olive june: November 2016

stocking stuffers

how fun are stocking stuffers? i hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving and am hoping your holiday season is off to a fun start. growing up, we always celebrated st. nick (the morning of dec. 6) we would write a letter to santa, using the sears catalog as inspiration, to finalize our top picks for the season. we would also put our shoes and stockings out and then dreamt of a visit. oh, the magic. it was so fun to wake up to candy, oranges, mints, and a few small gifts. when we arrived at school, our teacher usually had a small treat (a pencil, a candy cane, etc.) on the desks for each one of us. stockings are still so fun as an adult and i love to browse for cute, meaningful ideas. one of my goals this year is to only shop small... i love to support other families, other moms, and local shops and hope to do so this year- more than ever. as a 'thank you' to everyone who has supported me and my new business this year.  
lovely postcards 
i think it would be a great touch to hang a stocking off of a new planter, especially a small cactus
these are so simple and gorgeous
this shop has the most beautiful metallic pieces
so sweet for a baby or child
have a man with some facial hair? loving this beard oil 
some of this beautiful 'elegant collection' should be arriving today in my boutique- pop-up shop soon! i am offering a cyber monday promotion for gift cards, the perfect stocking stuffer on my vip page today... let me know if you want the details! (boutique page)
what do you like to include?
happy holiday season to you

a gilmore girls giveaway | where you lead...

i will follow.
it's here! the netflix orginial series of gilmore girls (top three shows of all time for this girl- along with parenthood and sex and the city).  in honor of the launch today and tomorrow being 'shop small saturday,' i partnered with a few other bloggers to give you all the ultimate 'gilmore girls gift bundle' ... perfect for a fun night with friends, especially around the holidays. we are so thankful for you all and wanted to offer our readers a very special treat. (hope your thanksgiving was wonderful!)
i first watched (binged) gilmore girls when i was student teaching in germany, exactly ten years ago this fall. with no car, no tv, no smartphone (very thankful for this!), i would watch episode after episode on my laptop in bed, often late at night, tucked up in our attic apartment on an army base thousands of miles from home. i found myself teaching independently for the first time (it's crazy to look back to when teaching in front of a room full of kids was new and pretty scary!), working out, grading countless papers, lesson planning, and traveling almost every weekend. i was young, a little homesick, pretty dependent on other people, totally missing my boyfriend at the time, and was yearning every single day for christmas time with my family and friends... i was emotionally and physically exhausted. however, if i could go back, i would totally soak up the opportunity. my strong belief for simply 'living in the moment' was sadly, not yet completely instilled. i enjoyed my time abroad so much, yet often struggled at the same time. 

honestly, watching 'gilmore girls' seemed to help me feel less anxious and less worried, it really brightened those often hard days, far from home. it sounds pretty cliche, pretty cheesy... but it really was true. 'gilmore girls' taught me some things at the time... but so much more as the years went on. watching this show taught me to make sure you give your heart to the right person, to always follow your passion, life doesn't always work out the way you planned (and that's okay!), to always have a positive outlook, that we never know the impact we will have on someone, sometimes the best cure for a breakup is a good wallow, dreams take time, and most importantly at the time, that home is where the heart is. growing up in a very small town, much like stars hollow, i could relate to so much. news travels fast, people are always there for you, and little events and gestures mean a lot to others. 
looking back now, i also feel like this show inspired me to try and be the best mom possible. i am always learning from the relationship between lorelei and rory and their close, quirky relationship. still today, i am just fascinated by it. i have been re-watching episodes lately and every single one, makes me smile. i love, love their relationship.

things i have taken away regarding motherhood:

+  always be open, communicate a lot, and be honest with one another - with lots of positive energy! 
+  i hope to allow my kids to show their own style and i hope to embrace it - knowing that it's okay if we are different. in fact, it's probably a really good thing; the importance of embracing eccentricities 
+  coffee + poptarts can cure anything (and a good pizza delivery!) 
+  be true to who you are. always 
+  i hope to spend time doing things together, knowing that experiences make the best memories. whether it's mani/pedis, movie nights (with lots of fun junk food), picnics, shopping, diner and coffee dates or football games, arcades, bike rides, fishing, and jumping in mud puddles (or a combo!) 
+  i hope they know that they can always come talk to me and i hope to be calm and open (or at least most of the time) 
+ i want to act silly together and hope to have a sense of humor, not letting little things bring me down
+ snow is magical - go play in it together! 
+ i often feel like if you suffocate your kids, they will pull back (like lorelei experienced as a teen). relationships between moms and their children aren't perfect... and that's okay. they are often tricky and complex, but where would we be without mom! to quote my own mom, 'just do your best.' ... she always said, 'if you do your best, that's good enough for me.' so that's what i hope to do... in honor of my own mom (and i have an exceptional one) 
+ most importantly, don't take life too seriously!
my first thanksgiving as a mom
so thankful for you, baby boy
(i told you his ring finger is his favorite and this lularoe floral carly dress was perfect- so comfy!)
i am so thankful for all of these sweet bloggers, they have also inspired me so much over the years.
a 'gilmore girls' gift bundle to one lucky reader: 

+ Twine and Cotton Market 'Stars Hollow' Candle (etsy shop)
+ Snowman and Star Ornament
+ $20 Shop Credit to LulaRoe | Janelle Monaco 
+ Rose Gold Clutch
+ Mini Brush Trees
+ Milk glass Coffee Creamer + Sugar Set 
+ "Hot Stuff' Coffee Mug
+ Art Prints 
+ Darling Magazine 
+ Rose Gold Necklace (shop link
+ Darling Nightingale Knitted Donut (etsy shop
+ Poptarts - of course! 
+ Notebook 

parks james | ten months

and just like that, my baby boy is ten months old! parks turned ten months on the fifteenth of november and it's very surreal. he is changing every day and is learning new things quicker than ever. he loves to talk, sing when i sing (i am not a good singer!) but we sing a lot. and has the best laugh. overall, we are in 'awe' of his sweet demeanor. he is very snuggly when he is tired, which is when he wants his mom most. he loves to hug, give kisses, hold hands to walk, and often puts his head on my shoulder. 
last april... it's all gone by so quickly
i know, bud... momma is sad about it. but loves you more than ever. 
hey, i heard you were a wild one. 
things i want to remember:

+ your first halloween! you loved trick or treating in the ergo baby, our little wolf
+ the first time you started saying, 'wow, wow, wow' (november 2 in your high chair!) 
+ watching you brush your cute little baby teeth
+ how excited and yet peaceful you are during your baths
+ walking in and seeing you sitting up in your crib... and then a few weeks later, standing up!
+ how fast you are when you are crawling... you love it.
+ discovering new foods and watching your little 'pinchers' at work
+ the way you rock your reindeer winter hat
+ your sense of humor... you laugh a lot. 
+ how much you love your jellycats animals (favorites: dino, bunny, elephant, and pig) 
+ you LOVE trucks! and colorful books
+ how you suck your middle finger... and then slip over to the right ring finger- the one you love most
+ your first trip to indian food! you loved the naan
+ how much you love car rides
+ rocking you as you put your head on my shoulder

thanksgiving decor ideas

when it comes to an event, the decorations are usually my most favorite part of all.
however, a confession: when i was pregnant, the desserts are what i looked forward to most.
little touches, glitter, eucalyptus, florals, and anything gold are some of my go-to's for thanksgiving
today i am sharing some of my favorite looks with you
just in case you still need to plan out your tablescape + a fun dessert idea

snapshots of life lately

"when you go through deep waters
i will be with you."
- isaiah 43:2
i missed you all last week 
it was one of the more emotional and hard weeks i have ever had
(no one's health is involved, but it's been hard) 
if you could all say a little prayer for my little family, we would appreciate it. 
i feel like i have so much to share with you all
and i am just trying to remember that when you can't control what's happening around you, 
to control how you respond- because that's where the power really is. 
how do you cope with stress?
we are loving these little toys from sarah & bendrix 
how cute are they? anything knitted and wooden for little kids gets me.every.time.
i threw a baby sprinkle in our home for a dear friend and her soon-to-be baby girl 
she is due in january and has a little boy- so we showered her with all things pink. 
tiny dancer
i hope to share all of the details on here soon
my mom was here last week 
which really helped 
parks turned ten months old and experienced his first haircut as well 
his little personality brightens any sad or bad day 
he loves to do 'so big,' give kisses (with a super open mouth!), wave, clap, sing, and chats up a storm now! he loves books, trucks, and stuffed animals.  and i love him so much. 
i have also been super busy with my new business
it's going so well and i am so grateful 
i honestly work just as much, if not more, than i did when i was teaching school
but feel like it's just been a blessing for our family. 
so i am willing to put in the long days and extremely late nights
seeing women's eyes light up when they try on the clothes; seeing them feel beautiful, makes it all worth it and i am really loving the experience. 
my christmas leggings came and will launch on black friday- just in time for the christmas season! 
here is my page if you are interested | lularoe janelle monaco
this weekend we watched football and celebrated thanksgiving with friends 

what about you? 
what have you been up to lately?

a super fun birthday party

i just love the parties this girl's mom (she is from where i grew up/now resides in cincinnati) throws for her cute daughters... happy 4th, reese!! you may remember her 'oh the places you'll go' balloon and popsicle parties in the past. i also blogged about her sister's first birthday last april, a lovely garden themed party. this year's theme made for a SUPER fun time as you can see in the photos below. i love each and every touch and wanted to share. would you be interested in more mood boards and party ideas from me? both for kids and for adult gatherings? it is a passion of mine. maybe i could share more ideas more often with you? i am actually throwing a baby sprinkle brunch for a dear friend at our home tomorrow... excited to share. so fun. but you know you are a #decorhoarder when you already had about 90% of the decor. check out instagram tomorrow for sneak peeks!
that pow cake!!
framing art or a print above an area (like your dining) room is a great idea 
(and those juice jars are super cheap at ikea!)
i am a strong believer in monochormatic colors with pops of color, fun straws, and gold glitter added to any party. the confetti on the table was such a great touch as well. 
little girls running around in superhero capes... how adorable
r is for reese 
that beautiful smile!! such a happy birthday girl 
they also played 'pin the cape on the superhero!'

so cute, right?

thank you so, so much for letting me share, jenna
i always look forward to your incredible parties

ps: what pandora station would you rock for a brunch baby sprinkle? 

windy hill apple orchard & cider mill

we made it a point to spend time together as a family all weekend... we all needed this. friday evening, we tried an indian restaurant that we had never been to... and we learned that we have been missing out. in fact, i used to live right by it when i first moved to charlotte (the 1930's bungalow i lived in for my first two years here was a dream) but it is a shame that i never walked over. it was so, so good! parks even had some naan and was the best boy while we enjoyed dinner. (fun fact: besides mexican, indian is my favorite!) saturday morning, the boys went on their weekly 'guys date' ... which they weren't able to do the month of october due to mr. monaco's job. then we decided to head over the border to south carolina for the afternoon to check out an apple orchard... and it did not disappoint. in fact, we were both blown away by how much we enjoyed it. if you live in the charlotte area, i recommend windy hill apple orchard in york, south carolina.  i felt like i needed to escape the city for a few hours and it was the perfect spot for a fall day. we enjoyed so much about this family-owned establishment so i wanted to share with you.
highlights of the orchard: live music, flights of hard apple cider, chickens, a bonfire, beautiful trees... and most of all: the apple cider donuts. (best of my life) 
my favorite hard ciders: the ginger and the pumpkin
we took a walk through the orchard... and spotted this guy strolling.
how beautiful is this sign!
in january, they are having a 2nd annual oyster roast... we are hoping to go!