olive june: November 2014

gratitude project {volume one}

simply love
hi! welcome to the first month of my new gratitude project- so very excited to have you here! here is a re-cap of my vision for the project: i read once that the key to living a happy and fulfilled life is to reflect and to show gratitude. so i told myself that i would take in moments throughout my day and would document these moments through photos. it really amazed me how i started to notice things that i never would have noticed before. now i try to take at least one photo every day of something that i am grateful for. simple things that are ways to celebrate the good in my life - the everyday celebrations. i feel spiritually and physically stronger because of this task and would love to encourage you all to do the same-- to discover more about the power of gratitude in your life. our blogging community has also helped to inspire me to be more grateful. almost all of the bloggers i follow express gratitude regularly. 
…this got me thinking… 
what if we all come together near the end of each month {on the 29} and share our month through photos- sharing the simple moments where we took a step back and were grateful. i am hoping that this little project/link-up will bring strength, encouragement, and joy to others. i would love to see what inspires you most on a daily basis. 
i plan to use #simplylovegratitudeproject as a hashtag for the project. 
please join me-
 i would love to have you. 

next link-up will be monday, december 29

*i plan to feature certain blogs each month-
along with some giveaways for bloggers who join in on the fun*

november insta daily moments of gratitude:
a quiet morning in my classroom with pandora playing and kate/audrey mugs
a thursday afternoon at dean & deluca 
mr. monaco surprised me on a tuesday evening with a mini date to a favorite spot in town
bakersfield for guacamole, sangria, and tacos 
coffee time with my family in knoxville, tennessee last sunday morning
my childhood friends - my forever friends at a bar in our hometown 
a morning with mr. darcy
a beautiful thanksgiving day dinner with the monaco family 
a sunday morning of prayer, reflection, and blogging
mr. monaco- the sweetest man i know. 

you're next! 

please feel free to link-up between now and next saturday, december 6

also, please grab the button under the tab, gratitude project, at the top

also linking up with sweet emily over at ember gray
Grateful Heart Linkup w/ Ember Grey

i hope you had a wonderful and safe holiday!

hello there

- no matter how much fruit i eat, there is always room for more.

- nothing beats line dried laundry - i miss this from home. 

- i have elements of phoebe, rachel and monica in my personality.

- my math isn't good- so much stress- and i've never needed to use any of it.

- nothing beats a pastry and a cup of coffee

- as much a people pleaser as i am, i cannot please everybody … 
i want to focus my time and energy on genuine people-- who make me want to be a better person. 

- my heart is usually calm and my brain anxious for more.

- i still love going to the library 
- i adore clouds 

- i will never get tired of watching sex and the city episodes 
- i find gray walls in a room to be the most soothing.

- everyone is fighting a battle of some kind. some people show it more than others.

- i really like velvet and wood textures 

- i'll never learn to love peas or milk.
- i could live very happily forever in a quaint beach cottage or a historic farmhouse. 

- i have an unhealthy obsession with list writing. 

- i am drawn to kindness. always.

- i love accessories.

- taking care of your skin is so important - i wish i would have started sooner.

- life goes on. whatever happens.......life just goes on.

-hello there- 
what are some random facts about you?

thankful for you

happy thanksgiving! 

i am so very thankful for all of you 

who stop in often

i have loved getting know many of you through this fantastic community 

i hope your day is full of love, peace and gratitude. 

safe travels to you all and happy thanksgiving day

a few of my favorite things- stocking stuffers

good morning!
i am so happy to be back again to link up with AprilZelleElise, and Katie for their 'favorite things link-up' to share our favorite stocking stuffers. 
growing up, we celebrated st. nick on december 6 every year 
we would write a letter to santa with our christmas wish list 
{usually attaching the sears catalog photos of toys we wanted most}
the next morning, we would wake up to candy, oranges, and a few small gifts
 our letters would be gone
off to the north pole
our grandma cross-stiched our stockings for us
 -all eleven grandkids- 
which also made the event even more special each year
she's such a sweet and talented lady
here are a few ideas for you that i would be ecstatic to receive in my stocking:
stocking stuffers

stocking stuffers by nellemonaco featuring Williams-Sonoma
{click above for more details/info about the products}

gold nail polish, chocolates, lip gloss, cozy cute socks, an antler beer opener, tocca lotion, rose earrings, books, candles and hair ties are a few of my favorite things.

lastly, i just love this pillow 
created by nie at nieniedialogues
"it's a beautiful heart- not a perfect body- that leads to a beautiful life"
if you don't know about her remarkable journey
and what she have overcomed
i recommend checking it out
it's so inspiring 
she is a role-model to many, an incredible mother to five little nies, and a strong woman of faith
today is your last chance to get 20% off 
the 'Beautiful Heart" pillow.
and use code nieniepillow at check-out.
{what a perfect gift for a loved one!}

what are your favorite stocking stuffers?

does your family stock stockings?

the monacos move- our first home {week fourteen}

today was a rewarding day in my classroom
i had my students write a thank you letter to a teacher/coach at our school 
some of them surprised me by placing sweet letters on my desk
while i was walking around the room helping them
they didn't put my name on the top of the letter,
but then secretly put them on my desk at the end of the block
they were powerful, sweet, and meant the world to me.
i hope the other teachers enjoyed their letters as well
honestly, i think some people underestimate young adults- 
they are so fabulous in so many ways 
and often don't receive the credit i feel like they deserve within our society
i just love them.

on another note, 
lots of amazing progress with our future home this week:
we have grass, landscaping, carpet in the loft/hallway upstairs, the railing on the stairwell has been stained, a microwave, mirrors in the bathrooms, our front door has been painted, and we have a mailbox! we are in the homestretch…

here are some decor inspirations that i love:

what person in your life are you thankful for?

pinspiring {volume two} + a thanksgiving giveaway

hope you all had a great weekend
our trip to knoxville was a lot of fun
snapshots coming soon!
so happy to have you all here on this monday morning
i was inspired by sweet, jenna, from dearest love
so here is another pinspiring post
{i love everything about her blog, style, and personality}
...here are some of the pins that warmed my heart...

décor| this whole photo makes my heart happy... the color scheme, mirrors, florals, and light. 
make| would love to make this delicious coconut pound cake recipe soon- coconut is always a good idea.
want| dreaming about decorating for the holidays with old vintage cars and tying bottle brush trees to the top- loving this. would love to find some fun colored cars at a flea market...
words| how adorable are these place cards for the holidays? simple, fun, and clean looking.
be sure to head over to dearest love today to see jenna's fantastic pins! i always love hers.

i am so thankful for all of you
so to thank you
here is a gift giveaway:

one winner will win
$70 paypal cash
one beautiful handmade calligraphy print made from B Sullivan Calligraphy (see below)
six months of sidebar ads on Showered with Design
Huge sponsorship opportunity from New Home, New Name, New Adventure
also, don't forget about the launch of my new gratitude project
the first link-up will be this saturday, november 29
and will be open until saturday, december 6
 i would love to see what inspires you to reflect gratitude
the simple moments
for more info: simply love gratitude project
please let me know if you have any questions!

today i am grateful for:
inspiring classroom moments {post coming soon}
pinterest- i can't decorate for the holidays this year- pinning makes everything better
friends that make me laugh daily
being able to see my parents/family this past weekend
books and red wine on a dreary evening 

Grateful Heart Linkup w/ Ember Grey
lastly, i will be giving a willow update tomorrow!
lots of new additions within the past week
...along with some future home inspirations...
hope your day goes well - xo

growing herbs in the winter

if you are like me, you would love some tips on how to successfully grow a small herb garden during the colder months - birds & blooms had fantastic advice… 
so i thought i would share with you all! 

do you have any tips from past experiences? 
what has been most/least successful for you?

go vols - wolf #82 + tailgating recipes

good morning from knoxville, tennessee
mr. monaco and i arrived last night 
and are excited to spend the weekend with family 
while cheering on my little cousin, ethan wolf,
the starting freshman tight end for the vols
we are all so proud of you! 
excited to tailgate all day and enjoy a night game under the lights 

here are some fashion inspirations:
go vols

along with some delicious recipe ideas: 
buffalo chicken cupcakes:
 1 pizza dough-- on top: one onion, chopped, one pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup favorite buffalo sauce (texas pete buffalo wing sauce) 
and 2 cups fresh mozzarella on top
Football Shaped Sandwiches by Pocket Change Gourmet
Shrimp Salsa by Homework
Nacho Bar by C.R.A.F.T.

what are your favorite things to wear/eat on a fall football saturday?
ps: go buckeyes, too!