October 2015 | Olive and Tate

Week of Wear: Mom Uniform

Ready for another addition of A Week of Wear?

This week features two of my absolute favorite Old Navy dupes of all time - nude lace up flats and the perfect layered cream sweater. I'm trying to make an effort to wear everything that's in my closet, especially after my recent closet purge. If I kept it, I should be wearing it! As the weeks of rogue selfies continue, it's going to pretty obvious that I wear a handful of key pieces on the reg but that's how I roll. I like to invest in pieces that can hold up and rock out with me and then work in trendier pieces at super budget friendly price points. If you do nothing else, scroll to the last photo and check out the crazy Old Navy v Anthropologie battle of the layered sweater!


scarf old similar | vest, on repeat | tee | boyfriend jeans | lace up flats | bangles |

I recently received an email asking about my fave boyfriend jeans and my Target pair still holds the top spot! The stretch out a bit during wear so I toss them into the dryer if I want a slimmer fit but honestly sometimes I like the looser fit and rock them out.

 Mom on the go (with no effort)

I own 5 pairs of the side zip American Eagle leggings - I swear by them. So comfy and total coverage, plus the ankle zips make them super cute when you dress them up with booties. 
Day at the Office

| top | necklace c/o Elle + J | pants | flats, again
Which turned into a day at home with a sick baby

 Mom on the Go (with effort)

| poncho old similar | tee old similar | denim | flats, time to switch it up, Steph | 

The best outfit of all

wrinkly top because I put it on as soon as I got home! I think the cream is the prettiest color but I'll probably go back for the others because it's so comfortable and easy to wear. I can't wait to pair it with my booties, distressed black skinnies and a hat for a date night.

| TOP go buy it, it's the exact dupe of this top from Anthropologie and so much cheaper | denim | c/0 necklace |

Next week my goal is wear other shoes.

*affiliate links are used in this post*

Renovation Reveal: The Play Room

I feel like it's been forever since my last Renovation Reveal! 

Today I'm talking all things Play Room.

This is actually the only space in the entire house where we added walls. Thanks to our house having a truss system, we were able to remove any and all of the internal walls to accommodate our design dreams and we took that to heart. I'm sure our contractor regretted telling us that every wall could go because every single interior wall in the main space was demolished.
We wanted an open floor plan and no amount of wood paneled walls were getting in our way.

 I laid in bed at night wondering what I was going to do with the extra long space in what was supposed to be a formal living room. The lay out was so odd and we were re-working every angle in that space but I just couldn't figure out how to make that a usable chunk of square footage.

And then it hit me:

Add in a wall at the natural break in the space created by the front door/entry and make a play room!

 If we used double glass french doors, we could still take advantage of the natural light coming in from the two sets of floor to ceiling windows, alleviating the concern that we might darken a space that we were so desperately trying to brighten. Things got even crazier when I requested that the coat closet door be dry walled off and the entrance to the closet be moved onto the opposite wall, making it accessible from the play room (and, in some states, making the space qualify as a bedroom!). 

I honestly think this was my hardest fought idea. I'm not sure that our contractor and my husband were really on board but as a stay at home mom, I know the importance of a play space. And not just any play space, but a play space that can be seen from the kitchen and living spaces. 

We were thoughtful in our design as far as outlets, doors and layout so that when we do sell this house it can serve as a super functional office space for the next owners.

Ok, ready to see?

Keep in mind that all of the Before photos are raw so you can see what we saw before we signed the papers. And now the usual pre-reveal jargon: all sources (including my play room flooring!) are sourced at the end, we didn't use a designer or decorator and we designed the renovation ourselves. 


 (the closet door is hiding behind the open front door, meaning the two door knobs smacked together every time you opened a door)

A little glimpse at the During

Yep, those are the old appliances.
If you look closely, you can see the old closet door is framed and the dry wall has been chipped away where the new closet door will eventually end up.

 And now, the After

Originally, my plan was to squeeze a day bed into this space but after we saw how much of the living room was eaten by the pool table, we knew we didn't have room for our incredibly comfortable and loved grey sofa. Thankfully, she perfectly into the space with literally an inch on each end to spare.

I cannot recommend this storage system enough. It's less than $100, Prime eligible and makes cleaning up at night so easy. All of the random puzzle pieces, Tonka trucks and blocks get tossed in with zero effort at the end of the night and I get to say that I cleaned. Win. 

I adore our rocket ship play tent - Gray hides in it and pops out when we pretend like we can't find him (it's super exciting around here!).

The rocket ship is clearly visible from the street (yes, we will eventually get blinds) and I've had more than one neighbor drop by to ask what on earth was hanging from the ceiling in our front room. I love the pops of red in the room and I was sweet enough to include a nod to Daddy's first love in the decor. Anyone see it?

And P.S. I'm aware that our TV is insanely large for a child's play room but, in my design defense, it wasn't purchased for this space. Justin and G like to chill in here and read books, play cars and watch a little football so the big screen has proven to work out nicely for all of the men in my life.

Brace Yourselves. You're about to see the completely trashed and unorganized closet but I didn't post our master bedroom closet for the same reason and some of you asked to see it...

Eventually, that will be an organized space that stores toys, wrapping paper, play gates and all of the random extras (like that drink pitcher!) that don't seem to fit anywhere else in the house. Eventually being the key word here. 

The view from my kitchen sink:

It's a small little slice of our home but it's where we spend the most time. The baby rocks out here, we hang out with him in here and I am so, so pleased that we added the space.

Paint color is Benjamin Moore Sweet Innocence, one shade darker on the swatch than the open floor plan color, Marilyn's Dress
Sofa -West Elm
Pillows - West Elm and Target, both very old
Pouf -Target
Shelving Unit -Amazon
Rocket - The Land Of Nod
Marquee Light - Hobby Lobby, last Spring, similar but much more expensive option linked
Light Fixture -Lowe's
Gate System -Amazon

*affiliate links are used in this post*

Hallo-WINE, the best kind of Halloween

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeenBooed #HalloWINE #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.

It's no secret that I'm not super in love with Halloween.
I'm not a candy lover (no, seriously), I never have a cool or witty costume and I'm not so in love with scary movies and murder masks. What can I say, it's just not my jam.

As much as I'd like to skip Halloween and head straight into Thanksgiving, I'm learning that I'm going to need to put my Halloween Hate aside because our new street does Halloween in a big way. Like, close down the street, huge block party, go all out with the decor and costumes big. And, seeing as we are those neighbors who wrecked the neighborhood with endless construction racket for months on end, we really need to redeem ourselves or we may get voted out of the 'hood for good.

Thankfully, someone out there (ahem, Robert Mondavi Private Selection Wines) decided that it was time to spice up Halloween in a way that even I can get on board with. Behold, the next step in the "You've Been Boo'd" phenomenon, "You've Been Hallo-Wined". 

Nothing like an adults only, wine inspired, ding dong ditch style gift giving to inspire love in my Halloween hardened heart. The sweet kids on our street love Booing (leaving goodies on a neighbors doorstep, ringing the bell and leaving an anonymous note telling the recipient to "boo it forward") but I'm guessing the moms are going to love Hallo-WINED even more. I know this mom will.

With my newly found Halloween spirit, I thought it would be fun to pull together a little something for a sweet neighbor and fellow mom who has reached out to me to welcome our family to the street.
Seeing as my Halloween Spirit is fresh, I decided not to push my luck and kept the time investment minimal. I snagged ingredients for an indulgent Mom's Night In basket while on our regular grocery run and whipped up an extra loaf of my now (kinda) Insta-Famous Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread while I was already prepping our 900th loaf of the season.

I grabbed a basket and tossed in prosciutto, goat milk brie (so good!), pumpkin cranberry crackers and pumpkin spice salted caramels (they really do make pumpkin spice everything)

and a big 'ol bottle of Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon.  
(yes, please!)

I attached a hand written card to the bottle that said:

You've been Hallo-WINED!
Keep the party going and share a glass with a neighbor!

I used dish towels in Fall colors as "stuffing" in the basket to keep all of the eats safe from the weight of the wine bottle and to add a little color. 

Honestly, this couldn't have been easier to put together - I made it all happen while the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread was baking. And, speaking of the best bread on Earth, I thought it was high time that I finally spilled the beans on my "recipe".

It's super tricky and hard to follow.


Buy a box of pumpkin bread mix and chocolate chips/chunks/pieces

Mix according to box

Add the chocolate pieces right before popping into the oven

Bake according to the box

Cool on wire rack, wrap in wax paper and twine, consider yourself Martha Stewart!

Seriously, this is the best bread ever and it makes a perfect gift.

I added it to my Hallo-WINED basked just before we hit the streets to make the drop off during our nightly family stroll around the block.

p.s. I knew we were leaving the basket on our neighbors front steps and they might not be home so I dropped the bread into a Ziploc. Nobody needs to come home to a Hallo-WINED basket that has been looted by wildlife.

All I can say is that I hope we are now the neighbors that will drop wine on your door step instead of the neighbors that will inadvertently allow their construction crew to cut your power lines. 

Fingers crossed!

If you want to be crowned Neighbor Of The Year, keep an eye out for the Robert Mondavi Private Selection "You've Been Hallo-WINED" instant redeemable coupons/mail in rebates that are available from 10/1-11/30. Some bottles also have a You've Been Hallo-WINED tag complete with a Mummy's Mulled Wine recipe on back. Cheers!

Weekending, Zoo Style

For the first time in a while, we actually had a free weekend.
With no home football game, birthday parties or late nights at work on the agenda, we decided to hit the road and visit Justin's parents for a little grandparent time. We are so fortunate that they live just two hours or so from our house (which, compared to how far away we were in Maine, seems like nothing) and are typically up for dealing with our shenanigans for a quick visit.

We decided to take the baby to the Atlanta Zoo on Saturday and, thankfully, he was too little to realize that he was the only kid not in costume.

 Oops. Sorry buddy. Boo in the Zoo is such a fun concept, especially when your baby is too little to eat candy so you get to raid his stash. 

he hates me. that look makes me laugh out loud.

but loves his Papa

I loved spending the early part of the day outside and Justin loved that we were home in time for the Clemson kick off. We spent the rest of the day lounging around, terrorizing Grandma's house and stuffing our faces with all of the things Grandma made. For the record, my jeans are glad that I'm home and away from all of the scratch made caramel corn.

We made our way back to South Carolina on Sunday in time for Justin to hit the links and the baby to refuse a nap. I fled the scene after golf and did some serious damage at the Old Navy 40% off sale. As usual, the baby totally scored and I think I may have finally found a little inspiration for our Christmas Card outfits.

PSA: If you've been in the market for a pair of lace up flats, check out the pair that ON is carrying - I snagged a pair in nude and literally cannot wait to wear them.

And now, a little PSA for the locals. Gray is having a very tough time kicking the cough that is left over from his virus. We've hit the pediatrician multiple times and it seems he's just hanging on to the cough (and none of his other symptoms) so we're supposed to keep an eye on him and wait it out. I started to worry that maybe some of the recent construction (yes, that still happens around here) may have knocked up some dust or air born something that was bothering him so we called on one of Justin's colleagues who happens to own GSP Clean. They came by our house while we were out of town and holy hell is our house clean. They literally took apart my kitchen light fixtures and cleaned them (guess who has never done that? me). 

Look at that glass globe sparkle! 

 Anyway, I highly recommend their services especially for a deep clean as everyone gears up for holiday guests.

I literally may ask for them as my Christmas present this year. 
(you know you're a grown up when....)

P.S. In case you missed it, I blogged all of my mom uniform looks from last week and I think I might make that a regular thing. It keeps me honest and gives me the motivation I need to get out of my pajamas in the morning. 

And, that takes care of this week's business, tomorrow we're back to talking all things wine, chocolate chip pumpkin bread and leggings. 

See you kids tomorrow!

*an affiliate link is used in this post*

Mom Uniform: One Week

Hey Kids! Happy weekend!
I'm just dropping by to do an Instagram/selfie round up of the outfits I managed to slap on the 'ol mom bod this week. I haven't been direct linking on Insta and a lot of you have been asking where I snagged some of my pieces, so I thought I'd just post it here.

Sunday Brunch

| hat | top similar | jeggings | flats |

My best guy and I hit the brunch circuit with our plus one on Sunday. We showered that day so a real outfit felt appropriate. My top is from H&M and I found it in store in the Houston area. I liked it so much that I may or may not have grabbed the same top in a burnt orange (spoiler alert: I did). I can't seem to find it online but I linked a very similar H&M top.

Mom On The Go (with effort)
This sweater is my new fave piece. The price point is unreal and it's just so easy to toss on and feel put together. Thanks to Madeline from Elle + J for the amazing tusk necklace - check her site, my exact necklace is on crazy sale!
Mom On The Run (No Effort)
Oh baby, without a doubt, this is my go to look for Fall. Every single item is less than $40 and I honestly don't think anyone can tell I'm wearing my pajama tee under my grey sweatshirt. If you can, don't tell me, ignorance is bliss. P.S. If you have a little junk in the trunk (guilty) these Old Navy work out leggings will be your best friend. They don't slip down, have a wide waist band and the side rouching is super flattering.
Office Day

| trench coat | dress Target, not available online | boots |

This dress is so easy and adorable - I didn't even bother to try it on in store, just tossed it in my cart and ran for the door (before more items could mysteriously find their way into my cart). If you're searching for it, it also comes in black and in my store, they were hanging on the back wall of the women's department. The trench is an investment piece but I've owned it for years and it will never, ever go out of style -and I have to say the same for my boots! I've had them re-soled twice and just can't bring myself to retire them - although their current sale price of under $100 has me eyeing a new pair.

So there you have it, not as schlumpy as you might have imagined but still super easy looks for my low maintenance lifestyle.

Cheers to the weekend!

*affiliate links are used in this post*

Dating My Husband

Breaking News:
Marriage is work. 

Recently, Justin and I had a Come To Jesus of sorts about our the day to day portion of our marriage. While we are incredibly strong in our union, and genuinely like each other (which is, you know, important), we weren't making the effort to spend much (quality) time together during the week.

We were falling into the Marriage Roommate Rut.

I just made that up but basically, we've all been there. It's that stage where you see each other in the morning and when you fall into bed and have exhausted yourselves playing the roles of parent, employee, friend and boss leaving zero time, patience or energy to concentrate on your role as spouse.

Luckily, we realized that were headed towards Rutsville and decided to get our selves in line. Upon careful examination and after deep, meaningful conversation (ha, yeah right), we determined that we need to re-shape what we think of as a "date night". We both want to spend time together but are both exhausted by the end of the day. Plus, neither want to shell out big bucks for a babysitter on a Tuesday night. Before we were parents, our typical date night was a dinner out downtown but now that just makes me feel super tired. Can we be in bed by 7 if we do that? I don't think so. 

So here's what the brain trust that is our union determined: just because we can't swing a dinner out sans the baby on a weekly basis doesn't mean we can't spend quality time together. Whoa. And it only took 15 months of parenthood + marriage to figure that out. 

But here's the rub: it seems that Justin and I both have very different ideas of what a date night at home should look like. In the spirit of marital bliss, we gave up trying to blend or compromise our visions and enacted a His and Hers Style Date Night Policy. We each have our ideal at home date night and we either rotate which one we do or combine them in some sort of date night free for all. 
Just in case you're in need of inspiration to avoid the Rut, I'm sharing both of our ideal at home date nights and the cocktails we bring along for the ride. 

Let's start with the cocktails - I'm sure you can all guess what I pour for myself but my Husband is a bit of a wild card.

His Cocktail:
A Classic Moscow Mule


Tito's Vodka (Grey Goose is his second choice)
Gosling's Ginger Beer
Lime Juice to taste (Justin likes a generous amount)


Serve in a copper mug or a rocks glass with King Cubes 
(a silicone ice mold that makes super sized square ice cubes)

Crios Rose of Malbec 


 A one-of-a-kind dry wine filled with notes of wild strawberry, red cherry, and hints of spice for a vibrant, dry and full bodied flavor that pairs well with chicken and foods with a pop of spice. Think a Zinfandel with a rich, red undertone. I've honestly never tasted a blend like it.


Pour generously into a glass without a stem (so that I don't accidentally break the stem while gesturing around for effect)
What can I say? I'm obviously the low maintenance one in the family.

Ok, ready to see what we think counts as quality time?
Her Date Night:

Our back patio, in earshot of a (hopefully) sleeping baby, no phones or laptops, drinks in hand, simple, easy conversation. No distractions, just simple one on one time. And, most likely much to my husband's dismay, lots of conversation. The weather cooling off means we can sit outside until we're starved for dinner or run out of snacks (whichever comes first). I happen to think my husband is really interesting and I never know where our conversation will head. Sometimes we sit for only a minute or two, sometimes an hour slips by, but either way, I love the distraction-less one on one time.

Ok, wanna know a secret?
When Justin started drinking Moscow Mules, I bought him a monogrammed copper mug. He unwrapped it, loved it and had one drink out it. And, being the super domestic diva that I am, I tossed it into the dishwasher. And ruined it.  Oops.

So, after my date night plan steeped in deep, meaningful conversation and staring into each others eyes without the glow of our cell phones to distract us, can you even begin to guess what his date night might be?

His Date Night:

Super Mario Brothers in bed.
Two player style until I get frustrated enough with how bad I suck at ice worlds and quit, 
then he's solo.
Drinks on our bedside tables, pajamas on, phones and laptops away, zero conversation unless we're high fiving or yelling at Bowser - in case you're wondering, he always gets to be Mario.

And, by request, no photos allowed of this His Date Night (because guys hate photos). 

Hey, whatever works! 

A bit more about the Crios Rose of Malbec: Susana Balbo, Argentina’s leading and most innovative winemaker, revolutionized the face of Malbec by taking a classic red wine and imagining something new. Each blend she creates has an inspirational message and for the Rose of Malbec it's: "Look at life differently".

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