5.03.2016

Shop My Closet // Recent IG Looks + Sales

It's the mother load of all mirror selfies and posed hand on the hip pics coming right atcha' folks. I know, you didn't think you could get this lucky on a Tuesday but surrrrrrpise! I did a similar post a week or so ago and you seemed to enjoy it so I thought shoot, I should do it again. Give me a few weeks and just like with all good things, I'll forget about them and subconsciously make them come to an end. I excel at quitting. If you follow me on Instagram [here or here, preferably both] you've probably a) have seen these photos before and b) knew that I was in California last week with my Pollinate babes, Alissa and Summer for Mom 2.0 Summit. And that my friends explains the reason I got dressed consecutively many days in a row. The whole show up naked thing to a conference isn't something I've tried. Yet. 

You know how when you travel you feel like you need to bring your A game? Well I brought that and 9 pair of shoes. For 4 days. Thankfully I had scheduled a fix to arrive just in time for the conference and also maybe went and did a little shopping as well. Anyhow, here is a mixture of both my California looks and my back home in Indiana get-up. I've included all of the links and any additional sales, promo codes that I could come up with. Any questions on any of the items, just drop your comments below or ask on social media and I'd be happy to answer them. Happy twinning! 

top [I recommend sizing one up as its junior sizing, wearing a medium - currently all clothing/shoes are buy one, get one 50% off]
 shorts [I recommend sizing up one in shorts, typically a size 2 in pants, wearing a size 4 in shorts -  currently all clothing/shoes buy are one, get one 50% off] 
shoes - so comfortable, comes in 6 colors [I'm wearing them in smoke cloud], I have narrow feet and went with the medium width and they are perfect! 

chambray top - so comfy and versatile, currently on sale for $18.20, no code needed! 
white jeans - currently on sale for $31.46, no code needed
sandals - currently all clothing/shoes buy are one, get one 50% off! 
top - stitch fix, similar here use code 9480 for 15% off 
black pants - free shipping and returns 
  wedges - use code 9480 for 15% off 
  clutch - available in other colors [the mint is awesome] free shipping/free returns

swim coverup - currently all clothing/shoes are buy one, get one 50% off] 
 swimsuit - use code FREESHIP100 for free shipping over $100  

olive shift dress - so comfy AND it has pockets, comes in many colors, great out or as a coverup
kimono - similar here

top left - currently buy one get one 50% off 
top right - use code LAKELIFE for 20% off + free shipping, free returns
bottom left - free shipping, free returns
bottom right - free shipping, free returns

London Times Annett dress - stitch fix, try the service out here [I kinda dig it if you couldn't tell by now ;)] // shoes

coverup - similar here and here
swimsuit - use code FREESHIP100 for free shipping over $100 

Collective Concepts Ali V-Neck Dress and Dolce Vita Ross Suede Slides - stitch fix 

41 Hawthorn Breyson Split-Neck Blouse - stitch fix 


dress - comes in several colors and is under $100! I recommend sizing up one size, wearing a 3/4
heels - free shipping, free returns

Ivy + Blue Robin Dress - stitch fix
heels - free shipping, free returns

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5.02.2016

The Easiest [and oh so delicious] Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos. Ever.




Can we talk about tacos for a second? Like when do tacos not deserve a standing ovation, lets be real. They sound good ALWAYS. They taste good ALWAYS. You can do just about anything with them - heck, just this past weekend I had buffalo chicken tacos, pork tacos and grilled Caribbean jerk tacos. You know which one was my favorite? All of them duh, it's tacos we're talking about remember? Give me a bad taco and I'll give you a pot of gold. Exactly, neither are ever going to happen. 

A few weeks ago I had my sister and her kids over for a Mexican fiesta centered around you guessed it, tacos. I asked my nieces "chicken or beef" and because I whispered in their ears before answering "chicken are easier" they obliged and let me take the easy way out. Bless today's children. 

Because we are a kid-free house I tend to get a little crazy when it comes to children eating and I have this huge fear that if a little bit of chicken juice gets on anything our house is obviously ruined forever. It's a really enduring quality of mine that I'm sure all moms love about me. 


Fortunately I made sure the kitchen was fully stocked with my very favorite paper towels, Viva® Towels. Yes, I have a paper towel addiction, it's normal - don't worry about it. They are the ultimate in durability, have a smooth and soft texture perfect for those sweet little faces and soak up even the biggest piles of chicken taco juice that has found its way all over the counter. 


Because kids like to touch EVERYTHING [still trying to understand that one] I make sure to keep a roll, or twelve, of the Viva Vantage® towels on hand as well to wipe down everything once they are gone thanks to the towels scrubby texture. In a matter of seconds our appliances go from looking like they got run over by an elephant stampede to looking sparkly and spotless. 


Back to the matter at hand though, tacos. 


Okay, so here is what you need to know about how to make these mouth- watering "i'll take 12!" chicken tacos. Don't blink or you'll miss the recipe, that's how easy they are.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos 
cook time: 4-6 hours, serves many [6+]

Ingredients:
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 packet Ranch seasoning
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
2 cups chicken broth

Directions: 
1. Place all ingredients into slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours until you are able to shred the chicken easily. Once shredded, allow the chicken to soak up the excess juice. 
2. Fill up your shells with the chicken and top off with all of your favorite taco fixings - lettuce, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado, etc. Enjoy! 



Needless to say, they were a giant hit with the kids and adults alike. Special thanks to the help of  Viva® Towels for containing the mess right to where it should be. 

[all photos shot by tina herschberger photography]

Be sure to check out how Viva® is giving back to the community through the Boys & Girls Club and unleashing clean in a sweet video here. Ready, set, eat!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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4.27.2016

Eat // Sausage Smashed Burger + Wonton Sausage Cheese Bites

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Jimmy Dean®. All opinions are entirely my own.



Remember how I like to eat? Well guess what, nothing has changed. I'm still over here doing just that. So here's the thing - I'm a meat girl. Always have been, always will be. There's just something about biting into a juicy burger or snacking on little bites of protein that resonate very well with my stomach. When I was shopping recently at my local Meijer store, I found myself smack dab in the refrigerator section staring at Jimmy Dean® Roll Sausage and I knew it was my time to get creative in the kitchen. People seem to associate sausage with breakfast, however it goes way beyond that people. Lunch, dinner, snacks...bottom line is that sausage is king. The first big decision though - which flavors to get? Regular/Original, Country Mild, or Hot?


I settled on the regular/original and hot because what's life without a little spice right? And that's when it went down in the kitchen.... here's what was hand crafted just for your pleasure. Okay, and mine.



First up, the sausage smashed burger complete with pickled cucumbers and sprout slaw. Also known as amazing. Here's all the details on how to make your own [believe me, your husband will love you after this].


Sausage Smashed Burger Recipe
This restaurant trending burger is coming to your home. Use Jimmy Dean® Roll Sausage with caramelized onions smashed together in a skillet or char-grill and topped with jarlsberg cheese. Layered between brioche bread, charred tomato, pickled cucumbers, shaved Brussel sprouts with garlic mayonnaise.

Serving size: 4
Prep time: 25 minutes
Inactive time: 1 hour
Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
½ cup Homemade Pickles, see recipe below
1 cup Sprout Slaw, see recipe below
4 cups diced onions
2 tablespoons oil
¼ cup unsalted butter
8 slices brioche bread
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup shredded jarlsberg cheese

Homemade Pickles
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup water
½ cucumber, seeded and sliced

Sprout Slaw
2 cups shaved Brussels sprouts
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon garlic paste

Instructions
1. Combine sugar, vinegar and water in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add cucumber slices. Refrigerate for an hour before use, the cucumbers will be tender yet still have texture.
2. Combine Brussels sprouts, mayonnaise and garlic paste in a mixing bowl; keep refrigerated until use.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onions, butter and cook on medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring often until onions are tender. Drain and reserve excess butter to toast bread slices, refrigerate onions until cooled.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of reserved onion butter in the same skillet over medium. Toast 2 slices of bread at a time until desired doneness, repeat with remaining ingredients and set aside.
5. In the same skillet, heat the tomato slices until a slight charring occurs, set aside.
6. Combine the sausage and caramelized onions together in a mixing bowl. Divide the sausage mix into 4 equal parts and roll into individual ball-shapes. Using the same skillet, smash the sausage into the skillet with a flat spatula until you have your desired thickness. Cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes or until the natural juices run clear. Finish with the shredded cheese and let melt before removing from the skillet. You can cook them all in the same skillet or two at a time. Layer the burger between toasted bread with tomatoes, pickles and slaw. Enjoy!


Is your mouth watering yet? Good, lets continue.

Next up is the easiest party appetizer of all party appetizers which has been on repeat in my kitchen lately. So easy and so delicious. Not only do they look like you know what you are doing, but they taste like you do too. Only 5 ingredients and around 15 minutes to make, you will love them. Promise.


Serving size: 25
Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 (25 count) package wonton wrappers (found in the produce section typically)
1 pound Jimmy Dean® Hot Roll Sausage, cooked and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
3/4 cup ranch dressing

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Press wonton wrappers individually into a muffin tin and bake for 5 minutes until light golden brown.
2. Remove from the oven and place onto a cookie sheet. Repeat until all wrappers are baked.
3. Mix the sausage, cheeses, and ranch dressing until well blended. Spoon into the wonton wrappers.
4. Bake 5-10 minutes, serve warm. Enjoy!


And there you have it, two awesome sausage recipes you need to make now. Which recipe will you be trying first?


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4.24.2016

Shop My Closet // Recent IG Looks + Sales!

If you follow me on Instagram [both here and here, because just one account would be boring] you have probably noticed several of these outfits below. However, I am a firm believer that looking at anything via blog posts is much easier than looking via a tiny square on Instagram. Not only that, but several of these looks are now on major sale and how tragic would it be if you never knew about such sales? Saving the world, one blog post at a time. 

Without further ado, I present to you - shop my closet round one. Expect to see these from time to time, assuming you're cool with it and all. 
blazer [use code FRIEND for 25% off + free shipping] // blue top [buy one, get one 50% off, use code 1305 if you spend over $100 to get $25 off and free shipping] // pants // purse // heels [similar, on sale for $30] // maxi dress [sold out of black, available in grey] // denim jacket [best one I've ever owned!]

jacket - size up one if you teter between sizes [spend $50, save $10!] // green tank from stitch fix [similar] // jeans from stitch fix [similar, 40% off] // purse from stitch fix [similar] // heels [only $16.50!]

 pink top [on sale for $35, use code RAIN30 for extra 30% off] // jeans [spend $50, save $10] // nude heels [on sale for $25]
bell sleeve top [similar, 30% off only $17.50] // jeans from stitch fix [similar - currently 40% off] // heels [only $16.50]


shoes - beyond obsessed with these! 

beautiful dreamer tank [less than $13!] // cardigan [similar] // jeans from stitch fix [similar, 40% off] // purse // wedges [similar, under $30]
sweatshirt - size up 2 sizes // shorts -[on sale for $15, size up]// shoes - wear these all of the time!

 dress [available in 3 colors and under $100!] // heels 

 shirt [similar, buy 1 get 1 50% off] // pants [buy 1 pair get 2nd pair for $40] // heels [great in the blush color] // dress from stitch fix [similar] // heels 

 dress [similar] // denim jacket

 kimono [similar, love THIS cover-up] // swimsuit top and bottoms , use code SHIP50 for free shipping over $50 // hat // sandals [similar

And on that note, I'm off to hit up the Old Navy 40% off sale because you know, necessary ;) 

ps. unless noted, everything above fits true to size. I am 5'4 and typically wear a size small in shirts and 2-4 in pants. If you have any additional questions on fit, shape, color feel free to drop me a comment below and I'll respond here! Happy shopping!

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4.21.2016

When You Have No Clue What You Are Doing With Your Life...

tee from metal marvels

I'm one of those "in the moment" type of people, but not necessarily in that good type of "in the moment" way. I more so mean, one moment I want to do this and the next moment I want to do that. Maybe a better term for this would be lack of contentment, clarity, vision, or figuring out what in the heck I want to do in this life. I think I have it all figured out and then twenty minutes later I'm all "why did I think that was a good idea?! I clearly don't want to do that...I want to do this!" and then another twenty minutes passes by and I've made up my mind that I now want to do both or neither at all. Really, the only thing I am completely ever sure of is what I want to eat for my next meal and all that's gained me is a lot of calories and empty drive thru bags #guilty.

The past few days, weeks, okay it's been months I have felt this unsettling feeling of not having a real understanding of what I want to do be doing from a day to day basis. Do I like this whole blogging thing enough to commit my career to it? Doesn't that seem really lonely and quiet though? Do I want to work outside of the home more? Doesn't that seem like a lot to balance though? Should I have a baby to make things a little more clear? Worst idea ever. Is taking pictures of outfits every day for Instagram actually fulfilling? Haven't I always wanted to own a cute little home decor shop? Sounds expensive. Do I want to add more to my plate or take away from it? And the questions go on and on and on and on. And then I get lumps in my throat and small little tears in my eyes because IT'S ALL SO CONFUSING. And then I start to get jealous of people who have this whole thing figured out. Like maybe working a normal 40 hour job is a lot less confusing? But what about traveling and afternoons in the sun? How does that work out? I want the best of all worlds while not even knowing what the best of all worlds would actually consist of. 

I'm ready to get to that point in my life where I stop questioning it all. You know, the point that I have thought for the past 10 years is right around the corner? Where I know that I am doing exactly what I should be doing, where I feel fulfilled, challenged, inspired and just sure of things. But then maybe that would be boring too because what fun is life if there isn't an ever changing adventure attached to it?

I guess I'm writing this today not to get an answer [but I mean if you have one, I'm all ears...] but hopefully to relate to some of you who struggle with this too. To know that it's okay that not everything is cut and dry. That it's okay we don't always understand our own thoughts, desires and dreams. That even if we never get to that seemingly impossible point, we are living up the highs, learning from the lows, praying through the confusion, toasting to the accomplishments and laughing through the WTFs. Oh life, you are confusing to me but I sure do love the heck out of you. To whatever is next...

ps. the amount of I's in this post is disturbing. maybe that's my first problem, turn away from yourself Erin...noted. 

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4.20.2016

The Boat Is Back And I'm Gonna Get In Trouble...


Please sing the title to the tune of "my boyfriend's back and you're gonna get in trouble..hey la, hey la, my boyfriends back." Okay, now begin reading. 

This past weekend Indiana blew our freaking socks off [literally, we were barefoot all weekend] and surprised us all with 80 degree temps and nothing but that shiny ball of sun. I tried counting clouds all weekend and I kept coming up with zero. Well played weather man, well played. 

Being that we were wise enough to put our boat back in the water a few weeks ago when it was still snowing outside we had the upper hand advantage among many of our neighbors who couldn't see past the freezing temperatures and white powder on the ground meaning come the middle of April, we were out cruisin' on the pontoon all weekend. 



Long story short, I am a little bit excited that the best time of the year is now upon us and that the only thing I need to worry about is if I should bring mini bottles of wine, beer, or a captain and diet out on the boat with me. She votes beer. 


To celebrate the beginning of all good things, we invited my family over for a good ole fashioned Sunday boat ride and cookout to kick things off into high gear.  We added a new little sail mate to our crew this year and so far, so good. I think he's diggin' this whole summer lifestyle thing so far.  



As for the rest of the gang, I think they liked it too. We've got a 4 year old driving the boat, a 6 year old trying to keep goldfish out of a dogs mouths and men doing what they do best - not paying attention to any of it ;) 


This weekend also marked the christening of the new patio - the space is now huge meaning we could all eat peacefully and didn't even notice when the youngest one spit up all the place. FREEDOM. We are in the waiting stages of being able to get this bad boy all decked out with our new patio furnishings from hayneedle.com and the polywood adirondack chairs that arrived yesterday. While it may not be completely set-up to our liking yet, it didn't stop us from dominating some serious summer food [burgers, baked beans, pasta salad, chips, veggies, etc]. You know, all the healthy stuff.

 lit up anchor found here // excuse the not showered, no make-up look. it's sexy,  I know. 


And there we have it. The first official "best weekend ever" of the spring/summer/whatever the heck we are in underway.


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