September 2016 | Olive and Tate

Dressing the Toddler Boy For Fall

This post was sponsored by Crazy8. All opinions and experiences are my own and are based upon our experience with each item mentioned.  

I'm going out on a not so long limb here and stating a fact:

There is no more difficult human to both dress and keep dressed than a toddler boy. 

Not only are toddler boys really into taking their clothes (and shoes) off at any given moment, they also tend to grow in these giant growth spurts that leave you frantically digging for a pair of pants long enough to cover their ankles. On top of that, it's no myth that boys play rough and play clothes are a must - and they have to be sturdy, cost efficient and soft, because Hell hath no furry like a toddler who has an itchy tag in his tee shirt.

Allow me to introduce you to my new fave online children's retailer, Crazy8. Nothing makes me happier than a large selection of great boy clothes (boy mamas know exactly what I mean!) with a great price tag. While Crazy8 is killer for outfits for all occasions, I majorly ransacked their easy to mix and match "play clothes" selection to stock Gray up for Fall (including all of the layers for our South Carolina "fall"). 

And yes, I am that mom who forced my kid into a puffy vest and cords the second they arrived so that I could see how cute he looked in all of it. But how cute does he look in all of his little layers?? A Sherpa vest and his first lace up sneakers - yes, please!

Truth: I actually said to Justin at dinner tonight, "this kid is a wild animal but he is Heaven on Earth to me." Justin rolled his eyes and I tried to squeeze the baby's face off!

Sherpa vest | sneakers | long sleeve tee | cords |

I love the quality of all of the pieces we snagged (from shoes to tees!) and cannot wait to stock up on all things cool weather for my growing babe. 

And I'm not the only one who will be shopping, one of you will win a $50 gift card to Crazy8! Just head to my Instagram at 8:30pm on 9/29 to enter!

Head over to Crazy8 and let me know what you're snagging for Fall for your littles (and yes, I left a few Sherpa Vests for ya'll!).

Dressing the Mom Body: Denim Dupe!

Get excited ladies, today we're talking about jeans!

It's been a while, but I am happy to report that I have found the best denim dupe ever - and you don't have to bother trying them on under those heinous neon lights if you don't want to - I've done it for you and lived to tell the tale.

As you may recall, I once tried on pretty much every damn pair of denim in Old Navy to find the right pair for my postpartum shape (and documented the entire ordeal for the world) so I have no shame when it comes to finding a good pair of denim. But this particular dupe snuck up on me. I was shopping for the 50 Styles in 50 States Old Navy challenge (so while this post is not sponsored, I did find this pair of jeans while shopping for a sponsored post #FTC) when I grabbed a pair of jeans to try on a top with. Once I slapped those babies on my body, I knew this pair was a good thing. 
A really good thing.

So here's the deal: as it turns out, the Old Navy Mid-Rise Rockstar Skinny Jean in Silverwood is a dead ringer for the cult fave AG "The Legging" Ankle Jean in 10 Year Recreation. Yeah, you heard me, that amazing pair of jeans that shows up in basically every single one of my Instagrams can be duplicated with a $35 pair of Old Navy jeans.

Here's the proof, in photos. First up, the AG The Legging
(I wear a 30 in this wash but do also have a pair in this wash that I bought on sale in a 29. They run true to size so only size down if you find the one pair left on clearance like I did.)

aaaaand now, the Old Navy Mid-Rise Rockstar in Silverwood (I can wear both the 10 and the 12 in the Rockstar but always size down to the 10 because they stretch out during wear.)

The wash looks a little lighter in these gorgeous shots by Christa Rene Photography, but trust me on this one. 

Mid rise (that holds in my muffin top), slightly distressed (but not enough to make me look like a teen wannabe), dark wash with little whiskering on the thighs, and an ankle length perfect for flats or booties - what more could you need? Now, go forth and conquer that denim, mama!

4 Posts Guaranteed to Generate Content (and page views!)

4 Posts Guaranteed to Generate Content (and page views!)

Let's face it, sometimes coming up with fresh blog content day after day seems like an impossible task. I'll be the first to admit that there have been plenty of nights spent staring at my blank screen hoping the words would come (and when they did come, that they be clever). In my experience there is no worse feeling than shutting that laptop in defeat, post unwritten, and your blog neglected. 

Now that I have a few years of blogging under my belt, I've developed 4 fail proof blogging topics/prompts that can dig me out of even the deepest content drought. Each topic is insanely flexible and can provide endless post possibilities that are fresh, inspired and will show off your unique voice. Wanna know what they are?

Oh, I'm so glad that you asked!

4 Posts Guaranteed to Generate Content 
(and page views!)

4 Posts Guaranteed to Generate Content (and page views!)

1. Wish Posts
Have you ever thought "ugh, I so wish I knew that before..."? If you've thought it, so have your readers. Whether you pen a Wish Post on what you wish you knew when you started your business, before you went into labor, before you bought a home, the first time you sat down to your own taxes, about your kiddo's first year of school, about shopping at Costco, the content is endless. Tell us your honest experiences, thoughts and tidbits and you can't go wrong.

2. List Posts
For me, the hardest part of a post is wrapping it into a story - if I can't seem to find the words for an intro, I know the post will be slow going in the writing department. This can be especially frustrating when I have an idea that I really love and don't want to completely abandon. Enter the List Post. You can absolutely tell a story by using the list format and I love doing it. In fact, List Posts are some of the most likely to be published by larger outlets (according to Scary Mommy). Make sure to include a super quick intro or, at the very least, a catchy title, and you'll be set! 

3. Behind The Scenes
There is one thing I know for sure: it is human nature to love a secret. We are naturally curious and love to get a peek behind the scenes of our neighbor's home, our favorite business or what appears to be someone's dream life. If you blog as apart of your business, why not keep track of a major launch day or share behind the scenes photos from a brainstorming session. If you're brand is motherhood, share Day In The Life post - if you're a fashion blogger, share with us how you prep for your photo days. As a work from home mom, some of my absolute favorite posts are from mamas who work outside the home - I am in awe of this post by my friend Christina. Bottom line: pull back the curtain and let us in for a while!

4. Can't Live Without It
This is my absolute favorite post to pull out when I just can't think of anything interesting to write. In fact, the Can't Live Without It post was once a weekly occurrence on my blog (no better way to end the week than with a no-fail post!). Simply share something (a product, service, podcast, email list serve, Facebook group, toddler app) that keeps you afloat - there are no rules or limits, just spill the beans so the rest of us can snap up the amazingness for ourselves! 

What are you go to content starters? Share in the comments!

A Very Grown Up Weekend

This weekend was one to file under: How To Act Like A Grown Up. We finally invested in a little landscape work on the exterior of our home and, unbeknownst to us, that meant we would need to re-plan our weekend to accommodate for frequent and detailed attention to our new little trees. 

Luckily, we love our new trees and my husband loves a good Home Depot run so once we got our hoses set on an automated schedule (yep, that's a thing) we were able to carry on with an edited version of our itinerary. 

On Thursday, I popped over to Vino and Van Gogh (owned by my friend, girl boss and talented artist, Marquin) to learn how to style my shelves from my very talented friend, Amanda of Amanda Louise Interiors. Seriously, shelf styling is an art and I am no artist. After a few hours of dedicated learning, I've decided that I'm going to leave this one to the pros and am grateful that I happen to know and love this pro (and have no shame in forcing her into style my shelves for me!). 

I mean, look at her work in action!

If you live in Greenville, be sure to check out Vino and Van Gogh's class calendar because they host classes for much more than painting - Marquin co-hosts a women in business series that brings together some of the best in town, so take a peek! 

On Friday, Gray and I made our first round of pumpkin chocolate chip bread of the season (despite the 90 degree temps). We use the Trader Joe's pumpkin bread box mix and add in whatever chocolate chips we have on hand. Sometimes, if we're feeling wild, we make muffins and sometimes we manage to get an entire egg shell in the batter. So, if you come over and we offer you a slice, eat at your own risk. 

Saturday we hit the road for a quick over night trip to visit Justin's parents and Gray was spoiled rotten. Fro Yo at 9pm? Sure, that sounds reasonable! 

Seriously, we are so lucky to live such a quick drive away from my in-laws. They are some of the best grandparents around and they love my kid super hard. Plus, my FIL is a morning person so he doesn't mind answering the toddler wake up call! 

I managed to land on the pages of Scary Mommy again this weekend (for the 5th time, which never ceases to amaze me) with one of my most relatable posts to date. And no, I still haven't figured out what that smell is. 

On Sunday morning we headed back home to water the plants and rearrange the hoses, but also managed to sneak in a family nap, so I'm going to call it a successful Sunday. I tried to find a cute Game Day outfit for this week's Clemson v Louisville game but despite all of the awesome deals going on, I struck out. Anyone seen any cute orange dresses on the internet? Send them my way! 

A New Look and A Recap

 I hope everyone survived their Monday in one piece. I, myself, barely made it and was oh so happy when wine o'clock rolled around (edit: I originally had "whine o'clock", which I thought was appropriate but my husband said no one would believe that I was thinking about anything but vino). 

In case you haven't noticed (you did), there's a new look around here - nothing fancy, just a little update to keep things interesting. I still have a few updates to do (don't bother clicking on any of my social media links) but hopefully, I've found all of the kinks (I haven't, don't judge). While I'm getting things settled, why don't ya'll take a peek at the pretty pics from the Sip and Shop event at Simon Malls, I was honored to co-hostess along with Lauren of Love Lola and Cara of Mirrors and Mimosas. So many great shops participated and many glasses of wonderful wine were poured so you know it was a great time. Many, many thanks to my friends who came out to support (Ashley, Jamie, Jonathan, Amanda, and Whitney who drove way, way to far just to say hey), you guys made my night and I was so touched that you each took time out of your night to come see me.

And now, the photos:

I've introduced you to Lauren before, so now's the perfect chance to introduce you to Cara - she is the sweetest and way, way more fashionable than I'll ever be. Go follow her on Insta, her feed is fabulous! 

| my top | my jeans | my earrings | my shoes |

outfit details from my dream Fall ensemble featuring that amazing leopard skirt here 

Thank you to Simon Malls and Haywood Malls for having me and stay tuned, you may be seeing my Fall look with again very soon!

The Lost Week

So, that week went by quickly, huh? 

| flowers from Megan | bracelet |
I honestly never meant to skip an entire week of blogging but we've just really been hit hard this past week in the health department. First, I was under the weather (so much so that I asked my parents to come to town to help me entertain the baby) and then my sweet babe came down with a virus. With Justin working insane hours, I am so grateful that my parents didn't bat an eye when I asked them to cancel their weekend plans and come hang with us. I swear, I have never wished they closer more than I did this morning when Gray woke fever free after a night of meds and temperature checks - and he was full of toddler energy and ready to run but Justin and I can't bounce back from a night of little sleep like we used to. Grandpa (Gray calls my dad Captain) to the rescue - off the guys went to take a drive in my Dad's "big white truck", to grab breakfast and do whatever dudes do, while Justin and I tried to snag an extra hour of sleep. And then my mom (Mamie to the baby) stepped in for book reading, snuggles and endless juice refills. 

We spent the weekend taking small trips out of the house, watching football at home (you know it was serious if we didn't send at least one family representative to a Clemson home game!), eating our faces off (tried Good To Go GVL for the first time and loved it - try the lasagna and the cinnamon rolls, you won't regret it), savoring good bottles of wine after the baby went to bed, cheering on my fave macaron genius, Jonathan Caleb Cake, at the famous Indie Craft Parade and ignoring my overflowing email inbox. 

We are thankfully all on the mend and I am back to work tomorrow so if I owe you an email, I promise I'm locking it down ASAP! I have tons of post lined up for this week and it should be a full week of my ramblings around here. Oh! By the way, so many of you have reached out to me letting me know that you're missing my Instagrams that announce new posts (since I can no longer to be counted on to post at any sort of regular time or interval) - here's my solution for that (besides Instagram getting their shiz together and going back to a chronological feed): if you sign up for emails on my blog sidebar, you will receive my new posts in your inbox, so you'll never miss one! I've recently subscribed via email to a  ton of my fave blogs because Instagram is failing me and I can't stand to miss my favorite blogger's posts.  

P.S. Did anyone snag anything good from the Anthro Day Sale? I couldn't pass up this top - and I almost bought this top in the other color! I love the orange! 

P.P.S. I managed to land on Southern Living last week along with some of the best of the best in Greenville - go check it out here!

See you kids tomorrow! 

7 Truths of Living With A Toddler

Toddlers are a unique species all of their own, complete with their own rules, commandments and (very flighty) moral code. Mothering a toddler is not for the faint of heart. One minute I feel like Mary Poppins and the next minute I'm the chick from Game of Thrones - and frankly, neither are a good look for me. I've been battling deep in the Toddler Trenches so I put together a little list of commands that I only wish I had known before my son's second birthday. My hope is that these truths will provide a bit of a road map to Toddler Land, just in case you are staring into the abyss of an empty bag of Goldfish with hours until (what will hopefully be) nap time. 

7 Truths Of Living With A Toddler 

1. Cleaning Is For Fools
No matter how hard you try to contain the filth, your toddler will follow just behind you, emptying cabinets, slinging a yogurt pouch onto the baseboards (FYI that one took straight bleach to remove), spilling juice from a spill proof cup and spitting half chewed Strawberry Frosted Mini Wheats onto your white sheets (another FYI, the pink strawberry stains). You'll do your best to keep up but you are no match for the space destroying powers of a toddler. It's best to go ahead and resign yourself to a life of living in a house that looks like the Before shot of a Fixer Upper episode. 

2. Shoes Are Mysterious
My son currently owns two pairs of the same shoe in two different colors. On certain days, he prefers his blue shoes and on the other days, he's all about the orange pair. But you wanna know a secret? He likes to hide the pair he wants to wear and then request them. Yeah, he's fun like that. If I had a cup of coffee for every minute I spent searching for one orange shoe, I would never be tired again. 

3. Nuggets are BAE
Let's face it, Hell hath no fury like a toddler who just ran out of chicken nuggets. Before I had my son I thought "oh, I'll only do nuggets occasionally, you know, in between organic spinach and cauliflower rice" and now I buy chicken nuggets in catering trays so that they are always in my refrigerator. My how the mighty have fallen. 

4. You Will Engage In Shady Behavior
Listen, I know you're a good person. So am I. But here's the thing: parenting a toddler may cause you to lie, cheat and steal with the skill of a seasoned con man. Don't believe me? Try opening a bag of chips within earshot of a toddler. They will come running and the next thing you know,  you'll be lying to your kid's face in no time flat (because mama will not share her chips). You'll make up stories about everything from bedtime to broccoli and you'll sell them with such enthusiasm you may just start believe them yourselves. 

5. Bodily Fluids Are Meant To Be Shared 
I'm fairly certain that I've never been exposed to so many bodily fluids on a regular basis in my life - and not just those of the diaper variety. Boogers, snot, slobber, spit, whatever the black stuff under his nails is - it's all out there, all the time. And I'm the one who either gets showered in it or has to clean it up (or both).

6. Colors Are Important
Just as a warning, you should know that you will never, ever choose the right color sippy cup before you fill it with milk. Ever. And if, by some miracle, you do choose correctly, I can promise you that you won't be able to find a lid that matches that cup. And God help you if you need to pick out a set of toddler cutlery. I have never seen someone get so upset about a fork in my life. What can I say, it's just the way of the Toddler World.

7. Baby Proofing Is Laughable 
Installing baby gates, toilet locks or those fancy cabinet magnet brackets is the equivalent to throwing down the toddler gauntlet. Your toddler will see your efforts to keep him safe as a challenge to prove how ineffective those pricey little gadgets really are. And he will do so with frightening speed and efficiency. I've never seen my toddler concentrate on something as hard as he concentrates on getting that toilet lid open so he can through his bath toys right down the hatch. 

If any of this sounds familiar to you, know that I am with you, in solidarity and in the bonds of motherhood. God speed, mama, God speed. 

Fall Sip and Shop

Well, I'm currently in the middle of an epic toddler showdown over a deck of playing cards so let's make tonight's post a happy one, shall we?

Let's talk about shopping and a winner!

First and foremost, definitely do not forget to register for the Sip and Shop event at Haywood Mall on September 11th from 4-6 pm. Select stores like J. CREW, Banana Republic and Pottery Barn will be offering amazing discounts for the event and some stores (like Sephora!) are offering a free gift with purchase! You must be registered to attend and the event is capped at 300 guests, so go ahead and get that registration locked and loaded. 

To register, click here and use code FALLFASHION 

I can't wait to sip vino with all of you (and I may or may not force any friends to attend to join me at the Cheesecake Factory after, because, cheesecake.). For more details, click here. 

Thank you one million times over to Simon Malls for providing the $100 VISA gift card that is going home with none other than.....

Melissa S.! 
(winner randomly chosen by

I hope you spend that baby on something just for you that makes you feel fab! 

And with that, I'm signing off to drown my toddler mom sorrows in as many re-runs of Big Bang Theory as my DVR will allow. 

Weekending, College Football Kickoff and a Photo Dump

What a simple, sweet, easy, long weekend! I really cherished all of our time together since Justin's work schedule has been crazy, and the guys in this house really cherished 4 nights in a row of college football. We managed to do basically nothing and a ton all at the same time so here's a quick photo dump to prove that we left the house.

I kicked the weekend off on thursday with a bourbon tasting at Dark Corner Distillery in downtown Greenville with my blogger crew. I genuinely love when this group of girls is able to get together and we end up having the best time all over town. While bourbon isn't usually my drink of choice (my vino loyalty is strong), Dark Corner has an amazing line up of flavored bourbons that mix into cocktails like a breeze. I highly recommend a stop by their storefront for a taste of the house made liquors (and moonshine), especially because the vibe inside is light and fresh. When you go, ask for a tasting of the Clemson bourbon - it tastes like Fruit Loops! 

check out my fave local bloggers: Paula | Caroline | Jenny | Lauren |

On Friday Gray and I ran a ton of errands to stock up for the weekend. For some reason, I came home with like 5 types of cheeses, guacamole ingredients and fresh flowers. And not much else. Oops. I also stalked the mail man so I could get my hands on my Anthropologie sale on sale snags. Shockingly, they were all keepers!

Gray celebrated daddy finally coming home before bedtime by acting like the wild animal/toddler hybrid that he is. We are officially in the rough housing stage and it is insanity - I can only compare it to living with a tiny WWE wrestler who isn't concerned with spacial awareness. 

| dress wearing a Medium | white tank wearing a L| jeans wearing a 30 | stripe tank wearing a L |

On saturday I managed to hit the barre before everyone was up (I worked out on a weekend. At 8am. Megan called me to make sure I was feeling ok) and met the guys for a well deserved donut date after. They were both buzzing with First Game Of The Season Excitement and the orange and purple sprinkle covered donuts did not help things. After naps we got dolled up in our game day finest and got ready to celebrate the first game of the season with our friends. We were treated to slow roasted BBQ, handmade sauces, lots of toddler shenanigans and friends who don't mind when your kid gets in a fight with their kid over an iPad. The Clemson game didn't kick off until 9pm EST, so we were all home and in bed well before things got interesting - but hey, a win in a win! 

| my top wearing a size 10 |

On Sunday we were slow moving ("we" meaning the adults, thanks to the game being over at 1am) but our toddler was ready to burn some energy so off we went to dine on our fave biscuits and breakfast potatoes, play downtown, enjoy our city,  and nap as a family. The weather in Greenville was really stunning this weekend so we had to take advantage of every possible outdoor play space downtown.

Biscuit Head standard order: Classic with bacon and a side of Moon Potatoes

By Monday we could only manage to
stuff our faces, nap again, and play outside. I managed to go to barre again in the am (I can't help but mention that!) and Gray managed to eat his body weight in breadsticks at Sidewall Pizza.

Sidewall standard lunch order: wedge salad, breadsticks to split with the baby and half of the Caprese Sub (add proscuitto!)

See? Accomplished nothing - didn't even snap a pic of anything but food.

It was the type of weekend that was good for the soul and now we're ready to tackle the week (but not the weekend laundry. I will never be ready to tackle the weekend laundry.) I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Don't forget to enter the $100 VISA gift card giveaway in the previous post!