May 2018 | Olive and Tate

Copy Cat Shake Shack Sauce

Copy Cat Shake Shack Sauce

It's no secret that I love a good burger and the fact that Shake Shack just opened their doors in Charlotte is essentially my dream come true. But, sadly, the love of Shake Shack runs deep around here and, for now, the lines are a bit long for me to manage with hungry toddler babies in tow. I decided that since the weather is warm and our backyard is gorgeous, I really should take advantage and create a Shake Shack style burger at home. And what's the key to a Shack burger? The sauce.

Behold, my Copy Cat Shake Shack Sauce 

Copy Cat Shake Shack Sauce

Ingredients:

1/4 cup light mayo 
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon pickle juice (we use Dill Pickle juice/brine, but any type will work)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 
pinch of cayenne pepper 

Mix together and serve on a freshly grilled burger or chicken sandwich. 

Yields approximately 1/3 cup +

Copy Cat Shake Shack Sauce

If you really want to nail the taste and texture of a Shake Shack burger, be sure to use bibb lettuce and a fresh bakery bun! Enjoy! 

Entry Way Reveal

How To Style an Acrylic Table in an Entryway

One of the collateral spaces that got a good decor makeover thanks to the One Room Challenge was our front entry. Since we decided to forfeit our playroom to the kiddos, their space sits in a prominent part of the house and is open to both the dining room and entryway. I don't have my life together enough to have the dining room on lock but I did manage to spruce up our entry way, and I'm in love with how it came together. 

Before we moved in, the walls were painted a warm tan and the staging used heavier pieces that didn't quite fit the scale of the space. I wanted to open the space up, bring in some function and use decor accessories that we already had on hand, just in a fresh way. 

Here's the before (staged by the previous owners)



And here's what a fresh coat of white paint on the walls, ceilings and trim (all painted White Dove by Benjamin Moore) and the use of lighter pieces can do for a space:

How To Style an Acrylic Table in an Entryway

How To Style an Acrylic Table in an Entryway

 Every space in our home has to serve a purpose and this entry way is no different - Justin typically comes in our front door and needs a place to dump all of his stuff.  I snagged this basket set (there are actually three baskets, the smallest one is hidden inside!) care of Bellacor and the largest size is perfect to store his laptop backpack. The contents of his pockets etc go in the smaller baskets and his stuff is contained, safe from the babies and out of sight. 

How To Style an Acrylic Table in an Entryway

My favorite thing to do when using modern elements like the acrylic ghost table is to bring in as many earthy elements as possible to warm it up. The mirror has a driftwood surround, the handles of the baskets are a gorgeous leather and the faux eucalyptus is my go to for florals. 

How To Style an Acrylic Table in an Entryway

I love the texture of the white canister (it's actually meant to store kitchen items!) and the concrete bird, which is half of a set of bookends. And of course I had to document the gorgeous peonies that bloom in my yard! 


You can shop the space below and check out how I used many of the same pieces, but had a completely different look, in our last home here! 

Photos by Laura Sumrak 



One Room Challenge Playroom Reveal


Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate


Today is the day! Per usual, I finished this One Room Challenge space by the skin of my teeth (no, really, this was a close one), the timeline created a few challenges, a handful of design elements didn't make the cut or the ship date and I had to make some changes as the room came together. Add that to the interesting task of keeping a three year old and 11 month old out of their toys and play space and I'm impressed I survived at all! 

But I persevered and the results were worth it. One more space has been completed in our new house and the kids truly love their playroom. My goal on Week 1was to create a space that was fresh, organized and fun while also stylish as the playroom (once a formal living room) is the first room you see when you walk in our front door. 

Here's a reminder of what it looked like Before, on inspection day, staged by the previous owners:

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

And, here she is, in all of her glory:
(all sources tagged at the end of the post, post includes affiliate links)

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate
photography by Laura Sumrak 
Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate



That wallpaper makes me so happy! I'm going to do an entire post on my first time wallpaper-er but this print just makes the room - fun, crisp, and playful, I smile every time I see it. The wallpaper is care of Livette's Wallpaper and they carry customizable traditional paper and peel + stick. 

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

The custom portraits by Little Miss Missy are just so sweet in the room - in person, the little red stripes of their shirts pop so much, and I will forever love those little faces! 

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate


Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

Notice all of the bins and baskets, they are everywhere. My absolute favorite way to store toys is an open bin system that my son can easily access and then use for clean up. The little bins are all from Petit Pehr (in natural pom pom) and I used every single size I could get my hands on. I've noticed that instead of pulling out a thousand toys from the shelves, he'll just pull out one basket, dump it out and play with the contents. We keep an empty, larger basket on hand and call it the "clean up basket" for quick clean ups. He runs around and fills the empty basket with whatever is on the floor and we call it a win. 

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

 I'm obsessed with how my DIY chalkboard fireplace cover turned out, I think that will need it's own post, too, but I love the pop of color, the staging area for the dollhouse (from IKEA!) and the fact that our ugly brass and gold accordion door fireplace screen is long gone. 

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

The room can be divided down the middle with a baby gate and one side becomes instantly appropriate for my everything-goes-in-my-mouth-I-hate-to-be-contained-but-I-need-to-be 11 month old. The far corner in the shot above looks empty but there's actually a tiny reading space just for her - with tons of board books for her to chew on and toss around, all at her level. All of the toys in the white toy chest on her side are also age appropriate (no Legos to choke on or brother's toys to break).

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

The art nook is Gray's absolute fave, he is obsessed with easel and "chalking". Because I know this room will need to grow with our family, I avoided making as many permanent holes in the wall as possible, so his art display are actually Command Hooks that are shaped like clothes pins. I love how he can easily swap out his art and that they'll each hold more than one masterpiece.

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

Bright, Fresh, Organized Play Room by Olive and Tate

Sources


Wall, Ceiling and Trim are all painted White Dove by Benjamin Moore
Dollhouse: IKEA
Craft Table: Hobby Lobby similar
Pink Striped Pillow: IKEA
Easel: IKEA similar
Sofa similar 

Don't forget to head to the One Room Challenge link up here to see all of the amazing reveals today! Truly, the design work is amazing every single Challenge - it's one of my favorite days as a blogger! 



5 Ways to Dominate Carowinds With Your Preschooler


Thank you Carowinds for sponsoring

this post. Explore the all-new Camp Snoopy during your next visit!



One of the best things about moving to a new city is spreading our wings and getting to know the area. Greater Charlotte has so much to offer families and I am constantly making a list of things we need to do and see, but when we found ourselves with a Saturday that was free of plans and boxes that were finally completely unpacked, I knew what the first stop on our Meet Charlotte Tour had to be:


You guys, when I was a little girl, I rode my very first roller coaster at Carowinds. It was, at the time, called the Scooby Doo and I remember riding it so vividly with my dad. We have yet to take Gray to a theme park of any kind and I was a little worried about how he would do, but I just had to get him to Carowinds to make some Scooby Doo style memories of our own. 

Because my big boy is only three and a half, I wanted to make sure that I had a game plan for the day - he's still young enough that we need to know where the bathrooms are at all times, need a plan for rest breaks and need rides and attractions that are tailored to the littlest kiddos. I did my Carowinds research and loaded us all up and said a little prayer to the theme park gods for a good day, free of meltdowns and long lines.

As it turns out, my worries were completely unjustified because Carowinds has their preschooler game on lock. They've created Camp Snoopy, an entire section of the park with rides, a playground and family centered goodness (hello, tons of giant family bathrooms!) geared toward babes under the age of 6. Even Georgia had a place to play! We had so much fun exploring that we've actually been back to Carowinds since and I now consider myself a pro at dominating a theme park with a preschooler in tow. Wanna know my secrets? You got it:

5 Ways to Dominate Carowinds With Your Preschooler

1. Take advantage of the stroller rental


My big boy is at an age where he does not want to do anything for babies. Like anything. Including riding in a stroller. That's all good and well when we're on short trips but a day at Carowinds is an adventure and a three year old is probably going to need a break at some point. If I don't have his sister with me, he won't allow the stroller out of the trunk of my car so we take advantage of the stroller rentals Carowinds offers. You can even rent doubles, which are the perfect width for a certain three year old I know to lay across and snooze.

2. Get measured


Ok, this is a trick my husband taught me, so he totally gets credit for this genius maneuver. When you walk into the gates of Carowinds, just past the stroller rental, there is a Carowinds attendant who will measure your little one to determine what rides they are officially allowed to ride. Once they're measured, they'll get a wrist band that denotes which rides they'll be the perfect fit for. Here's why we do this - first, it makes the waiting in lines process a bit quicker because there's no stopping to be measured on the way to their seat (and no one wants to be turned away after waiting in line!) and secondly, it allows us to explain simply to Gray what rides he can or can't ride. We show him his inches on his wristband and he knows that some rides aren't just right for him at the moment. It takes the pressure off of mom and dad in the heat of the ride lust moment and we like it. 

3. Camp Snoopy!


After you get your wristband, make a bee line for Camp Snoopy! Camp Snoopy is an area created just for littles and was reopened in 2018 with six new junior attractions. We always head straight to Camp Snoopy, make a stop at the family bathrooms (thank you, Carowinds), and then make our way to the Camp Snoopy Beagle Scout Acres, a giant playground that has areas designed for ages 1-4 and 5 and up. Both of my kiddos are usually squirmy after the car ride and check in time, so letting them run and wiggle at Beagle Scout Acres let's them burn a little steam before we hit the rides. It's clear that the designers of the Acres really thought of everything when they laid out the space; there are tarps to keep the sun off of the play equipment, areas to take breaks and a small gate that separates the babies from the big kids.


After the play area, we hit the swings first and work our way up to a kiddo roller coaster, all of which are within Camp Snoopy, so we have very little ground to cover (ie: we don't have to chase our wild one all over creation to find his perfect rides). 


4. Dinosaurs Alive


After you've had your fill at Camp Snoopy, be sure to head to Dinosaurs Alive, which I'm fairly certain was built as a preschoolers dream land. Think interactive, moving, life sized Dinos in all species, shapes and sizes capped off with a giant paleontology dig. Gray loved digging with the red shovels to find dino bones and, yet again, I really was impressed at all of the little details Carowinds has thought of - there were tons of buckets, shovels and paintbrushes (so no need to wait for one), benches around the sand dig site for parents to take a load off and the entire area was covered by a tarp to keep the sun off and the temps down. Plus, the exhibit covers quite a bit of the park so there was plenty of room to run, a perfect change of pace after a little line holding. 


5. Snag a Pre-K Pass


Justin and I decided that we would absolutely be back to Carowinds this year so we took advantage of the new Pre-K Pass which is free to all kids ages 3-5! Any kiddo with the pass receives free entry to every aspect of the park including the water park for the 2018 season. Tip: to grab your Pre-K Pass you will need a true paper copy of your child's birth certificate or passport. The process is super easy and quick and we decided that while Gray was getting a full season entry, Mom and Dad should, too, so now we're a family of Carowinds season pass holders! 

Based on this photo alone, I'd say we dominated Carowinds, wouldn't you?


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Mama + Mini Breakfast Egg Cups

Mama + Mini Breakfast Egg Cups: A quick and easy breakfast recipe perfect for the entire family, make ahead and customize

The baby has reached the stage of infant-hood where she is never full. Never. I once asked our pediatrician if there was something wrong with her digestive system because it seemed like no matter how much I fed her, she never stopped shoveling in foods by the fist full. 

Mama + Mini Breakfast Egg Cups: A quick and easy breakfast recipe perfect for the entire family, make ahead and customize

She is most ravenous in the morning, when I am at my most frazzled - hurrying us all out of the house to get to preschool drop off, grabbing lost shoes, making lunches and wishing for a caffeine IV. I also happen to have a habit of skipping breakfast for myself (fueled by the fact that I don't love traditional breakfast foods), so I thought I would get on this meal prepping thing and whip up something fast that could feed us on the fly for a few days with as little effort as possible. What I came up with ended up being a little Mama + Mini take on Egg Cups, with ingredients snagged on my run to Trader Joe's.

Mama + Mini Breakfast Egg Cups: A quick and easy breakfast recipe perfect for the entire family, make ahead and customize


The best part about the egg cups is that I sneak veggies into the baby's and use leftover dinner/lunch ingredients to make my own. To make things easy, I just used one cupcake tin, split between the two of us and as a bonus, the cooked egg cups can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen until you need them. My choices are very savory but you could absolutely use more traditional breakfast flavors like bacon or sausage and you can use leftovers like diced fajita veggies to keep things interesting. 

Here's what you'll need:

Mama + Mini Breakfast Egg Cups: A quick and easy breakfast recipe perfect for the entire family, make ahead and customize

7 eggs, whisked
1/4 cup Trader Joe's Cauliflower rice, microwaved according to instructions and cooled
two Persian cucumbers, minced
6 tsp shredded cheddar
3 tsp goat cheese
3 tsp crumbled feta
1 slice prosciutto
1 small breast of Trader Joe's balsamic marinated chicken, chopped

To make the Mini Egg Cups

Fill six of the muffin wells 1/4 of the way full with whisked egg
add in cooled cauliflower rice and minced cucumber to each
top each with 1 tsp of shredded cheddar

Mama + Mini Breakfast Egg Cups: A quick and easy breakfast recipe perfect for the entire family, make ahead and customize


To make the Mama Egg Cups

Fill the remaining six wells 1/2 full with the egg mixture
add salt and pepper
Divide one slice of prosciutto into three cups and top with 1tsp of goat cheese per tin.
Divide the chopped chicken breast into the remaining three tins, top with 1 tsp of feta 

Mama + Mini Breakfast Egg Cups: A quick and easy breakfast recipe perfect for the entire family, make ahead and customize

Bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes, ensuring the middle is cooked through
Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes

Mama + Mini Breakfast Egg Cups: A quick and easy breakfast recipe perfect for the entire family, make ahead and customize

Remove from tins and allow to cool fully on a cooling rack so the bottoms do not become soggy.
The consistency of the egg cups are perfect for anyone doing Baby Led Weaning or a toddler eating solids - I just warm the egg cup to room temp and break it into four big pieces before serving. 

Mama + Mini Breakfast Egg Cups: A quick and easy breakfast recipe perfect for the entire family, make ahead and customize

Can be refrigerated in air tight container for a few days or frozen for later use!

Mama + Mini Breakfast Egg Cups: A quick and easy breakfast recipe perfect for the entire family, make ahead and customize

Mama + Mini Breakfast Egg Cups: A quick and easy breakfast recipe perfect for the entire family, make ahead and customize