olive june: 2019

our christmas cards + favorite traditions

give warmth

"in a world
that often feels so cold
that so many, 
may choose 
to be the ones 
to give kindness to thoese
who may not have
many reminders
that kindness still exists."

in my city | covet atelier

covet atelier . charlotte, north carolina

favorites stories shared this year

give harmony

"may we be the ones 
who remind others
of the beautiful music 
we can make 
when we bring
our voices together."

a grateful heart

"put soul into everything."

borrowed words

 i saw these words this morning
and thought i would share.
even though i have felt tired and often worn out this month,
these words also felt so very true...

nash charles | eighteen months

today our baby turns eighteen months old. 'nash charlie' - you are what we dreamt of and i am so glad that i get to raise you, to love you, to guide you, to support whoever you become. you have grown so much, our darling boy; you are a gift to all of us. 

december intentions

snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
it's reason for being was
nothing more
than prettiness.
-mary oliver

christmas touches

we started to deck our home with christmas pieces this week. i really like to use bits of nature, sentimental/vintage items, along with small and sustainable items that can be packed up easily. we only have two bins of christmas decor and i am hoping to bring it down to one after this season. here is a sneak peek + i am planning to add a few more natural elements soon. however, i thought i would share some of our touches so far. parks has been so into helping me this year; warming my heart with his enthusiasm. i hope you enjoy this mini tour.

i am just so thankful
thankful for everything we have been given
thankful for beauty 
for traditions and memories and for time together

holiday traditions | cedar lake tree farm

this past sunday, we woke up really early in ohio and traveled back to the pines of north carolina. we arrived at our favorite tree farm around noon for one of my very favorite traditions. we fell in love with cedar lake tree farm in ironton, nc last christmas- and again this year. the many animals, hay stack/slide for play, crackling campfire, authentic santa, snack bar, and friendly staff make it so magical. if you live near this area, i can't recommend this experience enough. it's so wonderful.

st. anne the tart | dayton, ohio

annie dillard wrote, "how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." 

i would love to look back and know that i didn't always race for productivity but that i walked towards presence more often than not. i want to always look for the light and to observe how it shifts. my favorite is the softness at night. i want to put away my phone and connect with people. to go on a walk and notice the mother fastening her daughter's wool coat or the man leaving the market with flowers in hand. or children playing freely; so innocent and curious and resilient. 

i want to go on wanders

gentle reminders

st. anne the tart . dayton, ohio / 11.26.19

simply loving

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momsgiving last night was so wonderful- being surrounded by the community of women i prayed so hard for. they are warm and welcoming and loving and open-minded and accept me just as i am. 

a cottage getaway | asheville

"how beautiful it is
to find someone
who asks for
nothing but your
-author unknown

simply loving | first holiday edition

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it was a fairly quiet weekend over here at the monaco home, and it was much needed by all. we watched movies, had dance parties, organized our spaces, made homemade soup and spent time together. september and october were both whirlwinds and i have learned that i need time spent hibernating alone with a slower rhythm to recover.  i am thinking ahead at simple ideas to make this season special without (hopefully) over- scheduling our family. i want it to be memorable and intentional while focusing on the most important parts: making, gathering, giving, resting, caring, appreciating, reflecting, and remembering.

november intentions

"be enough
for yourself first
the rest of the world can wait."

an earthy baby shower

i have such a special post to share with you this morning. one of my closest friends growing up is expecting a darling baby boy in december. we wanted to create an intimate and whimsical event inspired by natural elements. it was such a heart-warming pleasure to host a gathering for one of my favorite people. i hope you enjoy the details from the shower... and as always, here if you have any questions.

creating a restoring nighttime rhythm | with magiclinen

in partnership with magiclinen
"rest nurtures creativity, which nurtures activity. activity nurtures rest, which sustains creativity. each draws from and contributes to the other." - kim john payne

halloween! | you've got a friend in me

happy halloween! this day has always been fun, but this year has had more anticipation here as parks has been planning costumes since last spring (or maybe even before!) he has gone through many costume ideas: mario, chase, luigi, captain america... but then one morning in early september while we were waiting in the carpool line at school, he said, "momma, i got it!" 

autumn family photos | a sneak peek

"the sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing to find where all the beauty comes from."
c.s. lewis

gentle reminders

"feel what you need
to feel and then let
it go. do not let it
consume you."
- dhiman

an updated room for nash

last weekend i rearranged nash's nursery a bit. it was one of my favorite spaces in our home, but i found this large vintage rug (for $40/i have been selling pieces we are no longer using so it felt justified) and wanted to give his room a mini refresh. the rich, timeless colors for the fall + winter days really inspired me. the layered rugs that were in his space were moved to our den (which includes a piano/play/sitting area in the front of our home) to give that room a bright feel and a soft space for the boys to play on. 

the avett brothers echoing throughout our home, coffee on the burner, nursery rhymes and the crisp breeze through our windows is bringing me renewed energy to purge and organize and re-evaluate what we have before the holiday season.  do you ever find yourself doing this around this time of year?

pumpkin patch magic

carrigan farms . mooresville, north carolina

in our city | the batch house

"people first, cake second" 

an october morning

lately, there has been cinnamon in our oatmeal, costumes on our minds, acorns in our pockets and leaves underfoot. we explored a nearby city last saturday morning with my cousin and her two little girls while my husband enjoyed a golf trip in florida. there was an enchanting crispness in the air as families browsed the market- reminding me once more why i love this time of year. a middle school student played the guitar and sang- this age group still warms my heart when i see them shine. we enjoyed story time at a local bookstore and then took a walk over to a local pumpkin patch. although brief, watching nash fall in love with the pumpkins was something i always want to remember (balls-and his dad- are his favorite things) so he was very much in love. 

simply loving

little apple paintings we created early this afternoon

practicing mindfulness with kids

mindfulness has become such an important aspect of my life and is something that i want to pass onto my children. from simple rituals like nightly family dinners, dance parties, reading books, going for walks/the park to special times like vacations and christmas traditions and birthday celebrations- i want them to pay attention to the events happening in the moment. i yearn for them to carefully observe thoughts and feelings- to develop a sense of self awareness. 

we often feel disconnected from the earth and from each other and are looking to fill voids and ease pain. what i have learned? things will not fill the hole of disconnection we experience. only through deeper connections and quality time and the reality of our emotions and in our relationships with others, can we achieve mindfulness. 

an autumn rhythm + craft + playlist

with the crisp air coming through the windows and the leaves starting to change, we are creating a new autumn rhythm in our home. i have always been something of a season watcher. it's worth the moment to marvel at the way the light changes in a room after dinner and how acorns spread across the local park. i tend to want to wait until the season happens and then embrace it wholeheartedly. 

for me, autumn brings a renewed energy. the cozy, hygge months, always seem to be my favorite and i am looking forward to creating slower and more meaningful rhythms; focusing on gratitude and simplicity. i plan to pull out books and seasonal songs and poems to read and sing. i also plan to incorporate nature inspired crafts + activities now that parks is older ... and hope to share more with you all soon. it's a fun way to incorporate beautiful language, creativity and music into our day at home. 

life lately

the gift

Be still my soul, and steadfast
Earth and heaven both are still watching 
though time is draining from the clock 
and your walk, that was confident and quick, 
has become slow. 

So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part. 
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
know you are grateful. 
That the gift has been given. 
-mary oliver

soups for fall

today is hopefully the last day of extremely high temps/high 90's with high humidity ... we honestly have had this type of weather since the end of may (with only a few cool days / it doesn't cool off at night here like it does in the midwest - which makes it feel stifling at times during the summer months) needless to say, i am ready and ecstatic about the cooler temperatures coming later today. bring on the coziness and warm bowls of soup as the leaves turn golden. here are some soup recipes in case you are needing some inspiration. 

a self / body positivity 30 day challenge

"if you wouldn't say it to your friend,
don't say it to yourself."

nash charles . 15 months | things i always to remember

the other day we played 'pumpkin shop' because his older brother really, really loves pumpkins

october intentions

"and the sun took a step back,
the leaves lulled themselves to sleep
and Autumn was awakened."
-raquel franco

simply loving

parks is so into fall - all the pumpkins, the halloween costumes, the colorful leaves, the seasonal donuts. he's in love. the other day, i brought home three small pumpkins from trader joe's and he immediately assigned them all owners/rooms and went and placed them. he had so much excitement + joy when he saw them. his biggest treat right now is looking at costumes on target.com and as much as i would love to pick out a cute costume for him this year, i tell him... 'you can be whatever you want to be, sweetie. whatever you want.' he finds joy in the smallest things and it reminds me to stop and be present - not to worry about the past or the future- but to just be still and savor. 

"slow down 
and everything you are chasing 
will come around and catch you."
-john de paola

mr. and mrs. wolf

mr. and mrs. wolf

ten children's books for fall

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now that parks is back in school, he seems to be relaxed and calm and more ready for bed than during the summer hours. his little eyes start to get sleepy around six in the evening. still, a picture book (along with affirmations and prayers) remain the most beloved time of our day. lately, we have been reading simple, quiet books ... and books about strolling through nature and taking adventures. because isn't childhood, in a nutshell, all about capturing everyday magic and discovering the comfort of routine. 

i wanted to share some of the titles we have been reading with you all

a grateful heart

"may you approach
this season with
gratitude and a
 deeply rooted hope
that everyday will
teach you something
that is an integral
part of your growth"

ten things i love

"and i say to my heart:
rave on."
-mary oliver, thrist

a late summer home tour

today i am sharing a glimpse into our home for a late summer tour - before i add a few fall touches soon. for fall, i love to add real pumpkins and a few dried flowers throughout. i want our home to look like something that's been curated over time in a thoughtful way; mixing old and new for an eclectic look. if i am honest with you, old homes have my heart. and probably always will. but... we don't currently have one- this home was built in 2014 and although i am so very, very grateful for it, it's not exactly my style. therefore, i try to add pieces with charm and pieces that have meaning for an overall aesthetic that is minimal, personal and cozy. being a mother and working from home and wanting to create meaning and connection more than anything else, has forced our family to simplify our lives. it's been hard (especially at the beginning- where to begin?) and yet, so incredibly refreshing ... and much easier to take on and continue now. we try and pick a few things to focus on each month and that has really helped us.

i hope you enjoy a little look inside...

september intentions

"never forget how wildly capable you are."

things i always want to remember | 1 and 3.5 years old

there aren't many things i love more than a baby in a bonnet

an afternoon at the carnival

we spent this past sunday afternoon at a local festival with the boys; a fun way to send off this special summer; a summer where the boys became even closer - the first one where they were both mobile to play with one another. i know it is one i will always remember.

five diffuser blends for august

we have been weaving essential oils into our everyday rhythm for awhile now - ways to calm and heal and create rituals for our family. they purify our home and nurture our bodies. i have enjoyed exploring different blends and salves and mixtures. they have become a way to live with more intention and with care and with earnest goals of lifelong wellness. here are some diffuser blends that i am currently loving for these late summer days.

childhood magic | 15 natural activities

when i was a little girl, i spent most of my childhood outside. well, outside and at the local library.  i played in barns and creeks until the streetlights came on, rode my bike until my legs couldn't move, swam with friends, explored local lakes, built snowmen and secret forts. it is clear that my love for the world outside has been passed on to parks and nash. whenever we need to breathe easier and find solitude, we venture outside and it's as though we are floating through the earth. 

this morning, i took the boys to wing haven- a beautiful garden and bird sanctuary. they both splashed in the mini waterway and ran barefoot and noticed the bees having lunch in the flower bushes. 

days like this with my babies, it's who i am, it's what i'll remember most. 

a grateful heart

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

an afternoon at the park

august 12 . 2019

a grateful heart

perhaps in the waiting 
you are doing more
than merely waiting 
but you are growing 
in the way you were meant to 
you are finding that Light 
shines on you 
strengthening you for the season you are in 
reminding you over and over again 
life can be beautiful 
in the waiting

mindful practices

'When your world moves too fast
and you lose yourself in the chaos,
introduce yourself to each
color of the sunset,
Reacquaint yourself with the earth
beneath your feet.
Thank the air that surrounds you
with every breath you take.
Find yourself in
the appreciation of life.'
-Christy Ann Martine

august intentions

...counting down the days until i can wear cozy knits...
while also embracing these final weeks of summer
the days of letting our toes breathe, floral sundresses, dewey skin and watermelon slices

gentle reminders

"you are worthy of a beautiful, fulfilling life just as much as anyone else." -mhn

a beach trip to avalon, new jersey

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"don't rush the wild ramblers, 
wanderers, dawdlers and dreamers

don't push or compare the child 
who tarries and turns over
every pebble-

who stops to fill overflowing pockets,
talk to trees and look for a 
shimmering chrysalis under
every milkweed leaf-

who listens to the wind current &
message of each spiraled shell. 

don't rush them,
for they will grow up
to be the noticers, connectors
and guardians.

their pace will carry a certain peace
back to the rest of the world."

-nicolette gowder