Monday, August 22, 2016

Lately + Lilly Loving

Hey friends! So sorry for the radio silence over here. Last week we knocked a ton of miscellaneous things off of our to-do list around the house and it was all consuming in between taking care of the kids. We worked on touching up trim paint and wall touch ups, put the finishing touches on our bathroom, put away clutter, hauling out clothes to the consignment shop, finishing out changing all of our doorknobs and hinges, and cleaning up the kids' rooms...to name a few! It feels so good to have all those little things finished up and have the house looking good. Then, we spent the last half of the week and weekend over at the beach which was a nice change of pace. We are headed out tomorrow for a vacay and I really just cannot wait! {Follow me on insta for the trip updates! @katiehchalk} We have been looking forward to this trip most of the year and I can't believe it's already here and that our sweet girl is turning three months old this week! Time flies even faster with the second one that is for sure. 

Real quick- I snagged a few things this morning at the Lilly sale. For some reason, I was kind of over Lilly last year and barely bought anything. I think it was mainly because I wasn't into the prints, but this year I am loving it. Now that I am back to wearing all my normal clothes again {yay!} I treated myself to a couple things and bought FA an outfit for next summer!

Elsa tops used to be on heavy rotation in my closet and I am excited for an updated print! Adore this cha cha print and I think it works with fall colors! 


I love, love, love a popover and mine are really worn out. I bought this print and can't wait to wear it soon. These tops are so comfy and cheery.



On Saturday, we took the kids for a walk and stopped by our local surf shop that carries Lilly. Stephen bought me this top on sale. It is adorable on! For the price, you can't beat this easy, cute style.


I really had a hard time deciding which print for FA but ended up with this Shellabrate print below. I might sneak back on and get her another! {Also, Daddy bought her a fall print in the dress this weekend and she will be wearing it on our vacay this week! Cannot wait to stick her in her first Lilly!}
Shop the sale here! So many good things.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

a favorite dinner - chicken/turkey parmesan meatballs

We had this dinner during the first few weeks after Frances Ann was born and have been rotating them into our meal plan ever since! I love a good pasta dish, but now when we have the craving we are reaching for this one. This is one of our very favorite meals and feels so much fancier than your average bowl of pasta! The first time we made it, we used turkey in place of the chicken and couldn't stop talking about how much flavor there was. We have used chicken as well and it is equally as good, so I would encourage you to try both ways {or buy whatever is one sale!} It's safe to say I much prefer the turkey and chicken meatball over ground beef now, plus it's much healthier!




INGREDIENTS
Meatballs

1½ pounds ground chicken {I usually use just 1 lb since most packages come this way}
1 egg
1 garlic clove, minced
⅓ cup onion, minced
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup panko crumbs
2 teaspoons dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper


Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
⅓ cup onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
pinch of chili flakes
⅓ cup cream
salt and pepper and pepper to taste
6 oz fresh mozzarella
Fresh basil for garnish {optional}

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400.
Line a large sheet pan with foil for easy clean up.
In mixing bowl, combine all meatball ingredients together. Careful not to over mix as it make the chicken tough. Shape in 1½ inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes - Don't worry if slightly undercooked they will finish off in the sauce.

While meatballs are cooking:
Melt butter in large oven proof skillet/pot (if you don't have one, use a regular skillet and transfer to baking dish when sauce is done).
Cook onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, cook for one minute until fragrant and slightly soft.
Add crushed tomatoes, chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in cream.
Add cooked meatballs to sauce. Top with mozzarella.
Bake for about 20 minutes until all bubbly and cheese has melted.

Serve with pasta and a green salad and you are done! While this isn't a 15 minute meal, I find it still doable on a weeknight when I am throwing dinner together and managing the 5:00 hustle. I also set aside around 6-8 meatballs each batch after they have cooked in the oven, and freeze them for an easy dinner another night. Bonus- meatballs make for great toddler meals too! My Mom made us a batch a few weeks ago and had them all set in a foil pan for us to pop in the oven whenever we chose. It made for quick cleanup and a delicious dinner! I use my dutch oven, as seen below- one of my favorite pieces in my kitchen.







Tuesday, August 2, 2016

This + That and Sale Finds

A few odds and ends for ya, since that is the way my brain is functioning early this morning :) 

I have a yummy recipe coming your way this week - something we have made over and over again this summer. We have found several go-to recipes that I have down pat now, it's nice to take the question out of dinner time and just have those recipes I can easily turn to! So excited to share this one!

I am trying to keep Frances Ann on a schedule through the day {via Moms on Call}...some days this is fairly simple and then other days this sweet little princess wants to march to her own beat! Girlfriend has an appetite that is bigger than her belly! I would love to hear anyones experience with Moms on Call since we did no sort of schedule with Weeks. It eases my mind with two if we have a schedule I can rely on, which is why I am giving it a shot. She has always been a pretty good sleeper through the night, and lately even given us a few nights sleeping in until 6/6:30 which has been amazing. Most nights she is stirring by 4:30...so after that I debate on going back to sleep or getting the day started. Most days, sleep wins. But boy do I look forward to a night full of sleep again! She is a total sweetheart though and we are so blessed by her and Weeks.


what mornings look like around here- in our jammies! {PJ's}


I snapped these yesterday- she turned 2 months this past week!


bow and headband, Little Giraffe blanket via Dee Gee's {you can call for ordering}

Sadly enough, so many of my favorite finds from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale have already sold out, but I am linking them below in case they restock! Seeing outfits on {no matter how crappy the photo!} helps me so much more than what I see on the website. My apologies for these quick photos- no makeup, hair is not ideal, but that is life these days! 

I am literally in workout clothes at least half of the day and then after a shower I either change into clean work out clothes or I actually get dressed. {#reallife} I swear by Zella leggings- they suck you in and look good after years of washing. Can't say enough good things about them. This top is actually from Gap but it's a new favorite. You tie the back in a knot or you can leave it open. It's a fun twist on a fitness top.




I added another plaid shirt to my fall arsenal. I love the tunic length of this one and how it is fairly thin {not too thin} making it lay nicely. Most of the year we don't need heavy flannels anyway, so I will be able to wear this one early fall. I can't say enough good things about my new jeans! I let them air dry but I think I will put them in the dryer the next time I wash them since there is a little bit of room in them. It feels so good to be in normal jeans again, btw. Also, you should keep an eye for sizes being restocked on the flats because they are amazing. Really comfy and so fun.


Paige denim // B.P Plaid Tunic Shirt {other colors available}  // Halogen Tie Up Flats


I really hope they restock this sweater because it is amazing! I linked it below anyway, just in case! It is incredibly soft and feels like a great quality. I love the color. I will live in it! I just left the same jeans and flats on as above to try the sweater on with it. 



Don't laugh at my leggings below :) Call this the most random purchase of all time but I really wanted to try these denim leggings. Sounds so tacky! They are definitely a denim feel with a slight stretch to them, and for $25 I was willing to give them a shot. I love the color and will strictly wear them with longer tops and probably boots. If you want to try the colored denim trend this is an inexpensive way to do it! Just don't think they are going to pass for a pair of jeans, think of them as a legging.





You can shop the items here too:





Hope you have a great start to your week!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Body After Baby

Several weeks ago I was cleared for resuming exercise, something I have been looking forward to and also, not looking forward to at the same time! At 30 weeks, I was put on modified bed rest after having several contractions in an hour during a non-stress test. So, needless to say, it has been quite a while since I worked out- the longest stretch I have ever gone before! I have to say, I really didn't miss it while I was pregnant. It was more of a relief that I had the perfect excuse not to incorporate a 30-60 minute workout session into my day. Instead, I spent time with Weeks, lounged, worked from my computer, decorated a nursery, RESTED and prepared for our baby girl's arrival.

Fast forward to one month post partum, I was really getting the itch to add back some physical activity. At that point I still had about 10-12 pounds to lose, and I was more than ready to kiss them goodbye. {For this pregnancy I gained about 25 pounds, with Weeks I gained somewhere around 23 I believe}. I wasn't really sure what kind of workouts I wanted to go for, but I ended up trying out barre3 which has been very enjoyable for me. I was a little hesitant on how out of shape I was, but I am happy to say it has been ok on me and each workout has plenty of modifications if needed. Holding a full arm plank is the area that could use the most improvement at this point! I am also adding in the occasional treadmill session to change it up. I would love to take the kids for long walks but it is just so dang hot outside, that isn't happening for any of us. I am much looking forward to that capability come fall and cooler temps. I can already tell some differences in my muscle tone with three weeks of barre and I am thrilled over that!


I would love to hear how other Mama's got back into shape after baby and how long it took. I know it is a delicate balance if you are nursing/pumping with your food consumption, and there really is no bargaining there. Most days I am absolutely starving by meal times so I am adding in protein snacks in between {a must for me!} and giving my body what it needs.

You can sign up for barre 3 online classes here. The online workouts are my best option right now as I am squeezing them in as children allow, right in the comfort of my own home. You also get the luxury of choosing the length and area of focus for each workout, and there are so many to choose from. It's really been nice for options. PS- I am in no way being sponsored by barre3, just sharing my experience. I also purchased this workout on amazon which is done by the creator of barre3, which I absolutely love and can flip on with my Roku. Not only is it a fabulous workout, but the setting is beautiful and sort of "takes me away" for that session, if you know what I mean. 

Here are some of my workout faves since they are big inspiration to get myself moving!

wrap hoodie is this not so cute! // shorts because we will be wearing shorts in NC for quite a while // hooded jacket a great layering piece for early fall // nikes love this colorway and it's a great time to purchase // leggings mentioned these must haves plenty of times, they are the BEST // high waist crops I love the fun print on these // sunglasses polarized and chic for outdoor activities

work out

Friday, July 22, 2016

What To Buy, Return and Wish For

Ok y'all, the Anniversary Sale has officially begun for the public! I really don't get this excited about any other sales throughout the year, but this one is too good to miss. Brand new fall clothing and accessories- discounted ahead of the season! The way I usually navigate the sale is searching for pricier items {think boots and jeans} that I could use a price break on, and then adding in some less expensive items that are trendy that can step up my fall wardrobe game. 

I am so excited about my new jeans! Truth be told they were sitting on our doorstep last night and I have not tried them on yet, but I am almost positive from all the reviews they will be keepers. I had a hard time deciding between these and the coveted AG skinnies, but price and versatility won me over here: 


Speaking of AG, here is the pair I am still lusting over. I adore these.



If you haven't picked up a pair of these yet, you are seriously missing out. THE leggings of all leggings are always part of the sale and they do not disappoint. I wore them my entire pregnancy {totally stretched them out} but they made me feel that good, it was worth it. This time I am getting a pair of the crop style since I skipped those last year. Click add to cart...trust.


I ordered this dolman dress as an easy go to dress I can throw on with boots and a scarf this fall. I need more of that middle of the road clothing- casual but put together. Having a few options for dresses will be nice, especially at a bargain price. I ordered the burgundy but I think I am going to switch it out for the olive color.


You might have heard about this  deep v neck tee, available for $15. I got the olive color below and it is really cute on. I wore it with white cut off shorts yesterday and it was so comfy. I also got it in the white but it has a small pick on it, so I will be returning that and probably getting it replaced. 


I also ordered this sweater {yet to arrive} in the charcoal grey which is no longer available. I tried to be really sensible on things I really need and wear the most for this sale. As much as I love blouses, on the days I am at home with kids I am pulling out what is comfy and washable and simple. This sweater will do all of that, and get me out of the house easily with a pair of jeans and boots.


I love plaid shirts and something about this colorway sold me! It's nice to have the button down while still nursing as well, even though I don't wear that style every day. I'm hoping it is a good fit that drapes well. I hate a button down that looks boxy! 


I mentioned these boots before and I'll say it again, they are the best! Riding boots that you will have forever. They are gorgeous and this is the time to purchase them! I love the color of this leather too.


These are on my wish list...debating. They are gorgeous, are they not? They are water resistant and have all the perks of Uggs, in a beautiful tall boot. What is not to love?


Love these lace up flats!! They are so much fun and at a great price point for a trendy piece. I've heard they are reallllly comfy, which is key for me. I tried a pair last year and they were promptly returned after not being able to bend my foot.

I really wanted to find a new handbag during the sale. This might be my favorite right now. It is different than anything I already own and screams fall. I love the braided handle on the Regan Satchel, and the rich color. The other contender would be this tote- I love the shoulder straps on this one for when I have my hands full.

I'm having a hard time skipping these slippers- I mean, have you ever tried Ugg slippers? They are purely amazing and I love this new style.

If you want to see my first post on Early Access, see here. A few items have sold out since then, but these were my initial favorites! To see my beauty picks, see here! Lots of little add ons that won't break the bank.

Guess what, I haven't even looked at mens and kids yet! I am working on a round up of home items not to be missed as well. Hope you all have a fabulous weekend and don't forget to shop before your faves sell out! 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Top Beauty Picks #Nsale

Who is having so much fun with the #nsale? {Who is tired of hearing that hashtag!? haha!} Every chance I get I find myself scrolling the pages to see what I have missed and what is still out there that is a must! Keeps me awake during our middle of the night feeding session too :) I always pick up a few things during the sale for beauty items- prices are just so good...and I do love a price break on beauty products!
beauty picks

I have been wanting to get my hands on a bkr bottle set, and this is a heck of a deal! I'm drinking a ton of water these days and any little push to do so more helps!

 I mention this whish body gel every year! It's a tried and true fave! I'm happy this year it comes as a stand alone bottle vs. a set, since the body wash is my favorite product. At this price it isn't much more than Dove body wash! 

This is another tried and true fave- philosophy set. The scent cannot be topped and makes a great gift. 

You must try rose salve, it is a beauty staple and you could divide this set up with sisters or friends! 

Lancome mascara is always one of my favorites in the department store arena. The quality and results speak for themselves! This lancome mascara set is a great buy! 

 My favorite perfumes in a set: jo malone set. This is the perfect set that you can layer, wear alone and have so much fun with!! 

This would be a new purchase for me, but I have heard nothing but 5 stars for this blending set.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Early Access!

If you've heard lots of chatter about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, it's for good reason! The Early Access Sale starts today, and if you are a Nordstrom cardholder {credit or debit}, you can shop brand new fall arrivals at a major discount- ahead of the season! It's truly my favorite sale of the year, I mean why not? This sale has me all sorts of excited for fall clothes, just like that! If you are not a Nordstrom cardholder, the sale opens up to the public next week. There are definitely some items that will sell out early, as I have learned in the past! Here is my initial roundup of favorites but I will keep posting on the sale as I have more time to work through it all.

These booties are so darn cute and are perfect for early fall. Last fall we had what seemed like an endless summer and I could have worn sandals well into November! Having a transitional shoe like this is perfect for southern climates.


Same goes for these heels below. Wear now and later, which is so nice. I love the neutral shade of these, they will go with everything!


This poncho looks like it drapes beautifully and I love the length of it. I live in this sort of thing in the fall and winter. PS- pregnant Momma tip: Buy this for something you can wear before and after the baby!


Most days when I am at home with the kids I just need an easy tee to throw on. However, I like that tee to be as cute as possible. I think I will get this in a few colors for fall to pair with scarves and skinnies for a quick outfit. For $15 you can't beat it!


I swore by my AG maternity jeans {I tried so many!!} and now I am itching for a regular pair. These are perfect in my opinion! 


These are also on my wish list for skinnies {by the way- I just put on my first pair post baby and it felt SO good!} I love the dark denim that will be so flattering on everyone.


Hello, gorgeous handbag! This will be a sure sell out. It's a stunner.
Jackets and coats are always an investment piece for me, so being able to get one on sale is a major plus. I have wanted a cowlneck leather jacket for a few years now and I love this style.


I also have a Barbour jacket on my wishlist. It will be perfect for football games and running around town. This is such a good price for Barbour!


I adore my Burberry jacket and this one is similar. I love the oversized lapel and the classic cut. Burberry is obviously quite the investment but you will have it, literally, forever.



Another favorite in my closet- my Fryes! Now is the time to purchase them, a little easier on the wallet. These will be in your shoe wardrobe for years to come- such a classic. I love this leather color as well.



I'll be back soon with more picks! What are your favorites so far? xo.