a button-down collared shirt, I love the classic knit design that becomes synonymous being cozied up on those chilly weather days.

Check out a few sweater-inspired outfits for this fall.

cableknitsweatersHow do you wear your cable knits?

17. October 2013 by Lynn
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Top 3 Healthy Comfort Foods for Fall

With the cooler weather finally here, I’m finally starting to use the oven again to make dinners rather than the outdoor grill and hot foods are now back on the dinner menu. Along with cooler weather comes comfort foods, and I really do have a lot of them. How great is it to come home and cuddle up on the couch with a nice hot bowl of soup? Unfortunately, not all of my comfort foods are the healthiest (i.e. grilled cheese) however, I try to replace the unhealthy ingredients with healthy alternatives.soup

Grilled Cheese
Opt for a whole grain bread over white and keep the mindset “less is more” when it comes to the amount of cheese on your sandwich – a slice of low-fat American will do just fine. Choose a cooking spray over butter and voila! Low-fat version of your favorite comfort food.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Skip out on Campbell’s and opt to make your own. With some whole wheat noodles, chicken, fresh veggies (carrots, celery, and onions), some low-fat chicken broth, and spices to flavor, you can recreate a healthy version of chicken noodle soup that you’ll be eating for both lunch and dinner!

Baked Potato
I may be bias since I grew up in an Irish family with potatoes at least once a week, but baked potatoes are at the top of my list of comfort foods. However, after all the toppings and extras (think butter, cheese, sour cream, and bacon bits), the calories add up. Instead, season your potato with some salt and pepper, and broccoli sprinkled with a little bit of shredded low-fat cheddar cheese on top.

What are some of your favorite healthy comfort foods for the cold weather?

15. October 2013 by Lynn
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Best Instagram Editing Apps

It’s no secret that I am an Instagram junky. Yes, I am that girl who instagrams her food, #OOTD, and pets… and I love it. I am not a photographer by any means but the iPhone app allows me to pretend I am! While I’m game for a good #nofilter photo, I use filters more often than not and I really enjoy the following photo editing apps.


Squaready | I try to upload fully square pictures, but sometimes the shot just won’t work in a 1×1 ratio. This app is great because you can upload vertical or horizontal photos right into Instagram. No more feet or heads cut off!

BeFunky | You can rotate, straighten, crop, “beautify,” brighten, add contrast, change the fill light, toggle with the exposure, and change the hue/saturation… plus lots more! The filters are especially cool because you can change the level of the filter.

Shapely | You can create fun shapes out of your Instagram photos, including circles, clouds, and triangles. The sky’s the limit when it comes to funky shapes offered in the app.

What are your favorite Instagram filters?

14. October 2013 by Lynn
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6 Strategies for a Successful Workspace

I’ve done a similar post on maximizing the use of your workspace but now that I’m actually faced with the challenge of redecorating our home’s “office,” it’s something I really need to think about! Aside from my carpet dilemma, I’m trying to figure out ways to organize a charming workspace… somewhere where I actually want to work without any distractions (that means no TV!) I believe in the “look good, feel good” attitude and in this case, I’m taking it to your environment – i.e. if your space doesn’t look good, you probably don’t feel like being in it! My workspace my sanctuary, my cave, my castle. It’s my personal laboratory for creating impactful, world-shifting work (at least I like to think so). Below are six strategies for a successful workspace.

1. Color = Inspiration – Color is good. Choose a color that’s inspiring and uplifting. Think about what colors inspire you and how you can incorporate them into your workspace.

2. Music that keeps you creative – I’m someone who believes that you should be refreshing your iTunes every few days (at least every few weeks) with some new jams to keep you feeling fresh and creative.

3. Let the light in – Workspace doesn’t equal cave. Be sure to let the light in when decorating your workspace to keep you feeling uplifted and energetic.

4. Keep it clean – A messy workspace often reflects on my work and makes me feel scatter-brained. Take time once a week to re-organize and clean up.

5. Visualize your inspiration… literally – Use a corkboard or simply some good ‘ol tacks and keep your inspiration where you can see it. Whether they’re lists, photographs, or your favorite quote, this will help you stay focused on your most important goals.

6. Invest in a good chair – Enough said.

What are your tips for creating a successful workspace?

11. October 2013 by Lynn
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Lusting Over Loafers This Season

Boat shoes, oxfords, and loafers were most definitely my go-to shoes during the summer but I’m finding that I’m making even more use of my Sperry penny loafers this season along with a pair of neutral-colored flats. While the cooler weather is here, I’m not quite ready to break out my boots so loafers are the perfect “in-between” where sandals and even some of my flats are a little off-season. While I love my pair of Sperrys, I’ve been considering investing in a second pair of loafers. Here are the contenders.

Love these Eastland Penny Loafers in burgundy! The rich reddish-brown is to die for and they can easily be dressed up with a cute blouse or down with a button-down plaid with a matching belt.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop turning back to Sperry’s. I know the quality is good and they fit well. I *really* love the green and navy plaid but I’m hesitant that I won’t be able to wear them very often! However, they’re so cute that I’m actually considering them.

I’m actually kind of in love with these two tone Tommy Hilfiger penny loafers that seems to be popular this fall – ideal to match both black and brown.

What are your thoughts?

08. October 2013 by Lynn
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Fall Nails

With the cooler weather officially here, I’m now gravitating to darker colors in my wardrobe, including my nail color. I’ve always loved deep reds, navy blues, and hunter greens for the fall and winder, so I’m super excited to break out some old (and new) Essie nail polish colors. I’m partial to Essie because I feel like the polish goes on smoother and stays on longer… I always complete my nails with a no-chip top coat that lasts me at least a week. Without further ado, below are some of my favorite nail colors from the fall and winter collection, aside from Shearling Darling which I just purchased this weekend!

After School Boy Blazer

I actually tested this one out last night and I absolutely LOVE this color. The color is actually a lot deeper than it looks in the bottle and leaves your nails looking almost black. Be careful with this color, as it’s definitely unforgiving of mistakes – I spent a good amount of time getting the excess polish off my skin. Well worth it though!

Cashmere Sweater

I’m usually not a fan of metallic or sparkly polishes but I actually really love Essie’s Cashmere Sweater! I have yet to purchase it but it’s absolutely next on my list – perfect for the upcoming winter months.

Twin Sweater Set

My name is Lynn and I am a red nail polish addict. Seriously though, is there a more perfect red than this? The correct answer is no, there isn’t.

Vested Interest

I’m always on the hunt for unique colors that aren’t too wild and this is perfect! I love the muted blue-green.


What are your favorite nail colors to wear in the fall?

07. October 2013 by Lynn
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Slow Cooking Weather! The Benefits of Slow Cooking

If you’re anything like me, once you get home from work, you’re totally in the mood to slump into the couch, throw your feet up, and munch on some good ol’ fashioned bagel bites (or any other junk food) for dinner. Once in a blue moon, my guilt will get the best of me and I’ll cook up something time-consuming (and actually healthy) but majority of the time, I just don’t have the motivation to spend that kind of time in the kitchen. I’ll be the first one to admit that I HATE cooking and baking and I would probably make the worst housewife in history… “You mean we can’t just eat pizza and Chinese food every night?”

However, I thank the heavens everyday for my slow cooker. Even for the cooking UNenthusiast like myself, using a slow cooker is quick, easy, and delicious. It’s so easy to chop up some veggies, throw in a piece of chicken or beef and go! When I get home, Voila! Dinner is served. Besides being quick, easy, and delicious, here are some added benefits to slow cooking:

Nutritious, Delicious Meals
Mainly fresh ingredients, cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time are used in slow cooking. Consequently, nutrition-rich, natural juices from vegetables and meats are retained.

You’re not slaving over a pot for hours. All that’s required is the initial prep. Your slow-cooker is doing the work while you are doing whatever else you want or need to be doing.

Useful Year-Round
Though we might associate warm, hot meals with wintertime, the beauty of slow-cookers is that you can use them any time of year. The perk of using one in the summer is that it eliminates the need to use the oven, eliminating the discomfort of making an already hot home hotter.

Reduced Energy Usage
Slow-cookers use substantially less energy than a conventional electric oven.

Easy Clean-Up
Except for a cutting board, cutting utensils, maybe one pan for browning, you’ll be cleaning up only ONE pot. No complaints from me.

A slow-cooked meal is easily transported. Just let cool and keep covered.

24. September 2013 by Lynn
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The Statement Necklace Look for Less


Lately, I’ve been loving J Crew’s preppy style, particularly their bold statement necklaces that haven’t seemed to stop gaining in popularity in the past year or so. I’m not one for big, gaudy jewelry but I think these pieces pair just the right amount of class with a little bit of bold to create the perfect accessory to dress up an outfit. Paired with a plain long sleeve tee or a collared plaid or chambray, they can add just the right amount of “bling” (do people still say that?) The only thing I don’t love about these sparkly, colorful necklaces is the price tag!

photo-1 (2)

Obligatory #OOTD Instagram Selfie

I really can’t justify spending a lot of money on such unique pieces that I can only wear once in a while, so I started hunting around online for some great “J Crew-inspired” statement necklaces. I’ve found a few great pieces (you seriously can’t tell the difference between the “real” and “fake” versions) but admittedly, I haven’t gotten around to ordering them quite yet. I’ve found that lots of “deal” websites offer some great J Crew-inspired necklaces but you have to be quick since the deals only last a few days – they’re relatively inexpensive though and seem like they’re well worth it!

Great sites I’ve found to have a lot of J Crew-inspired statement necklaces include:

What are your go-to websites for great deals on jewelry?

12. September 2013 by Lynn
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