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Can't Live Without It



I'll be back on Friday morning with a fresh Can't Live Without It post but until then, grab that image, link up with my fellow mamas Cait and Laura and tell us what you just can't live without! 



Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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Moving Week


Moving again.

I honestly can't verbalize the crazy train of emotions that sentence brings to the surface.

Exhaustion is currently the front runner, so I'm going with that.

Our new house is......coming along.


 We've grabbed a few last minute things (these bar stools are my fave budget friendly dupe so far) with what is left of our budget (so, zero dollars) and we're scrambling to make sure that we have all of our fixtures and hardware in place.

Construction absolutely must be finished by Thursday afternoon so that we can pass our occupancy inspection.

No pass, no people.

Our crap can move in but we can't.

That would mean a jaunt in a hotel until we can pass (note that we are working dangerously close to a weekend here) and ain't nobody got time for that.

So, what's left on the mandatory agenda on the construction site?

Granite instal, back splash install, hard wood floors in at least half of the house, second coats of paint on the fireplace/bedrooms/play room, instal of the powder bath, install all kitchen appliances, install all laundry room appliances, install of all overhead lighting and wall sconces, all closet hardware, all doorknobs, laundry room pocket door install, play room french door install, replace the wrong kitchen drawers for the right ones, finish all trim over kitchen cabs, glass cabinet face install,  guest bath shower hardware install, guest bath toilet install, guest bath vanity/mirror/faucet/lights install, new windows throughout and HVAC completion.

So, yeah.

I'm honestly not so confident that everyone will make that happen in time.


 Justin and 6 other various craftsmen are currently at the house (it's 8:15 pm as I type) and everyone will be pulling very late nights to pull this deadline off.

Why not push the move back?

Well, we can't.

First of all, we are only renting our apartment through the end of this month and secondly, we aren't the bosses of our move. Since we are moving with a corporate relocation, we really don't have any say in the scheduling of the move. The truck is coming, ready or not.

Please, Holy Hannah, let us be more ready than not. 

I'm going to try to blog this week but if I'm MIA, you'll know where I am (Lowe's) and where to find me (Instagram).
Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Can't Live Without It


Short and sweet because we're headed to the beach!

I literally cannot live without this car mount for my iPhone.


I don't have a cool nav screen in my SUV so when I'm navigating on a trip I need this bad boy to keep me on track and my eyes on the road (and not in my lap where my phone has a tendency to ride).

It's also the perfect spot to prop my phone when I'm blabbing to Megan through my car sound system or to blare the Children's Indie Pandora station for the babe.


We're headed to the beach to lay in the sun chase the baby around and celebrate our two year anniversary - when we get home, our house should literally be almost complete! Just 7 days until we move in....and here's what she looked like today


yikes.



It's your turn! Grab the image, link back to me, Cait and Laura and tell us something that you just can't live without!

Have a fab holiday weekend! 


Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Road Trip Diaper Bag



Oh buddies, I can't tell you how excited I am for this weekend!
We're headed to a Carolina beach that is within driving distance from our house - a huge change from our days in Maine where "beach" can be loosely translated to "rocky strip of arctic ocean buffer". 

We haven't taken a road trip with the babe since he was teeny tiny and willing to sleep for 6 hours at a time and call it a nap. Those days are long gone and now my tiny tyrant demands to be entertained while cruising. Snacks, sippy cups, toys, mirrors and loud sing alongs are the name of the game - and that's just for our usual ride to Target.

With a 4 hour drive ahead of us, I knew it was time to get down to business and start organizing my bag. Heaven help us if I get rushed and forget the back up can of puffs... 

So, don't be scared, but what you're about to see is all that I deemed to be on the Mandatory Pack List for my diaper bag.


Let's discuss, shall we?

Mama things: wallet, sunnies, lipstick, cash for Starbucks. No explanation needed.

Keys for the babe: he's obsessed with mine. Prying my car keys from his slobbery little fingers every time I need to lock the door is not worth the battle so I caved and got him his own set.

Baby Sunscreen: this is our go to brand. I keep it with me at all times because, as you know, my son was born in Maine and therefor rarely exposed to the sun.

Scented Trash Bags: pit stop diaper changes require scented trash bags. Enough said.

Snacks: required snack foods include Veggie Straws in bulk and puffs by the can. Supplies are doled out in the Snack Keeper and in his car seat cup holder to keep the peace. 

Back Up Cell Charger: I never know when I'll need to plug in my cell (that's a lie - I always need to plug in my cell phone) so I carry a car adapter and a wall plug for my cell. 

Sippy Cup: this is our go to sippy these days. G is all about drinking from a straw (especially if said straw is in my drink) so Nuby hooked him up with the Flip and Sip cup. The lid clicks into place so I know it won't leak and the straw is weighted so that he can't pull it out and then spray my backseat with tepid water. He also enjoys banging the cup on the window next to his seat so I can attest that the handles are easy to grip and the sides are strong against abuse. I'll load him into his car seat and hand him the Flip and Sip right away and keep the Click It Insulated Flex Straw cup as a back up in my bag. The insulated layer of the Click It makes me feel a bit more confident that I'm handing him a cool beverage half way through our trip and the locking system on the cup's top keeps the contents of said beverage from slowing soaking every single thing I own. Because some of his fave snacks are a teensy bit salty, I make sure that he consumes a little extra H20 in combo with his formula.

Misc Toys: I pack a ton of small toys instead of a few big ones so that I can hand out the small toys constantly over the duration of the trip. He will toss one toy in seconds, so being prepared to hand over another one is the name of the game. A set of foam bath toys, these rings and these animal shapes are easy to toss into my bag and perfect for him to gnaw on and then toss when he's over it. 

Extra Mama Things: a notebook to jot down work stuff, extra bobby pins (because a top knot is cuter than puff crusted hair) and my phone locked and loaded with videos of Peppa Pig.

Neat Cheeks for face wiping and Honest wipes for bottom wiping: Neat Cheeks are my jam - how they actually invented a product that is sweet tasting but not sticky is beyond me. My kid really doesn't mind having his face wiped with these (just don't try to pick his nose - that will not fly no matter how sweet the tissue). I'm not super into paying the high price of Honest products, but the $.99 packs of wipes are just so darn easy to stash in my bag that I always grab a few on my Target runs.

Actual sustenance in the form of organic pouches and the world's stickiest teething cookies for emergency purposes only.

And finally, Tylenol for Daddy who has a low tolerance for bad drivers and screaming babies trapped in car seats

 Seems like a ton, huh?
Yeah.
It is a ton. 

Thank all the things for the Baby Bag inside of the Madeline by Lily Jade 

Yes, that would be every single item pictured (plus a built in changing pad) organized and tucked into a pocket. 

Even after all of that, I had a little extra room so I tossed in a Doc McStuffins ball that will entertain him for 12 seconds and an extra can of puffs that will earn me approximately 20 minutes of happiness.

Load that Baby Bag into the Madeline and we're ready to hit the highway.
(along with the 12,000 other beach goers for Memorial Day Weekend) 


As a bonus for road tripping mamas, the Madeline can be worn as a cross body or a backpack which is ideal for gas station bathroom diaper changes - I mean, who wants to put their diaper bag on the floor of a gas station restroom (besides Britney Spears, of course)?

Thank you Lily Jade for sending Madeline and saving me from a Britney Spears circa 2005 style escapade with my infant. 

And yes, there are still empty pockets that can be filled with my road trip snack of choice:
Cool Ranch Doritos.

Sorry, not sorry.

Pray for our sanity ya'll, we'll need it. 



Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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The Mom Suit Grand Finale


Ok, mamas. 
We spent some time together this Winter discussing the much loathed search for a post postpartum bathing suit. I had some hits and some very, very big misses

I went on vacation feeling hopeful that I would feel better about myself the next time I wore a bathing suit in public because, of course, from the moment I got back, I would make time to work out and get into shape. We all know how that went.

But I'm going to be honest.

While I haven't changed my shape, I have been watching what I've been eating (and drinking, sigh) and I think that I've come to a place where I don't wish my body away. This body is the one I'm rocking and that won't change between now and the start of our beach trip this Friday.

And so, because I know so many of you waited for me to give honest reviews of the suits that I tried a few months ago, I am going to review my two new swim suit purchases. And no, I will not be modeling them. You are welcome.


Ok, I mentioned this bikini top the other day and I'd ready to discuss it at length now.

Yes, I am going to wear a bikini. 
Not a string one or anything, but a respectable, still reasonably stylish, C Section scar covering bikini.

The top is incredibly supportive - the cups have shape but no bulky padding - and the band is wide. When the shoulder straps are adjusted just right it pulls you up and somehow still contains. Not an easy find. 

The bottom has the cute, retro vibe working for it and a few strategically placed ruched side panels. It doesn't come up so high that you look like you're wearing granny panties but high enough that your below the belly button pregnancy skin (and stretch marks) are hidden from view.

Because I felt that my search for the right mom suit was really all about my mid section and rear, I decided that I should stick with this bottom and work in a bathing suit top or two that I already have and fit my new ta tas. I wore this one in Greece when I was hugely pregnant (see below) and love the mint color.

 I spy the tips of my toes and marks from my clothes thanks to fluid retention....traveling while super pregnant is so glam!

I added this Target black top in the same style a few weeks ago to round out my bikini choices. I love the soft bo ho ruffle and of course the straps to hike 'em up - and you can never go wrong with a black two piece.



Today I took one last spin around the Target bathing suit section and found this babe of a mom one piece on sale. She came home with me and I think she'll be perfect for the days that I don't have the balls to let it all out for the world to see.



Now that I've talked myself into wearing two pieces again, I have also stepped up my cover up game.
I am obsessed with the caftan look and am rocking my Lilly for Target piece (Old Navy has a very similar version). I'm also loving this incredibly soft Old Navy tassle scarf as a cover up - the color is perfect and the size is on point.

Ok, so, you know, send good vibes or beach body prayers or mom confidence waves to me this weekend when I hit the beach and let my belly see the light of day for the first time in a year!
Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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O.V.E.R.




Let me begin by saying that Motherhood is a beautiful gift that I am grateful for.

Most days.

If you need a sweet, heartfelt, inspirational post on being a mama, check out this little diddy that I whipped up a few months ago because today just ain't that kinda day.

Today is the kind of day that ends in red wine and cookie butter cheesecake bites that were worth braving a monsoon to procure. 

The kind of day where I hid in my car and was secretly grateful that, at the very least, my kid was restrained in a four point harness and unable to terrorize anyone or anything.

The kind of day where my kid's onesie is never actually snapped at the crotch because he is just so hard to wrestle to the ground after every diaper change and, frankly, I don't care if he looks like he's wearing a dress. 

The kind of day where I managed to stress sweat through my clothes by 10 am after watching my kid crush teething cookies in his bare hands and then slowly but effectively open each finger and watch the pieces fall out onto office carpet. 

The kind of day where people in said office got up to close their doors as my kid tried his new favorite trick of hearing his screeches echo in large spaces.

 Today is the kind of day where I longed to run into my fave salad place for a grown up lunch on the run but just couldn't stomach the idea of unbuckling and re-buckling my kid into his car seat.

 Today is the kind of day where I learned that my kid might actually understand the word "no" at 10 months old and might also already be choosing to ignore me because the sound of the snack keeper hitting the oven over and over again is just that good.

Today is the kind of day where I fed my kid whatever he wanted (organic pouches. check. waffle fries. sure. grande strawberry smoothie. don't bother sharing, buddy.) just to make him happy. 
And ate most of it myself when he threw it back at me (well, most of the waffle fries at least).

Today is the kind of day where I wanted to talk to my best friend on the phone but couldn't be heard over the hyena noises coming from the wild animal wrapped around my leg.

 The kind of day where all I wanted was a glass of wine and someone to serve it to me but my kid hated to be in his highchair and so my husband decided to remove him and place him in our booth. In just a matter of seconds, my husband learned that not only can our kid reach EVERYthing but he can also flip a plate full of lasagna all over a restaurant and then scream like someone is forcing him to clean it up.

Today is the kind of day where we gave up on even bothering to consume our freshly presented dinner and asked for boxes and the check instead.

Today is the kind of day where I slipped out to the chiropractor before bedtime and considered it a spa break.

Today is the kind of day where I reheated the leftovers and called it dinner - again.

Today is the kind of day where I wondered if I should have been more engaged, created some sort of mommy and son craft, scheduled a play date, read him books, sung to him more....

Today is the kind of day where I wondered if I have any idea what I'm doing.

Today is a day that he won.

But tomorrow?

Tomorrow, it's all me, baby.
Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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Can't Live Without It



Ok, ladies, I'm keeping this one extra short and sweet because I have quite a few emails, comments and messages to respond to after yesterday's post! Ya'll sure had some strong emotions on that one and I loved reading every single word that you shared. 

I will preface this by saying that this is perhaps one of the more expensive items that I've included in the Can't Live Without It Link Up but it is a game changer, so hear me out.

When we bought our new mattress, we went to a local chain that works the sales charm like no other. It's cool, we get it, everyone's got to make that money, honey. And we mostly avoided all of the shenanigans....except for one thing:


Ya'll, this joker is coconut scented.
And the thickest memory foam of all time.

The salesman convinced us to first choose a pillow from the pillow rack and then had us tote it around to all of the mattresses so that we would get the same "feel" for each mattress and be able to compare them accurately. Yeah, right. He knew the second my face hit that coconut scented piece of Heaven we'd be taking two home. 

The memory foam rocks my husband's allergy infested world and the coconut makes me feel like I'm drifting off to sleep in a magical vacation hammock instead of in my temporary apartment full of boxes.

So, let's talk about the price.

It's kind of high. 

$125 for a pillow?

Yeah, I'm not sure that I would have ever considered paying that for a pillow either but after ours were tossed in "for free" (no such thing) and I've been sleeping on one for two months now, I know that I can never go back to snoozing on a regular old pillow again. 

I did search out a cheaper version, in case you're interested, but I have no idea about the quality or experience, just that the price is lower. If you snag the more wallet friendly version, send me an email and tell me what you think and I'll update this post! 

Did I mention that it comes in Lavender?
Sweet Dreams, mamas!

Ok, your turn!
Grab the button, link back to Cait, Laura and Moi and then whip up a post about something that you just can't live without! Don't forget to use the #cantlivewithoutit hashtag so we can find you on Instagram! 




Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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I Guess I Am That Kind Of Mom




So, I guess I am that kind of mom.

I spent the weekend in Chicago pretending to be awake and fun for dinner reservations at 9pm, dancing at a club at 2am and for a show that started at 11pm. 
Chicago time.
 (that's an hour behind the East Coast in case you're wondering). 

While I was there, I had the pleasure of meeting a friend of the Bride who happens to serve as a private hair stylist to the Manhattan elite. Obviously, I saw my opportunity to sit and sleep with my eyes open while she did my hair for the night, so I pounced on her. I started off by listing my hair woes (a list that hasn't changed much since middle school) and harped on how limp and greasy my hair is....and, of course, blamed it on the post baby hormones. And the water in Maine. And then the transition to different water in South Carolina. And my olive skin tone. 

She (pretend to) listened to my tirade and then looked me dead in the eye and said:

honestly, how often do you even blow dry your hair?

me: well, I have a...

her: and DON'T say "well, I have a baby"

me: uuuuh. I have a baby.
so, never.

It hadn't even dawned on me that I was doing one of those "when I'm a mom, I'll never..." things but, there I was, kicked can of dry shampoo in hand, blaming my oily scalp on my 10 month old. 

And then it happened. 
A single, childless semi-stranger read me the riot act.

My new friend told me that it was time I got my shit together. 

So what if I had a baby - I still had a hair dryer, right? 
I still showered, didn't I? 
(she did not appreciate the expression I gave her in response to that question which was meant to be interpreted as "suuuuuure I do.....sometimes")

Her point: it was time that I quit pulling the Mom Card and start prioritizing at least the basic level of personal maintenance.

So, ok, I don't take care of myself like I used to.
My weight is a bit out of control for my frame and health, my eyebrows have to get really bushy before I get them waxed and my best friend begs me to get a mani on the reg. 

But I'm a Mom so I'm super busy.

If I'm being honest, I don't really feel all that great about myself right now. 
I don't love looking in the mirror, I hate the size of clothing that I'm purchasing to accommodate my size and I often discuss a certain medical procedure that I cannot wait to have on a certain part of my anatomy that is discussed far too often on this blog. 

I didn't realize that I was making excuses until a perfect stranger called me on it.
And I was making excuses. Everything from the move, weather in Maine, weather in South Carolina, the baby, the apartment, the new house, the old house, hormones, being a stay at home mom, being a work from home mom, being a blogger, you name it, I used it to justify letting myself go.
And that shit is rogue.

So enough is enough.

I let the hairstylist therapy session sink in for a day or so and today I made a point of blow drying my hair, curling it, using product and putting on make up. 
I skipped shaving my legs, despite wearing a shorts romper, but I did put on a necklace, so I'm calling it a win. Baby steps, people, baby steps.

Tomorrow, I hope to go to our new neighborhood and check out a gym that has child care. If all else fails, maybe I'll just drive over there to grab a shower and check emails in the locker room without a baby eating the corner of my soggy bath towel while picking at my toe nail polish (it's gel, so it's not going anywhere. I'm no fool).

I don't want to be the kind of mom who let's herself go and is unhappy in her own skin. I was never that way as normal person, why would I settle for that now that I'm a mother (with my child watching and learning from me, no less)? 

What is it about caring for another human that makes us completely ok with no longer caring for ourselves in even the most basic way? 



.......

If you know the answer to that, leave it in the comments below, I'm too tired from all of my hair brushing and outfit wearing today to even attempt to solve that one. 






Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Baby Boy Style


I won't lie, I get a ton of emails from fellow baby boy mamas asking where I snag G's threads. I know it can be a bit of a bummer when it comes to dressing a baby boy instead of a girl babe (all of the bows! bitty shoes! mama + mini outfits!) but finding pieces for baby boy that are classic, stylish and slogan free can be done, I promise! 

My go to shops are Old Navy and Baby Gap but I never buy anything full price from either stops. Both run a billion sales and paying full price is kinda stupid. I know this is not news to ya'll, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Recent snags from Old Navy include these babies:


P.S. there's currently a 15% off code on kids and baby - use COOL at check out

I also die for these recent Baby Gap finds



As far as baby boy's Southern Style goes, my Mother In Law makes all of his monogrammed bubbles and Jon Johs, so I'm a little spoiled there. She has an Etsy shop and her smocking skills are on point. Speaking of Etsy/shopping small, if you're in the market for some Southern Style swag, two of my fave monogram and smocking shops are Crystal Faye (I want a matching pull over for me and G like whoa) and Smocked Auctions  (holy college football outfits!).


And for my baby boy grand finale, I was in Chicago this past weekend for a Bachelorette (hence the radio silence on the blog, my old mom ass barely survived my 3am club appearance and am still recuperating) and our hotel happened to be across the street from a gigantic ZARA. Obviously, Gray cleaned up in that deal. Zara has the cutest selection of on trend boy clothes that are free of any obnoxious sayings, have a wallet friendly price tag and are adorable without being babyish. P.S. this isn't a sponsored post (despite sounding like one) I just drank the ZARA cool aid and needed to share my crazy. 

 So here's what I snagged for the babe


| navy shorts | giraffe tee | palm shorts | striped tee | wave shorts |

Those tees are going to be in constant rotation around here (and if you look closely, the stripe one already has baby food smeared on it because I just had to put him in it. Blogger pro move, if I do say so myself).

So there it is, my Southern Gentleman/Hipster Baby/Classic Prepster mash up of a baby boy style post. Go forth and conquer, boy mamas! 

Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Mother's Day



The fabulous Jenn of Fruit Snacks and Flannel was sweet enough to include me in an incredible group of women who were asked to define the word "motherhood". The result is a sweet, tender post that is a must read for Mother's Day. 

My unfiltered as always thoughts on the topic are below and you can read Jenn's post here

Motherhood is such a loaded word! It’s puffs smashed in my hair, slobbery kisses, spit up on my clothes, endless rounds of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, pacis in my purse, extra round thighs (his and mine), organic pouches with a side of Chick-fil-a waffle fries, car naps, play dates (his and mine), permanently chipped manis and scrunchy nose smiles. Motherhood is doing a million things but never feeling like a single one was accomplished, praying for an extra 20 minutes to sleep in and staying up late scrolling through photos on your phone, fixing six meals a day but never sitting down to eat one yourself. Motherhood is none of the things I thought it would be but all of the things I dreamed it could be. 

Happy Mother's Day! 



Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Can't Live Without It


Happy almost weekend my friends!

Ready to Link It Up??


Ok, this is huge news.

We passed all of our inspections on the reno and now things are really moving fast!
Dry wall is going up as we speak, floors will go down, tile will be grouted and then it's all gravy! 

So, what does that mean for me?
Shopping!

You guys, we have never had dining room chairs.

Ever.

We have a gorgeous 8 foot long farm table that Justin and Mark made for me but once the table was done, the project was a wrap. Dunzo. No benches for moi.


In our first house in South Carolina, we used our kitchen chairs, in Maine we just left the table all naked and chair-less but now in the new house we will (finally!) have official dining room chairs!


P.S. You know you are an adult when you lose your mind over chairs.

Wanna see my Can't Live Without Them dining room chairs?


We have 4 of these gorgeous cream linen chairs and then, just to keep things interesting, we decided to do the chairs at the head of the table in grey suede. 


The wood is a light distressed wood that I hope will pop against the dark coffee color of the table and tie in with the new light fixtures. Side Note: if you're in the market for a chandy like our new dining room fixture (we're rocking two of them to make a statement and cover the length of our table), check out this one at a more friendly price point. I also Pinned a ton of our top contenders if you're interested in seeing how the design has evolved. 

I'm headed to Chicago for a Bachelorette Weekend (my goal is to stay awake for all of the scheduled events, #momprobz) and hope ya'll have a fabulous weekend!

Wanna join us for the Link Up?
Just grab the button (P.S. if you've linked up before, it's a new button with my new blog name!), link back to Cait, Laura and me and write about something that you just can't live without!




Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Pool Must Haves


Hello, Summer!

One of the best parts of our temporary apartment is that we have a pool in our complex that is just begging us to come visit it now that the temps are bouncing into the 80's.

The babe loves the water and we love taking him to splash around in the evenings before the dreaded bed time routine begins. 

I thought I would round up some of my pool must haves (some from our trips to the local pool and some from our trip to St. Maarten) and share them with ya'll so that you have a shopping list as you hit the pool aisle at Target. 


My fair baby requires layers of sunscreen and a hat at the mere mention of sun exposure.
I love the Carter's Lobster hat in these pictures (which is sadly sold out but this print is just as cute!) because he's reppin' his home state but have also used this sun hat since he was just a few weeks old (the adjustable head area was perfect for his giant newborn noggin). 

| my cover up is Lilly for Target, so obviously sold out similar | my suit

We tried a handful of baby sunscreens during our time in the Islands and I just kept coming back to the Babyganics brand. The texture isn't greasy, it absorbs relatively well and the price is reasonable. 
I carry it in my diaper bag with me all day, 'err day. 


I die for these little swim diapers (and yes, my kid has a death grip on a Starbucks straw in all of these photos).
They say you can go sans actual diaper under them but I'm not that brave or into doing laundry. I originally found our first pair on Amazon but Target is carrying the exact same brand now! My fave thing about these little swimmie bottoms is that they come in a super small 0-3 month size, which we needed/rocked on our trip. 


Our go-to floatie device is this baby.
It has one million toys, super secure leg supports and a gigantic, adjustable sun shade.
It came with us on our trip because it folds up flat and travels oh so well. 


And last, most definitely not least, we use the Huggies brand swim diaper
We've yet to have a major incident and I love that they come with the sides secured so that you can pull them on like a pull up or pull them apart and put them on like a regular diaper. 


and for Mama, check out this bikini top.
I tried it on today and the support is perfect for bigger melons. The thick band can hide at least one weird roll (am I the only one with a fat roll on my back at my bra line? so rogue.) Anyways, the top has a cute faux retro vibe while keeping the ladies in line and still not looking like a grandma. 
Pair it with a high waisted retro bottom and you're mostly covered but still kinda stylish. 
Kinda stylish is as high as I aim these days. 

Other items in my pool bag include: a can of puffs, a sippy with fresh H20, a rash guard (we have this one), a sunscreen stick for quick application and an extra cover up for me. Seasoned mamas, what am I missing?

P.S. Olive & Tate is now on Facebook! Follow the Facebook page for post updates, pics and Lord knows what else. At least you'll be entertained at work, right??

P.P.S. It seems the name change may have rocked Bloglovin's world. Make sure that you double check that you are still following the Olive & Tate Bloglovin' page if that's you preferred reader! 
Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Launch Day Live Stream




Have you ever wondered how I work with my best friend and still manage to stay friends with her?
Ever wonder what it is that I actually do at Willow Crowns

Ever wonder how/why Megan actually puts up with me??

I thought it might be fun to document my crazy thoughts, wild feelings and riveting activities during the launch of our Summer Collection totally unfiltered, minute by minute. What came out of that stream of consciousness has been dumped into this post, straight from the Note I kept open on my phone throughout the day.

 Brace yourselves.

Launch Day Live Stream


6:52am G wakes up. I am wiped from staying up late trying to get the wording on the listings just right before the launch. 

6:54 Justin gets up to make a bottle and I get the baby

6:55 Everyone back in our bed, baby eats, we doze

7:00 Justin begins the process of snoozing his alarm until the last possible second

7:05 Gray begins morning routine of climbing us, smashing pillows and attempting to fall off the bed

7:10 Check my phone to find good luck texts from friends....and an "I'm nervous" text from Meg. Pretty standard launch morning.

7:15 Justin officially gets up

7:17 I turn on Doc McStuffins and snuggle/wrestle with my baby who is most definitely all boy

7:35 Justin leaves for work, I thank God for Doc McStuffins on On Demand and check Instagram to see if there are any WC questions that need answering. Luckily, Meg is an insomniac the night before a launch so she got them all. Check emails for the blog, WC and personal. Facebook last night's blog post.

7:50 My parents Face Time the baby

8:15 G goes down for a morning nap

8:17 Guzzle Diet Dr Pepper Cherry bc I won't get my hands on a Starbucks until 10am or so.

8:18 Go back through social media, respond to emails, consider changing a listing photo or two, load an Instagram loop post on Latergramme so I don't miss it

8:20 Attempt to calm Meg's pre-launch nerves. Do a bad job. Say something like "well, it's too late now"

8:50 The baby is up and super happy so I let him play in his crib while I attempt to make a bottle

8:51 Realize that we're almost out of formula and that I really, really need to do dishes so the bottle is out and the Baby Brekkie pouch is in.

8:52 Go get the smiling babe, let him crawl around the nursery while I pick out his outfit for the day, wrangle him into said outfit, curse the person who put snaps and buttons on baby clothes

9am Put baby in his bouncy chair, hand him the Brekkie pouch and make the music go crazy on the bouncy seat.

9:02 Grab a pair of jeans out of the hamper on my way to my bathroom, a shirt off the floor and get dressed while eyeing yesterday's eyeliner that is now on my cheek

9:05 Check phone for texts from Meg. Radio silence. Remember she's doing MDO drop off.

9:06 Realize that I'm out of dry shampoo despite having two cans on hand. Ugh. That is bad news bears.

9:07 Abandon hair, throw foundation, blush and mascara on.

9:09 Back to hair....it's a lost cause. Throw it in a top knot, toss on an Isla Headband, consider my lack of clean hair to be supporting the brand because at least I'm rocking one of our pieces. 

9:10 Check on the baby, give him some dried peas, piss him off royally when I eat one in front of him. Turn on Doc bc she fixes everything

9:15 Take a rogue iPhone selfie of my top knot/Isla Lace combo, filter the shit out of it, post as reminder that we go live in an hour and 15 mins (Crap, that soon?!)

9:25 Start packing a giant tote bag of stuff I'll need to live at Starbucks for the day - computer, all of the cords and chargers, WC notes and plenty of cash loaded onto my Starbucks card

9:40 General faux tidying of the apartment to kill time

9:45 Snuggle the baby because he's giving me his new crinkly nose smile and I can't resist it

10:06 Check top knot Insta, see funny comments from my friends, feel grateful

10:07 see text from Meg but fussy baby wins out so she gets ignored.

10:08 Less than an hour to go. Starting to get antsy. Wondering when Justin will get here to take the baby so I can head to my office for the day

10:11 Get update from Meg on stock, update website while attempting to keep baby from launching off the couch

10:14 Get a really, really terrible funny selfie of Meg's nervous face and want to post it here so badly but know she'll fly to SC and slap me if I do

10:15 Text discussion about our last "housekeeping" Instagram that will go live in 15 mins. Double check our Instagram schedule for the day to make sure we haven't missed anything. Most of our customers come over to our site from our Insta so we always announce our drops there and all of our important announcements hit Insta first.

10:19 Happily wonder to Meg why we're getting orders just an hour pre-launch...she thinks customers are worried our signature laces will sell out so they are hedging their bets. I'm impressed with that level of planning.

10:20 Justin walks in the door. I'm super grateful that he's able to work from home for part of the day today so that I can work baby free. I'm honestly so thankful for how supportive he is.

10:21 Out the door, giant tote loaded and nerves kinda spiking

10:22 Call Megan. She threatens to close the business after all of the pre-launch stress. I laugh at her. (why she is still friends with me/wants to work together, I'll never know)

10:29 Get off the phone, head into Starbucks for a giant coffee and to set up my home base for the day

10:35 Wait way too long for a coffee, see my regular drive through Barista, we greet each other by name (I'm here a lot)

10:36 Check the traffic and comments on Meg's Insta, last one before the launch image

10:37 Log in to our site, see traffic is doing really well, get butterflies like whoa

10:40 Meg's Insta previews our newest lace, named Charlotte after the royal baby and bc she looks like a crown - response is super positive so I'm excited - we love our laces so hard, we want everyone else to love them too

10:41 I'm super nervous but don't tell Meg. My job is really critical today and I'm typically the chill one on launch days so I don't want to fuel her nerves. Putting so much of ourselves out there creatively is really tough. It makes us feel super vulnerable and we each love our collection so much. It's scary to think something that we worked so hard to create will be a total flop or hated across the Internet.

10:43 Stare at our behind the scenes listings, wonder if I strong armed Meg into the wrong listing images for the home page. I love them but I'm second guessing their impact.

10:44 Check all social media, see our fave photog/friend has blogged the mama mini session of Meg and Liv in their floral crowns to announce our launch. The support of our friends is unreal and so touching to me. Check the post and the photos are gorgeous. I remember that I was there, wrangling my fave girl and then went into labor 6 hours later.

10:49 My nerves are manifesting into emotion - I'm missing Meg and Olivia and sad that Meg hasn't seen G in so long. I'm also feeling lucky to have my husband's support of my venture with Willow Crowns.

10:50 I start to read through the listings again but decide not to. It's done, I'm ready, now I wait.

10:55 Realize my phone battery is already down to 37%. #bloggerprobs

10:58 Get a call from Meg and we talk to kill time until 11 am when everything goes live

11:00 Summer is live

11:00 I love the way the site looks

11:00 Instagram announcement is live

11:03 15 orders in! Holy shit. Time to work.

11:10 So many orders, so many sold out listings. Trying to stay on top of the site traffic and amazed that the first sell out happened in less than 3 minutes.

11:11 Call Megan - she is kind of hyperventilating with excitement - I tell her no time for that, I need her to do work with me on the phone and to get it together. I'm only half joking. 

11:15 Feel pretty good that the site is mistake free and I haven't made any huge errors - if I had, I would know by now. Big sigh of relief. 

11:31 Coming up for air. As usual I was completely shocked about what sold out first. I never, ever guess right! At this point everything we have is available on the .com so I stop monitoring products and move on to emails and Instagram.

11:37 Going through the orders and am shocked that the first ones were processed at 11:02 am my time, meaning customers had our site open and ready to shop the second the listings went live. 

11:45 Finally going through the live site listing by listing to search for typos admire my handiwork

11:45 Meg texts "that was an insane 45 minutes"

11:47 Guy next to me is told by a stranger that he is "the hottest person ever seen in this Starbucks". I feel a little offended.

11:49 Meg sends me the stats on how many sales and pieces sold in the first 45 minutes. She is stunned, I am super proud. 

12:00 My phone officially has 10% battery and I have to pee like whoa

12:01 Respond to custom order requests, create custom order listings, debate changing a listing photo or two, respond to texts from friends who placed orders

12:13 Get another giant coffee

12:13 Burn tongue on said giant coffee 

12:15 Feel pretty proud of the changes we made in how we launched this collection after the craziness that was Spring. Things are calmer, our customers have less questions and Meg feels super prepared to ship product. 

12:26 More follow up on customer comments on both Instagram accounts, emails and a few corrections to orders - and a text from the husband about how hard it is to get things accomplished with the baby (insert monkey covering eyes emoji here)

12:36 Call Meg to tell her how weird it feels that we have everything so under control. She's already shipping orders - pat selves on back.

1pm: The website is holding strong with 0 technical issues, orders are headed to the post office, Meg has cried tears of joy/relief, I've had 40 oz of coffee and 12oz of Diet Dr. Pepper and am just so proud of this launch. I call it a wrap on the Starbucks portion of the day and head home to send the husband back to the office.

1:07 Post another Instagram (def over-gramming today) to thank our friends and customers for all of their support and enthusiasm over the collection. 

1:15 The baby is napping so I immediately set up my laptop to check orders, emails and Pin our new pieces to Pinterest. 

1:20 Add another Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry to the caffeine total and think that I probably should eat something at some point but the caffeine and nervous energy have my tummy in knots.

1:45 Send Megan an update text about what listings have sold out and where we stand on product availability 

2pm My husband wraps up a phone conference and offers to take the baby and I out to a late lunch to celebrate another successful launch when the baby wakes.

2:06 Feeling super pleased with my kid for taking a legit afternoon nap and cutting his mama some slack on a busy day. Make mental note to reward him with Veggie Straws later today.

2:07 Check the site after new orders come in to find another listing sold out! Feel pretty relieved that we still have quite a bit of stock thanks to all of Meg's man hours and our lessons learned from the Spring Launch.

2:09 Hear the babe waking and am just so proud of how today has gone. I think I'm at a place where I can take a break from the laptop, call it a wrap on the Live Stream and work from my phone while dining with my people al fresco in honor of Cinco de Mayo. 

So, was it as glam as you thought it would be?? 



Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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