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Latest Fashion Collab.

Introducing our latest fashion collaboration: A Little Dash of Darling for Olive Lane.  I’ve loved Caitlin’s work for so long.  She has a great eye & always presents a visual masterpiece.  Coming from a graphic design background, you’d be surprised how often I’d look to fashion for inspiration.  Caitlin has always provided a beautiful palette to pull from & I’m so excited to have her on board with Olive Lane.

sunnies {the Loft, similar}, shirt {Olive Lane}, skirt {old}, booties {Nordstrom}, bracelet, {Olive Lane } necklace, {gLockets & Olive Lane}

We had so much fun working together to create your favorite go-to tee this fall.  It will be your favorite layering piece & will dress up & dress down.

Sunnies {the Loft, similar}, shirt {Olive Lane}, Jacket {H&M}, Jeans {Old Navy}, Shoes…Steve Madden, mine are the kid version {no joke}

Sunnies {Kate Spade, similar}, shirt {Olive Lane}, Chambray Shirt {Old Navy}, Leather Leggins {Nordstrom Rack}, Shoes {Toms}

It can handle a night on the town & a day of Saturday errands.

Confession: When I first got my hands on this shirt I wore it for an entire week straight.  It’s that good.

Even better?  We have it available in tween sizes too!

Another confession:  I am wearing the girls size XL in the above photos, I also wear the adult XS.  The tees run a little big, so size down if you are on the fence! You can snag yours on pre-order over at Olive Lane & run don’t walk over to A Little Dash of Darling to see Caitlin’s take on style.

Stormy Days

Rainy Days

When you live in a desert, there is nothing you love quite like a good rain storm.  While it is sunny about 365 days a year, I’m convinced we get some of the very very best rain storms.  I said, it is sunny 365 days of the year, because it either starts or ends with brilliant sun.  I woke up Saturday morning to the sun glaring in my window & I’m not going to lie, I was slightly offended.  After missing the ‘wettest day in history’ a couple weeks back {we were traveling} I was stoked to see my weather app forecasting 80% showers all day on Saturday.  So excited I might have stocked up at Costco on Friday…just in case, you know?  And then, literally the sun was glaring in my window Saturday morning.  Scot laughed as I kept going outside to check the status of the ‘storm.’  It didn’t look like there was to be any storm of any sorts until about 2:30 in the afternoon.  Then these clouds showed up.  I was giddy.

Naturally, we spent some time wrestling shirtless.

RAiny Days

If these two are ever missing around the house, they are most surely shirtless & wrestling somewhere.  I can’t count the times Zack has turned to Max & tugged on his shirt to say, ‘Let’s go wrestle.’  It might be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  I love little boys…and the gang signs Max is working on throwing to the camera. :)

Rainy Days

Sometimes Liv just has to jump in soon, which also usually brings tears to the occasion…

Rainy Days

But it also brings hugs. 

Rainy Days

He’s just thrilled to be a part of it finally.  He’s a tough little cookie & since these shenanigans have started I’ve noticed a few extra bruises on him, but never any extra tears.  

Rainy Days

Zack is learning how to be the leader & how to ‘fight fair.’  As in, realize you are the oldest & strongest & it’s not fun if anyone gets hurt.  I remember so many days spent wrestling with my siblings, my sister delivers the best dead leg to this day, I can’t help but love to see these three throw down.

The Best Decision I Ever Made.

Making Good Decisions

About 2 weeks ago, I slyly slipped into a post that I was closing the books on my custom graphic design work.  I didn’t go into much detail, but it’s probably time I did.  I started Ink’d Design about 7 years ago, after having a baby & finding myself with time on my hands.   Then, about 18 months ago, I started Olive Lane, my online storefront where I design & produce mostly graphic tees.  At that point I was 3 kids deep & without time on my hands but the idea would not leave my head.  So I took the leap. Interestingly enough, I had shirt designs on my old computers from 7 years ago…that I never got around to doing anything with.  I was in my early 20′s and talked for weeks about producing kids graphic tees…but I lacked either the confidence or the know-how & so I put it aside.

My graphic design work, however, took off on its own.  My sister, a talented photographer, and I found ourselves sharing a lot of clients & tips & tricks.  It worked & it was comfortable for me.

Until it didn’t work anymore.

Last holiday season I spent the entire season debating with myself over the time, effort & headache I was spending on work projects.  While I loved each client & each new order, there were too many things I didn’t love.  Too many late nights.  Too many frozen dinners.  Too many mistakes made in a rush to beat the clock, to pick up kids, to get to bed, to coach soccer.  Too many deadlines to meet that I ended up not meeting any of them…or at least in the fashion I wanted.  And they were the very most important ones.  I found myself too often sacrificing the things I loved the most, for things I really didn’t care all that much about long term.

I often think about that.  Scot & I spent lots of date nights & late evenings discussing where I was spending my time.  And while I’ve never questioned whether or not I was a ‘good’ mom or not & neither did he, I knew I could do better in some areas.  And in order to do better I needed to re-arrange my time, focus & direction.  But dang, it was hard to let it go.

But last January, I promised myself I would not do another holiday season.  I promised myself I would not let my design calendar eat me alive.  I learned to say no to some projects.

And it felt so so so good.

Like beyond good.

And then Olive Lane started filling in those gaps & bits of ‘extra’ time I had, but without any deadlines.  No wedding dates to hit, or holidays to not be missed.  It could ebb & flow in the same fashion as my life.  After taking a summer ‘off’ with the exception of 3 weddings, if you can call that taking a summer off, I was ready to hang up my shoes.  Ready to close that book on that chapter.

As for this chapter with Olive Lane, I’m not sure where it will take me.  I have a few ideas, but they may happen & they may not.  What I do know for sure will happen?  Family dinner, afternoons on the lawn & early bed times, for me & my kids.  These are my favorite days & I refuse to work them away.  This has been the best decision I ever made.  Thank you so much for all of your kind words, or sad faces that we won’t get to work on your cards this season.  I know I will love opening my mailbox full of actual surprises.  You’ve each enriched my lives in so many ways & I hope you know how grateful I am.

September 30, 2014 - 2:42 pm

Tahnie - Excited to see where your talent takes you next! :)

The Art of the Ollie

If there is anything Zack has always been, it is coordinated & driven.  I remember him doing the most funny & incredible things when he was so so little.  We all always looked at each other in confused amazement, like, did he just do that?  It started with riding a Razor scooter at 18 months.  Then he started riding it while balancing on the concrete curbing in my mom’s backyard, it was so bizarre.  It went from there to hitting pitched baseballs & dribbling basketballs at 2, to front flips on the trampoline & riding a 2-wheeler by 3.  We stopped trying to come up with things for him to do, because he always came up with better things on his own.  Instead we endlessly debated where his mad skillz come from, I mean, obviously me.:)

Skateboarding has always been right up his ally.  I remember him riding on his knees at 18 mos until they were black from all the dirt & bloody from the grip tape on the board.  He wasn’t fazed one bit.  Just happy to be on the board.  And, not much has changed.  He’s leveled out more with his peers in a lot of things, but if there is something he wants to learn, by gosh, he’s going to figure it out & then practice it like a mad man.  And such it is with the Ollie.

I admit, I knew the term Ollie, but I couldn’t tell you what it was supposed to look like.  Luckily, Scot…he had that covered.  For those of you uneducated skateboarding folks, this is an ollie:

It’s basically when you get your whole board up off the ground, but there is some fancy footwork involved.  See how Scot’s foot is turned sideways on the board?  That’s important.  Also important?  Wearing a helmet.  Scot’s such a good sport & Zack is such a stubborn little turkey, but that is another story for another day.   A couple weeks ago Scot gave Zack the run down on an ollie…

and a kick flip.  And they decided Zack should start with the ollie. Here’s his first tries…

Meanwhile we learned that Max is almost as tall as the long board…my board of choice.

Since then, day after day, Zack gets home from school & one of the first things he does after chores & homework is grab that skateboard.  Each morning when he’s waiting for his ride?  He’s on his skate board.  And its stinkin’ hot.  But most days, he’s out there & he’s practicing this trick.

And this week, before school he was out there & now his ollie, well it looks like this…

I’m not sure if he ever got that back tail up off the ground, I can’t imagine that he didn’t, but I have yet to have photographic proof. But man, he’s thisclose!  These are some of my favorite ‘mom moments’ when you see them come up with their own idea, their own plan & then work to get it done.  We’ve signed him up for skateboarding & while it feels like I’m paying my right arm for that class, man alive, I love seeing him walk off that ramp, unbuckle his helmet to reveal a head drenched in sweat & a sweet, satisfied smile.  The joys of working hard on something you love, one of the very best things life has to offer.

September 26, 2014 - 8:09 am

Kristy - This post makes me happy. Sam and Ethan have done the same thing. I’m seriously impressed Scot can still ollie and kick flip and Zack looks like he’s got it! I love watching my two boys follow in these same skater footsteps. Seriously so fun.