olive june: March 2015

easter inspiration + blogger love


 hi! i hope your week is going well ♥ easter sunday is this weekend ... 
any exciting plans?
today i am sharing some inspirations with you 
to decorate, wear, create, accessorize...
for more details, click on 'easter' to purchase/see more about the items i chose. 
what are your favorite easter inspirations?
also, i have been thinking a lot lately
and i mention this often
but my absolute favorite part about blogging 
something i never could have put into words... or imagined when i first started 
--is the community that surrounds you--
as a result, one of the things i would like to do more of is share more insight about these special bloggers and some of their posts with you from time to time
what inspires me- what i love about them. 
here are some of my favorite bloggers- 
you should all go meet them:

a shore blonde- how we eat gluten-free 
{you have encouraged me to be healthier- thank you. next week's spring break plan includes lots of walking, running, hot yoga, reading, devotionals, and healthy meal planning/shopping}

{so inspiring - i can't wait for this journey! i love everything about emily}

dearest love- pinspiring 
{i always love her beautiful picks!}

{loved getting to know her more lately- so sweet- and all of these are so true}

hill collection: weekly pics
{so much to love- she's my ultimate 'style twin' and i adore her}

{mr. monaco's dream- so patriotic! i find her blog so beautiful- and creative}

 little blue sailboat- family yearbook ideas
{rachel has been my most faithful and loving blogging friend and recently launched her own blog! yay ♥  great ideas, crafts, and the cutest baby boy, max}
 in the end, 
this journey has been more than i ever could have imagined
i have loved the creative, genuine, and loving people
 new and incredible blogland friends
that i have 'met' along the way 
i love their encouragement, support, prayers, and sincere hearts
you have brought so much to my life 
and i hope to do the same 
{even in the smallest ways}
it's so hard to reciprocate all of the gratitude i feel towards each one of them
lately, i have tried to pin more of their images, leave comments, and pray 
for these friends as much as possible
hoping to promote their amazing work 
in the very best way i can 
because they're awesome and i care about them!
have you had a similar experience with blogging?
{i hope so}
how do you show the love?
come say hi - instagram . facebook . twitter . bloglovin

a grateful heart + $125 cash giveaway!!

 my heart is grateful for: 

-a weekend in greenville, south carolina {love so much} with a friend i have had since i was six- she means so much to me and is literally the best friend a girl could have in life. always lots of laughing {until our sides hurt} .... we have never fought; she doesn't have a mean bone in her body. we celebrated her birthday with a delicious tapas dinner, live music at a hip lounge, crepes, lattes, a brewery - it was so lovely and lots of fun! i love everything about greenville- the character and sweet people- i usually don't want to leave!
- i hosted book club for the first time at our new home on thursday evening- more photos to come
- the beautiful spring trees continue to bloom in the carolinas
- the warmth on the sun on us yesterday as we enjoyed a day outside in greenville- felt so good!
-  four workdays until spring break 2015 ♥
-  neighbors- we absolutely love- next door 
- xm radio in our new jeep {coffeehouse, bridge, and the highway are my favs- what are yours?}
- books
- a facial scheduled for tonight 
- cinnamon salted caramel lattes
- fried goat cheese
-  chats on the phone with my loving parents 
- k.hall studio bath salts
- hot yoga - planning on going as much as i can in april - namaste!
+ a giveaway!
all are welcome to enter:

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey
{thank you emily for hosting!!}
what are you grateful for this week?
{ps: jammin' to this song}
hope your weekend went well!
also linking up with oak + oats and b loved boston
come say hi - instagram . facebook . twitter . bloglovin

the guy behind the blog {volume two}

 welcome to the second edition of 'the guy behind the blog' on simply love
1 // do you have a good luck charm or ritual? (like a lucky coin, or you always used to listen to a certain pump-up song when you played sports in high school or college?) 

mr. monaco: I would like to say my wife is my lucky charm, but since we’re looking for some more material, I would say my Italian Horn that I’ve been wearing around my neck since I was 14. A family friend gave it to me when I was moving up to PA and it is my most cherished possession besides my wedding ring. I’m very proud to think of myself as an Italian American and this is another reminder of where I came from.
2 // what is your favorite dish that your wife/fiance/girlfriend makes for you?  do you have any fun memories of a time when she tried to cook and it totally flopped or does she get it right every time?

mr. monaco: Nelle makes a mean taco. We love to have Taco Tuesday every once in a while and it always comes to be just right.
3 // what did you want to be when you were growing up? 

mr. monaco: This was never a question that I could seriously answer. I had no idea what I wanted to be until a couple years after I graduated college.
4 // which of the five senses is your strongest? 

mr. monaco: Taste. I love to eat many different types of dishes whether it’s Italian, Indian, Thai, etc. I’ve also become interested in drinking good Bourbon. The different types of tastes due to the wood barrels makes all the difference.
5 // would you ever run for president? 

mr. monaco: Heck no. I have my beliefs and convictions just like the next person, but I have never agreed with how the political realm proves to be time and time again. I would have a major issue with the lack of truthfulness in Congress. Plus, I’ve never really liked drawing attention to myself.

thank you sweet betsy at heavens to betsy for hosting!
...it's a lot of fun and i have loved reading the posts so far...
come say hi - instagram . facebook . twitter . bloglovin

happy birthday, pops

sending special birthday wishes up to ohio today
to one of my most loyal and engaging blog readers
happy birthday, dad!
wish we could celebrate with you

what is a dad?

a dad is a person 
who is loving and kind
and often he knows what is on your mind.
he's someone who listens,
suggests, and defends.
a dad can be
one of your very best friends.
he's proud of your triumphs,
but when things go wrong,
a dad can be patient
and helpful and strong. 
in all that you do, 
a dad plays a part
there's always a place for him
deep in your heart
and each year that passes,
you're even more glad
more grateful and proud 
that he is your dad
thank you, dad...
for listening and caring
for giving and sharing
but, especially, just for being you!

you are incredible
your calmness, love, and confidence in me 
has and will always be in my heart.
enjoy your special day
with love,

a french press morning {volume two}

 hi! hope your friday is going well, sweet friends.
welcome to the second stop on our simply grey coffee tour. i am joining the lovely emily at ember grey  for a tour of our favorite cafes and coffee shops. please join us on the last friday of each month {note: april's link-up will be on the 24th and not the 30th} we would love for you to link-up and share where you decided to spend some quality time with a cup of joe. in case you missed, french press morning {volume one}. today i am sharing a few photos from one of my very favorite coffee spots in charlotte called amelie's french bakery {for years it has held a special place in my heart} and trust me, i will be sharing a lot more photos and experiences at amelie's with you all as the tour continues 
adore this precious tea cup from anthropologie
amelie's is known for eclectic decor, comfy furniture, and a touch of paris throughout ♥
and pastries... let's not forget their delicious array of treats   
you are welcome to visit at any hour of the day- amelie's is open 24 hours a day
i have stopped in late night and people are sitting around playing board games- esp. apples to apples
i could visit every single day- i always leave with a happy heart.
+ a coffee scene from home: 
more about amelie's soon!
and some other spots i plan to visit
have a great weekend you all
and there are two days left to enter our spring giveaway - xo
 linking up with:
Karli at September Farm
Ashleigh at Hill Collection
Jenna at Dearest Love
we will see you again on friday, april 24!
thank you for reading and hopefully joining
come say hi - instagram . facebook . twitter . bloglovin

 grab a button:  
simply love

orange harp love

today i am sharing one of my favorite apps with you
available here {a free download} 
have you heard of the app, orange harp?
{the name was derived from the co-founders' nickname for the golden gate bridge in san franciso}

what is it? 
it's an easier way to purchase environmentally friendly brands - straight from your phone. the idea is to make shopping a simpler experience, along with connecting to consumers through storytelling and allowing the buyers to learn more about the companies behind the products.
why i love the app:
-  the brands are unique and fabulous
- the products are made using natural and recycled materials
- a wide variety is available and it's extremely easy to use
- the website and app allow you to connect and learn about the companies/the people designing the merchandise
 - the majority of the companies are located in the u.s - allowing the founders to visit and ensure that labor laws are being carried through 
- they have a section called, women we love - and i love it! they interviewed several inspirational women about insights, style, career advice; their journeys - go check it out here
-  customers are also reminded of their impact on their receipts - orange harp always donates 1% of sales to not for sale, a non-profit organization fighting to end human trafficking.
- several other brands are affiliated with "give back" programs that help people in various ways
{such as employing the homeless to package and donating shoes to those in need}
how amazing is this!?

go check it out - download orange harp here
i would love to hear your thoughts on this awesome app!
{and planning to share more fun apps with you soon}
hope your week is going well! 
come say hi - instagram . facebook . twitter . bloglovin

to be alive

someone once told me to always
live for the little things
in life.
live for the 5am sunrise and the 5pm sunset
where you see all of the colors in the sky that
don't usually belong.
live for road trips and bike rides
with music in your ears
and wind in your hair.
live for days when you're surrounded
by your favorite people who make you realize
that the world is not a
cold, harsh place
live for the little things because
they will make you realize that
this is what life is all about,
this is what it means
to be alive.


... what makes you feel most alive?
more on this concept soon- along with a list from me
but first, i would love to hear from you!

currently listening to this tune - hannah by ray lamontagne

ps: don't forget there are a few days left to enter our spring giveaway! all are welcome
and this friday march 27 is our next simply grey coffee tour link-up
 emily and i would love to have you!

come say hi - instagram . facebook . twitter . bloglovin

farmer's market tips

when i was younger i loved playing on my grandparent's farm in northwest, ohio- i loved the entire atmosphere. the old white barns, whimsical trees, the animals, playing in the hay mow with my sister and cousins, and riding with my grandpa on his tractor through the endless fields of corn, hay, and soy beans. one of the things that i have most about living in the south is that our growing season is a lot longer than most places. this is great for exercising {we enjoyed a nice forty minute run last night} and for year round markets. the winters are mild here, which allows for lots of great vegetation. i usually go to the market weekly and love, love the experience- every single time. i love the idea of eating as organic as possible and the concept of supporting local farmers. as a proud granddaughter of farmers {on both sides} and as someone who grew up in a small farm town -- this means a lot to me. i actually think about how much i would love to grow my own veggies or work at a market in the summer ♥ {esp. the flower stand!} 
here are some farmers market tips to help you pick the best fresh produce for your family! 

1. ask questions- i always find the sellers some of the most friendly people and they always have great advice for taking care of and serving the produce! these sellers are usually passionate about their shops and have a lot to offer.

2. bring your own bags - i love to keep some in my car to be environmentally friendly and sometimes vendors don't have bags so i like to go prepared. marshall's and old navy usually have my favorite re-usable bags. they tend to be really cute and cheap!

3. carry cash- although some vendors now allow credit/debit cards, i try to bring cash {esp. smaller bills} just in case!

4. a shorter shelf life - remember that homegrown produce goes bad quicker than store bought veggies/fruit so make sure you buy enough for about one week and then you can freeze the rest. it's sad when it goes bad before you can eat it all … which means weekly trips ideal if you are able to swing it! as i mentioned earlier, it's become a ritual that i genuinely enjoy now. it's often a highlight of my week!

5. have a recipe in mind- this always help me when choosing which items to buy each week. sometimes the displays are so beautiful that i tend to overbuy and then am not able to eat it all. another piece of advice- from prior experience- don't go hungry!

6. lots of bonuses! if your market is anything like the ones we have in the carolinas... venture to the outside of the market for delicious seafood, cage-free meats, cheeses, local honey, beautiful flowers, pastries, and jams.
what are your market tips? 
... i would love to hear... 
come say hi - instagram . facebook . twitter . bloglovin

a grateful heart

"notice the people who are happy for your happiness, and sad for your sadness. they're the ones who deserve a special place in your heart."
like i mentioned yesterday, this past month has been a blessing for me 
it's true- you can choose who you surround yourself with 
life is so short and way too precious 
to surround yourself with hurtful people. 
i have prayed a lot about this 
and honestly, i love my choices
{i hope you feel the same} 
i am thankful for good health and meaningful relationships
and as a result,
have vowed to stop worrying and stressing out
over little things; things that don't really matter in life
and instead, i am remembering just how blessed i truly am
-throughout small moments of each day- 
it's been quite amazing. ♥
 here are a few snapshots from around willow 
i can't wait to share more details with you soon! 
my heart is grateful for:
- reese's peanut butter eggs- i could eat these by the trunk load. {it's bad!}
- more iced coconut coffees
- a family march madness bracket- it's been fun and hilarious
{i say this a lot but i love our group text messages that we send throughout the week}
- the closeness of my family
- baby's breath in tiny jars
- nachos for dinner
- the smell of fresh linen- and coffee
- strolls through ikea
- my health
{when i am having a bad moment- i always think of this!}
- sweet and supportive blogging friends
- my 30's - love.
{don't get me wrong, i loved my 20's- i had an absolute blast!!- but loving this decade even more}
- chats on the phone with forever friends
- my sister confirming a trip to charlotte over memorial day with her husband
{can't wait! i wish we lived closer.}
Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey
what are you grateful for this week?
{ps: jammin' to this song}
hope your weekend went well!
linking up with oak + oats
come say hi - instagram . facebook . twitter . bloglovin