olive june: September 2017

a clean products feature | beautycounter + a giveaway

this post was sponsored. all opinions are 100% honest & completely my own. 
thank you so much for supporting this blog. 
i started converting products and lifestyle choices to safe ingredients and practices at the beginning of this year, and was so hesitant to dig into my makeup bag and skin care routines because ignorance is bliss, right? i am taking this process slow and am taking on one or two different goals each month. after reading and hearing some eye-opening facts about the effects of toxins on our health, i knew i couldn't ignore it any longer. honestly, i wasn't expecting to find clean ingredient products that i love as much as i do with this company but i feel like i hit the jackpot when i tried beautycounter (and i am thankful for annie for reaching out to me- she is so sweet and has been incredibly helpful). here is my honest experience and a round-up of some of my wow-factor faves for skin and body care. in addition, i am giving away one of my very favorites to one of you.

essential oils | fall blends


one of the things that i want to talk more about on the old blog is my love for essential oils. sidenote: i do not sell them but have a few people i know who do if you are interested in purchasing. my hope is to create posts that show you how to simply and effortlessly incorporate oils, along with many other natural plant-based products, into your daily routines so you can benefit from their restoring, supporting, and nourishing properties. 

our family uses essential oils for many things but one common thread i have noticed is how much this changes seasonally. the oils we pull out in the summer months are vastly different from those we lean on in the winter. this makes sense of course, because nature has a way of both fading away and flowing just like our immune system and the way our bodies respond to drastic seasonal shifts. today, i am sharing some mixtures that i recommend for the current season: autumn! let's jump in with some ideas for what to diffuse to make your home smell cozy + lovely for crisp autumn days. 

autumn inspirations

today, i am sharing some of my favorite autumn inspirations at the moment... i am loving the color camel, velvet, moody images and paler skies. 

autumn has finally come. 

and i am so glad she has. i was actually counting my breaths until her arrival, waiting for summer to be gone, to start anew. i remember a distinct moment the other morning, when i was doing laundry and photographing for my shop and parks was staring out the window eating his little bites of a blueberry waffle. the smell hour-old coffee was still lingering. in that very moment i thought

i am so happy to spend another autumn with you, 
my littlest love.

a mood board | september edition

it is i the morning that i feel closest to this little tribe of mine, moving slow and rhythmical together, making our way through the part of those first few hours of sunlight.  i know that it won't always be this way. and sometimes that is hard. i know that each month that passes, new demands will ask us to change, to shift, to evolve. but for as long as i can, i will hold onto what we have, right now. just the three of us, just like this. 

my miracle morning challenge

"there is nothing to fear, because you cannot fail- only learn, grow, and become better than you've ever been before." - hal elrod 

it's been a month since i started reading the miracle morning. in case you missed my original blog post about the book and this challenge, you can find it here. now that i completed the challenge... here is an update on what i learned, what i am taking away from this experience. 

a special thank you to chrissy of chrissy winchester blog and kayla of the accidental nomad life for joining me. i have really enjoyed getting to know both of them better through this and feel like it brought two new wonderful online friends into my life.  

healthy babies | from the inside out with evivo


two years ago, i was expecting sweet baby monaco... and now we are less four months away from his second birthday. i think one of the most overwhelming tasks, when you are first expecting, is figuring out what you really need once baby arrives. there are countless brands and products out there and everyone has a different opinion on what you really need once baby arrives. i would tell a new mom (all of these things) but also- and i know it's hard- but don't stress about all the things, because really, the most important thing is to really just keep your baby clean, fed, healthy, and loved! and you will be just fine. 

i try really hard not to hold onto things or have regrets (both of which are so difficult at times) but one of the biggest things i would do differently? i am a huge proponent of these three things: chiropractic care, essential oils, and probiotics. every mother wants to give her baby all that he/she needs to grow healthy and strong. we all do. i feel like often we are wrapped up in the cute onesies and the best strollers (i am totally guilty of this as well- and it's totally okay to find excitement and to enjoy this process) however, i also think it's important to focus on the more important parts of infancy as well- like health. lately, this has been a priority for both myself and for my family. i recently discovered evivo, the best probiotic for babies. evivo is the first and only probiotic that is clinically proven to restore a baby's gut microbiome to its original, natural state. so now with love and the science behind evivo, mothers can now give their babies an even better start. 

reminisce visual productions | an expression session

thank you to reminisce visual productions for kindly sponsoring this post. all opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.
photos of parks are the most special images to me during this time period in my life. i just love them so much.  when stephanie, the owner of reminisce visual productions reached out to me about her new idea for toddlers- an expression session- i was all about it. she came over to our home with all of the supplies and was so easy-going, fun, and had the warmest personality. stephanie was so patient and took her time with parks (he loved her, too) as she took shots of his personality. then last week she sent me a message that said, 'there's a delivery on your front porch!!' ... and it was 'love at first sight' when i opened the door. 

my sister's baby shower

this past june, we showered my sister and her sweet baby (girl). (at the time, we didn't know whether the baby was a girl or a boy) my hopes for the day was that it would hopefully be personal, slightly bohemian, feminine and just a fun day; a celebration and an escape from the crib / stroller assembling and newborn birth classes. about an hour after the shower, the men/kids came over (many were at a local brewery during the shower) and we continued to celebrate with a bbq and campfire. i have never felt such appreciation and thankfulness for my planning than i did this entire weekend. certainly not why i spend countless hours orchestrating small gatherings, but it was very nice and i left feeling thankful for all of the people who attended. more than anything, i know my sister really enjoyed her special day. there are many more photos... but here are some of the details from the day.

landlocked social house

landlocked social house | a true neighborhood social house providing third wave coffee, craft beer, a small selection of cocktails, wine and local fare. when i went up to cincinnati to meet my new niece a few weeks ago, i fell in love with a new spot. i have a lot of ohio readers (hi!) and a lot of coffee shop lovers on here so i thought i would share this beautiful space with you all. i met up with a (much loved and missed) college friend... we enjoyed lots of laughs and had such a great time catching up. it was very down-to-earth with tons of natural light (always a plus for me) ... and you could tell that the people really cared about you being there and having a wonderful experience. 

our trip to the litchfield shore

as summer officially comes to an end, i wanted to share our annual trip to the south carolina shore with you all. we traveled there in july with my husband's family + some extended family and enjoyed our time away. it's such a peaceful beach and always a wonderful trip. 

simply loving

i have had better weeks in life ... but i am going to stay positive, keep praying, and remember that we all have our health. (minus the fact that parks and i already have 'the pre-school plague') but... we will be better hopefully soon. how was your week?

+ this top from my shop 
+ this post about friendship  
+ my new business cards for my blog + shop arrived (i am in love with the texture and rounded corners) i really wanted a clean, simple look and i really love the way they turned out. also, do you all use the 'honey' app on your devices? it automatically goes through every code on the internet and applies them to your order. (i saved over $19 on these and papa john's- almost always 25% off) because when you have days like yesterday, your husband brings home wine and flowers- and you order pizza (and brownies). 
+ our church is beginning a series right now with the enneagram institute and it's so interesting. here is the excerpt about our new series. our church is compassionate, it's welcoming, it's inspiring, it's creative... it's home. my husband is #9, the peacemaker (just like we predicted last week when they went through each one) ... i hope to take the test this weekend but i think it would be interesting for family members + friends to take it as well; to help us understand one another a little bit better- how we perceive the world, the way we tick- our strengths and our weaknesses- an awareness of how we can work together, understand, and relate to one another and to God in a better way. have you taken this personality test? if so, i would love to hear what you are. i am 95% sure i know what one i am... but we will see. 
+ a beautiful mess' new shop, oui fresh... esp. the essential oils. i have my eye on the fir and rose. i am going to be saving up for these two... rumor has it that these two + the grapefruit smells just like anthro! essential oils- i am all about you. i also love this coffee mug
+ velvet.

kids clothing | mrly

thank you to mrly for kindly sponsoring this post. all opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.
hi! last week i featured one of our favorite children's clothing brands, mrly. today, i wanted to share some photos of parks wearing his cute + comfy clothes ... plus, you can still enter the promo + giveaway until midnight today! here is the link

parks' first day of weekday school

it's a big day in the monaco household... parks james started weekday school in a toddler class today (on his godfather's birthday). i was a little emotional (mainly because he has been my main sidekick, my bud, for the past nineteen months) but i was overall, good. i am so excited for him and hope he enjoys his time there. i think that if he was four/five and it was officially 'pre-school,' i would be a big mess. he will be going two mornings a week this year and i already love, love the school- which makes all of this so much easier. 

currently | september edition

celebrating | the launch of my shop + a beautiful new niece

watching | we are finally watching 'this is us.' ... i know. did you watch it? we are on episode five and i am really enjoying it and the characters.

welcoming | cooler temperatures (bring on the pumpkins, sweaters, and football)

preparing | for parks' first day of pre-school tomorrow... outfit is picked, lunch is packed, forms are filled out, and the letter board is complete. i can't believe it. i really think he is going to love it and i adore his three teachers. they seem wonderful. the school is less than ten minutes from our home, in uptown charlotte.

photographing | pieces of my new shop + clothes, parks (always.), the delicious food from brunch yesterday with my childhood best friend, renee, at luna's living kitchen + the gift box i got last week from bonnie + bud.

clothing brand | mrly giveaway

thank you to mrly for kindly sponsoring this post. all opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.
mrly is one of my favorite children's clothing lines. they believe that 'simple is beautiful' (and i agree.) all of the pieces are high-quality, super comfy, everyday clothes that allow a kid's personality to do the talking. all of the clothes are easy to mix-and-match and the gender neutral colors allow you to hand them down to younger siblings or friends. all textiles are sourced from japan and are proudly manufactured right here in the usa. how adorable are these clothes?

check out the bottom of this post for a reader's promo + fabulous giveaway!

we're going on a bear hunt... a day at the cincinnati zoo

on sunday we took parks to the cincinnati zoo and he really enjoyed it... honestly, more than i thought he was going to. i really thought he was going to love the stroller ride and a graeter's ice cream cone most but he loved the flamingos, the train ride, and the elephants a lot. (but really the whole trip!) 

a special delivery | bonnie & bud

a few weeks ago, i wrote a post about unique gift ideas and ways to make them extra special. today, i received a very special delivery, a box from my very favorite of all, bonnie + bud. my parents sent me this box as a 'congrats / well wishes' on my new business adventure. it was the perfect surprise as parks and i walked outside, in the pouring rain, to run errands. we played in the puddles for a bit, took in the cooler/sixty- degree weather (love.), picked up my first psl of the season and got some things done around charlotte. we are playing 'catch-up' from our week in cincinnati.  i was just so surprised and as always, the beauty in these boxes always takes my breath away.

shop olive june | grand opening!

it's here! my shop, olive june, opened today. i fell in love with the shop stevie hender brand about a year ago and have found over the past year that i have a passion for curating fashion for others. along the way, this dream is something that i have not been able to stop thinking about. and now i have my own boutique- full of her line. as of this afternoon, you can now shop through my website at any point ... i am hoping to add denim, shoes, and outerwear (and lots of fall items!!) hopefully soon. i do have a lot of transitional pieces (from summer to fall) currently in my shop. in addition, a kids collection (hopefully) and plus size clothing (soon!) is on the way. i will be sharing styles on here from time to time, along with my journey. 

please know... i am always here if you need anything 

here is my website | olive june
group (styling, giveaways, promos) | olive june. stevie rep

simply loving

"falling down is an accident- staying down is a choice."

hello, to the start of fall. first of all, thank you for all of the love regarding my new niece. she has my heart and it's been wonderful to be here with family all week. last night we celebrated my mom's birthday by all being together: homemade pizza on the green egg, a salad, a strawberry cheesecake and flourless buckeyes from whole foods, sparkling rose, and the start of football season.