olive june: September 2014

a simply love gift giveaway- etched handwritten metal cuff

*courtney from minster, ohio is back* 
many of you probably remember her from previous gift giveaways
so sweet, creative and very generous- thank you!
she is a jewelry maker, wife to one of the sweetest guys in my hometown, 
and mother to two adorable children- love them. 

she is giving away one beautiful and unique metal cuff
with your loved one's handwriting etched onto it
 turn your written memento into a piece of flair to wear daily. a reminder of how loved you are. perfect to make a keepsake for someone who is no longer by your side or an inspiration to cherish near your heart.

you get to choose the word/writing 

for more info

to enter the giveaway: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

above- you have 35 different entry possibilities- xo
i told you they were cute… 

 … thank you so much again, Courtney, and good luck to all!!

*gift giveaway runs until October 8 - xo

the monacos move- our first home {week six}

our future home is coming along well
the only updates from last week
are electrical- def. not the fun stuff…

however, the drywall and siding are next!! <3 
so i decided to share some nest inspirations with you all... 

homestylin' and dreamin' away


“Don’t hold your head so low that you can’t see the sky”
by Catherine Feeny
*i love music so much- thinking about adding a track every now and then so you can enjoy the tune- along with your coffee while viewing/reading- what do you think?*

coming soon- a baby boy shower, my sister's bachelorette party in charleston, an at home charlotte cooking class, an AWESOME gift giveaway, october book club pick, autumn love, and my sister's wedding details and ideas- less than two weeks away!! 

sunday love

-i have spent the morning around the nest-
cleaning, organizing, wedding planning, and enjoying the fall air
this photo was taken last weekend 
after the wake 
we celebrated life at an irish pub
i snapped this of my brother and sister embracing-
a brother's love- so special. 
you all know how much i LOVE twine and twig style
here is their sunday morning love
i wore my new ohio state scarf to the buckeye backers bar, strike city, last night
it is always so fun to go there
living here for over 7 years- 
you see the same ohio loving people every time
and i love meeting new ones too!
even the guys loved my scarf/were writing down where to buy it for their wives. 
one even tried it on <3 
here is the link - ohio state infinity scarf
*available for many different teams*
after the game
mr. monaco and i sat outside 
at vida cantina 
where we went on our first date
-back where it all began-
and enjoyed some sangria and guac
i snapped this photo
adore our city. 
i also adore this fall porch idea-
cutting out your house number and stacking the pumpkins on top of one another...
thanks for the love regarding yesterday's post <3

hope your weekend is going well! 

-i would love to hear-

anything exciting happening for you?

you have choices -- you decide.

"say who you are. really say it in your life and your work. tell someone out there who is lost, someone not yet born, someone who won't be born for 500 years. your writing will be a record of your time. it can't help but be, but more importantly, if you're honest about who you are, you'll help that person be less lonely in their world, because that person will recognize him or herself in you, and that will give them hope. and it's done so for me, and i have to keep rediscovering it; it's profound importance in my life. give that to the world rather than selling something to the world. don't allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that the way things are is the way the world must work and that in the end, selling is what everyone must do. try not to." 
- charlie kaufman {screenwriter and director}

these past two weeks have been so hard
brutal to say the least-
maybe tortuous would be more of the word.

which got me thinking…

what legacy do i want to leave behind?

i hope it can be a tenth of the one that imoh left behind. you have inspired me, precious moh. always in our hearts.

it's also made me realize just how precious life is. anyone who attended last weekend, left a different and better person. 

i briefly mentioned the pastor and the speeches - but they will truly stick with me for the rest of my life.
thank you. 

i feel like my perspective on life and priorities have changed so much in my 30's- things i used to think were important- things i would relentlessly convey my opinions--trying to put them onto others? just isn't the case anymore. 

i wish i could change these discussions from my past- 
but i guess that's part of the process of growing. 

now- at 31- i respect that people have different opinions 
and try to always be open-minded.

i try to find the good in everyone {so thankful i wasn't surrounded by mean girls {or guys!} in high school and college- i don't remember them ever sitting around talking about others- i miss you all} although it took some time, i now have these {very dear} friends in my life here in north carolina. very blessed.

i am trying to communicate more with those who love me for me- 
who will always be there.
 and those who aren't- 
i am letting go of- life is too short and constant negativity really brings me down. 
there are defining moments 
when you find yourself in places you never thought you would be in 
paths you never imagined being on 
choices you never would have wanted to have to make
witnessing seeming injustices that you never would have wanted to witness  
in those moments you have a choice 
how are you going to react   
who are you going to become
what feeling are you going to give into.

we all have choices:

how do you want to live your life?
…personally, i don't want to look back when i am 80 and every year looked the same...

how do you want others to think of you? 

what qualities do you exude to others? 

how approachable do you want to be? 

how do you want to take care of your body? 

how do you want to spend your spare time? 

how devoted do you want to be to your faith?
{and the list goes on} 

to decide.
at the moment, i choose happiness

it's not easy
natural thoughts go through my head 
trying to re-direct me 

for i decide
i decide to choose happiness
that’s who i am and
that’s who i want to stay

a place of peace 
a place of trust 
a place of loving others 
a place of patience
a place of forgiveness 

until a next fall comes
and then i will decide
i will decide again
to choose happiness

prayers my friends
i ask for your prayers
as we seek for answers for this one life-
and as we seek to make choices and decisions 
that are best for our lives
so we can leave a legacy 
that others will cherish 
one that will inspire others
to always strive to become a better person. 

… love from baltimore 
~thank you, sweet rachel, for the wonderful snack idea~

rice cake, nutella and strawberries! 

along with this beautiful card and thoughtful messages- it meant the world. 
it's a beautiful fall morning in charlotte

i am at a coffee shop in my neighborhood

there's a crisp breeze in the air
life starts all over again
when it gets crisp in the fall.
-- f. scott fitzgerald

oh hey. friday! | fall picnic ideas

this photo of adorable and beautiful audrey inspired me this week 

to share five of my favorite fall picnic ideas… 

i loved so many- stay tuned for a round two - coming soon. 



corn and bean dip

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can shoepeg white corn, drained and rinsed
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup corn oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

i would suggest making the salsa the night before you need it- enjoy!!

special thank you to my sister-in-law, tricia (love you) for introducing me to this recipe- it's delicious

the dwelling tree | a gift giveaway | my instagrammable summer

sweet tiffany at the dwelling tree 

-did a guest post about simply love and my instagrammable summer- 

thank you so much for the kind words and post! 
in addition, be sure to visit for a chance to win a free monogrammed clutch! 

… here is my post: 
an instagrammable summer

over the past year, i have grown to absolutely love {love} instagram for so many reasons… it's become a place of daily inspiration, a place for friendships/networking, and a place to document one of my favorite things in life- photos.

i feel like life is precious- so i blog. i blog to document the simplicity, the beauty, the power of living every single day to the fullest.

most of my blog consists of photos that i either take or photos that inspire me…

therefore, i have decided to share some of my instagram photos from this summer with you all…

it was a wonderful one {i hope the same for you} - one that i am very thankful for <3

mr. monaco and i celebrated our one year wedding anniversary on june 29 
we traveled to st. simon's island in georgia and absolutely fell in love with the quaint beach town 
we rented bikes, went to the beach/pier, enjoyed seafood, stayed at on old inn/pub, explored boutiques and ate our one year old wedding cake… 
to be honest, it was just ok {if that.}. he loved it much more than i did…
if i had to do it over again, i would have followed this advice for how to preserve your topper
i met up with a bunch of charlotte creatives for a picnic in the park - so fun. 
we celebrated my sister's bachelorette party in charleston, south carolina-
if you have never been, put it on your list
it's beautiful. 
her bridal shower took place in june
in our hometown in ohio 
it was a great day/night of celebrating … 
i absolutely LOVED planning this event for her- my best friend in life. 
i was thankful for so much blog love … 
the people i have met by blogging has been my favorite part- without a doubt.
kind, inspiring, genuine- full of love. 
i enjoyed hanging out with my boy, pierre, this summer…
he's a nine year old himalayan with piercing blue eyes, lots of hair, 
and is the ultimate cuddle muffin
i discovered hot yoga about five and a half years ago and it's changed my life- 
in so many ways.
i tried out a new studio in our neighborhood
complete with an adorable coffee/tea area...
i take a lot of pride in where i live 
and enjoy making our home a 'nest'
mr. monaco and i enjoyed lots of summer dinners and wine on our deck
under the market lights
the pillows are from ikea
and at the moment, i can't get enough of succulents. 
we love our eclectic neighborhood… 
here is our favorite tapas spot-
soul gastrolounge
back to school is in full swing-
a few photos of my classroom 
year 8 
teaching 8th graders language arts
i broke our my wedding shoes again … 
the mrs. monaco shows lots of wedding night dancing love
the monacos are building a house!! 
we decided to share the news with the new #partyparty app {it's super cool- i def recommend trying it out for some photo booth fun} from my two favorite sisters
and favorite blog/inspiration of all time
mr. monaco= the 'we are officially broke' 
nelle= we are going to own our own house!!! 
our new home should be done in december…
i am putting updates on simply love every monday 
be sure to check in - and follow the journey with me 
-this little gem showed up on my door- 
their newest book a happy homemade home came out in august!! 
two creative and sweet sisters i know in charlotte 
began creating beautiful tribal/natural/organic necklaces last fall 
and i fall in love every time they post new items
bring on the pumpkins!!
fall is my favorite- and i can't wait for some crisp cool weather, bonfires, and boots
here are my newest ones from urban outfitters
also, i just saw this funny article this week - 25 things all basic white girls do in the fall
no shame- i am guilty of 11. 
what about you?
over labor day, my sister, her fiancé, and some friends of ours in charlotte
experienced our first 'at home cooking class' party and it was a BLAST. 
we laughed, learned so much, and the latin food was delicious. 
i plan to blog soon about the experience, but recommend looking this up in your area...
-an exciting day-
on saturday 9.6.14 i opened up simply love to sponsorships and advertising
i would love to work together <3 

thank you all for following along and for taking time to look through my summer
through insta. 

i feel like it sums up my blog

and what i simply love. 

i would also love to follow one another on instagram 
you all inspire me every day. 

gift giveaway: 

-almost every color is available for the clutch- 

along with several font and thread options! 

to enter- go visit the dwelling tree

thank you so much again, tiffany- 
you are so wonderful to work with <3