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The One With All the Target Finds

Happy Friday! I don't think I have ever been so happy to see the weekend. I'm hoping we'll finally get two days of nice weather because it feels like that hasn't happened at all this year, but rain is in the forecast once again. In my last post I mentioned the Target sandals I've been loving, but I've had really good luck with everything at Target lately-- specifically their Universal Thread line. I haven't really shopped for clothes in over a year and post-pregnancy I'm not used to things fitting, so it was a nice treat to really like everything I'm sharing in this post. affiliate links are used in this post, earning me a small commission for clicks & purchases. TY♥

(dresses from left to right)
This button front dress is a dress I would buy in multiple colors. Speaking of color, it's definitely hot pink, not red, as the website lists. I sized up so the bust wouldn't be too tight even though it does have some stretch with a smocked back & most things in this line seem to run big.

Usually I steer clear of anything that hits below the knee, and I didn't realize that was the length of this dress until I got home and tried it on, but I actually really liked it! I got my regular size but maybe could have sized down because it's really loose/flowy.

I think red and navy is one of my favorite color combos and I love wrap-style dresses. I loved that this dress is lined, though I almost returned it because there's a clasp at the top that's in a weird spot on me aka it doesn't stay closed, but it was easy to remove. It needed to be like two inches lower, so I might pin it or I actually think it might be fine without it.

Racerback tanks are probably my favorite summer clothing item right behind dresses. I tried one from the A New Day line and they were too short and too boxy on me, but the above pictured by Universal Thread fit me so nicely! I started with one (in the mustard color) & now I have five different colors, which I momentarily thought might be excessive but then I realized I got 5 shirts for $25 and it felt like a pretty good deal. Right now they're 2 for $10 + 20% off! 

I think shorts are the hardest clothing item for me to find that fit correctly and are comfortable and flattering. I love a good pull on stretchy short that can be dressed up a little bit, so I was really excited to try these pull on shorts <-- the actual name, lol. I got my regular size because bottoms aren't usually something I'd size down in, but they were too big so I exchanged them for a smaller size & I maybe could have went down another size-- they are nice and roomy!

I kind of thought there was no way a pair of white denim shorts I ordered online would fit me, but these fit SO WELL. I love when I find shorts that fit in the hips and waist but aren't super tight around my thighs, and these have a comfortable amount of room. They are super stretchy so I'd size down in these too. As I liked the white denim so much, I decided to get a pair of regular denim in the same mid-rise midi short. They fit a little bit different, but are super stretchy and comfortable. I'm hoping they won't stretch too much!

Overall I've been really pleased with this line-- super affordable for nice quality. The shorts are all under $20 regular priced and are bogo50% off right now. Dresses are currently 20% off.

What have been some of your favorite Target finds recently?

linking up: H54F, TBB

Recent Finds & Favorites

Happy Monday! I've had a list of things accumulating over the past few months that I wanted to talk about on the blog, so here's a random assortment of some things I've been loving. affiliate links are used throughout this post- i earn a tiny commission for clicks & purchases. 

I was in a wedding last week and while most of the bridal party was having their makeup airbrushed-- I opted to do my own since my skin likes to get all kinds of irritated. Somehow I ended up forgetting to pack all of my makeup brushes and only had time to run to CVS before the rehearsal so I picked up a few ELF brushes because they were the only option and I ended up loving the ultimate blending brush for my foundation. For only $6 I was really impressed and will keep using it in rotation with my other foundation brushes (that were a lot more expensive).

I'm loving that the A New Day line at Target has a huge variety of shoes that come in wide width! These sandals (pictured above) have been my favorite shoe now that the weather has finally warmed up. I love the small heel and I'm thinking about picking up another color the next time Target has a sale.

I typically like to keep one drugstore and one high-end conditioner in my shower, and when I couldn't find a l'oreal conditioner that I wanted to try, I decided to try the Kristin Ess line and I am obsessed with the one signature conditioner (pictured above). It makes my hair feel so smooth and soft and is definitely lightweight. The scent does linger in your hair a little bit, which normally would bother me, but it smells so good! I don't think I've ever used a matching shampoo and conditioner but I'm really wanting to try the shampoo next.

I might do a full baby product post, but for now I wanted to mention the diaper bag I use. I had a really hard time finding one that I liked because I knew I wanted a convertible backpack and the glam goldie has been one of my favorite baby purchases (pictured above)! It's big enough that you can fit a lot, but it doesn't feel too oversized, and it has so many pockets and compartments that it's really easy to keep things organized-- no digging around endlessly looking for something. 10/10 recommend if you're in the market for a diaper bag!

If you need new canisters or food storage containers these POP containers are amazing! Definitely a product I wish I had purchased a long time ago because it made our cabinet a lot more organized and it's a dream to not constantly have my brown sugar turning into a brick because it wasn't sealed well enough.

Mat Kearny has a newish album and I've been listening to this song on repeat:

It's possible I enjoyed this so much because it was so relatable as a new mom, but The Letdown on Netflix is an Australian show about a mom and her new mom group. So hilarious I immediately started watching it for a second time.

What have you been loving lately?

Carly Reads Here | Spring 2018

So happy to dust off the blog and linkup for Show Us Your Books. Just a few books in this post because having a baby(!!!) shifted my free time just a bit ;) Mason is just over two months and he is the light of our lives and the sweetest baby. At some point if I get back into blogging at all I might do some baby/mom type updates, but for now I'm so happy to be talking about books again.

LOVE HATE & OTHER FILTERS | I don't remember where I heard about this book (prob bookriot), but I recommended it to our library at some point, so when they purchased the title it automatically went on my hold list and was a pleasant surprise. It's a YA fiction/romance about an Indian-American Muslim teen getting ready to go to college and her relationship with two boys, her parents, and her experiences with racism.

STILL ME |  This didn't quite have the same magic as Me Before You, which is one of my favorite books, but I still really loved reading this and it even pulled at my heartstrings way more than I was expecting. It made me wish I remembered more about After You, but I loved catching up with Louisa in New York and enjoyed all of the new characters. I found myself sad when I had finished it, and really I just love Jojo Moyes writing.

THE GREAT ALONE | This was probably one of my most anticipated books of the year for some reason and boy did it live up to my expectations! It was one of those books where I just kept thinking, 'i can't believe how much i'm enjoying this' the entire time I was reading it. It was unexpectedly so suspenseful-- more than many thrillers and I wanted to get to the end because I wanted to know how it would end, but I also didn't want to get to the end because I didn't want it to be over. So many feels for the characters, especially Leni and her relationship with her mom & I really felt like I was transported life off the grid in Alaska. One of my favorite books I've read in a long time!

LAURA & EMMA | I'm currently finishing this one up after starting it a few weeks ago and getting a little bit bored. It's one of those books where the synopsis sounded really good, but that was about the end of the excitement. It's set in New York City starting in 1981 and is about Laura, who ends up pregnant after sleeping with someone random one night, and then goes on to talk about her life & her daughter's life. Each chapter is a different year so the story moves quickly, but I haven't felt any connection to the characters. thank you to netgalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. 

What have you read and loved lately?

Carly Reads Here | Winter 2018

Does anyone else get a little panicked when the first book they read for the year ends up being one they didn't really like? To be fair, I hadn't been in the biggest mood to read when I started it, so that could have something to do with it, but I really expected to like The Wife Between Us a lot more (my thoughts below). Thankfully I fell into more of a reading groove and ending up reading more than I expected, and a few things I really enjoyed.

THE WIFE BETWEEN US | I had such high hopes for this book (the marketing kind of reminded me of Behind Her Eyes, as it claims it's the next blockbuster novel of suspense & to get ready for the read of your life), but was left so underwhelmed. There's a pretty big twist revealed towards the beginning of the book that I figured out (which never happens), so that fell flat for me. The suspense does eventually pick up, but between there being way too many side storylines, and the lack of surprise with the first twist, I just wasn't that into anything about this book.

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN | This was the first book I've read by John Green and my interest only piqued after hearing countless bloggers rave about how good it was, specifically around the topic of mental illness. Initially I had a hard time adjusting to the book because the premise of searching for a missing millionaire felt very middle grade or even elementary, and the dialogue and conversations felt very adult, but eventually I got into the groove and it really grew on me.

I found Green's writing to be clever and engaging, but I wasn't crazy about the dialogue & there were some details that bugged me. I loved Aza's character and thought her anxiety and compulsions were really well expressed through Green's writing.

THE IMMORTALISTS |  I think I was nearly halfway through this book and still couldn't decide whether or not I liked it, but I couldn't stop reading. The book starts off with 4 children who go and see a woman who tells each of them the date they're going to die. Then it's broken up into four parts, with each part focusing on one of the children and how their lives end up playing out. This is probably something I wouldn't have gravitated towards on my own because of the magical element, but I saw Megan mention how much she loved it, and then I kept seeing it on lists of best of new releases so I was intrigued.

While the magical elements pop up here and there, it definitely didn't feel like the overall theme of the book, so I'm glad I didn't let that deter me from reading it because I really enjoyed it. The middle two parts were my favorite, but overall I enjoyed the writing and thought it was a really interesting premise for a book.

SURPRISE ME | The last two books I've read by Sophie Kinsella have been major favorites, otherwise I probably would have skipped over this book because the whole premise of it does not seem like my cup of tea. Basically a couple finds out they should live until they're really old-- celebrating 68 more anniversaries together. Instead of that news being a positive thing, they both kind of freak out, admitting they were never expecting to be married that long, which just doesn't make sense to me, because why would you be worried about finding out you get even more time with your spouse? I digress... It ended up not really being about that so much & the second half of the book was suddenly quite intense. Overall I did enjoy it and always enjoy Kinsella's characters. c/o netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I'm currently reading THE YEAR OF LIVING DANISHLY after Kelly mentioned it a few months ago. I haven't read any of the books on hygee, and I know very little about Danish culture, but so far I'm enjoying reading about the author's adventures as she settles into life in Denmark and tries to discover what makes it the happiest country in the world.

Linkup with Steph to share your recent reads, follow me on Goodreads, and see what I was reading last February.

What's New | Feb 2018

Happy first day of February-- also known as due date month around here, which is hard to believe. I feel like I've been pregnant forever, but also feel like the time has gone by so quickly.

affiliate links may be used in this post. clicks & purchases earn a small commission. 

1. I was a bit hesitant at first but we've been using Hello Fresh the past few weeks and it has been really convenient. A few summers ago we used Blue Apron for a couple of months (thoughts on blue apron 21 meals later), and it was okay, but we kind of had a lot of gripes with it. Hello Fresh has been much better as far as the ingredient quality, variety of meal choices, and the portion sizes are a lot bigger-- we have leftovers pretty often. I do think their prep and cook times always take way longer than what the recipe says, but for the most part we don't have any complaints and have cut way down on food waste.

2. Back in December I had to do the 3 hour glucose screening so I was looking for a new show to watch while I passed the time at the doctors office and decided to give The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel a try on based on Lindsay's recommendation. I didn't know anything about it, but it was so good! I loved the acting and writing, and the fashion was amazing too. Definitely something I would consider re-watching sooner rather than later, while waiting for season 2.

3. I can't remember the last time I slept through the night, so my under eyes are kind of a lost cause, but I've been loving the Becca under eye corrector! I think it's the combination of the color and the consistency that really gives a nice brightening effect without looking like you're wearing concealer 3 shades too light.

4. Sharp Objects was my favorite Gilian Flynn novel and it's being made into a mini-series on HBO with Amy Adams-- here's to hoping it's just as good as Big Little Lies!

5. I've been contemplating some kind of "healthy" dessert/snack to try and satisfy my chocolate craving, and am tempted to try this Pinch of Yum recipe, but the sweetener options make me a bit hesitant because I've read conflicting things about agave nectar, and I don't really care for maple syrup-- but maybe in the recipe you can't taste it? I'd love to know if anyone has made anything similar or has any recipes they'd recommend.

Linking up with Kristen for What's New With You & TBB.

My Year in Reading | 2017

Merry (almost) Christmas! I look forward to sharing my favorite books of the year all year long, so it's hard to believe it's actually finally time for a best of books recap! 2017 definitely ebbed and flowed for me with reading. During the first half of the year I was reading a lot, then I fizzled out a bit until the end of the year where I was able to squeeze in some last great books.

As far as my star ratings go, I only gave two novels 5-stars, which really only goes to show how rarely I rate anything 5-stars because I read so many amazing books this year-- way more 4-star books than ever! The majority of my books were 2017 releases-- only three books I read this year were published before 2000, which I'm pretty sure is thanks to the All of the Books podcast. I didn't keep up with tracking my book stats, but I can definitely say I read diversely across the fiction genre.

Pachinko | My favorite book of the year! The story and writing were so beautiful with characters that stick with you. my review | purchase

Beartown | This was one of my other 5-star reads. I love Backman's writing and his ability to really bring an entire town to life made this such a moving story for me. Apparently he's writing a sequel!? Which makes me equal parts excited and nervous. my review | purchase

The Leavers | This was such a captivating and heartbreaking story that I didn't want to end. my review | purchase

What Made Maddy Run | This story really stuck with me, because it's such an important topic with really compelling writing.  Read this book. Talk about this book. my review | purchase

My Not So Perfect Life | Definitely one of the most fun books I read all year. I laughed out loud at times and really loved everything from the storyline to all of the characters. my review | purchase

A few other books worth mentioning: Behold the Dreamers, The Hate U Give, and On Turpentine Lane. Persepolis was an amazing graphic novel I read, and I loved the Sarah Anderson comics and I'm already looking forward to her third book coming out next year.

If you want to share your favorite books of the year make sure to linkup with Steph on Tuesday the 26th. See my favorite books from the past few years: best of 2016best of 2015; best of 2014; best of 2013

Weekending & Favorites | December

I would start this post by saying I can't believe Christmas is already just a week away, but this year has gone by so quickly I actually can believe Christmas is next week. I wanted to do a little combo post today with a couple of favorites & some weekending linking up with Biana.

I've always wanted to participate in Wreaths Across America, but would always find out about it too late, so this year I made sure to mark it down on the calendar. Instead of going to Arlington we went to the Alexandria National Cemetery, because I have collapsed arches, meaning my feet start to hurt really bad, really fast (can you tell I'm a really fun pregnant person?) and I thought it would be less walking. It was a bit different from what we were expecting, but a really cool thing to experience, seeing so many people gathered together to honor our fallen Veterans. I definitely recommend checking it out if you ever get the chance, it's held in Veteran cemeteries all across the United States!

We stopped by the Christmas Market downtown and braved the crowds to get a churro-- highly recommend! We were also planning on going to a Festival of Lights, but staying warm on the couch won out instead- hopefully we'll be able to squeeze in going sometime later this week.

I've had my eye on this oversized cardigan from Target for the past couple of weeks so I made sure to order it when I saw it go on sale again. I'm obsessed with the color and anything oversized so I thought it would be perfect. The fit ended up being kind of odd, I know I'm pregnant, but I don't think that was the problem, and I felt like it would pill really quickly so back it went. While I was returning it Target was having another sweater sale so I picked up this lightweight one instead for $14 as soon as I saw the color. It definitely doesn't have the same cozy factor, but I know I'll wear it all the time. I'm still stalking this Free People cardigan (though not exactly how I'd wear it) and wishing I would have got it when it was on sale during Black Friday.

A few weeks ago I made oatmeal butterscotch cookies from a recipe I found on Pinterest and they were divine! I used this recipe, and then realized it's basically the same thing that's on the back of the butterscotch chips (which makes me think of the Friends episode, the one with phoebe's cookies). So it's not anything too fancy, but after a previous butterscotch cookie attempt that didn't turn out the best, I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely make these again.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and holiday season spending time with friends & family!

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