olive june: May 2017
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our trip to the carolina shore

"sometimes doing the most important thing eternally, doesn't look like you're doing anything noticeably."

sharing some photos from our trip to the carolina shore over the weekend. it was so nice to take in the ocean breeze, read, enjoy some delicious seafood dinners ... and escape the city. i read a book (more on that choice soon) and indulged in the nineteenth edition of darling magazine (i can't get enough) while parks napped. he is quite the napper but did love exploring the beach and although the pool was frigid, he did love a short swim. he loves water. i feel like this trip was just what we needed; to re-charge our batteries and prepare for the summer months.
the weekend was full of cocktails, treats, watching joy through parks' eyes, and relaxation. tim and i also enjoyed a 'parent's hour out' at a next door beach bar- rum + live music. the thing about parenthood is that you appreciate these moments so much more. we are thankful for family members who help out with baby boy and go on adventures with us.
he loved ringing the bell and driving the boat
parks' romper: cat & jack for target
also, walking on the sand in april was difficult for him so we brought a pair of basic crocs along and it helped so much! 
enjoying an ice cream treat with dad
ah, take me back!!! 
a carousel ride with his pop pop + nana - so sweet. 
sunday i took on a walk alone on the beach (similar to meditating) and one of my favorite things to do

fifteen favorite toddler products

it's been awhile since i shared some of my favorite baby + toddler products so i thought i would share a few today. preparing for a new baby can be overwhelming... there are so many products and options. the cool thing? not one baby has ever been raised with the exact same products as another. so have fun with registering and try to go in open-minded; knowing you can always exchange and that there are so many wonderful products-- and that sometimes not one is better than another. i also recommend adding a few things for the later baby stage/toddler years so i thought this would hopefully be helpful for those of you who either have a toddler or for those who are currently registering. in the past i shared some of my favorite newborn and 0-4 months baby products: here and here.

some of my toddler favorites: 

+ rylee & cru clothes (especially any with bunnies on them) 
+ nail frida clippers (so smooth!) 
+ jellycats (parks still has a strong 'stuffed animal love affair' going on...) 
+ parks loves this fisher-price stride & ride lion toy (this walker is also still very loved!) 
+ babyganics bug spray + sunscreen + foaming dish soap
"let me love you a little more before you're not little anymore"

a grateful heart

“the thankful heart and a praying mind
are the revealer of the secrets of beauty.” 
― toba beta

we got back from the beach this afternoon and my heart feels grateful for the opportunity to spend the weekend there. the serenity, the laid-back feel, and time together was just what i needed; this trip came at the best time. it also felt so incredible to be back in our home... you know that feeling when you walk into your house after being away. parks and i have only slept here twice in the last few weeks so i can't wait to crawl into bed. (i love our bed.) one of the things i have been trying to do lately is not use my phone in bed, but instead, write down a few things that i am grateful for; a way to say 'good night' to my entire day, my thoughts, my feelings, my goals, etc. do you do this? sharing mine today with you all...
a grateful heart | 

+ iced lemonade on the beach 
+ a baby that travels - like a dream
+ instagram (it brings me a lot of joy!) 
+ white petals
+ a cup of coffee on a beach balcony
+ fresh berries
+ light gray nail polish 
+ my boy is smiling so hard lately that his nose crunches up 
+ a supportive #girltribe and a business that has been a blessing for our family 
+ a baby in a hawaiian shirt 
+ eucalyptus and hibiscus plants
+ praying before every meal as a family
+ seafood, especially salmon 
+ i took a walk alone yesterday on the beach and it was almost bare and i just took everything in. 
+ so many inspirational books lately + darling magazine (it's my favorite ever) 
-ice cream from dada + a carousel ride-

also, catherine of a short blonde shared another one of my posts (here) and wrote the sweetest note... thank you so much. it means the world to me~ i have found that my fellow bloggers have been so supportive of this motherhood journey. (and for this, i am very grateful.) 
-our all american boy-
we are so thankful to all who have served and have given us our freedom
parks' outfit | denim romper: cat and jack & shoes: crocs (pepper red is on sale!) 

what is your heart grateful for at the moment?
... 
how was your weekend?
... hope it went well...
and wishing you a wonderful week ahead
xo

our trip to small-town, ohio

i wanted to share some photos from last week in my hometown! it's so funny because i didn't bring my camera out very much, and so i didn't think i really took that many photos ... but of course, as i downloaded them, there were a ton. i get 'snappy happy' - that's a term, right? 

parks and i loved spending time with my family and celebrating a beautiful wedding. he was so good on the flights (more on those soon!) but it was a peaceful and fun time. i saw a lot of loved ones and soaked up the time we had in the country, in rural america. a few photos below... 
in between the wedding mass and reception 
he's saying, 'where's my family? come out everyone and play!"
i am so proud of my little brother. he is always so willing to spend time with us when we are home... he surprised us by being there when we arrived thursday evening and then met us near cincinnati on tuesday for a day of shopping. on june 5, he is moving to chicago- can't wait to visit. (it's my favorite northern city)
parks is getting a little cousin! how cute is my sister's little bump... baby eno-idem (the gender is a surprise) is expected to arrival around august 30. i am - over the moon- excited to meet this sweet baby.
uncle alex helped momma so much... getting all dapper for the party
my dad's brother, my uncle john, is a retired priest and was the officiant 
it was beautiful, personal, and i just adore him (and his sense of humor) 
my cute wedding date

a mood board | may edition

another month has almost past and it has been quite hectic, full of travels and time with family. i am now trying my best to slow down and find some tools to help get me through the summer as a more mindful person. i am hoping to build on my efforts so far this year by tuning into my body through the power of slow eating, meditation, breaks from technology, and most importantly, showing gratitude. 
mood board | may edition

mood board | may edition by janelle-monaco 
current loves | black + whites, coziness, florals, gold, mules, lace, natural elements

i know that slowing down and staying present has big rewards. however, it isn't always an easy journey; it takes a lot work in the beginning. i am hoping to share more soon, but lately i am working most on is this: when i find that my mind is wandering, i notice the thoughts and i then let them go. 

i am also working on being more intent through exercises 
... 
initially asking myself, 'what does the world want from me?"

i have been setting aside a few minutes to meditate, to settle down, breath deeply- inhaling and exhaling. i try not to control my breath, i try not to control anything. asking these questions | "who am i?" (pause) what do i want? (pause and repeat the question) and then 'how can i serve?' (pause and repeat the question). i usually take another breath and then ask, 'what does the universe want from me?" sometimes the answers aren't clear and sometimes they are very vivid. 
this next month, i am really going to focus on what i put in my body + clean eating and making our home less toxic regarding chemicals. any advice with either of these? 

what about you?
... how do you create a more mindful state of mind + focus on being intent... 

...

things i would tell a new mom

i remember vividly what it's like to have a wiggly, tiny new life in your arms. everything seems unknown and exhausting and new and hazy and wonderful. you'll be tired, you will probably go longer than normal without showering, your meals will often be cold, and there will be tears. (sometimes you won't even know why.) one of my biggest pieces of advice is to try and lean on people who bring you up and encourage you. supportive 'mom friends' and family members can make the biggest difference in the world. always remember that it's okay to delegate and it's okay to ask for help. they will both make you a better mom. today i thought i would share some of the things i would tell new mothers, in hope of encouraging and lifting up as many as possible. 

 one of the first things i would tell a new mom would be, 'bless you... if you're trying, you're doing a great job." and in many ways, it does get better. and to be honest, in some ways, it doesn't. (enter moving... running, exploring, teething.) but it's all worth it, each and every step. the hardest parts for me were definitely the recovery from my c-section (here is my postpartum survival guide for a c-section) and then my (many) struggles with nursing... more than the lack of sleep (i actually missed him throughout the night and almost got excited to see him when he did wake up.) i know not everyone probably feels the same but that's honestly how i felt. (and i also know that with a toddler, i will, more than likely, not feel this same way- at all- the next time around). and maybe it's because i always wanted to be a mom, but i discovered that i was much more confident (something i had always yearned for...) and yet much calmer than i had ever been before. i often think that it's because of the many things that have now become a simply joy. (or that my cares and worries for this world were changed) 


a road trip | kennett square

where mr. monaco's parents were married on april 22, 1978
it might be the most romantic church i have ever seen 
... 

one of the things we want to do most with our children is travel as much as possible. even if it's a simple or small trip. it is very important for us to expose parks (and our future kids!) to different people, smells, languages, tastes, and cultures; hopefully helping to shape them as human beings- while leaving lasting impressions and memories for the better. of course this can bring a go-go-go atmosphere but i think it is important to remember to just have fun! (and we really did!) i am really trying to work on slowing down and being more present, especially on trips. at the beginning of this month, we drove up for a long weekend to visit my husband's brother and his wife (and their two small children) with my mother and father-in-law. it was so nice to all be together- in such an incredible area of our country (right outside of philadelphia). we stayed in kennett square, pa and it was gorgeous. lots of rolling hills, historic homes, horses... it was just so peaceful there. 

here are some snapshots |
sister + brother
i walked down the stairs and caught a glimpse of this ... be still my heart. 
their love. just so special. this was the moment she went across the monkey bars for the first time
my sister-in-law has become a dear friend to me and i really look up to her as a mom
she makes it all look so easy... and is so patient and graceful
we went to an old home- turned ice cream shop- called foxy loxy 
the ice cream was delicious... i ordered black raspberry chip
"together we make a family" 
their dinner room is breathtaking 
how cute are my boys?!
enjoying a mint julep during the kentucky derby
tim's aunt and uncle's beautiful home... i could not get enough of the old homes in this area
my little family

simply loving

-a dream-
just add white or gray cabinets!

warm weather is approaching (or it's here in the carolinas. it's been in the nineties this week!) and lately i have set my sights on all things easy breezy- from both home and closet. i am loving soft linens and am lusting over simple slides. parks and i did a fun photo shoot yesterday with destiny law photography ... i taught her language arts (back in the day!) and now she is in college. what a talented and sweet soul. on a not fun note... today, i experienced excruciating back and neck pain and so i slowed down and watched parks nap. he may have been born an old soul ... but his heart is so tender. tomorrow we are traveling back to my hometown for a family wedding and i am praying the pain simmers. we are traveling solo (papa bear has to work) and although parks' demeanor is usually good -he is a toddler!- so i am slightly worried. please send some prayers our way. mainly due to the amount of pain i am in. thank you so much. xo
may is getting away from me and i haven't posted as much as i had planned
but lots of fun things on the way! trying to be patient with my time and dreams; knowing everything will play out under God's terms. but that won't stop me from dreaming.
these floors, the colors, the light, the rug, the art

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