I Heart Packing!

I LOVE packing for trips and have been packing for Iceland for the past week.  Here are some packing tips for those who are packing challenged:

1) Pack after doing laundry.

I do laundry and then pick out my favorite things from a full wardrobe and place them directly in my suitcase.  That way, I don’t wear them before the trip and end up rushing to do laundry the night before.  This time I did the same thing with the dry cleaners, too.

2) Wear your biggest clothing on the plane.

If you’re bringing flip flops and sneakers, wear the sneakers on the plane.  Yes, that means you spend a little more time at security getting your shoes back on but it also means there is more room in the suitcase for other things.

3) Steer clear of ‘one use’ items.

You don’t need to bring everything you own.  Unless it is for a specific event on your trip you may not need to pack those heels.  Packing items you most likely won’t use takes up room for the things you will use.

4) Double check.

Double check your suitcase before you go.  I have, in fact, left on a trip to the beach without a bathing suit.

5) Don’t overpack.

This goes along with one use items and the next tip on the list.  Overpacking can cause confusion and frustration on your trip.  You end up digging through your clothing and items to see if you actually packed it rather than being able to easily see what you have.  Remember that some airlines make you pay fees if your suitcase weighs more than 50 pounds.  Overpacking could cause you to have to spend.

6) Pick the right sized suitcase.

Going on a short trip?  Probably don’t need your biggest suitcase.  I went to Paris and England for 3 weeks when I was in college and brought an average sized rolling suitcase and stuffed a small duffle inside for just in case.  I packed only enough clothing for half the trip and did laundry in my hotel sink halfway through.  I washed everything- underwear, socks, shirts, corduroy pants.  Having a small suitcase made it easier to travel from city to city and I was able to lift my suitcase on my own, which could not be said for others I was traveling with.

7) It’s all a giant puzzle.

If it doesn’t all fit the first time, take it back out and try again.  Stuff socks into shoes and try rolling shirts instead of laying them flat.

8) Leave a little extra room for vacation purchases.

I have never gone on a trip and not bought something so I always leave a little extra room for those items.  My suitcase has a zipper I can unzip to make it slightly bigger.  When packing to go on a trip I leave this zipper zipped so I know that I can fit more in it for the trip home.

9) Make a packing list.

I don’t necessarily do this for every trip but I do find it very handy.  Each trip is different and you’ll need different things for each one.  I will not be packing for Iceland the same way I packed for St. Maartin last year.  I tend to make a list of everything I need and check it off when I do my double check.  Sometimes I’ll even stick the list in the suitcase so I can use it to make sure I don’t leave anything behind before coming home.  This is especially good when going on extended trips and your items may be strewn about the hotel room.


Baby’s First Easter

This year will be my nephew Felix’s first Easter. I immediately let my sister know that his Aunt Caitlin would be sending an Easter basket, whether she liked it or not! 🙂

baby's first easter


Felix’s BIG Easter gift this year is a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins. I really tried to pick out the color on my own, but was so indecisive. I decided it would be best just to let my sister pick the color she liked the most. She chose the Prince George- Limited Edition which are a nice navy color. She really loved the Aruba color, but unfortunately, they were all sold out.

I am all about stocking my Felix’s bookshelf so I needed to find a bunny themed book. The Runaway Bunny is one of my all time favorites.

Felix is now taking big boy baths (meaning, no longer in the sink) so I thought he would enjoy some fun new bath toys.

He just started day care and they asked my sister to start bringing plastic bottles so that he could start learning how to hold his own bottle more. My sister doesn’t want to use plastic bottles because of the BPA, so she really wants to stick with the glass bottles. I did some research and found this ergonomic glass baby bottle. I am going to add one to his basket so they can try it out.

Finally, I have to add some plastic Easter Eggs! Since I can’t fill them with candy, I thought, why not fill them with little baby socks! I love these from Boden.

I haven’t decided what kind of Easter basket I am going to put everything in yet. I am looking for a more untraditional basket, so it is something my sister could use in his nursery for storage. So far I like these options:




What are you putting in Easter Baskets this year?


Five on Friday



Dana: Chive vases

I found these vases at the Philadelphia Flower Show and stopped myself from spending my life savings on them.  Each one is different and unique.  They aren’t vases you see every day.  My absolute favorite is Pooley 2.  If you look at my post from yesterday, you’ll see a few others that I plan on purchasing for the top of my card catalog turned liquor library.  I also plan on purchasing another one that will remain top secret because it’s a gift for a bridal shower.

Caitlin: Sophie’s new collar and leash


For Sophie’s upcoming 5th birthday, I decided to treat her to a fancy new leash and collar. I found Handmade Green on Etsy and fell in love with all of their products. I picked the hot pink gingham collar with the removable bow and a matching leash. I also upgraded to the silver hardware. The seller was SO accommodating to changes I asked for, which were adding a D ring to handle of the leash for our apartment keys and an extra foot because we like extra long leashes. She did both of these requests and the turn around time was so quick! I am extremely happy with how they came out. I think the Liberty of London collar would look cute on Dana’s puppy, Olive 🙂


Dana: Waterlogue app

I came across this app on a website that shares the best apps of every week.  It’s $2.99 and I haven’t bought it…yet.  I think I might have to get it to transform some of the pictures I take in Iceland.  It has such neat filters and I love watercolor.

Caitlin: Chalkboard Canvas


My sister-in-law, Tiffany, sent me this picture last week and asked if I could recreate it for my niece, Rachel. Rachel saw it and loved the saying and thought that her Aunt Caitlin could definitely make it 🙂 I have never done chalkboard on canvas, but I am so excited to try. I love trying new crafts and even more, I love making crafts for loved ones!


Dana: Hudson Valley Seed Library art packs

Do you love seeds and art?  Go guy these packs!  I saw them at the Philadelphia Flower Show and wanted them all.  I don’t have a garden area right now and I figure I shouldn’t buy seeds I don’t need but it is tempting.  I would love to frame a bunch of them and hang them on a wall.  It would bring the spring and summer inside without the heat.

Caitlin: Surprise Party


This weekend is my Dad’s 65th birthday. He won’t allow us to buy him gifts or dinner so we have to get creative. This year, my sister and nephew are coming down from Brooklyn to surprise him! He thinks that my husband and I are just cooking him dinner for his birthday, but when he arrives, my sister and I will be cooking his favorite dish and he will get to play with his grandson all evening. I think he is going to be over the moon happy!


Dana: Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company coffee

My boyfriend went on a tour of Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company and brought home some coffee.  Man is it good!  He also got a mug and I love mugs so it was just perfect all around.

Caitlin: Tulips


I have had tulips on my desk all week and I love it! I makes my workplace so cheerful 🙂 I started to notice however…that they were growing. Not blooming, but growing! I looked it up and apparently, tulips can still grow a little after they have been cut. Mine have grown two full inches since I put them in the vase. Who knew?!?


Dana: On My Bookshelf


I have added a couple things to my bookshelf in the past week about dogs (dog cookbook and dog sports) and I just started listening to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.  I have only gotten through the first disc but I was instantly into this book.  It’s the story of a 14 year old boy who lives on a reservation and wants to attend the high school in the rich town near by.  Within moments of the book starting I was happy and laughing and then sad and on the verge of tears the next.  Alexie reads the book and his lovely accent reminds me of the Northeastern New Mexico accent of my grandparents.  I can’t wait to get back in my car to keep listening.

Caitlin: Gap Gingham Dress


I am loving this dress! I am trying not to spend money on clothes but I may have to break my spending freeze for this. It is the perfect Spring dress!

Future Liquor Library

I will soon be obtaining an old beat up card catalog and have decided to turn it into liquor storage.  Caitlin gave it the name Liquor Library and I love it.  I have yet to actually see the card catalog so I’m really not sure yet if this can happen, but I’ve started planning for it already.

Here’s an example of someone else’s liquor cabinet card catalog:

I know that one of the drawer fronts is missing so I’ll be asking a friend with wood skills to help recreate it.  I’m going to refinish it and depending on the hardware may replace that as well.  I’m also going to add the following to the top for fun and looks:

First, I want to make this tray from yard sticks.  I should start hunting for some now or maybe I can beat up some new ones.

Then I want to buy the following for it:

Fun glasses, possibly these from Fishs Eddy

A couple of beer glasses.  These are for the boyfriend who is very specific about how he likes his beer glasses.

Of course a fun margarita glass for myself

And two or three of these cute little vases.  They remind me of ink wells.

Any other additions you think I should make to my liquor library?


My Little Puparoo

I had something else planned for today’s post, but changed my mind, and decided to write about my little puppy. I say puppy, but really she turning 5 years old next week. I can’t believe it. *Warning, this post is going to be picture heavy. I can’t help it.*

Sophie was a gift from my Momma for graduation. A few days after I graduated and was back home, Dana and I drove from Maryland down to Tennessee to pick her up. The breeder had warned me that she would be much smaller than she appeared in pictures, but I didn’t believe her. Oh my goodness was she tiny. 1The picture above doesn’t even show how tiny she really was. That is all just fluff. I took her to the vet when I got home for her first check-up and they had to break out the bunny scale because she wasn’t registering on the dog scale. She was 7 ounces!!!


So tiny in fact, that she fell asleep in Dana’s shirt on the car ride home.


We lived with Todd’s parents in NY for the first few months and she fell in love with their golden retriever, Charlie. To this day, he is her best friend. You say his name and she goes crazy.




When Todd and I got married, Todd’s only demand was that we pick a venue that would allow dogs so that Sophie could be in our wedding.

14 15 16

This dog is EVERYTHING to me. She has gotten me through hard times, happy times and has never left my side. They say a dog is man’s best friend but that is a understatement. I can’t imagine my life without this sassy, hilarious, determined little puppy. I’ll leave you with a few more hundred photos of this precious puppy. But really, it was so hard to narrow it down to this many. She is just so darn cute.


8 13



Favorite Bathroom Items

bathroom favorites

1. Trader Joe’s Moisturizing Cream Shave  Once I started using this I have never used any other kind of shave gel or cream.  It is amazing and it lasts forever.  I probably have to buy a new bottle every 6 months or so.  The honey mango smell is light and not overwhelming (I’m looking at you Skintimate) and my legs always feel lovely afterward.

2. Lush Buffy bar  My aunt gave this to me last November and it has lasted through the winter.  I use it all over and it buffs away dead skin while leaving my skin moisturized by the shea and cocoa butters in it.  My skin gets to dry in the winter and I hate doing that awkward hand dance to try and get lotion on my back.  This bar has let me stop doing the awkward hand dance.  I use it in the shower and my skin is soft and smooth the whole day through.

3. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser  Do you have wacky skin like me?  My face is oily through the T zone and I still struggle with some acne.  I also have rosacea on my cheeks making for some tough times when it comes to cleansers and moisturizers.  I use a prescription gel on my face for acne but it’s not the most gentle thing and can cause my cheeks to flare up.  In comes the gentle stuff.   The cleanser does a thorough job getting rid of built up oil and grime but it is nice and gentle on sensitive areas.  It goes very nicely with…

4. Arbonne Calm Gentle Daily Moisturizer  I had been using a moisturizer that I loved but was a little pricey.  It lasted forever and had my favorite thing, SPF 30.  My only problem was that it was sometimes a little heavy, especially in hot weather.  I decided to try something new and happened to be at an Arbonne party.  This moisturizer has been lovely and my skin feels very normal with it.  Not too dry or too heavy.  If only it had sun protection.

5. ACT Anti-cavity Kids in Bubblegum Blowout  Yes, I use children’s mouthwash.  And so does my boyfriend.  And it’s hot pink and bubblegum flavored.  My mouth can’t handle the burn of alcohol mouthwashes like Listerine so I opted for something else.  A few years ago I went to the dentist and they told me I had a cavity and that I have very grooved teeth and would most likely get cavities for the rest of my life.  I was not a happy camper.  The next day I bought this mouthwash and used it every night.  Ever since, there has been no mention of cavities at the dentist and they have always complemented me on my excellent teeth.  Thank you fluoride rinse!

Hello Spring!

Ahhhh Spring. One of my favorite times of the year. Although Spring is officially here, the weather apparently hasn’t gotten the memo yet. Since it is not feeling like Spring outside, I decided to make it feel like Spring inside at my work.


I realized that I probably spend the most hours of my life at this little desk, so I try to make it as pretty and joyful as possible.

I think the best way to add a little cheer to any place is flowers. I picked up three little bunches of tulips and put them into two drinking glasses that I got at Target during the Holiday season.


I also added some Easter candy to my desk for my co-workers. I used a left over apothecary jar from my wedding, added a scrap of ribbon I had, and a little cardstock note.


I added gold glitter washi tape to the cardstock to give it a little extra flair. I also used a candy dish that Dana gave me for Christmas and filled it with some leftover Hershey Kisses I had from Valentine’s Day.flower5

I find that having candy at my desk causes my co-workers to stop by my desk more often and I get to know everyone better 🙂



Do you add any seasonal decorations to your desk?

Busy, Busy, Bees!



Sorry Caitlin and I haven’t posted this week.  It’s been a crazy work week for both of us, but we promise we haven’t forgotten about the blog or you guys!


We Heart It



Have you heard of this new social networking site, We Heart It?  I just discovered it via Source Digit the other day and signed up.  It’s like Pinterest in that you are collecting images to “collections” and “canvases”, but there are no external links or bookmarking.  Just images.  I did some more research on it and found several news articles declaring We Heart It is the new cool thing for teens.  Being almost 27, this made me feel quite old.

I have been playing with it for the past few days and made a few canvases.  It is not as addicting as Pinterest and I don’t find it as productive.  Yes, I find pinning things to boards to be a good use of my time.  On Pinterest, it is not just about the image- there is a link behind the picture.  Although it’s visual, for me, it’s about collecting the links.  We Heart It is more like making a vision board.  While I enjoy looking at all the photos, drawings, and other art formats, I miss knowing where they come from.  There might be a beautiful photograph of a location but I have no idea of knowing where that place is.

we heart it

If you give We Heart It a try and would like to follow me, you’ll find me under the name danalovesolive.

Target Threshold- You’re killing it right now.

The Threshold line at Target is ON POINT. Especially right now. Target is currently having a home sale and I want everything. I am on a spending freeze currently so I thought that maybe it would help if I shared everything I am loving in order to get it out of my system 🙂


Tufted Chairs


stool2Industrial Bar Stools





Upholstered Chair (Not Threshold, but I am dying over the shape and legs on this chair!)


Lamp Shade


Lamp Base



If I was going to break my spending freeze for anything, it would definitely be for the gold lamp shade and honeycomb base. It would go perfectly with my Caitlin Wilson pillows! But I will resist!…at least for a week 🙂

Anything from Target’s Threshold line that you are coveting?