if I could design a shirt…

Life lately:

Before all else, look at this little cutie! She and Wolfgang are just the apples of my eye! I posted some of these last week, but had to post more because I just love her so much!

Wellesley has two cousins due soon & we are soooo looking forward to meeting them! I gave their moms my tips to going into labor a bit early and my #1 tip is to eat a can of the SPICY Bush’s Baked Beans!!!! In case you’re wondering, I ate 1/2 a can at night, at the second 1/2 the next morning and then went into labor that day! I also walked and tried another method found in this article, but I won’t talk about it on here. lol, I’ll let you guess.

I should also specify that I’m not a doctor and I’m not guaranteeing anything, but it’s what worked for me x2 and I was 3 days early with my first and 8 days early with my second!

There’s a new book I’m reading called, Creating a Beautiful Life by Elizabeth George and it has been really thought-provoking so far and I’m only a little ways into it!

I love how she pulls from her knowledge and experiences to help me think of ways to prioritize and teaches me how to set myself up for success each day. I never thought of myself as a procrastinator before because in college and grad school I always was that student who had the assignment done a few days after it was given. I also always try to work super hard at everything and get things done, but I noticed over the last few years I’ve been getting a little slower and almost lazy so I’m so excited for how this book is reigniting that fire & drive within in a gospel-centered way!

Speaking of drive, have you been watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix with the rest of America? Well we have been and let me tell you– our donate pile is beyond. It is so freeing to finally be decluttering and getting rid of old/unused objects. I kinda started in the middle of the Marie Kondo Method though since we purged our closets a few months before Wellesley was born. So far we have completed the kitchen, laundry, powder bath, living room, and front hall closet. We still have a ways to go, but it feels so fresh to be rid of unwanted and unused items.

The article I linked above and here is not the actual Netflix show, it is a Australian news article with a bit of a warning to people who start purging all of their old items and donating them to charities. It basically states that charities are getting overwhelmed with junk people are dumping with them as a direct result of the show. It essentially says to recycle or throw away your junk instead of making charities do it. No one else wants our broken, torn, or otherwise useless things. On the other hand, now might be a great time to hit up your local thrift store to do some shopping because I bet a lot of people are getting rid of unused clothing, gadgets, shoes, and bags– I know we are!!!

The blouse:

When I was little, I used to draw outfits ALL the time. In fact, going through my old sketchbooks I think 80% of my childhood artwork was fashion related and sometimes I still like to dream up designs from time to time. And I am not joking, this top is very similar in concept to one I designed last year around Christmas; except I love the leopard even more than my design, which included a plaid in various shades of dark brown.

Actually, the main thing I love about this blouse is that the stiff (but still comfortable) material gives it some sheer structure. The bow is grand and the sleeves have that feminine little poof!

When I was a girl I always adored Laura Engles Wilder books and when she describes her desire for puffed sleeves I always knew exactly what she meant. 😉

Order one size up if you’re busty.


These jeans are actually the high-waisted jeggings from American Eagle, which I think are the absolute best fitting jeans out there. I order one size down and am tall so I always need the longs. These are actually not the longs because I was in a hurry (tired) and didn’t want to try them on and the salesgirl advised me that they run long…. not true… don’t trust salespeople. 😐

This is my exact pair of jeggings, but other ones I like include these green ones,  &these cropped distressed jeggings– that hem is so cute and casual!


These are my Jessica Simpson nude pumps. they are very high heeled, but they don’t feel like it because they are relatively well designed. I also love this updated version of her nude pumps with a little peekaboo feature.

If you are a heel wearer you know that it can be difficult to find comfy pairs so my tip today is that Jessica Simpson and Sam Edelman brands are really great designers who won’t kill your your feet or your bank account like other brands can.

Hope that was helpful!



Real Recipes for the Real Girl (with free printable plan and shopping list)

Real recipes for the real girl on a budgetHappy Monday and welcome to my new blogging schedule! All my life I’ve loved to help people so when Beckett and I were talking about how best to serve you this summer, we landed on the idea of helping you gals with inexpensive meal ideas that are healthful and yummy, but also budget-friendly and pretty. But there’s a catch — I am not that super-mom type of a cook. I’m your average, everyday girl who can follow a recipe and have it turn out… but let’s be honest, I’d rather have takeout.
The images of the meal plan and the grocery list are printable, so save them to your phone or computer to print off and so you can make your meals or get your groceries easier (if you still actually go to the grocery store in 2018 — hello Walmart pickup).

Printable meal plan: click to saveThe Classy Artist Budget-Friendly One Week Meal Plan.jpg

Printable grocery list: click to save

Free Shopping List for The Classy Artist Budget-Friendly Meal Plan.jpg

Recipes & Descriptions:


  • Lunch: Use a panini press or make the sandwiches and then heat them over the stove on a skillet. Put meat, cheese, and sautéed onion and garlic in the bread. Butter the outside of the bread before “grilling” it.
  • Fruit salad: Wash & chop 3 apples, all grapes, & most of the melon. Eat a portion of this and save the rest.
  • Supper: Follow this recipe from Gimmie Delicious (with rice, chicken and broccoli) OR do what I did and loosely follow this recipe by Chelsea’s Messy Apron & throw broccoli, frozen chicken breast, potatoes, onions into a pan lined with tin foil. Top with a mixture of oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Then wrap it up together and bake in the oven at 375 degrees F until the chicken is fully cooked. Check the chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure that it’s done.


  • Lunch: Grilled cheese… you know what to do! Cut chunks off of the block of cheese and put it inside the bread, along with some garlic or onions to taste. Then fry in the frying pan or press with a panini press. Heat soup and serve.
  • Supper: Follow directions to heat burgers, top with avocado, sliced tomato, and onions. Use your favorite condiments to spice things up.
  • Make homemade potato fries by following this recipe from Veganosity. I’m skipping the spices, but feel free to add that back in if you want!


  • Lunch: Make this easy corn and bean salad from KitchMe. Eat them with cucumber and butter sandwiches and perhaps a little fruit salad if you are so inclined.
  • While prepping for lunch, start a crockpot with a few chicken breasts in it so it will be done by suppertime. You will use this chicken for the stuffed peppers tonight, the taco salad tomorrow night, and the chicken salad on Friday.
  • Supper: Make stuffed bell peppers with this tasty recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen, but sub out the sausage for chicken. Prepare the chicken first in a crockpot, then chop it up and add it in. Pair it with a salad.


  • Lunch: Try this egg bake recipe from Kitchn. I’m going to skip the carrots, but if you have some on hand and want to try it, let me know how it tasted!
  • Supper: taco salad with chips, salsa, taco spiced chicken, sour cream, and diced onions.


  • Lunch: Use the remaining chicken you made in the crockpot Wednesday for a salad, complete with walnuts, mandarin oranges, and cheese. top with your favorite dressing.
  • Supper: Homemade pizza topped with sauce, cheese, eggs, spinach, and onions. Try this recipe from AllRecipes.com for the crust, or do what I like to do and buy a ready-made crust in a tube at the grocery store!


  • Lunch: pb&j picnic with apple slices for a quick meal while on the go.
  • Supper: Home made “Chicken Littles” like the ones you used to get from KFC! Make the chicken strips according to the directions on the package, then make a sandwich with burger buns, the chicken strips, pickles, mayonnaise, and I like to add an optional slice of tomato, and lettuce for flavor.


  • Lunch: Make blueberry muffins from the mix and reheat the egg bake leftovers from Thursday.
  • Supper: Homemade mac’n cheese with broccoli. Use my special recipe below:
    • cook a box of noodles (you can have leftovers for a lunch next week if it’s too much for your fam).
    • while still on the heat, add a cup of shredded mozzarella, a 1/4th cup of parmesan, 2 cups frozen broccoli, a table spoon of garlic, a 1/2 to 1 cup of milk, and 1/2 stick of butter. Stir over heat until the broccoli is sufficiently heated and cheese is melted. I also sometimes only do a half cup of mozzarella and also add a 1/2 cup of velveeta.



I hope you find this helpful!!! I know it will make my week a lot easier now that I have everything planned out in detail! If you are using this meal plan, please comment below so I know whether or not to continue this format. Also, if you are reading this post on your email and something isn’t saving or viewing correctly, you may want to open the post in your browser so you can view it real-time.
I hope you have a happy Monday!

Icy Ivy

This dress came just in time for Christmas Eve this year and it is my dream dress in so many ways. I felt like a 1940s actress in it and I can’t lie… I loved it!
Well made, flouncy, and beautiful, this velvet dress can be worn like this for Christmas or could be paired with brighter accessories like a yellow or blue satin pump to make it feel more spring-y in the months to come. The dress is just $22 from Shein and comes in burgundy and royal blue too. I’m thinking about getting the blue… I would definitely snag this now to wear at a winter wedding, a cold spring Sunday, or next Christmas.

‘Twas the season to bring out my plaid Christmas shoes; the plaid heels I wear every Christmas! But this year I pinned a brooch to one shoe to add a little interest. I wish I had two matching brooches, but I also kinda liked the asymmetry it added to the look.
I can’t find my exact shoes, but I did manage to find a pair from Sole Society that are just under $40 right now. Click the previous link to see them. Then I started thinking about how little wear I get out of my Christmas shoes because they are so tall. So I found these flats at Talbots in a nice red tartan pattern! They come in at just under $60, but look totally worth it!

The brooch looks like a key and was a thoughtful gift from my mother in law and sister in law a few years back. I usually have this pinned to a jacket along with a few others, but I thought it would be so fun to pin it to my shoe for awhile!

You will never guess where I got these earrings!
Should I tell you? Ok, I’ll tell… Walmart!
And you’ll never guess the price!!!!! For real they were $2! Not joking! How great is that!
Also, to anyone else who is allergic to nickel, these earrings are for “sensitive skin,” not nickel free. But you will be happy to know that I wore these earrings for nearly 20 hours and didn’t have an allergic reaction! That almost never happens, even when I buy “nickel free” earrings!
Sadly, I couldn’t find this exact tassel pair online, but I found the other pair I got (I don’t have a picture yet) that I will link here. I highly recommend checking out some of the other options like these fancy black and gold tassel earrings if you like inexpensive jewelry!

After our initial quick pictures (above) my phone died. We still wanted to get a few other shots of this dress though so we switched to my hubby’s phone and took the following, more artistic photos:

What do you think of Beckett’s artsy handiwork?! I think it looks dreamy.
This post is brought to you in partnership with Shein, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

all american girl

new farmer's market and ruffle shirt 1new farmer's market and ruffle shirt 3new ruffle shirt and farmernew ruffle shirt and farmer's market 7new ruffle shirt and farmer's market detail 2new ruffle shirt and farmer's marketnewfarmer's market and ruffle shirt 2newruffle shirt and farmer's market 9

Shirt: Nordstrom Rack | Pants: TJ Maxx, older, similar here from Nordstrom Rack for just $30! | Shoes: similar (under $30) from Macy’s | Bag: Michael Kors (exact), but I have to include this one too because I love the shape and the stud details | Earrings: similar southwestern style

About This Look:

This is a 4th of July outfit to help inspire your clothes choices leading up until Independence Day! 🙂 My lipstick was red, but it kinda started coming off so it doesn’t give the whole patriotic vibe I was looking for, but you get the picture!

Today Wolfie and I made a trip to the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market with Terri Yang, who blogs at Cupcake and Coffee Break, and one of her cute sons. We took the opportunity to take each other’s pictures, get some gorgeous flowers, and have a quick chat. It was rainy and a little chilly, but it made it easier to take pictures, that’s for sure!

We planned to go to Spyhouse coffee after, but the babies were too tired and hungry for us to sit for coffee so we took a rain check on that.

As soon as Wolfie and I made it home he went to sleep so Beckett and I also took a nap and it was soooo good! If I wasn’t worried about Wolfie being awake all night I think I would still be sleeping.

Something Else to Know:

In other news, there’s a giveaway on my Instagram page right now. It’s for a new iPad, a cute little instant camera, a Kate Spade bag, and a Kylie eyeshadow palette. I’m really excited about this giveaway, not just because it includes sweet prizes, but because the other women who are doing it with me seem really great. I don’t always follow other people who I do giveaways with, but I followed a bunch from this group. They’re that cool! 😀

Anyone is free to enter the giveaway, but if you’re not 18 yet, you’ll need to check with your parents and have them confirm if you win.

Final Random Thoughts & WIDN:

Now Beckett’s putting Wolfie to bed while I’m writing this. Next up on our agenda: The Bachelorette!

Do you watch? If so, who are your favorites?

We like Peter and Dean. We also liked Diggy a little too, but she sent him home so…. you know, bye! I think she’s making a huge mistake with Bryan. He seems like he’s just telling her what she wants to hear.