April 2017 | Olive and Tate

ORC Week 4: Renovation Updates

Hey all!

So, this is the week that I was supposed to tackle my first ever chalk paint project and whip baby girl's vintage bamboo chest into shape. But sometimes the best laid plans just don't work in your favor and you have to say "I think we'll head to the beach instead!".

I really did intend to rehab her dresser in time for this post but we had a little snafu with the POD that is currently housing all of her things - it was delivered to our new house (in the pouring rain) and seems to be jammed. We've tried everything but we can't get the door to open. We're having a POD pro head our way to check it out but in the mean time, all of the nursery items are being held hostage.

With the exception of a few fun things!

I snagged these incredible giraffe knobs from Anthropologie for her closet doors
Brooke Ring delivered this adorable canvas to adorn her shelves

I (finally) selected a rug and rocker, both of which are on their way
The large art piece by Anna of Demi and Olive has been framed by Framebridge in an insanely short time frame and is arriving by the end of the day 
and accessories are starting to come together! 

Here's what I have left to do:
snag curtain rods for the custom curtain panels from Carousel Designs
refinish the chest of drawers
assemble the crib
install the chandelier
style the room! 
As far as I know, the painters are painting her room as we speak. Truth: I hate being out of town when major aesthetic process is being made - I'm always around for boring things like wiring but when new paint goes up, I'm hours away! I plan to send my husband over to take pics tonight so I know what we're working with but I have a feeling everything will be ok. 

This space will undoubtedly be a race to the finish but that's what I get for planning a renovation and a move in my third trimester! In the best news ever, we have scheduled our move in date and it's really just a few short weeks away so we should be ready to rock and roll before baby girl makes her debut. 

I'll document my chalk paint experience on Insta Stories, so make sure you're following along at @oliveandtate_

Maternity Photos with Courtney Malone Photography

I am so excited to share our maternity/family photos! And let me say, this is one of the times that I want to share my sweet boy's little face and funny facial expressions all over the internet because our photographer, Courtney of Courtney Malone Photography, managed to capture some of the absolute best photos of my wild little animal. 

I warned Courtney ahead of time that I wasn't sure what mood he would be in because I admittedly chose his worst time of day for our session (in my defense, my husband would be home during a crazy busy time in his work life and I wasn't taking pics without him!). Thankfully, Courtney and I believe in the same mentality when it comes to family photography - get in, get out and capture that personality. Our total photo time as a family lasted maybe 5 entire minutes and I want to frame every single shot - especially the ones where Gray is showing off his new "cheese!" face. It's all teeth, closed eyes, dimples and I couldn't love it more.

 I asked Courtney if she would be willing to shoot at a local park close to our new house and she was totally on board, especially when I told her my plan was to give Gray swing breaks while she snagged shots of my bump. We let Gray and Justin off the hook after a few family photos and Courtney and I popped into our new house to take photos in the baby's soon to be nursery. I love that we have photos in the empty space that will soon be her sweet little nursery and thankfully the light cooperated. After the nursery we pranced into a stranger's yard and took photos in the most gorgeous Dogwood blooms (and Courtney slayed me with her "hold down the branches with my leg to get the shot" moves). Our girl has a very Southern name so Dogwood blossoms were the perfect detail in celebrating her pregnancy. 

Many, many thanks to Courtney for her sense of humor, patience and the gorgeous photos she snagged of my sweet boy and our growing family. Courtney will be a huge part of our daughter's story as she will be capturing (hopefully!) our C Section delivery and our sweet girl's first few days on Earth - all of which is approaching at lightening speed! P.S. Courtney has a gorgeous Instagram feed so go follow her here.

How To Prep A Toddler For A Move

Let's be real, moving is one of the most stressful things on the planet - but add in a toddler and you've got grounds for claiming temporary insanity. I have questioned our attempt to move with a toddler in our lives probably one million times over but we did it and we survived. Here are a few of the tips and tricks that helped us make it through the transition in one piece (even if we do have significantly more grey hairs)

1. Let them help!
Ok, hear me out here, I'm not suggesting you hand a toddler a paint brush and let them loose in your home but I am suggesting that you involve them in the process. My son loved following my husband around "showing" him the holes in the walls that needed to be patched and then painted. My husband made sure to "miss" a few so that my son could feel super involved - and my son is still talking about how he "helped Daddy do the holes". We also gave our son crayons and let him help mark the boxes as we packed them. We showed him how we were writing on them to guide the movers and he helped by adding his artwork to the outside of some of our packed boxes. Letting him be apart of the process gave us the opportunity to talk to him about what was going on, explain the process to him and praise him for being a big boy who helps our family.

2.  Manage the toys in stages
When it comes to packing a house, nothing is worse than sorting through toys and play spaces - and one can pretty much guarantee that when a toddler lays eyes on an infant toy he hasn't played with in 2 years that you're about to toss in the trash, he will fall in love with it. My best suggestion is to do one massive clean out (when toddler is not home) of toys that have been outgrown or neglected for some time. Make sure to leave the current faves in their bins, shelves or baskets (same for books!) and then ask toddler for help in packing them up. Let him label boxes and tape them up - if he finds one he falls in love with all over again, he can leave it our for his special suitcase (see #5).

3. Pack their room last
We made sure to pack our son's room last - this serves two purposes, it allows them to stay comfortable in their space (especially for sleeping!) as long as possible and it allows their boxes to be loaded onto the truck last and then off the truck first at your new house. Setting up their space right away gives them a sense of home and gives them a haven during the chaos of a move. Items that need additional attention - like photos or bookshelves that have left holes in the walls that need to be patched - can always be packed ahead of time but leaving his bed in tact with all of his blankets, toys and lovies made a huge impact on keeping his sense of security during a time of major change. 

4. Kid Lit
When in doubt, read about it! There are a ton of book geared to toddlers and preschoolers about moving to a new home and I think we've read every single one. I love this Berenstain Bears book (that was gifted to us by our mortgage broker!) and this is a great read for older kids (ages 5-11) and, of course, you can't go wrong when a puppy is involved

5. Baby Suitcase
We left out our son's special suitcase (a very understated number with Mickey on it) for the day of the actual move and he packed up his most treasured possessions himself. We then loaded the suitcase into our car with him so that he knew his most loved things wouldn't get lost or misplaced. He rolled that little suitcase with pride and was ready to unload it and get settled as soon as we made it to our new home.

If you've moved with a toddler, tell me what worked for you! 

Instagram Round Up

 Happy Easter Weekend!

I hope everyone had a great time sneaking their kids Easter candy (no? just me?) and the Sunday Scaries haven't quite set in yet. We had a great weekend with my Dad in town to spend time with the babe and check out our new digs during construction, which is thankfully chugging along. After a week of total one on one time with your truly, I can assure you that my offspring was thrilled to have both his dad and grandfather around to entertain him. I was also thrilled, mostly because my dad is one of my favorite people but also because I love me some parental back up.

Anyway! I wanted to do a quick Instagram round up with links and sources to some of my recent posts because some of you aren't loving links on Insta/want the details. 

I posted a sneak peek of our maternity + family photos with Courtney Malone Photography and so many people reached out to ask me if I used the wrong tag on the lace cocoon wrap in my photo - believe it or not, it really is from Target. I actually found mine just hanging out randomly on an end cap in my store and haven't seen another one there since, so I highly suggest ordering this one online! 

My dress is not maternity and the price point is crazy - I'm wearing my regular size (a large) and the stretch made room for my bump. It comes in black too and I may have to snag it for postpartum life.

I just couldn't resist snagging this little ice cream swimsuit for baby girl. I love the print and the snaps at the bottom to ensure an easy diaper change if needed. I'm still letting Gray pick out a little something for his sister when we stroll through the baby section of Target and the strawberry sunglasses are his most recent pick. I love them and he is so excited about them that I have a feeling she'll be wearing them pretty much straight out of the hospital.

| dress similar  | sandals similar | his shorts | his shoes | his shirt |

The dress I wore on Easter is actually a hand me down from my best friend Megan and one that she loved when she was pregnant. It is honestly so, so comfortable and easy to wear. I will say that if you are busty, you may want to wear a tank underneath if you aren't OK with a little cleavage (as you can see, I just rocked mine) but the dress does stay put because it's a faux wrap shape. The material is super light and soft but sadly doesn't come in this print anymore. The same dress is available in a ton of prints here. My sandals are a few seasons old but still me fave. This year's version looks similar - check it out here. P.S. We hit Old Navy this weekend to stock up on toddler shorts for the season - everything is 40% off so now is a great time to snag whatever your littles have grown out of!

I'm on the hunt for maternity bras this week so if anyone has any suggestions, send them my way!

ORC Week 2: Finding the Perfect Shade of Blush

Finding the Perect Shade of Blush

Happy Week 2, ORC fans! This was a huge week for us in home renovation land as we finally started construction on our new home! Demo week is always my favorite because progress is so fast and satisfying - knock out a wall there, rip out cabinets there and boom! you have a brand new floor plan.

Without a doubt, I am impatient when it comes to the entire process (more so this time, being gigantically pregnant and all) and one thing I usually spend zero time on is paint colors. I know it sounds crazy, but I never, ever swatch paint colors before I commit to them. I know what color families we like - greys in the blue family, no creams/taupes/off whites - and I stand at the giant paint chip wall and pick from there. Once I see a color I love, I usually choose one shade lighter and search that shade in Pinterest. After that, off it goes to the painter and onto to my walls. I've actually never had to re-paint a space to date (see some of my faves here)....but I may have just narrowly avoided breaking my own winning streak thanks to a single shade of paint: blush pink.

The minute I found out we were having a girl, I knew I wanted white walls and a soft blush pink ceiling in her nursery. I could imagine a gorgeous light fixture drawing the eye up and the sweet pop of pink keeping her space playful and fun. I had a feeling it would be tough to find just the right shade of pink but my suspicions were confirmed when I hit up my fave group of people for advice: Instagram. So, so many people reported struggling forEVER to find just the right shade of pink that wasn't too bright, too bubblegum, too Pepto Bismal or just too much. Many had great suggestions so I combined their recs with my faves from paint chips across town - I actually ended up at two different retailers and pulled paint samples from three different brands.

The first day we were able to get into our new home (last week, nothing like cutting it close), I took a piece of white foam board and all of my sample cans to her room and got to swatching. I chose to paint on the white foam board instead of her walls because the shade of pink will be painted over her already white ceiling and not the deep shade of tan currently on the walls - plus I could move the foam board around the house to see the shades in various levels of natural light - and I'm so glad that I did - look at the color variations from indirect sunlight, direct sunlight and her room, which at the time wasn't exposed to much natural light.

Finding the Perect Shade of Blush

Sigh, this was not going to be an easy decision. I must have looked at that sample board one hundred times, polled my husband, polled the internet and still couldn't decide. After a few days (and with our contractor hounding me for paint colors) I finally pulled the trigger on Cream Puff. I think it has just the right combination of light pink tones with a white base to compliment the wall color (Benjamin Moore Wedding Veil). 

If you are thinking about using any shade of pink paint, I highly, highly recommend you sample a handful of colors - I am particularly shocked at how much I dislike Intimate White as I thought that would be the clear winner! 

And now, a few pics of her room in it's naked Before state:

Don't forget to check out all of the other ORC spaces - so many amazing projects are in the works! 

Monday Giveaway!

Happy Monday!

It's Spring Break around here and we start construction on the new house today so I'm just dropping in to remind you to enter the giveaway for a $1,000 Nordstrom gift card! Here are the details, in case you missed them the first go 'round:

I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to give YOU a chance to win: a $1,000 Nordstrom Gift Card, just in time for some spring shopping!

Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter. You’ll receive one entry per completion. This giveaway is open internationally and runs until 4/17. Winner will be announced here. 

Good Luck!

$1,000 NORDSTROM GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'll be documenting some of the renovation in real time on my Instagram stories (sneak peeks started yesterday!) so make sure you're following along! 

One Room Challenge: Fresh, Bright Nursery with Bold Pops of Color

If you're visiting from Calling It Home, welcome to Olive and Tate! I'm Stephanie, wife, mama to a two year old boy and expecting a baby girl in June. You can read more about me here and see more of my home design work here

You guys! The time has FINALLY come! After listing our house for sale months ago, selling, finding a new home and renting our new home back to the current owners, we are now just days away from finally being able to get our hands on our next renovation. And I'm sure you can guess what space this very pregnant mama is planning to tackle first....our sweet girl's nursery! It has been so difficult not to be able to nest, see and organize what we have for her and create a little space just for her in this world (clearly, patience is not my virtue). But, the wait has given me ample time to plan so her the design for her room is completely ready to roll - so many gorgeous elements will hopefully come together to make a functional, beautiful, inspiring nursery for my babe. 

Since today is Week 1 of the One Room Challenge, I thought I'd start with the plan for the babe's room. I've got a lot to accomplish in the next six weeks (especially considering we can't get into the house until this weekend!) so I've tried to think through all of the details and the goal is to stick to the plan as closely as possible. 

My overall idea for the space is a fresh white nursery with bold pops of color and subtle patterns. As a first time girl mom, I can't resist the urge to add soft touches of pink and a strategically placed monogram or two, but I think it will all balance nicely. 

Here's a little breakdown of all of the elements in the room:


I'm really excited for the paint scheme in this room - the walls and trim will all be white and the ceiling will be painted an incredibly soft shade of blush pink. At this moment, the walls will be Benjamin Moore Wedding Veil and the ceiling will be Sherwin Williams Intimate White (a suggestion from a reader!) but I have multiple samples waiting in the wings for swatch tests. 


photo via @demiandolive
When I first dreamed of a girl nursery, I knew I wanted one thing: a giant art piece by Anna of Demi and Olive. Anna and I met and the Creative Council Conference last year and I am just a huge fan of her work. Her talent, color play and style are essentially what this room is built around - I want her piece to pop, hence the white walls and soft patterns. The photo above is the actual piece Anna created for my girl's nursery and I literally squealed when I saw it. 

In even more amazing art news, two of my very kind and talented friends happen to be amazing local artists whose works will also be in the nursery! C. Brooke Ring just released her new line of what I call Bathing Beauties and I had to have one for the space 

photo via @cbrookering
And what would a One Room Challenge space be without a custom work by my friend, Marquin of Marquin Designs? You can see the stunner of a piece she painted for our ORC living room here and the delicate little canvas she created as a gift for our baby is the sweetest little slice of perfection. 

photo via @marquindesigns


I'm working with the amazing team at Carousel Designs to create custom curtains and linens for the space using soft, small patterns to punch up the space. Carousel Designs also made custom stitched monogrammed blankets and pillows that brought tears to my eyes when I saw them in person (#hormones).


I scored a major find at a local antique store in the form of a faux bamboo Thomasville dresser. It's currently in storage but will soon become my very first attempt at a chalk paint DIY. I've been assured that chalk paint is crazy easy to use but I'm a little nervous - I mean, I love me some spray paint, but it's best for baby (and maybe the dresser) that I give up the can and move on to the big girl stuff this go 'round. 

And that's the game plan! Think I can pull it off before the deadline (and my due date)?? 

Go check out all of the other One Room Challenge Guest Participants on Calling It Home's blog here - there are always so many gorgeous spaces, ideas and plans to ogle - I just love this time of year!

Beauty: Minis, Samples and Impulse Purchases + a $1,000 Nordstrom Giveaway!

So, here's the deal: I do not like to spend a ton of money on beauty products. I'm not sure why, because I really lust after so many of my beauty blogger friend's collections, but when it comes down to it, I just can't shell out the big bucks...and that is why you will always find me in the impulse section of any beauty department. I can always justify trying out a travel size or mini of an expensive product so that I know investing in the regular size will be worth it. Truthfully, I've had many wins and losses this way but recently, it's been all wins! As a side note, my skin has been really struggling during this pregnancy so it's been a great time to try out products that might not work on my non-hormonally charged skin once this kiddo is out. 

P.S. Don't forget to read to the end of this post for a major Nordstrom giveaway! 

Here's a round up of my most recent mini, sample and impulse purchases (all of which are empty!) and my thoughts on if I'll buy the big girl size in the future.

Travel Size $15/Full Size $38

This was my first experience with IT Cosmetics and I can definitely say that I'm a fan. I was excited to find a travel size tube of the CC Cream in my Sephora (although they currently do not carry any other products by IT Cosmetics, oddly) and felt like $15 was worth a go. Currently, my skin is really struggling with pregnancy induced breakouts that are very red and I used the CC Cream both alone and as a base layer under foundation (for photos, date nights etc). I would classify the coverage as medium but it is very buildable - a thin layer will be perfect for summer but it can get me through rough patches as well. Right now, I really don't want to spend a ton of time on my make up so I loved being able to wear a thin layer of the CC Cream, add a bit of concealer under my eyes and on my worst spots and run out the door. I will for sure be buying this in the full size, it will be so great when baby comes.

Travel Size for a set of three $29/Full Sized products $72

I will be the first to admit that I love cheap dry shampoo - I've tried them all: Suave (love), Dove (hate), Not Your Mothers (hate the scented Vanilla, love the unscented) and rarely stray from a drug store brand. But things are about to change. I snagged the Mini Must Have Set from Drybar and fell in love with the Dry Shampoo. I was going to say that the one downside is it is very powdery and thus hard to blend on dark brunettes but I just saw that they make a Dry Shampoo for brunettes and I am all in. I'm justifying the major price increase because I now know how little Drybar product I need versus how much drug store dry shampoo it takes to do the same job. My mini can lasted me much longer than I anticipated and I am not stingy when it comes to powder in a can. As a bonus, I can say that I surprisingly also loved the Dry Conditioner - but I would not invest in the full sized version - I just don't use enough of it to keep anything but the travel size on hand. I spray my ends on day 2 (or three) to keep them soft and the smell is AH-mazing. And, also, I hate the Triple Sec. It leaves my hair feeling wet and crunchy - kind of like old school gel - and I am so not into it.

Travel Size $20/Full Size $36

I know this product has a cult following but I am just not on board for the full sized price of $36. I'm honestly not sure that I'm on board for the travel size price of $20 but I will say that I use it sparingly (certainly not for days that I'm running to Target, unshowered and in sweats) so it has lasted me quite a while. I think when this little guy is officially empty that I'll give another brand a try, just to see what's out there.


I was sent Tula products as a PR sample and have had them on hand for a while, but really started using the Day and Night Cream during this pregnancy. I've mentioned my skin is breaking out but it's also dry in patches so I'm using this in place of my normal moisturizer. Honestly, I think $52 is a lot for a moisturizer but it really does the job. Before trying it out long term, I may have vetoed this on price alone but honestly, it doesn't irritate my skin, doesn't cause further breakouts and hydrates without making me greasy. I think I may have to invest when my current stash is out. 


Without a doubt, my skin can't handle a full Exfoliating mask right now BUT I do love this mask as a spot treatment for my worst blemishes (my husband has been known to steal it on occasion as well!). Because I only use it sparingly, I would absolutely only purchase the travel size if I purchased again, and I'm not sure that I would. I think you can find a mask that does the same for less and this product just doesn't knock my socks off.


I snagged this concealer in the impulse section of Sephora but it is a full size product. I love Kat Von D Lock It foundation so I thought this concealer would be a slam dunk for me but I really feel blah about it. I think it's a basic concealer and you can get the same coverage and staying power in a drug store product. Sadly, I don't think it works any particular magic so I won't be repurchasing.

Now…it’s time for a fabulous giveaway! 

I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to give YOU a chance to win: a $1,000 Nordstrom Gift Card, just in time for some spring shopping!

Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter. You’ll receive one entry per completion. This giveaway is open internationally and runs until 4/17. Winner will be announced here. 

Good Luck!

$1,000 NORDSTROM GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY a Rafflecopter giveaway

Third Trimester Bump Date

denim | top, no longer in stock, similar | shoes old, similar

Third trimester....I don't even have words. In some ways, this pregnancy has felt like an eternity (with a first trimester immediately following a miscarriage to blame) and in some ways, it has flown by. At this point, we know our girl is breech, what her scheduled C Section date is (if we make it that long!) and that we currently have no where to put her. Big brother is handling the idea of a baby so very well but is definitely working through some adjustments with his new found, almost three year old energy and less space that he's used to to run around in. We'll get there though, and when we do, we'll have a new-to-us house and a sweet baby girl to cuddle. 

Third Trimester Bump Date

How Far Along: 28 weeks and change

Size of Babe: a rollerblade 

Gender: little girl

Symptoms: I had a run to Labor and Delivery to rule out preeclampsia after some dizziness and blurry vision but we both checked out perfectly. Mostly, I'm just feeling huge, slow and sore with a side of Braxton Hicks when I do too much. My sciatic is bothering one of my butt cheeks (so fun) and my feet are starting their journey to gigantic. Otherwise, just regular pregnancy stuff! Without a doubt, it is harder the second time to keep my energy level anywhere near being able to function - having a toddler doesn't help that - but it is what it is and I try not to give myself a hard time for not being on it 100% of the time.

  (this pic is blurry for some reason, but it's the only side shot I've got, so go with it.)

Loving: my new white jeans (they run true to size, I'm wearing a 10), going to bed at 8pm, Target pajama sets (own three colors, sized up for the bump), picking out paint/fixtures/counter tops for the new house

Loathing: cooking dinner. I just can't.  

Movement: I still feel her much less than I felt Gray but the bigger she gets, the more she makes herself known. Justin still hasn't been able to feel her and I rarely can detect her movements by watching my belly, which is kind of a bummer. She seems to have a direct shot to my bladder, so that's a feeling a can't mistake, but otherwise, she's currently laying across my belly and behind her placenta. 

Missing Most: wine.

Can't Wait To: hold her! smell her! share her name!
I have an ultrasound this week and I can't wait to see her little face and hear how much she weighs. So far, she is definitely not as big as her brother was so I'm always interested for her weigh ins.
I also can't wait to start on her nursery in just a few short days...so many gorgeous things are in the works and I can't wait to finally see it all come together for my sweet girl.