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5 Tips For Surviving The Home Selling Process (with a toddler)


5 Tips For Surviving The Home Selling Process (with a toddler)

With 4 moves in five-ish years under our belts you would think we wouldn't bat an eye at packing boxes, house hunting and selling our current home. And we really didn't. Until we had a toddler. Throwing a high energy, lovingly attached to random things, articulate little human into the mix really threw me for a loop this go 'round. Luckily, I've learned a few tricks over the years and managed to learn a few more as this current process unfolded and I'm sharing them all so that you don't have to suffer fly by the seat of your pants like we did. 

5 Tips For Surviving The Home Selling Process 
(when you have small children)

1. Make the process work for you
Did you know that you can create and set requirements around your particular home's showing requests? I always require at least an hours notice on a showing request knowing that, while I try my very best to keep it in check, my house will never be truly "show ready" with a toddler living in it. You also have the right to decline or reschedule a showing request if the time just doesn't work for you. Of course, you want as many buyers as possible to lay eyes on your hot little property, but if you are truly in the middle of a toddler battle royale, you can ask that the showing be rescheduled for a different time or day. I personally have never canceled a showing but I have rescheduled showings that asked to swing by with twenty minutes notice or during toddler meal time. Let your agent know what your parameters are for showing requests and they can make notes in the showing system - you will still get calls asking to do a showing with a quick turn around etc but know that you have the right to adjust them to fit to your life.

2. Set the date that you officially hit the market with intent
In many neighborhoods, properties move quickly, so keeping in mind that the day you hit the market - and the three to four days following - will be a time when you could use all hands on deck. If both parents work outside of the home/children are in school, set your market debut for a week day so that you'll already be out of the house. I stay home with my son and my husband works outside of the home, so I made sure our house hit the market on a Friday, giving me the weekend with my husband around to help me keep the house in top condition and entertain our toddler for random outings. 

3. Keep the life changes in check
The weeks leading up to putting your house on the market (and while it's live) are probably not the best time to start any major life changes for your kiddos. Potty training, a new sleep schedule or completely eliminating screen time are probably best saved for once your settled in your new place. Can you imagine getting a showing request and having to wake a toddler from his newly established nap time, pulling him off of his potty while he's potty training, or, worst of all, being stuck in the car in the pouring rain during a showing with no iPad? Things will be chaotic enough, don't make it harder on yourself! 

4. Prioritize what and when you declutter
In my humble opinion, there really is nothing worse than decluttering/staging your house for showings. Add in a toddler and a playroom and you've really upped the level of tediousness, but it must be done. Go through your toys, clothes and play spaces when your kiddos aren't around to supervise and clear out the things you know they haven't played with in forever. You'll be surprised how much you can clean out without really making an impact on their current must have toys. I managed to find a embarrassingly large Tupperware of newborn clothes, an infant swing and an extra high chair I forgot we even owned on my first pass and made a ton of space in his closet without rocking his boat. Attach what you can that has been saved for sentimental purposes first, then whats been outgrown and is never used, hit the extra "furniture" next (like Anywhere chairs, kid sized craft tables, train tables) and then you should have made enough headway that your play spaces don't look overwhelmed with kiddo stuff. We happened to have a shed in our last back yard so I packed everything into plastic bins and stashed them out there - people understand a cluttered shed but absolutely want to see just how large a closet is when it isn't stuffed with old baby clothes. This may also be a great time to make some extra cash by running to your nearest consignment store or selling on your neighborhood online resale group!

5. Prep your car
Without a doubt, you should take a minute prior to hitting the market to prep your vehicle for time out of the house. Make sure you have snacks, pacis, chargers, a portable potty for potty trainers and a stash of new treats (I hit the Target dollar aisle for coloring books and cheap games) for time you're stuck in your car. I know it seems like you'll always have an errand to run or something to do during showings, but trust me, sometimes the act of getting everyone out of a spic and span house is enough to drain you of any and all energy. We would occasionally park our car down the street and just wait it out, too tired and over it to even grab a coffee or cruise the aisles of Target. Having the car stocked with a new Mickey DVD and a toddler strapped securely into his car seat, snack in hand made for a much more tolerable showing hour. 

If you have any suggestions for surviving the home selling process with little children underfoot, help another mama out and leave them in the comments below!
Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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Fave Flat Slip On Sandals For Spring





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It's official: I have hit the stage in pregnancy where I neither want to or physically can bend down to buckle, tie or adjust my shoes (commonly known as the third trimester). With my first pregnancy, my feet grew a half size and stayed that way, even after the swelling went down, so I'm expecting some growth this time around, too. Growth or no growth, the time to wrestle into a pair of shoes is long gone so I'm only wearing slip on flat sandals from here to delivery day.

I snagged this pair of sandals at Target the other day and they were a hit on my Instagram (plus, they're a great dupe for a more expensive Nordstrom pair!), so I thought I would round up my current faves from around the web. Without a doubt, this pair will be headed my way thanks to the price point and amazing texture - but if I were sure my feet were going to stay the dainty size 9.5 that they currently are, I would absolutely invest in this neutral pair.

And with that, I'm off to get a pedicure because these toes are so not sandal ready.
Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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Here We Go Again



Well, we have a little bit of news....

We're moving! 

Actually, we already moved but more on that in a minute.
We loved the house that we renovated two years ago and it will always hold a special place in my heart - mostly for the memories, but also for the amazing light fixtures that I've left behind - but we fell in love with a new project and just couldn't pass it up. I know what you're thinking ("uh, are they crazy...") and the answer is "kinda!" but we are so looking forward to turning our next house into our home. So here's whats been going down over the last few months:

we sold our house to an amazing family who will love it as much as we do
we bought another home that is in our same area (but in a different elementary school district) and has amazing potential
we moved into a temporary apartment so that we could do work on the new house without living through the nightmare that is home renovation.

I will absolutely be sharing the plans for the new house but for now, the previous owners are living in it for a few more weeks, so you'll have to hold tight to see the before photos. This house will be different from the last in that while we are doing another renovation (eek!) we aren't starting with the horrificness (totally made that word up) that was our old house pre-renovation. The new house will bring new-to-us challenges - mainly in the form of turning a garage into a master bedroom suite. I'm still wondering if we'll really pull that one off, but if we do, it will be an amazing luxury to have a true master suite (hello, closet space).

We'll also make some changes to the kitchen that will look pretty dramatic - creating an island by chopping down some cabinets, raising a ceiling or two, adding new lighting, swapping some appliances around and, of course, hunting for more white granite. The kid's bathroom will get a make over, I'll bring new lighting into all of the living spaces, paint every single wall and attempt to create a play room space. And of course, I have a nursery to design! The nursery will be my One Room Challenge space for the Spring so I get to start working on it first and I am oh so ready to nest. 

Speaking of baby, I'm sure some of you are trying to figure out how pregnant I am, where exactly we'll be living when the baby arrives and if I'll be able to keep my hormones in check (because I would so be wondering all of those things if I were reading this about someone else). The answer to the hormones question is probably a big fat no and we are going to be in the apartment for the next 8 or so weeks so that the kitchen and main living spaces can be updated. We'll then move into the new house when I'm around 34 weeks pregnant and we'll get settled and ready for baby. If anyone super loves to unpack boxes, go ahead and hit me up because I will be in desperate need of your services by then. The master suite renovation is currently being called "Phase Two" and the start time of that work is currently TBD/ASAP. We might be able to pull it all off before baby comes, but if we don't, it will all be ok, we'll get there eventually! 

And yes, I cross my fingers and say my prayers every day that I don't go into preterm labor again this pregnancy - so far, we've only had one little scare that was probably a result of me doing too much during the packing phase of moving. I spent the actual moving weekend doing nothing and feeling really guilty about it but baby's health comes first and my husband did an amazing job handling it all. 

I have to take a quick second to say thank you to both sets of our parents who have really made this process so much easier on Gray - my in-laws took him for a weekend so that we could pack and my mom was here during moving weekend so he didn't have to spend the day with us watching the movers load the truck. He's adjusting well and loves that our apartment has a pool and two playgrounds although I'm sure the neighbors below us are not as thrilled with his new jumping obsession (sorry, neighbors!). 

I have some home staging/moving posts coming up that I've been waiting to share and then it'll be all about those inspiration boards as my plans for the new house take shape. If home renovation is your jam, you can see all of our previous renovation before + after spaces here and hold on tight because this renovation ride is always a wild one!
Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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Prep Time



 Today I had a moment.

 I was rifling through the high waisted maternity jeans at Old Navy and turned around to see rows upon rows of baby girl clothes. Shades of pink, spring florals and all things girly just spilled out in front of me and I couldn't resist them. While we have been prepping for baby girl's arrival, I haven't been shopping much/at all - I'm not even sure it had dawned on me that I was actually having a daughter - and then today the floodgates opened (and so did my wallet). 

Anyway, while I haven't been stocking up our babe on onesies, I have been working hard on preparing Gray for her arrival. At two and a half years old, I know I can't truly prepare him for whats to come but we've been taking every chance we can to talk to him about babies. Luckily, we have dear friends that just had a baby girl and they are kind enough to let Gray hang out with her for a little practice. So far, we're working on not crushing the baby when we hug her, not licking our fingers and then touching her face and how its ok to tickle her feet but not her eyes. You know, the basics. We also talk about what we can do when she cries, and right now Gray likes to say, "it's alright, Baby! Don't cry!" hopefully, that won't change to "get her out of here!" when our baby cries and doesn't go home to another house. 

We also stop by the nursery room on our way in and out of Gray's Mother Morning Out class each day. He likes to point to the babies and tell me what we're doing and then we talk about how our baby will go to school there, too. If he can't see the babies from the door, he asks me to hold him up until he spots one. We kind of look like we're visiting the zoo, so sorry to any of the baby mamas who spot us gawking at your teeny babes! 

My newest trick to talk about the baby is to swing through the baby clothes section when we're errand running at Target. This little tradition actually happened by accident but I am keeping it going, without a doubt. I was checking out the clearance rack of infant sleepers and Gray was chilling in the cart, playing with whatever bribery item I found for him in the Dollar Spot. All of the sudden he started saying "this one, mama! this one!". I came around the rack to see what he was hollering about and saw that he was pulling a blue and black striped sleeper from the rack. He kept saying "look!" and I turned it around to see that the sleeper had orange tigers on the front and the feet. It is the least feminine thing on Earth but he was desperate for her to have it - and his dad could not have been more proud that he chose a tiger for his sister! On our last visit, he chose an outfit that came complete with "undiepants" (bloomers) for his sister. It may be size 12 months but we brought it home and he proudly put it away with her things. I think I will honestly treasure those two little baby outfits for the rest of my life. I can't wait to squish her into them! 

Ok, seasoned mamas, tell me what I need to do to prep my toddler for the big transition - what books should we read? Any tips? Help a girl out!


Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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5 Things You Should Never (No, Really, Don't) Say To A Pregnant Woman



 Now that I'm reaching peak roundness in pregnancy number two, I'm starting to get the looks. You know the looks I mean, strangers are cutting their eyes at my girth, wondering if I am going to leak amniotic fluid all over the floor and/or their shoes. After a particularly eye-catching trip to Target, I started to think about some of the things absolute strangers had deemed worthy tidbits to bestow upon my unsuspecting pregnant self. Sadly, all of the anecdotes below are true and happened to yours truly.

1. Feelin' The Pain
When I was pregnant with my son, I waddled into a work event of my husbands, 36 weeks pregnant and fresh off of bed rest. The very first human to lay eyes on me outside of my husband and hospital staff took one look at me and said, "Gawd, I hurt just looking at you. You're overdue, right?" No, not quite, but glad I could share the pain.

2. Perishable Goods
Three days before I delivered my son, I made my way into a local bagel store to fuel up on carbs and lemonade before attempting to tackle the day. On my way out, a stranger physically stopped me to share that her daughter almost died in childbirth. And when I say she shared, I mean she told me gory details of the entire experience (which truly did sound horrible). She concluded by wishing me well as she was now certain that childbirth was the end game for most women, me included. Nothing says "enjoy those last few days of pregnancy!" quite like a death threat.

3. Mustache You A Question
Not long into my second pregnancy, I took some time out to indulge in a manicure. With my toddler happily playing with my husband and a hot Starbucks in hand, I settled in for a hopefully silent 45 minutes of pampering. I was happily reading the subtitles on a rerun of Real Housewives until my nail technician had a quick little question for me:
"Do you take prenatals? I ask because your mustache is thick and prenatal vitamins make your hair grow....". Needless to say, I paid for a wax. 

4. In My Day
I was stopped by an elderly woman at Target who wanted to let me know a little tidbit from her era. This gem was just what my self esteem needed, especially after the mustache incident, "In my day, we didn't have the nerve to show off our giant bellies like you girls do now." Nothing like a thinly veiled dig while purchasing the same antacids as an eighty year old. 

5. Concerned Citizen
No other phrase passes judgement quite like the old "is your doctor concerned that you...". Imagine standing at the deli counter on your weekly grocery run, ordering turkey sliced just the way you like it, when a stranger approaches you to ask "is your doctor ok with you eating deli meat?". I should clarify that even though I was gigantically pregnant, I was not chowing down on deli meat in the middle of the grocery store, instead I was just minding my own business, wondering if my toddler will ever eat sandwiches. Looking back, I wish I had asked the stranger if she was a medical professional herself but I'm guessing her passive style of open judgement would prevent her from a career dealing with other human beings. 

Be sure to tune in tomorrow because I polled some of Facebook's finest mamas and have gathered the best of the worst things that strangers have said to them during their pregnancies!


Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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Korean Cucumber Salad



 This little salad made a brief appearance on my Insta stories this week and so many of you asked for the recipe that I thought I would whip up a little post.

This salad could not be easier, in fact, I rarely measure any of the ingredients. I serve this as a side when I make short cut Korean Beef Tacos (any interest in that recipe??) but it adds a perfect crunch to any dinner. My husband is not a mayo person at all so he doesn't typically love classic sides served at get togethers - but this one is a hit.

Korean Cucumber Salad


1 seedless/English Cucumber 
a few sprinkles of salt
2 handfuls of shredded carrots
1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onions
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
a couple of shakes of crushed red pepper flakes 

Method
slice the cucumber as thinly as possible
place sliced cucumber in a colander over the sink 
sprinkle cucumber with salt and let the water sweat out for up to an hour
(I usually only do 20 minutes or so, because who has time for that)
slice the onions

When you're ready to make the salad/serve, pat off cucumbers to remove any excess liquid
combine all veggies in a bowl
add the rice vinegar
add the red pepper flakes
mix


The salad can be served immediately or can sit in the fridge over night. The longer the cucumbers marinate in the rice vinegar, the softer they will be and the stronger the flavors. My husband prefers it crunchy so I serve relatively soon after making, but I also enjoy it as left overs the next day.

You can adapt this recipe for your family - add more onion, use less carrot etc. The same goes for the crushed red peppers flakes - it's a very easy recipe to make your own! 

Let me know if you make it and what you think!
Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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