Wednesday, April 27

shrimp and orzo

In my opinion, there's not a lot better than an easy, quick to make dinner. I love this shrimp and orzo recipe that my mom shared with me a couple months ago. It's delicious and satisfying and makes for delicious dinners and leftover lunches. If shrimp isn't your thing, you can easily substitute with chicken (I like lemon pepper!) The original recipe also calls for putting it in the oven to bake, but I think I prefer it without baking... Cuts down on time!

(excuse the quality on this photo. it was dark in my apartment and I had bad lighting)

Shrimp & Orzo

1 cup orzo
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 large tomato, diced
3/4 cup diced green onion
1/2 cup feta choose
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil

Cook the pasta according to directions. When finished cooking, put in a serving bowl and mix in 1 tsp olive oil, tomato, feta, lemon rind, salt, and pepper. Saute shrimp and green onions in a pan with olive oil until cooked (when shrimp is pink), and add to orzo mixture. Add basil and lemon juice and mix together. Serve warm. 

Tuesday, April 26

love this home: patio decor

When I chose to move to the apartment I'm currently living in, one big selling point was the porch space that came with it. I'm all for spending as much time as possible outside when it's nice out, and a porch is the perfect place to read a book, drink some wine, or eat dinner on spring and summer nights!

I moved way back in January, so there wasn't a hurry to get furniture for the space considering the freezing temps. But now that Lexington is having consistently warm temperatures, I'm dyyyying that I'm not using the space! Time to get my butt in gear, because the current space is empty. Except a grill. And that's depressing when it's beautiful and sunshine-y.

I have had a few different seating options in mind, and in an ideal world, I'd have this or this, but I'm I've decided on these adirondack chairs because they are the most budget friendly (by far), so if (and when) I move, it won't be a heartbreak if they don't fit my new space. They are also deeper than a lot of seating options, so it's perfect for curling up and reading a book. I'm thinking lots of twinkly lights for the covered part, and cushy pillows and poufs to act as extra seating when I need it. I also want/need a dining option, but I'll have to see what I can fit. I have a vision of dinner parties out there, but I don't know if the space is big enough for a table that fits more than 2 people!

Follow the progress along here and on snapchat (rblack2761) and instagram (@lovethislifeblog)!


(image 1, 2)

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Wednesday, April 13

what to pack: the beach

Y'all, I can't even begin to describe how excited I am for a week from today. You know why?! I'll be heading to the BEACH!!!!!! Cue the excessive exclamation points! My friend Bethany is getting married in June, so we are celebrating her in Hilton Head and I. Can. Not. Wait. First world problems over here, but I haven't been on a beach since October 2014. For the girl who spent vacations going to the beach and three summers lifeguarding on the beach, this feels like an eternity! 

Naturally, this gets me thinking about all the things I need to pack! It's going to be a relaxing, low key weekend, so I really won't need much beyond swimsuits, cover ups, sandals, and a couple easy outfits for when we go to dinner. I picked up a coverup from J.Crew Factory a month back (it's sold out, but I also love this), and ordered this bikini from Nordstrom - it's so similar to the incredibly expensive Marysia ones, I couldn't pass it up! Also, can we talk about why in the world cover ups are so expensive? I tried to link some affordable options below, but it's hard to find! I mean, it's something that gets sandy, sweaty, and grimy. I just don't get it. Anyways.

I've put together a few little shopping widgets with some swimsuits, dresses, coverups, and sandals I'd love to be taking with me for any beach trip. Like the pineapple dress? So freaking cute, but so unfortunately out of my price range. And the seersucker bikini from J.Crew is so cute but also classic. Sandal wise - I picked whatever is easiest to slip on and off my feet so I can get on that beach and my toes in the sand QUICK!  Admittedly, none of these below items will be making the trip to Hilton Head, but I have a couple more trips this summer that may require additional shopping... a girl can dream, right?!





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Monday, April 11

j.crew comeback

For the longest time, J.Crew was one of my favorite stores, if not THE favorite store. It was my go-to, and with every season of new arrivals, I would have about 30 things on my wishlist. But over the past two, maybe almost three years, they have just not been doing it for me like they used to. I feel like it was a combination of trying to be too trendy with not enough classic, wrong fits, poor quality, and the same lackluster pieces. Honestly, I think I bought one thing from J.Crew last spring/summer and that was a pair of shoes (which I do love). And I wasn't the only one who felt the J.Crew slump - the company definitely took some major hits in sales, with plenty of articles magnifying the issue (as much of an issue as badly designed clothes and falling sales can be).

But y'all, I think they've finally figured some things out (and fired their head designer) for this spring season. It finally feels like the J.Crew I grew up loving. And while I'm still a little hesitant on the quality and the ever rising prices, I can at least say there are things that look worth buying (see my picks below).

It's looking more classic, but still on trend. Fresh and fun, but not over the top. Until the dark ages of their downward spiral, I always thought J.Crew was amazing at combining timeless classic and basics with on-trend items and making them their own. It seems like they are finally getting back to that. 

So let's continue this comeback, J.Crew. On the note of comebacks, how about my first blog post in 5 months? I might just be having a comeback of my own... but more on that for another post! 

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