March 2016 | Olive and Tate

Girl Boss: Brittany Garner Designs

| print | dress |   

At this point, everyone knows that I am pretty much in awe of the talented makers in this world (no shame in my game). I've learned that sharing small shops and girl bosses with my little corner of the internet might just be one of my fave parts of being a blogger. I am so excited to (finally!) share Brittany Garner Designs, but I won't lie, if you don't have a sense of humor, you may not wish to proceed with this post/any of my posts. What can I say, irreverent is the name of the game around here. 

Anyways, Brittany has some sass and I love every bit of it. 

I mean, don't we all need a notepad that says "Awesome Things Will Happen Today If You Choose Not To Be A Miserable Cow"? 

I know I do.
And I can think of quite a few of my girlfriends who need one, too. 

Speaking of my girlfriends, hey Meg, I'm sending this for your Christmas gift.
(yes, Christmas 2015, stop judging.)

Or even better, a tote to drag into Trader Joe's that not only saves the environment, but tells the truth.
Is it just me, or did Brittany climb into my brain and create products just for me? And if she created them for me, then she created them for all of us, because Lord knows I'm not the only one running to the grocery store solely for milk and wine. 

Or, perhaps this little gem, which is both offensive and beautiful, all at the same time.
(remember, you promised to have your sense of humor with you at this point in the post....)

In case you forgot your sense of humor but are still reading, check out the sweetest little printable of questions and tidbits to fill out for your little each year on their birthday - the box for them to write their name is my favorite! I can't wait to do this with Gray - it's going to be our newest birthday tradition. 

With all of that said, it should come as absolutely zero surprise that when it came time to design my blogger business cards, I knew I needed Brittany to design them.

I let her have complete creative control and she hit it out of the park.


Blogger. Mama. Wine Lover.

Um, yep.

That's me, in all of my glory, and my chicken scratch logo all fancied up on a big girl business card.

I genuinely love them so hard and cannot wait to hand them out at the Creative Council Conference in May! 

Because I am such a fan girl of Brittany's, I begged her to let me brag about her shop and she was kind enough to offer to host a little giveaway for a $40 shop credit to Brittany Garner Designs

To enter, follow the instructions below
(don't forget all three mandatory entries: Liking Olive and Tate on Facebook, following @britgarndesign on Instagram and leaving a blog comment with your fave item in the Brittany Garner Designs shop. I'll be checking!)

and P.S., if you can't wait to see if you're the winner of the shop credit, use code OT15OFF for 15% off anything in the shop

I'll announce the winner on Friday!

My Favorite Meal: Bruschetta Chicken

Today was one hell of a day in Mommy Land. In all honesty, I wasn't sure if any of us were going to make it out in one piece. Thankfully, we survived until Daddy got home and opened our first bottle of wine. He also was kind/smart enough to offer to handle all of the chopping for my favorite dinner ever, Bruschetta Chicken.

Bless him.

This recipe was originally adapted from Skinny Taste but you'll quickly see that we took matters into our own hands and made sure the "skinny" was no longer applicable (hello, olive oil). This is my favorite meal to make during the summer and the recipe can be changed or adapted to fit the taste buds of your family. It also works perfectly for a crowd!

Our recipe serves 2+ adults 

Bruschetta Chicken


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
garlic salt
basil, dried
1/2 cup basil, fresh
1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil 
(make sure it's good-ish olive oil, not basic cooking olive oil)
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups diced plum tomatoes or any type that is firm and not full of mushy seeds
 1 cup diced mozzarella
1/4 cup red onion
1/4 cup sweet white onion
balsamic glaze 
fresh baguette, sliced  


Dice tomatoes - I like a "rustic" chop, my engineer husband likes all of the pieces to be the same size. You do you.
Dice the mozzarella. Same rules apply as for dicing tomatoes.

Chop the basil 
Dice onions

toss all of the above in a bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil
add 1/3 cup balsamic

stir, let sit.
(can be refrigerated for a few hours or sit on the counter while you prep, just let the flavors marinate)

Pull out the chicken and season liberally with garlic salt, dried basil and dried oregano
(or any type of Italian herb seasoning mix)

Grill chicken breasts

while the chicken is grilling:
turn on the oven to low broil

slice baguette

lay slices out on tin foil lined baking sheet and brush each side with olive oil
put under the broiler but be sure to watch the bread - it will burn.
flip bread slices when they are browned.
pull them out when both sides are golden.

To Serve:

plate a chicken breast
scoop bruschetta mix with a slotted spoon
(very crucial to use a slotted spoon or things will be messy)
drizzle with balsamic glaze

use bread slices to shovel in any and all remaining bruschetta mix
(I bring the bowl to the table and scoop right onto bread slices. No shame in my game)


Our Easter Weekend

 First and foremost, I want to say thank you to everyone who reached out on Instagram and email to support us after our loss of our pup, Macie, last week. I didn't intend to take the week off from blogging but things just got a little heavy around here and I needed some time to get it all back together. We were certainly lucky that we had an Easter Weekend planned full of family and friends to look forward too and we took the time to celebrate and enjoy, which was needed. 

We started Friday off with a visit from my mom, Gray's Mamie, and I got a minute to run Easter Bunny errands while Gray got solo time to be spoiled rotten with endless wagon rides around the yard.

On Saturday, we hit the road for Atlanta - home to Justin's parents and a house full of aunts, uncles and boy cousins to play with. While we were in town, Justin and I popped out to celebrate my youngest bridesmaid who is about to walk down the aisle herself. 

I loved the theme of the couples shower, which celebrated their honeymoon destination of Mexico with mini maracas, a pinata full of lotto scratchers and tons of guac. 

My mom also attended the shower, and gave the bride a very special gift. The tradition of a Money Bag (or Card Bag) is one that I wasn't familiar with until recently but my mom found it and has now created a special tradition. She had my mother in law turn her wedding dress into money bags for very important brides in her life (and a christening gown for my children). Each bag has the brides new monogram and is meant to hold the cards given to the couple at their reception. My mother in law is insanely talented and took apart each piece of lace and every teeny pearl  of my mother's dress to make gorgeous pieces for each of the girls. 

On Sunday we let the cousins run wild with their Easter treats and of course forced our son into all kinds of seersucker, smocked, monogrammed goodness. 

He looked so cute but this is the only peek you get so his little monogram and face are kept off the internets. Just take my totally unbiased and reasonable word for it. We shot back up the highway Sunday afternoon in time for a home made lasagna dinner with Ashley and Andrew before crashing and burning (as we are currently doing).

This week I have a ton of posts lined up, including and insanely cute small shop/girl boss share. Because I wasn't around last week, I have to share that I was (somehow, seriously, I still don't believe it) published for the third time on Scary Mommy last week and I published my first post as a Moms Without Answers Contributor. Both articles are a ridiculous take on parenting and if you're in the toddler trenches, you'll want to read, if only to know you aren't alone in the wildness that is toddler feeding and searching out mom alone time. 

Speaking of toddler trenches, this week is the baby's Spring Break. 

Uh huh.

Pray for me.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!

Anthro Sale Faves

Ok, let's keep it real - I never post about sales. It's not really my gig, but I have been suggesting tons of Mom Body approved apparel at Anthropologie lately and I know that the price point can be a bit steep for some budgets. I have really good luck there, especially with denim (and good jeans deserve a victory dance and celebratory blog post) so it's certainly become my go to resource, even though I cringe at some of the prices myself. 

But today we get a break. 

Anthro Member Weekend just began and there is a ton of denim (and AG denim!) currently on sale. A few of my fave tops and sweaters (that have been well documented on my Instagram) are also on sale, plus an additional 20% off for Members (anyone can become a member, so no sweat). 

I've linked my faves below - feel free to ask about fit and durability! 

Happy weekend friends!

Dressing The Mom Body: The Most Flattering Jeans (and a fail)

 | denim wearing a 30 | my absolute fave top wearing a L | bag | hat | shoes

Is there anything worse than trying on jeans? 

No. No, there isn't. 

Especially when one is rocking a mom body, trying on jeans has become even more hazardous than I could have ever imagined. Is the waist high enough to hold in my loose belly? Is the material strong enough to contain my muffin top when I have to bend down and drag my limp toddler out of Target, mid tantrum? Is the color dark enough to hide smeared applesauce? 

This is not the list of a casual shopper, this is the list of a woman who has needs.

 I won't lie, the first time Sarah at Anthropologie Greenville handed me the particular pair of jeans photographed above, I laughed in her face.

Maybe it was the fact that I rocked a similar pair in the ninth grade (and by similar, I mean they were from Abercrombie and Fitch and not at all similar) or the fact that I'm not super into change, but either way, Sarah had her work cut out attempting to talk me into them. 

Thankfully, I was a good sport and wrangled the 'ol mom body into the AG Janis Flair jeans because A solid dark wash with zero whiskering (which can make hips look wider), an incredibly long leg (I'm 5'9") and a great rise that hits just below the belly button, this may be your next perfect pair of denim. Yes, the flair is much more than that of a boot cut, but somehow it elongates the leg and makes you look oh so long and lean. I honestly didn't want to take them off.

As a heads up, this is an investment pair of denim so the price is higher - I own quite a few pairs of AG denim and they last forever. The wash never fades and the fit is always true. If you have larger thighs or are built like Khloe K used to be, try on a pair of AG the next time you spot them - your backside will thank you. 

P.S. because Spring has arrived here in the South, I found them in white just for ya'll! 

And what would an outfit post be without a fail??

Behold, the most unflattering crotch of all time:

| denim wearing a 30 | top wearing a  L, the back is so pretty |

I mean, what is happening? I can't stop looking.

And, while we're talking about denim, there were tons of questions about this white pair that hit my 'gram last night:

| denim | tee | kimono | necklace | sandals |

They are stupidly comfortable and the perfect straight (but not too skinny) leg. Shockingly, they are also AG (eye roll), what can I say? They work with what I'm working with!

Many thanks to Anthropologie Greenville for hosting me and allowing me to try on all of the things and to Christa Rene Photography for the pretty pics! 

See you kids tomorrow! 

The 10 Sexiest Things You Can Say To A Toddler Mom

Listen up husbands, significant others, life partners and other halves of parenting units:

 being a mom to a toddler is some dirty work, and not the kind of dirty you're hoping for, either.

I get it, things used to be different. You try your classic moves hoping for a little lovin' but all you get is an eye roll and blaring episode of Vanderpump Rules. Don't worry, I'm here to help. 
Wanna seal the deal with the mother of your offspring? 
Try slipping one of these one liners past her on a wild Tuesday night....

I should mention that this post was inspired by my Husband who whispered this sweet nothing in my ear last night:

Babe, you should go take a shower.
I'll handle dinner time.

I don't think I've ever been more in love with him than in that moment.

Behold, The 10 Sexiest Things You Can Say to a Toddler Mom

1. I would love a quick dinner of chopped up deli meat scraped from the baby's high chair tray!

2. I dug that paci out of the toilet and sanitized it. While I was at it, I sanitized the toilet too.

3. I went through all of the baby's books and tossed the ones that rhyme.
(or talk, or make animal noises or sing)

4. Would you like me to sleep in guest room tonight? 
I thought you might enjoy sleeping solo, starfish style, in our king sized bed.

5.  A top knot really looks great on you, babe!

6. We need milk, do you want to run to Target while I hang here?

7. Man those dishes have been in the sink for a long time....I'll take care of them! 

8. I've been thinking about and I agree with you, boyfriend jeans are sexy!

9. I ran out to do a quick errand today and grabbed you a spare can of dry shampoo. 

10. May I refill your wine?

Alright mamas, chime in! What sweet nothing do you want to hear?

How To Pack for Napa In Only a Carry On (even if it rains!)

Ok, let's talk packing. 

I'm a huge believer in only packing carry on bags - I hate finally landing in my destination and being forced to wait for ages at baggage claim - but packing for a girls weekend screams "I must have multiple outfit options". Add in a rainy forecast and you're asking for a 50lb suitcase situation. 

I resisted the urge to pack the world's largest suitcase and managed to carry on just one small rolling suitcase and my trusty Longchamp as my personal item - complete with coats, rain boots, multiple shoe options and layers. Wanna see how I did it?

Travel Day

denim | tee | hat | jacket old, similar, and another | scarf | shoes |

On my travel day to San Francisco, I made sure to wear as many of my layers as possible to save room in my bags. I layered my light weight anorak over dark denim and a plain white tee. I wore one of the hats I brought along to hide my travel hair and I always take a big scarf on a flight so I can use it as a blanket or a pillow. The world's most comfortable metallic flat espadrilles made security a breeze and were perfect for traipsing around the tourist spots of San Fran.

Wine Tasting (in the rain)

We spent two days of our trip wine tasting and one day called for less rain than the other. I opted to wear black distressed denim on the sunnier (if you will!) of the two days with my Hunter rain boots and a perfectly light weight flowy top. My hat made another appearance to protect the locks and my jacket was on call for the bouts of rain.

On the second day of wine tasting, I opted into leggings because there is no worse feeling than soaking wet denim. The boots proved to be worth the space in my carry on (pro tip: stuff your boots with small items to maximize packing space - my bathing suit, curling iron and undies made their way to Napa in the legs of my rain boots),

| leggings | top old, similar |

The dinner attire in Napa is very low key and go with the flow so I basically packed dresses that could be wadded up in a suitcase and not wrinkle. I don't iron in real life so I'm sure not going to iron on vacation! My favorite find is this maxi dress (for less than $60 and in a ton of colors!). 

| dress | hat super old, similar

If you're busty, trying to hide a tummy or not a fan of your arms, this dress will be your saving grace. It would also work if you're rocking a bump! And for my fellow tall girls, this baby is long! 

The other super star dress of the trip did not get the love it deserved photo wise but I had to include it anyway! Forgive the horrid selfie, I had to dig it out of my deleted photos - 4 bloggers on a trip and no one snagged a shot of this little number? For shame.

Soft, loose and perfect for wearing a bra (or no bra, you lucky ladies, you!), this dress was amazing for our first dinner out. I paired it with a hat (pro tip: stuff your hat with a tee shirt to maximize packing space and protect the hat shape) and booties and felt perfectly dressed for our night out. 


| sleep shirt, monogrammed by The Monogram Shop |

I'm a sucker for pajamas and typically take advantage of a trip to snag a new set. My new monogrammed sleep shirt was perfect for bedtime and handled the transition to breakfast well with a pair of leggings underneath! 

Travel Day

There was no better farewell to Napa than my Mimosas Made Me Do It tee and soft white jeans. I carried on my jacket and scarf, rocked my same comfy kicks and wore my hat because there was no way I was getting glam for a cross country flight after a weekend of wine drinking. 

Now go forth and only travel with only those carry on bags!

How To Plan the Perfect Girl's Trip to Napa (even if it rains)

How To Plan the Perfect Girl's Trip to Napa
(even if it rains)

 So you want to plan a girl's trip to the Napa Valley, but where to start? 

Cait, Natasha, Laura and I took a little break from work, husbands, babies and responsibilities to search out the the best of the best, from where to land, where to stay, what to eat and (most importantly) where to sip the vino - even if it rains. 

Because let's be honest, we can't control the weather but we can stuff our rain boots into our carry on bags and drink our way through a fabulous weekend. 

The San Francisco airport is about an hour drive (depending on traffic) from Napa Valley. If your girls are flying in from all over the country, have everyone meet in the San Fran so you can play tourist for a few hours before heading up to wine country. We managed to hit the major tourist highlights in just under two hours and felt like we could check San Fran off of our list. Here's how we did it:

Play Tourist 

Hop in the car at the airport and head straight for the Painted Ladies. Girls of the '90's rejoice as you feast your eyes upon the glory that is backdrop of those Full House opening credits. If it's raining, make sure you're wearing a hat and your converse because the best vantage point of the Ladies is up a small grassy hill - and there is no way you're missing this photo op.


After you've had your fill of living out your DJ Tanner fantasies, hop back in the car and head to the famously crooked Lombard Street.

 Drive down, check out the stunning houses along the road and hop out of the car for a super quick photo. The bonus to a rainy day in San Fran? Tons of street parking! 

After the curvy street, your next stop is The Golden Gate Bridge
which, as luck would have it, is on your way to Napa!

 The bridge really is worth a stop, even in the rain - you can pull off the highway just before you cross the bridge and take it in from a few different vantage points. Alcatraz, insanely cold surfers and the hills can be also be spotted.

Once you've snapped group pics at all of the important San Fran landmarks, you are free to hit the open road to Napa - with just one more mandatory stop:

In and Out Burger.
Stop on your way to Napa, grab a Double Double Animal Style and call yourself blessed to be on the West Coast.


You'll need the perfect spot for all of the girls to relax, take in vineyard views and feel spoiled, so you must stay at the SENZA Hotel. SENZA is a stunning property with rooms steps from the vineyards. 

photo by Cait

The accommodations are chic and minimalist with more than enough space for two of you to dump out your suitcases and stay a while. 

If the fireplaces (perfect for rainy days!), huge rooms and over sized balconies aren't enough, the Bouchon Bakery breakfasts, complimentary nightly wine tastings and cabana pool should probably seal the deal. Waking up every morning and rolling in to a stunning breakfast without the typical wait required to inhale Bouchon croissants was a highlight for me.

 photo by Laura


All girl's trips require a bit of relaxation and the Spa Terra at The Meritage Resort and Spa is as unique as they come. Built into a cave under the vineyards, Spa Terra has no cell phone reception, is the epitome of old world charm and is, of course, open rain or shine.

 Photo by Cait

While you're there, ask for Mercer, especially if you need a deep tissue! 
And, of course, have a glass of champagne in the whirlpool prior to taking advantage of Spa Terra's gorgeous showers and steam rooms. 

 photo by Laura 


Our group scheduled three tours and wine tastings over two days during our visit and we couldn't have been happier with our choices. With so many gorgeous wineries in Napa, picking just a few to visit seems impossible but we managed to tour three extremely different and stunning properties. Make sure that you call ahead and make a reservation - even in the rain many vineyards were still rocking full tour schedules.

HALL St. Helena is a gorgeous property that blends wild, modern art with the traditional buildings of old Napa. Colin was our tour guide and we loved him from the start (I think the British accent helped).

My absolute favorite sip in all of Napa was a young red out of the barrel - her name is Katherine and she is only released once a year. The barrel we sampled will hit the shelves in October of 2017 and I have the date set on my calendar! 

If it rains, the tour will be shortened so that you can spend more time in the tasting room which, with stunning floor to ceiling windows, feels like it's outside in the vineyards. 

Where Hall St. Helena is clean and modern, Chappellet is set up the mountain (technically, Pritchard Hill) in a stunning, lush green hideaway. The views from their perch above Napa are like none other and their heated (yes, heated) wood tasting tables are perfect for a rainy day tour. Chappellet provides umbrellas and North Face gear on wet weather days and an extra pour after your drive up. 

If Restoration Hardware is your dream decor, you must schedule a visit to Charles Krug. The Charles Krug tasting room was designed by the forces behind Restoration Hardware and the nautical buoy light fixture had me at hello. If it's not raining, plan to picnic on the lawn - if it is raining then pull up an overstuffed arm charm and get to sipping!

The Napa restaurant scene is home to the best of the best. Here are my top three dining pics from our stay in Napa, and each are perfect for hosting your group of girls!

While a little difficult in the rain, Gott's is not to be missed. We scoped out seats under the covered porch and made the best of it with our own bottle of wine from Charles Krug. I myself ordered both the blue cheese burger and the Ahi tuna burger and had them cut in half to share with the girls (and so that I wouldn't miss out!).

Best on the menu: the blue cheese burger! 

Redd Wood is charming and delicious, perfect for your first night together. Split a couple of pizzas (the prosciutto was my favorite, Natasha was in love with the Brussels sprout pizza) and lots of desserts and you'll be set for the night.

Best on the menu: the prosciutto and arugula pizza - maybe the best pizza I've ever eaten! 

Farmstead was our last dinner in town and the one that everyone was most looking forward to. Quirky, lively and boasting a bigger menu than we'd seen, I loved every single bite of every plate from Farmstead. We ordered everything from pork chops to gnocchi and every bite was perfect.

Best on the menu: the meatballs!

You can walk through the vineyard from your hotel room at SENZA to the stunning Don Giovanni's. If you go, order the Strawberry Prosecco cocktail and anything that they can shave the aged Parmesan all over. 

So, there you have it! The perfect girl's trip to Napa - where to stay, eat, drink, play and most of all, relax, even if it rains. If you've have a burning question about planning a girls trip to Napa, I'm happy to answer them via email! 

A special thank you to SENZA, Spa Terra at the Meritage Resort and Spa, Hall Wines, Chappellet and Charles Krug Winery for providing us with complimentary or discount services during our stay. All opinions are 100% my own and based upon my experience.