October 2016 | Olive and Tate

Dressing the Game Day Body: Purple!

Hey all! I'm back with Day 2 of Dressing the Game Day Body and today we're talking purple. In case you missed yesterday's post with pops of orange, check it out here! I honestly feel like purple doesn't get enough love in our stands and I am a huge proponent of rocking it on game day. It's a more flattering shade on most skin tones than our particular hue of orange and is usually easier to get your hands on in stores. All of today's outfits are courtesy of the cutest boutique in town, Sugar Boutique, and I know all of you Clemson girls will need the tee in the very last outfit! 

P.S. If you haven't yet, go follow Sugar on Instagram - they just stocked the cutest poncho on Earth and it made it to their Instagram and basically flew out of the store! You'll want to have it, trust me! 

OK, let's talk about the "casual fan". When I first met Justin, I knew there would be nothing casual about our family's level of enthusiasm for the Tigers but not everyone is as crazy as he is. I love an outfit that can go from game day to the office with one quick change up - not only is it the most practical way to stock your closet (as opposed to buying endless "on trend pieces") but its best for your wallet. I'm loving this outfit for game day with denim and booties and for the office with black pants and pumps.

This Southern Tide sweater is the perfect layering piece - seriously, you need it. It's soft, thick and the perfect neutral shade to pair with this plum sleeveless tank. At less than $20 and pleated to hide my tummy, I'm fairly certain I'm buying it in every color. I'm wearing a Large in both pieces!

Rainy Day

Yes, we do in fact tailgate in the rain. If I recall correctly, last year we managed to tailgate in a hurricane. This is by far my fave outfit - leggings, rain boots, a tee and the perfect coat make for the most comfortable ensemble with a little sass. The slogan is one Clemson fans will know well but no matter what team you cheer for, you need to take a peek at the jacket I'm wearing!

Oh, this jacket. How I love it so. It's incredibly light weight, has a hood and super roomy pockets. Sugar has it in tons of colors (navy, olive, grey, garnet, khaki and garnet) and I honestly can't decide which is my favorite. I'm rocking a large and love the fit. And of course, this tee. Clemson girls, go get it. It's roomy/not too fitted in the chest (I'm wearing a Large), so soft and is incredibly soft. You need it and I'll be wearing it on Saturday night! 

Thanks again to Sandi at Sugar Boutique for partnering with me on this post (and yesterday's!) and to Christa Rene Photography for all of the pics! 

Dressing the Game Day Body: Pops of Orange!

I am so excited to finally hit publish on this post! One of the questions I'm asked most often is where to find Game Day gear that is age appropriate, comfortable and can be worn in real life (you know, the office, drop off, drinks with friends - not just on Saturday!). This year I've shared a Game Day outfit or two but haven't really dedicated a full post to it - better late than never! 

 First, I have to introduce ya'll to Sugar Boutique in nearby Greenwood, SC. I met the Sugar girl boss, Sandi, at an event in my neighborhood and we started chatting and just couldn't stop. We promised to be in touch with each other months slipped by. Thankfully, we reconnected (thanks to Sandi!) and didn't let this opportunity pass. Every single piece of clothing I'm wearing in today's post is straight from Sugar! They have a great online shop to compliment their adorable store front and also have a history of dropping amazing pieces on their Instagram account. 

Not only do I love Sandi's shop but I love the models she uses to represent her brand. You'll find gorgeous girls of all shapes and sizes in her clothing and you can tell that Sandi is very conscious of dressing all body types when she's picking pieces to carry. We all know I'm a big fan of spilling the beans on my real sizes, fits and cuts so I warned Sandi that she'd have to be on board for all the truth telling - and she told me she wanted nothing less! 

So, let's get down to it! Today I'm going to share two outfits that are all about the orange and tomorrow I'll be back with two outfits that are all things purple - all can be worn outside of the stadium and every single outfit is just so darn comfortable.

c/o top | pants

Sandi called this look "for the fan who doesn't want to look like she's showing up with pom poms" which made me laugh out load. Normally, I would caution anyone who is blessed with assets like my own to steer clear of orange pants but this pair of Scarlett Skinny jeans is actually incredibly flattering. The run small so I'm wearing a 31 and the fabric is thinner, so they won't be too hot on game day. In case you're worried, they aren't thin enough to let your Spanx line show so you're covered and won't be super sweaty! The top is by Jade and I love the fit - I'm rocking a large and think it is so forgiving of my mid section - and price point (less than $80). 

I can't wait to wear this top with dark skinnies and tall boots, the denim with a white tee and Converse and of course the entire look to a football game! 

c/o poncho 

Ok, let's talk colder weather games. We do sometimes get lucky and score a cooler game day (usually the Thanksgiving weekend game against South Carolina) and I always have a hard time with outerwear that doesn't get too heavy as the sun warms up throughout the day. Enter the Lucy Leopard Poncho. Leather trimmed, tie waist, leopard perfection to layer over a tank or long sleeved tee. I paired the poncho with a Dance in Paris long sleeve layering tee in the perfect shade of orange and a pair of Citizens that are currently sold out (but check out this pair!). As a heads up, the Dance in Paris top is super fitted (the company started out by making leotards) and, in my opinion, is only geared to be a base layer. I'm wearing a large and loved the length it gave me. The tops (and tanks!) sell out super quick at Sugar, so if you need one, call the girls and they'll ship one to you when they come in! 

Anyway, I'm wearing a Large in the poncho and couldn't help but think how comfortable (and warm!) it was. Half of our tailgate crew is currently pregnant so I also have bumps on the brain and this poncho would be adorable with black leggings and riding boots for a mama to be! 

I'm loving these outfits so hard and can't wait to show you my two deep purple looks tomorrow!

Thanks to Sugar Boutique for partnering with me on this post and to Christa Rene Photography 
for the photos!

Weekending: Toddlers in the Mountains

Oh man, was this a fast, tiring, fun, toddler-boy-craziness filled weekend.
I'll keep this one short on the words (and long on the pics, sorry) because Justin and I are ready to crash for the night! Amazing friends of ours, Laura and Brian, invited all three of us to join them (and their sweet, almost three year old son, Mack) at their mountain cabin in Boone this weekend. We jumped at the chance to spend time with friends who totally understand what it is to have a two and a half year old - I mean, is there anything like friends who are in the exact same stage of parenting that you are? This weekend proved that there is, in fact, nothing more valuable.

Boone is roughly three hours from Greenville and we hit the road with a loose plan for the weekend: survive and do boy things to burn energy.

On Saturday morning we made a break for Tweetsie Railroad 

 It was a brisk 44 degrees so we were bundled up but the boys had a blast riding the train, the sky shuttle and petting every single goat in the petting zoo. 

After our grand adventure, we made it home for naps, destroying the house, watching football and devouring my first batch of chili of the season.

And yes, I dressed in my most Basic fall ensemble the entire time we were away. 

On Sunday we watched the boys run themselves silly around the house and tried to plan our trip home around nap time (try being the key word). We made a stop at Come Back Shack on our way out of town and all I can say is that we need one of those in Greenville. 

We loaded up after lunch hoping for naps and ended up with one thousand episodes of Mickey...

At least the boys were happy! 

This week is gearing up to be a busy one - there are two photo shoots in the next two weekends in our kitchen so I've got to get on some holiday decorating and deep cleaning! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Let's Talk Christmas In October!

This post is sponsored by Gymboree, all thoughts and opinions are mine alone and based upon our experiences with the products mentioned. 

Ok, at first I thought I might be jumping the gun even thinking about our Christmas/Holiday cards this year but I've seen a few of my friends in Blogland (thanks Jane and Natasha!) break the ice, so today I'm going for it! I don't typically share our Christmas card here on the blog because our card always features my sweet boy's gorgeous face (I'm not biased or anything), but one thing I can share is our outfit prep! 

This year I think I'm going to go with shades of navy and emerald green for all of us - mostly because Justin and I already have a ton of those colors in our closets and also because I found the cutest sweater for Gray to wear - and we all know what happens when you find that one piece that you have to have! So far, I have two versions of our navy and green look for Gray lined up thanks to Gymboree and I can't wait for the entire family's look to come together. 

Here's the babe's line up, all from Gymboree:

Toddler Boy Christmas Card Outfit

Gray was under my feet when I opened the Gymboree shipping boxes and he absolutely insisted that he get his hands on the "wurk shurt" as soon as he saw it. He thinks the plaid button down looks like a shirt his Daddy would wear to work and he is all about being a big boy these days. I wrangled him into the button down and khaki cords and let him test them out in our yard (note that I did not successfully convince him to put on shoes). Behold, a blurry toddler in his Christmas Card Best:

Tomorrow, I'll be hosting an Instagram give away for $50 to Gymboree so make sure you're following along (@oliveandtate_)! 

Are you prepping for the holidays already or do you think I've lost my marbles??

Can't Live Without It: Baby Pibu

Can't Live Without It: Baby Pibu

 It's been one million years since my last Can't Live Without It post but we've finally solved Gray's eczema issue and I feel the need to shout it from the rooftops.

Gray has had eczema on the backs of his legs for as long as I can remember - it gets worse in the heat, if fabric rubs against (no skinny jeans for this kid) or if the we use the wrong bath products. We've tried everything from basic Johnson and Johnson to prescription creams and pediatrician recommended bath and skin lines. And yes, we've tried Honest too, but nothing worked. It got particularly bad over the summer and I felt terrible that we couldn't seem to keep it in check - and then my mom came to the rescue (as mom's always do). 

Can't Live Without It: Baby Pibu

 She came to town and brought with her the Baby Pibu brand Pibu's Bathtime Wash and within 48 hours every single red, dry, patchy spot on my sweet babe was gone. We were so excited that we might have found something that worked that I looked into any and all Baby Pibu products. Thankfully, I remembered that I had received the Baby Pibu gift set from my cousin when Gray was born so I dug that out and we immediately began using the sunscreen, baby butter, hydrating ointment (made specifically for eczema) and I can't tell you how much better his skin is. And most importantly, it's stayed clear. No more rashes, no more flare ups.

As a heads up, this line can be super hard to get your hands on in a store - if you make the switch, be prepared to order online!

P.S. Can't Live Without It posts are never sponsored, just a way for me to share the things I love. 

Weekending: Maybe the Best of All Time

This may have been the best weekend of all time. 
So much family time, so many good meals, great friends, lots to celebrate and one of the best festivals in Greenville made for a jam packed, but amazingly fun, weekend. 

The remnants of Hurricane Matthew changed up a few things and my Mom was able to come to Greenville on Wednesday evening for a very long weekend stay. My Dad flew in on Friday morning to meet her here and we all spent the weekend basking in Grandparent glory.

I hit the office on Thursday so Gray got to have one on one time with his Mamie. On Thursday night, my mom sent Justin and I out for a date and it was perfection. Greenville weather is Heavenly this time of year and Downtown is the place to be. We started the night with drinks upstairs at Nose Dive, moved to apps outside at Nose Dive and then managed to sneak into Trattoria Giorgio for the first time (we've wanted in for years!). Justin had the insanely delicious Bolognase and I actually had the filet special (it's no secret that I don't love pasta). I basically sopped everything I could find in Italian Olive Oil and followed that up with my favorite red from the Barbera region. 

As soon as my Dad arrived on Friday, we made a bee line for the airplane park

and then home to show off our newest obsession (a Melissa and Doug clock, courtesy of his other amazing grandparents) and for a little applause while being pushed around the yard. 

I can't stop laughing at that picture! She's literally clapping for Gray as my dad pushes him around the yard! That has got to be the most grandparent thing ever.

Nap time claimed both the toddler and the weary traveler so Mom and I took advantage of the opportunity to squeeze in mani/pedis and a little wine time. 

I really, really wanted to take Gray out to a farm outside of town to pick out pumpkins, but by the time Justin got home and we all loaded into the car, I realized that the pumpkin farm closed at 6 on Friday - and we were pushing 5:30. I decided that I was the only who even cared about going to a farm for pumpkins and that Gray would be just as happy in the church parking lot patch down the road from our house. I'm so glad I let that all that craziness go because he had a blast sitting on, pushing, rolling and trying to pick up every singly pumpkin in that lot. 

My parents got to be with him while he ran amok and I managed to score a really great family photo. Basically, all of my mom fall dreams came true and we didn't have to hustle out to TR to make it happen.

After pumpkins, we rewarded ourselves with Pizza (Sidewall, of course) and called it an early night in prep for the Clemson game the next morning.

On Saturday, Justin and I hit the road for Clemson at 8am and spent the morning tailgating with friends and their families from out of town (who are like family to us as well). I actually didn't lug my camera to the game, so no pics (I'm sure you're relieved, this is a pic heavy post!). Because it was a noon game, we made it home in time to hang out with my parents and watch the night games before passing out embarrassingly early.

On Sunday we had to say goodbye to my parents - which we hate to do. To ease the pain, we immediately walked to coffee and then had naps. Naps are the cure for all. 

Thankfully, the weather was beautiful so as soon as the baby was up, we made our way downtown for our favorite festival of the year, Fall For Greenville. And let's be clear, it's our favorite because we eat our way through it. Local restaurants serve their best dishes in small bites and most whip up a new, signature dish for Fall For Greenville. 

 I love discovering new to me restaurants or, even better, to be reminded of places we should go more! We made sure to grab the award winning pulled pork and pimento cheese biscuit from Tupelo Honey and a S'mores ice cream sandwich from Sidewall but without a doubt, this year's personal favorite was CityRange Steakhouse Grill. Their Tuna Wontons were so good that we circled back and got another round.

 We pulled over next to their tent to eat and let the baby rest in the shade and happened to meet the owner of CityRange who is just the kindest man. He took a break from manning the grill to whip up a tiny serving of ice cream for Gray and let me try their desert special - vanilla ice cream mixed with blood orange olive oil and chocolate balsamic vinegar. When you mix it together, it tastes like a Creamsicle/the most amazing thing on Earth. 

We will be heading to CityRange this week, just to have more of those Tuna Wontons, I can promise you that! 

We ended the weekend laying in our bed, snuggling, playing puzzles and watching Dabo's latest press conference. I can't sum it up any better than to say it was one for the books.

The One Thing That Will Guarantee A Successful Collaboration (for shops and bloggers!)

Collaborations are currently the name of the game in the blogging world. I love working with big brands and supporting small shops - and doing so in a collaboration is my all time favorite because the definition of a collaboration is that both parties are benefiting. By building a relationship and working together, both the shop/brand/business and I are getting our names out there to a larger audience. What's not to love about that?

After three years of blogging, I've had the benefit of hearing about collaboration highs and lows from both my fellow bloggers and my colleagues who own businesses. As bloggers, one of the highlights of our jobs is to work with brands that we know and love (or discover amazing new ones). Unfortunately, and I hate to say this, many of the business owners who have shared their experiences of collaborating with bloggers have not always had positive things to say. 

I often hear, "well, I sent Blogger X this product or that item and all she did was Instagram it." 

My response every single time is simple:

Did you have a contract?

Shockingly, not one person has said yes.

I honestly don't understand the concept of providing product or service to someone without discussing openly and clearly what it is you hope will come of providing said product. All bloggers work differently, but I know one thing for sure: we all want to deliver on each venture that we agree to. I will speak for myself and say that I would never want to under-deliver in a partnership and not know that the shop felt that I had done so. Sadly, if a project isn't agreed upon in writing, all anyone is working from is assumptions.

Let's say Shop ABC assumes that if they send Blogger X product, then Blogger X will blog it, share on all social media channels and promote it fully. What Shop ABC may not know is Blogger X's rates, process when working with product to review or Blogger X's collaboration calendar. On the flip side, if Blogger X is approached by Shop ABC and told Shop ABC would love to send over product without any other detail, Blogger X is going to assume that there are no requirements. If a sponsorship or collaboration has requirements such as shares on certain channels or a full blog post, it's discussed up front so that all parties can agree on the terms and compensation.

So what do we do to avoid a situation where everyone is left disappointed? 

The answer is so very simple:

Agree on a Scope Of Work

A Scope Of Work is simply a document that is drafted to cover each and every expectation of a collaboration. It could be as simple as a clear, bullet list via email or a document you whip up with your logo and color scheme. No matter what it looks like, the Scope Of Work is the one way you can guarantee that both you and the brand/shop/company you are collaborating with are happy throughout the process.

Here's what I include in a Scope Of Work:

Product to be discussed
Number of edited images to be provided
Social Share (what channels, how many shares etc)
If a full blog post is required
 Date of publication
Mandatory requests from each party 
(shop tags on photos, a re-gram of my image by the shop, etc)
A small statement describing what happens if I don't love the product

And here's a little example:

Hey there, Shop Owner!

I am so excited to work together! I thought it would be easiest to jot down our collaboration details in one place, so I drafted the following Scope Of Work. Take a peek and let me know if I missed anything or if we need to revisit any of the details.

Collaboration between Olive and Tate and Shop ABC 

*Shop ABC will provide Olive and Tate product x and $___ for a full blog post review and social media shares across all channels.
*Olive and Tate will include 3-5 original, high resolution, styled images in the blog post which will only feature product.
*Olive and Tate will share one image across all social media channels including hashtags and tags requested by shop.
*Shop ABC will re-gram one of the post images and promote post across social media channels.
*Product will ship to Olive and Tate by this date
*Olive and Tate will publish and promote by this date
*If product for some reason does not meet expectations, product will be returned to Shop ABC by Olive and Tate in new condition. 

Thank you so much!

Olive and Tate

I usually make sure to go through the emails that have gone back and forth between myself and the brand and fill in the details I know and establish what I don't. For example, if a publish date hasn't been discussed, I look at my calendar and pick a date that works for my blog timeline and include it. If it needs to be changed, we discuss and change it, easy as pie.

 If you have a media kit, you most likely have all of the above details hammered out for your post packages but details can be overlooked during the negotiation process, so I still suggest creating a final Scope of Work for each collaboration you participate in - think of it as your safety net for your blog business.

Once both the brand and I feel that our goals and specifics are covered in the Scope Of Work, we move forward with shipping product or beginning our partnership. I can say, with absolute certainty, that I have never regretted creating a Scope Of Work and have, in fact, gone back to reference it during many collabs to make sure that I was on track with my deliverables. 

Whew, that was a lot of info but I know you'll take it and run with it! 

And P.S., shop owners, you can do this too! Provide a Scope Of Work when you start any collaboration to ensure that your deliverables are met as well! In fact, my first experience ever with a Scope Of Work was during a collaboration with a local business and I haven't looked back since! 

30 Things I Always Say Yes To

 Is it just me, or does being a toddler mom (or a mother of any age child, I'm guessing) sometimes make you feel like the Wicked Witch of the West? I think it's safe to assume that while I dole out endless hugs and kisses, the word I say most often is "NO" and the phrase I currently utter more than any other is "time out". While I'm totally on board being a disciplinarian so that my kid knows how to make his way in society, sometimes the role of Resident Buzz Killer really wears me out.

So today I'm just going to make a list of all of the things that I always say Yes to - and I would love you to join me if you need a refresher course in the things that light your fire.

Things I Always Say Yes To

Dancing with my husband

Brie, especially if it's warm

Free child care

Queso, especially if it's white or has steak in it

White sheets, even though I know they'll be ruined eventually

Singing to our first dance song, no matter where I am (and I am no songstress)

Walking Main Street in downtown Greenville

Avocado Toast


A good ball point pen (if I find one, I'll probably steal it)

Toddler hugs and kisses, even if everything is super slobbery

Being in the picture


A boat ride with my family

My mother in law's chicken cordon blue


Sitting in the sunshine when it's just starting to get warm of just starting to cool off (file that one under: lessons learned in Maine)

Picking new paint colors

Boy toddler shoes

Show tunes

When Gray says "moh tickles" 
(more tickles)

Onesie pajamas (for everyone)

Wine/Starbucks (but that was obvious)

Reruns of Big Bang Theory

Date Nights

A solid wedding band (I mean, who can resist a rousing version of "Shout"?)

Fresh Flowers 


Sleeping in

 Quality Time with my little family - it is my love language after all.

Ok, give it to me mamas! If you need a lift after a long day, tell me the little things that make you happy in the comments.