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Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad


 
Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad

We're trying to take advantage of the (slightly) less scorching temps in the evening to let the babe run off some energy in our backyard so we've been grilling a ton. Or at least that's the excuse I use when I ask my husband to grill every night so that I don't have to heat up the oven. Anyway, we made an amazing grilled Romaine and steak salad the other night that I had to share. Grilled summer veggies, one steak split between two people (a super budget friendly way to get your steak fix!), Gorgonzola and yummy balsamic make this recipe a win in my book! Also, if you've never grilled an avocado, get ready to have your world rocked.

Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad 

Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad

Ingredients

Two heads of Romaine 
1 New York Strip (or steak of choice)
I bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 ripe avocado, halved
crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
sliced red onion
cherry tomatoes, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper
Trader Joe's Thyme Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette or balsamic dressing of choice

Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad

 
Method
get the grill nice and hot
grill steak to your desired temp
drizzle olive oil over asparagus, red onion and the flesh of the avocado
Peel off and discard any pieces of the Romaine that don't look appetizing - make sure to leave the bunch intact 
drizzle olive oil on Romaine
grill all veggies making sure not to let the Romaine get too crispy

Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad

Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad
 
Remove all from grill, slice steak, chop all veggies
Layer cheese, veggies, avocado, steak and dressing over grilled Romaine

Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad

If you aren't feeling the grilled Romaine (my husband wasn't), fear not, this salad is unreal over spinach! 

Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad

Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad
Serve with red wine and enjoy!

Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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Cookie Butter Brownies


Cookie Butter Brownies

I've missed cooking. Summer keeps me out of the kitchen but sometimes a craving takes over and I find myself standing in front of a hot oven, begging a batch of goodness to hurry up and bake. Yesterday's craving can all be blamed on my sweet friend Lauren who recently made a batch of brownies laced with Cookie Butter that I just couldn't get over. Justin was begging for a batch to call his own, so off I went to Trader Joe's. I have to admit that these Cookie Butter Brownies may be my best recipe of all time, so I should just go ahead and hang up my apron.

Cookie Butter Brownies

Cookie Butter Brownies


Ingredients

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) melted butter
1 1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
2 big spoonfuls of Cookie Butter

Method

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
grease an 8x8 or 9x9 pan 
In a stand mixer, mix eggs on medium speed
Once eggs are light yellow in color, add in both sugars and continue mixing at medium speed
Add melted butter, cocoa, salt, vanilla and flour
Mix until fully combined, making sure to scrape flour off of the sides of your bowl so that it can all be incorporated
Turn off mixer and fold in chocolate chips
Pour mix into pan and spread it evenly
drop small blobs of Cookie Butter all around the pan, gently blend in to the batter, using a fork
Bake 50 mins or until cooked through

Cookie Butter Brownies

Amazing.

Wanna pin it? 

Cookie Butter Brownies

Recipe loosely adapted from this recipe, which was loosely adapted from Alton Brown's. 
Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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"If Only" with Owlet


Thank you to Owlet for sponsoring this post and providing product for my review. This post is based upon my experience and all opinions are my own. 

If Only I'd Had An Owlet When I Had My First Baby

 Just the other night, my very sweet girlfriend and I were having a conversation about the fears of motherhood. She is pregnant with her first babe and is experiencing her first rush of protective panic. All of a sudden, flying seems extra stressful, all of the cars on the road seem to be reckless and each decision seems to carry the weight of the world. She asked me if what she was experiencing was normal and all I could do was offer her a sincerely heartfelt "welcome to motherhood". 

While I tend to avoid cliches as advice, I honestly could think of no other way to explain what having a newborn is really like other than to use the expression "having a baby is like having your heart live outside of your body." All I could promise her was that through the sleep deprivation, cluster feeds and colic there is an intense love that drowns out the underlying nervousness that every first time parent feels. What I didn't tell her is that, for me, not only did that love barely drown out the fear but it only subsided once I felt like my son was no longer a newborn.

If I only I had an Owlet when my son was born - maybe that panic wouldn't have had such an effect on our early days.

If Only I'd Had An Owlet When I Had My First Baby

The Owlet is an amazingly cool vitals monitor that uses a soft sock to monitor the oxygen levels and heart rate of a baby. The sock has a tiny plastic sensor that sends information to a parent base station and that station is designed to alert you if your babe's vitals fall outside of range. May I just take a second to say that I would have gotten so much more sleep if the Owlet existed when my babe was small. And more sleep means a happier and healthier mama, which I'm sure my husband and son would have appreciated (if you know what I mean!).

If Only I'd Had An Owlet When I Had My First Baby

The Smart Sock that goes on baby's foot is super soft and can fit under footie pajamas - just in case you gave birth in Maine like I did. As a bonus, the sock can be washed (as long as you remove the sensor) which will come in handy if you have a babe prone to blow outs. Cue all of the mamas-to-be reading this wondering how a baby manages to get poop on their foot. Trust me, mamas, it is possible and it will happen.

If Only I'd Had An Owlet When I Had My First Baby

The Smart Sock comes in four sizes so that you can use the monitor until your babe is 18 months old.

If Only I'd Had An Owlet When I Had My First Baby

I honestly couldn't remember my own babe's feet being so small so I did what any normal mother would do and dug out his newborn photos. Oh man, those teeny, wrinkly baby toes are delicious. 

If Only I'd Had An Owlet When I Had My First Baby

Ok, now that the gratuitous newborn photo is out of the way, let's discuss the Base Station. The base station monitors heart rate and oxygen level and, most importantly, is designed to alert you if your baby stops breathing (among other things - it's designed to alert you if the sock falls off, if the signal is blocked or if the Base Station can't find a good reading on the Sock data). 

If Only I'd Had An Owlet When I Had My First Baby

 The base station communicates with the Smart Sock using BlueTooth Low Energy so even if you don't have WIFI, the base and the sock will still communicate. And speaking of WIFI, Owlet also has an app that monitors baby's stats in real time. You can log in and check on baby from anywhere, which might make leaving baby at home with a sitter for a night out easier to stomach for some parents!

If Only I'd Had An Owlet When I Had My First Baby

And, because I know everyone is wondering, no, I am not pregnant again. Instead, I sent my Owlet to live (temporarily) in the home of a new mama who just brought her first son home from the hospital. I hope it brings her peace of mind and restful sleep when she manages to snag an hour or two. I know she'll keep it safe for me so that I can put it to good use when we welcome a new babe to our family.

For more info on the Owlet, head to their blog

Thanks to Christa Rene Photography for all of the pretty photos! 
Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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Charleston in 28 Hours


Charleston in 28 Hours

We had the best little get away to Charleston this weekend. We are so lucky to live only three or so hours from the Holy City and it is crazy special to us - Justin and I met in Charleston and we had our engagement photos taken there - so any chance we get to run to the water, we take. Luckily, I had a few work things to take care of (both for the blog and my office job) in Charleston and I was able to smash them all into one quick trip. We decided to make it a family affair with no schedule and only a few things on our To Do List. It turned out to be the prefect overnight escape and I loved every second with my little family. 

We left town Saturday and hit the road around nap time so the babe would sleep most of the way. He's pretty solid in the car, as long as the iPad is charged, and hung in there like a champ. We drove straight to the Battery and hit the South Carolina Aquarium so that he could run himself silly. As a heads up - the Aquarium is only open until 4 each day (we assumed that it would be open much later), so if you're planning a trip, be sure to keep that in mind.
 
Charleston in 28 Hours

Charleston in 28 Hours  
Charleston in 28 Hours

 After the Aquarium, we stayed downtown and ventured to Taco Boy for an early diner. Gray loves chips and salsa and we love Taco Boy, so it was a win for all of us. The outdoor area is perfect for toddlers (and puppies!) and the staff was super sweet to make sure Gray's salsa was always full. Mexican Street Corn is one of my all time favorite indulgences and the Taco Boy version is one of the best.
Charleston in 28 Hours

Charleston in 28 Hours

The best skinny marg I've ever had...
 
Charleston in 28 Hours

Charleston in 28 Hours

Charleston in 28 Hours

 After dinner, we popped over to our hotel in West Ashley, but not before a stop at Total Wine, because traveling with a baby means an early lights out for everyone. Our preferred strategy for a hotel bedtime is to push the pack and play as close to the door as possible because it typically blocks his line of vision from seeing us. Once he's situated and his white noise is blaring, we drink wine in bed and watch tv on our phones. It's not glamorous, but I kind of love it.

On Sunday morning we drove to Folly Beach for a special project (more on that soon!) and got to see one of my all time favorite people, Cait! 

Charleston in 28 Hours

Cait is amazing with a camera so she grabbed some two year shots of Gray to celebrate his second trip around the sun. Unfortunately for all of us, it was 95 degrees by 9:30 am, but we made it work and I'm in love with the images. 

Here's a little peek:
 
Charleston in 28 Hours

I hate to be back to reality but I have a big week coming up - and an even bigger weekend - Houston, I'm coming for you!

Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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A Year With White Counter Tops



A Year With White Counter Tops

Without a doubt, the most common question I get asked via my blog email is "how have your white counter tops held up??" A Pinterest Pin to this post has lead people from all over the world to reach out about staining, scratching and the overall durability of our Mont Blanc granite counter tops, so I thought I would post an update on their current status.

We originally chose white granite for our kitchen (as opposed to marble or a softer stone) so that we could live life without worrying about our counter tops. I'm not necessarily a tidy chef and we love to entertain - so it was important to me that no one in our home was worried about sprinting to clean up a spill or uncomfortable over a red wine drip. We searched high and low for many months and finally found two types of white granite that we loved  - Shadow Storm and Mont Blanc. Because of the size of our island, we needed three slabs and, unfortunately, that ruled out Shadow Storm, making Mont Blanc the winner by default.

And I'm so glad that it did. 

Our counter tops are in perfect condition, after a year of use. We have no stains or signs of wear and tear (which cannot be said for the rest of the house) and are still really, really pleased with our choice. 

A Year With White Counter Tops

While we have no stains, we have noticed that oils will leave a noticeable demarcation - sort of like the wet ring from a glass on a wood coffee table - for a bit, if the oil isn't wiped up. The mark fades and becomes impossible to find so while we make a move to clean oil spills, we don't super stress over it. I've spilled red wine, blackberry smoothie, strawberries and balsamic on the counters - and some spills have accidentally gone unnoticed and dried over night - and have not had a single permanent stain.

We also haven't had any scratches or chipping, which is a common concern for softer stones like marble. Don't tell my husband, but I don't always use a cutting board and a counter tops never give me away.

A Year With White Counter Tops

I will say that while we were in our stone yard choosing the granite, we could only see certain sections of our slabs. We were a bit surprised when all three slabs were pulled out for cutting to see that there are blue and golden brown veins that run through some areas of the stone. We placed our cuts (for the sink, stove etc) to eliminate as much of those colors as possible just based upon our personal preference. Because granite is a natural element, some pieces of the same name may have more grey, less brown, no blue etc, so it's worth being on site for cutting day so that you can be in charge of the overall look of your counter tops. 

A Year With White Counter Tops

It's also worth noting that the name "Monte/Mont Blanc" is also used to describe a similar quartzite stone but we have the granite (it's a level 3, if you're a current granite shopper). The name can really throw some stone yards off so make sure to call around before you venture out to multiple stone yards. 

And finally, yes, we did choose Carrara Marble for our guest/hall bath vanity and I still love the look. Because our son is still small, the counter top doesn't currently take too much abuse and is thankfully still in great condition. I'm guessing I will have a different report when he's a little older and is in charge of the toothpaste on his own. 

I think I hit the questions I receive most often but it you have any that I didn't answer, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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Around the Web


affiliate links | dress | shoes | bag similar | necklace |

Just dropping in to share a few things I've done outside of Olive and Tate recently and to spill some fun travel news!

The Peekawho team and I had a Q and A session and the results are all over their blog. If you've ever wondered about the name of my blog, what super power I would rock or why I think anyone reads this little slice of grammatical Heaven, the read on! 

My latest post as a contributor for Moms Without Answers is live and all about the memories I make in our home - even though we move a ton! If you've never heard the story of my vanity table turned entry way piece, you may want to check this one out. 

And, for all of my Houston girls, I'm hopping a flight in just a few days to hang with Megan at the Willow Crowns booth of the Mamas and Makers Market! Come see us on July 31st from 11am-4pm (I'll be wearing the outfit in the shot above so you'll be able to spot me and that neon bag!). 
Let me know if you'll be there!
Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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A Tongue In Cheek, Mom Body Guide for The Nordstrom Sale


Attention lovely readers: this post is written in a playful tone and meant to gently poke fun at one of the biggest movements in the blog world. If you aren't in the mood to play along with a lighthearted sense of humor then head back tomorrow when I'm tackling a post on Motherhood and no laughing will be required. xoxo!

**********

It's time for me to be honest, to finally reveal a shameful secret that I've kept hidden long enough: I'm a blogger and I too get sick of hearing about the Nordstrom Sale. 
 (hangs head in shame)

I mean, I get it, there are tons of great deals and I typically snag a pair of boots or fresh denim to get me in the mood for Fall but when it comes right down to it, I just sort of white knuckle my way through #Nsale season and wait for the storm to pass.

There, I said it. The truth is out. And, just in case you were on the fence about taking my Blogger Card by force, let me seal the deal for you and openly admit to hating Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I know, I'm an embarrassment to the establishment that is blogging. I'll just go ahead and turn in my laptop. While I'm canceling all of my social media accounts, you go on ahead and take a peek at my list of "must have" deals currently available to people with a Nordstrom credit card. If you're a lowly plebeian without access to the Sale, you could still look at my picks but they'll probably all be sold out by the time the sale opens to the public. Better luck next year.

"Lingerie"

Ah, Lingerie. I don't know about you guys but I've decided that Motherhood was really built for thin mesh, soft demi cups and satin slips. If you need a little pick me up in the bedroom, go ahead and take a peek at some of the goodies I've chosen for you - nothing says "I never want to do anything that could result in another baby" quite like a full body shaper and a bra described as "minimizing". For reals, though, Spanx rarely go on sale so if you're into squeezing your bits into a sausage casing in the hopes of zipping your jeans, then go ahead and make a move on that.



Beauty and the Beast

I love all of those sweet, innocent girls who bounce around the beauty department swatching hot pink lipsticks and strobe sticks. I used to be that girl. Now I have real problems to handle so you can find me in that brightly lit section in the back of the beauty rows that sells deep cleansing brushes and semi-permanent at-home hair removal devices. In case you need to stock up on dry shampoo (I know you do), snag an extra beauty blender so you don't have to clean your current one or purchase a little something to make your face brighter than it's current shade of "my toddler prevents us from leaving the house" pale, I've got you covered. 


"Athleti-Leisure" 

I'm pretty sure "Athleti-Leisure" is a term made up by a mom for all moms everywhere. We've always been out there bravely pushing the limits of fashion in our yoga pants and sweatshirts turned "tops" and finally our efforts have been rewarded with style category of our own. I've only linked mid to high rise leggings (including a plus pair), and tops that could in no way cling to your tummy. You're welcome.


Accessorize/Cover it Up

Let me be clear here, I only use accessories to do two things: 1. make an outfit where there isn't one and 2., to cover things up. Hats are my favorite because they do both - they make my standard jeans and tee ensemble look put together while covering my three day hair. And now you know why I wear them so often. I've also linked a blanket scarf that can cover up to a 6 month old's spit up range on your shirt, earrings that can't be tugged straight out of your earlobe, a bag that can actually hold an iPad along with your wallet and a weekend bag for the moment where you've just had enough and are plotting your escape. Also linked are flat booties that you don't need to use your hands to put on and should be able to wear while sprinting after your run-away toddler who is most likely headed straight for the most dangerous thing within a two mile radius.


The Important Stuff 

What would life be without coffee to keep us awake, wine to keep us alive, baskets to hide our secrets and candles to make our house seem clean to strangers? Empty. It would be empty. Thankfully, Nordstrom wants us to live our best lives and included a few key essentials in the #Nsale. Insert Praise Hands emoji here.


And there you have it, my Mom Body approved, real life guide to the most important sale of our lifetime. Go forth and conquer!

P.S. In other sale news, our Maxi Cosi Pria car seat is on sale - as many of you know, we are 100% committed to Maxi Cosi after we were in an accident when G was just 4 months old. The car was totaled but he didn't even suffer a scratch. I will never own another car seat brand - so I thought I'd share in case anyone is in the market! 
Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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