olive june: August 2017
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a niece or a nephew?

it's a girl! a precious niece

my sister and her husband welcomed a sweet baby girl on sunday, august 27 at 6:18pm (i was crossing through the west virginia mountains at the time with parks). we arrived in cincinnati at about 10pm and walked in to find out the gender... i saw the bow on the hospital cap and started bawling. (i would have cried either way...) her name is leona rose (after my paternal grandma, whose name was leona) this love is so special... just like becoming a mom. you can't explain it, you have to feel it... you have to experience it. 

tips for thrifting

let's chat about vintage finds- the dusty gems i love to use to make a home a little more cozy. people are always getting rid of things- so the shelves at a thrift store are always rotating and it can be an inexpensive way to add more personal touches to a space. although it's not for everyone, thrifting makes me giddy. i love to peruse the tight aisles and the clutter brings me a sense of calm rather than a feeling of being overwhelmed. my mom, cousins, aunts and i have a pastime of doing the hunt together- so it's also very nostalgic. my mom and i used to go often in charlotte with (pre-moving) parks (he would be nestled against my chest in the solly baby wrap) and then lately, i love to sneak out on a sunday afternoon with a coffee in hand. however, i think it will be fun once he is a little older to introduce him to the fun + history of 'junk.' 

now that i am on the path to 'chasing slow' + a more minimal lifestyle, i think these little charms can add a sense of simple touch when mixed with more neutral pieces throughout our home. 

a plant-based diet | where to start?

"every time you eat is a chance to nourish your body"

hi! as i mentioned last week, my main goals for september are to launch my new business, get parks adjusted to pre-school (he will be going two mornings a week starting september 12), continue my miracle morning challenge (loving.). find a new skincare regimen that is chemical-free and then hopefully begin the transition to a more plant-based diet. ever since i got pregnant with parks, i have not had a desire to eat a lot of meat. i really my body is yearning for a different avenue... i have been wanting to do this for awhile (or at least try it out?) and feel like i at least want to try this lifestyle... mainly for health but environmental factors as well. however, transitioning your entire diet can be a little overwhelming. below are some of my initials finds + ideas for the process. i am hoping to share recipes and my journey with you all on here.

simply loving


"she has fire in her heart and grace in her soul."

 hello! the weekend is here and i hope your week went well. in honor of my original blog name, 'simply love,' i think i am going to showcase some of my favorite things at the end of the week sometimes: lifestyle + bloggers + inspirations from others. i hope this is a series you enjoy. it might evolve into something else... we will see. i love to share my inspirations with you all and hope you love what i decide to share.

unique gift ideas + five ways to add a special touch

i am passionate about giving gifts. i have always loved the act of giving. from gathering the items to intricate wrapping, all of it brings me joy. i love to show others how much they mean to me, especially when they least expect it. today, i am sharing some gift ideas i adore + ways to make it a little bit more special than usual. i hope you enjoy.  

a mood board | august edition

"so why does our writing matter, again? they ask. because of the spirit, i say. because of the heart. writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. they deepen and widen and explained our sense of life: they feed the soul. when writers make us shake our heads with exactness of their prose and their truth, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. we are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along, with absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. - anne lamott from bird by bird


hello! i am now on day two of my thirty-day miracle morning challenge and am truly enjoying doing this with a few others... it's been so motivational, knowing that others are up bright and early and are hopefully experiencing something similar.  i am already feeling more renewed to create, to share, and to take in each day. i hope if you are joining me, you are feeling the same way.  

life lately | eclipse + routines + photo shoot + new shop

"remember, the moment you accept complete responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you claim the power to change everything in your life." - hal elrod, the miracle morning

this morning, my alarm went off at 5:30am for my new miracle morning challenge - please feel free to join along! ... i am not going to lie, getting up that early wasn't easy for me (and i kind of regretted the glasses of wine i had while watching 'bachelor in paradise' with my husband last night) but... i really, really loved it. and i am excited about this lifestyle change. after my hour alone, i had breakfast with my boys, parks and i took a long walk, we went to trader joe's, i cleaned/started laundry, he went down for a nap and i started working for the day. my mind and soul felt more clear and accepting of the day ahead. i think it's working. 

a miracle morning challenge

yesterday, i mentioned some of the books, shows, music i am currently loving on my august media spotlight. well... one of them i am so excited about!! ... so excited that i have decided to ask you all to join me. i first heard about the miracle morning from one of my favorite people in life / one of my bridesmaids, my friend anna. we taught together for nine years and woke up early the way it was... but she was in love with hal elrod's concept in his book and began waking up even earlier every day. she always raved about it. however, i was always like... 'early mornings? umm, no way. i am a huge night owl... there is no way i would love this.' (now, i wish i would have started years ago). i have mentioned a lot lately about how i am trying to slow down. one of the ways i plan to achieve this is through the method that this book teaches. i want to start each day on the right foot by waking up slowly and intently. i am currently about half way through the audio book and have read countless success stories this week... making me anxious to begin my personal journey. i got lost on so many blogs and videos recently ... reading and listening to countless people post about their transition from being a non-morning person to loving it/seeing their life change in remarkable ways... and wanting to wake up even earlier? trust me- if this works for me, it will be a miracle. i recently read this article about moms who are night owls and stay up way past their bedtime (my husband and i usually go to bed around midnight- or later.)  i agreed with almost everything in the article; however, i really want to make some significant changes in my life and so many people are sharing how their businesses, health, and relationships all improved greatly by implementing this routine. so let's do it.

would you like to join me? 

an august media spotlight


here are some pop culture things i am currently loving | 

audio book | the morning miracle: the not-so-obvious secret guaranteed to transform your life (before 8am) by hal elrod - one of my best friends (love you, anna) has been encouraging me to read this for years... and i am finally (hope i don't regret the amount of time it took me to pick this up!) better now versus never and i trust her so much ~ so i am excited about this one. 

paper book | the story hour by thrity umringer 

parenting | no-drama discipline by daniel j. siegel

t.v show | daily: the today show + weekly: bachelor in paradise (no shame!) 

artist | valerie june 


movies | last weekend we watched lion on saturday night with my mom (so incredibly moving - i really, really enjoyed it! have you seen it? what were your thoughts...) and then on sunday, my husband and i went on a date together... we enjoyed thai and a movie, the big sick. we laughed lots. i highly recommend both movies. (this was only the second movie i have seen since parks was born- the other being beauty and the beast with my mom last spring) 

parks / children books | pat the bunny is his current favorite (he loves the interaction) 

spotify stations | billie holiday, lucy rose, message to bears
lastly, an 'end of summer porch rockin' playlist' - just for you | 


enjoy!

... what are you listening to, reading, and watching lately... 
xo

a hospital bag ~ what to really pack

the packing of the hospital bags ... this happened about eighteen months ago- yet a part of me feels like this was just yesterday and another feels like it was a lifetime ago. (i am sure most moms can relate to this!) my younger sister (and one of the namesakes for my new blog re-brand, olive june) is due in exactly two weeks with her first baby. therefore, i thought i would create a post about what i really think you need to bring. these are just my thoughts... i am a big believer in doing what works best for you. i just remember the anxiety, the not knowing what was coming our way and thought this would hopefully help some of you who are struggling with what to bring to the hospital- a list for both momma and baby regarding the items i really think you might need for your stay.  

a note: we were there thursday-monday/a bit longer than normal... so again, you might not feel like you would need the same things? you just never know what the process will be like...
but what i do know? ... it's all worth it.

i wrote this post right before parks was born about what i packed in our bags

olive june

"warbel for lilac-time" by walt whitman
"for spring-time is here! the summer is here! and what is this in it and from it?
thou, soul, unloosen'd -- the relentless after i know now what;
come, let us lag here no longer, let us be up and away!"
{a master bedroom scene}

welcome to olive june~ the beginning of a new era for this space. this change is something i have been dreaming about for awhile. the afternoon before my birthday this past june my husband and i were relaxing in a high-post, antique bed at a local charlotte inn, enjoying a pizza + a latte, soft acoustic music playing and no technology for a few hours... as he drifted off for an afternoon nap, a lot of new ideas started to overcome me. there is something about summer and a birthday that brings on self-reflection and an eagerness for improvement, awareness, and challenges. i wanted a job change (something that would still allow me to raise parks, work from home, and something that would hopefully give me more time for relationships, for my loved ones). in addition, i also knew that i wanted something new for this blog. my eighth graders brainstormed and came up 'simply love' four and a half years ago when i started this journey, and although i dearly loved it, i wanted something more authentic, something that represents me a little bit more. i hope you all love the new name- i feel like it truly encompasses this time in my life. a special thank you to munch paris studio for helping with this transition. they created my blog design last august and i just can't recommend them enough. they are sweet, trustworthy, and so talented. 
{via}
{this dress is from my new line}

behind the name: 

olive
i chose olive because i was looking at the most beautiful rose + olive colored vintage floral painting when i felt like the holy spirit spoke to me on this past birthday eve, regarding taking a few new risks. it's always the most graceful and soothing whisper. later that evening, my husband and i went to a special dinner at the place where our wedding reception was held and i told him all about my current thoughts + dreams... and like always, he was so supportive and open-minded. the man believes in me and i am so grateful for his trust in my constant soul-searching and new ideas. i also chose olive because an olive branch symbolizes peace. this year, more than ever, my relationship with God has led me on a deep path of discovering the value in slowing down and finding your inner peace ... fewer things and more experiences, that thinking about living is not the same as living, and that we do have choices in life. i am learning that "busyness" and "more" will never be enough- so i need to find my ultimate exploration, my purpose. there is something deep within me seeking true meaning. i don't think living a good life means fancy things. it is the quiet mornings, cooking alongside your lover, gathering flowers from your backyard, lighting your favorite candle. i feel like if we aren't careful, these moments will quickly pass us by. lately, i have been more committed to choosing my thoughts and actions carefully. as a result, i have become more dedicated to the idea of living my everyday life with intention. the word 'olive' + the image of an olive tree branch remind me of this concept. 


"the heart of a woman is the best mirror you can find." erin loechner, chasing slow: courage to journey off the beaten path
june
june is a special word because it represents these things: 
- my sister and i were born four days apart in the month of june and she means so much to me
- i married my sweet husband in june
- as a teacher, june was always a meaningful month - as i said 'goodbye' to countless students, young adults whom i saw grow, change and make an impact on others
- the Holy Spirit has spoken to me (in the most vivid ways) the past two junes 
- i am a hopeless romantic and have always adored the love between johnny and june cash + how their love represents my country roots so well 

and~ 'olive june' was born. 
{via}
my sweet boy is nineteen months old today 

i hope you love it as much as i do. your readership means so very much to me and i am so grateful for each and every one of you. i plan to continue to share my life + style + motherhood stories + self-awareness + gatherings + and all of the things i 'simply love' with you all in the years ahead... 

currently

snacking (on) | lately, my favorite snacks have been boom chicka pop popcorn (i really want to try this flavor soon!) i am also loving lightly salted almonds, carrots with guacamole, and smoothies. 

anticipating | i have some big news coming to this space (hopefully next week!) so stay tuned... lots of changes to my business + blog coming your way. but even more than that... my sister is due in less than three weeks with her first baby. she lives in cincinnati (hyde park area- love.) with her husband and once when we get news, we are going to head up north to meet my new niece or nephew / parks' little cousin. 

borrowing | lots of ideas and books about balancing life (my main goal for this year) ... living a more soulful life, full of connections, faith, and the things that matter most. i am also trying to rid our home of chemicals (as much as possible) - along with striving for healthier living as a whole.  i plan to come up with a plan for the rest of this year soon... any more advice? 

admiring | so many of my favorite instagram girls ... like prettylittlefawn . ohjoy . thedarlings_ . bleubird . its.rachelanne amylouhawthorne . fancytreehouse ~ i just love the photos, the stories, the sharing of life that we get to experience during our era. i am constantly inspired. 

purchasing | a few things for my new business adventure but more than buying, i am getting ready to sell lots and lots of things. (and donate) have any of you ever used poshmark? thoughts?