Category Archives: Style


Belt Bags – They’re Back!

March 5, 2018

Fanny Packs, Bum Bags, or Belt Bags, whatever you call them – THEY ARE BACK!

Personally I’m a fan. I almost always carry a crossbody bag because I love having my hands free. But, I have also been known to wear a belt bag. I got one about a year ago and I love it for a lot of different outings. Mostly, my dang yoga pants that I walk, run and ride my bike in have no place for keys, wallet or a phone. The one I carry is a very basic black polyester with a gold zip. But, I’ve been doing a little searching, and it might be time to take this convenient, hand’s-free purse to the next level. I’m thinking something a little less athletic looking and maybe something in leather.

My only concern is that am a very curvy girl with big hips. I don’t know if this brings more attention to my hips. But, I’m not going to worry about that right now. I’m just digging the idea of never losing my stuff, because it will be literally attached to my body.

I did a little hunting online and I think I’ve found some winners.

Belt Bags, Fanny Packs, and Bum Bags

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15

This next week I am headed to Costa Rica with Olivia. We are meeting my parents there for a mission trip. We will be spending part of our time on a building project and part of our time doing some children’s ministry in local schools. It wasn’t a great time for the rest of the family to miss school, but since Olivia is only in Kindergarten, we figured this would be a great learning opportunity for her. Olivia is one of those kids that makes friends instantly, so she will be great over there.

Anyways, I share all that, because as dorky as they might seem, a belt bag is a great travel accessory. And I will be taking mine for trips into town. Who wants to lug around a big bag or even backpack when you can fit everything you need around your waste.

I really am feeling #7, it’s my favorite color of leather and it feels sleek and minimal. I don’t think I want to add any bulk to my waste and hips. And this one feels like it would sit flat. How do you feel about the come back? Would you wear one? Is there one you like more then the others?


What I’ve Thrifted Lately

February 23, 2018

Brass Candle Sticks - thrifted for $3 each!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any of my thrifting treasures here. I recently did a big purge of a lot of props here at home and at the studio. And now I feel like I have more room for fun vintage finds.

I’ve found that my readers LOVE seeing what I find and the great deals I walk away with. So, I’m going to have a little giveaway of a few of my favorite pieces over on Instagram. Tune in Sunday evening for all the giveaway details over on instagram. I’m going to give away a few little treasures, so you’ll want to chime in and let me know what items you want for your home.

Brass Candle Sticks - thrifted for $3 each!

Whenever I visit my parent’s in Northern California, I try to hit up some of my favorite spots around there. This last trip, I found this set of 3 brass candle sticks. I’m a sucker for brass, especially old brass. You’ll probably see a lot of brass in the giveaway mix.

Midcentury magazine rack - thrifted for $2

This little midcentury beauty was unbelievably cheap. And the best part is I just saw an identical magazine rack in an antique mall this week for $55 (and that was the sale price).

Midcentury magazine rack - thrifted for $2Midcentury Wooden Bowl

Often folks tend to overlook the small items. I’m usually on the hunt for big furniture, but sometimes the real gems are the itty bitty details like this gorgeous wooden bowl.

Midcentury Wooden BowlVintage Brass Mouse

I found this adorable mouse over the Christmas break in Idaho. He was a little pricier then I wanted him to be. But, I have no regrets. I’m so glad I picked him up. I don’t know what he is real use or purpose is – maybe a ring holder, maybe a spike for receipts and bills? But, his only job in our house is to be cute.

Vintage Brass Mouse

And last, but not least, are these pretty little pink melamine plates. I love it when you can find an entire set of something and 10 is a great number. These are perfect for little desserts or appetizers. Olivia definitely loves them.

Vintage Melamine Plates - set of 10 thrifted for $10

I used them as little mini chargers for my indiviual Chocolate Raspberry Baked French Toast.

Vintage Melamine Plates - set of 10 thrifted for $10

Now this is the best part…..the numbers! I know you are dying to see how much a spent.

So here’s what I spent:

  • $9 – 3 Brass Candle Sticks
  • $2 – Midcentury Magazine Rack
  • $12 – Vintage Brass Mouse
  • $7 – Midcentury Wooden Bowl
  • $10 – Pink Melamine Plates (set of 10)

Total – $40

What have you found lately at your favorite antique malls, thrift stores or at a garage sale? And don’t forget to check back on Sunday for the giveaway on instagram.


My Valentine’s Day Look

February 14, 2018

I didn’t set any New Year’s Resolutions, but I’m trying to stretch myself and try new things as often as I can. I’m comfortable behind the camera taking the picture, being in the pictures, not so much. I’m trying to hide less behind my work. I’m a real person, with real issues and real feelings.

I never want Oleander + Palm to be a place folks visit on the internet and then leave feeling bad about their lives. I have always wanted it to be a tool for sharing and showing how to live a beautiful life without spending a tone of money. I know I crave good design and pretty spaces, it does my soul so much good. I think God has wired us this way. I am more at peace when my home is clean and clutter free. I am inspired and energized when I’m surrounded by beauty. And I feel confident when I’m wearing clothes and accessories that fit my personality and my body shape.

So, here I am, an awkward model trying not to squint, keep my hair out of my face and my shirt from blowing up because it was super windy and bright.

My sense of style is always comfort first. But, I don’t want to wear yoga pants all the time and I do love a good trend. I’m a mom and more often then not I’m standing on a chair or squatting in a corner trying to get a picture. So, my clothing needs to work for all of that.

Here’s the deets on what I’m wearing:

Anyways, that’s me. Let me know if you’d like to see more of this.


The 15 Best Neck Scarves For Any Outfit

March 9, 2017

As you are probably fully aware, I am not a style icon and fashion blogging is not my expertise. But, I do LOVE a cute outfit and feeling a somewhat on-trend and up-to-date. The neck scarf, bandanna, or neckerchief is one accessory I’ve been wearing quite consistently for over a year now. So, I’ve rounded up the 15 best neck scarves to any outfit for you today.

This trend is a throw back for me. Yes, I am that old. In the late 90’s (my college years) I could be found wearing a silk neck scarf from time to time. And last year, after some pre-cancerous sun damage treatments, I decided that wearing a scarf while hiking and enjoying the outdoors was a good idea. Tying a scarf around my neck helped protect both my neck and chest from the sun. Sometimes sunscreen just isn’t enough. And it turns out, bandannas are cute again.

So, a couple times a week I sport a little scarf around my neck. Sometimes I roll it up tight and tie the scarf off to one side and sometimes I just fold the scarf in half to make a big triangle and then tie it in the back. The pair with almost everything in my closet. Neck scarves look great with a denim shirt, a little dress and they pair well with other patterns and textures.The 15 BEST Neck Scarves for Any Outfit

  1. Army Green Bandanna
  2. Classic Red
  3. Blush and Burgundy
  4. Black Floral
  5. Peach Bandanna
  6. Colorful Floral
  7. Patchwork Bandanna
  8. Pretty Flowers
  9. Cream and Navy Bandanna
  10. Vintage Blue
  11. Peach and Ivory
  12. Tiny Dots on Black
  13. Bold Floral
  14. Pretty Peach
  15. Green Silk

If you recall, in the new year, I decided that we were going to try to go the whole year without buying any new clothes. So far, so good! I’ve taken Denali (my 15 year old) thrifting and she scored about 4 pairs of mom jeans that all her friends are jealous of. Olivia has grown a few inches since Christmas, so I ordered her 5 pairs of shorts from Thred Up.  I’m enjoying having a paired down wardrobe, but worry that it all my get kind of boring. So, a couple of new pairs of earrings have been purchased and I’m thinking a new neck scarf might also help to spice things up. This year is going to be a stretch. But, I think I’m up for the challenge.

Now, which neck scarf do I add to my collection? Do you have a favorite for these 15 I found? I probably need 1 or 15, every red head looks good in green. Number 14 seems pretty special, the colors feel super Spring-y.

DIY / Style

Gifts Wrapped in Gifts

October 4, 2016

Before we know it, the gift giving season will be here. This year I’m on the hunt for gifts and gifts that I can wrap those gifts in.  Instead of wrapping paper, this year I want to wrap gifts in something that the recipient can actually use.


Gifts Wrapped in GiftsI’ve got 3 creative gift ideas, where the wrapping is part of the gift. Be sure to head over to Ehow today to see the the full how-tos.

For the home decorator – a throw pillow, a blanket and a design book.

Gift for the home decorator.

For the cook – hot pads, utensils and dish towels.

Gift for the cook.

And for the fashionista – a purse, a scarf and and bracelet.

Gift for the fashionista.

So, have you started thinking about Christmas gifts yet? I have, these are 3 gifts ready for 3 ladies in my life.


Goodbye Summer

August 23, 2016

_janie and jack olivia 8

I’m going to warn you right away – today’s post has way too many pics of Olivia, my youngest in the most adorable clothes from Janie and Jack! I just couldn’t help myself. I use my camera everyday, but lately I feel like it’s just for food, DIY and interior photography. And while that is my job, I don’t want to miss capturing some of the milestones in my kid’s lives as well. And really, taking pictures is one of most favorite creative things to do.

I really don’t think parents ever look back and say, well darn we took way too many pictures. I know all too well that they grow up way too fast. I can’t believe Denali, my oldest, is in the 10th grade. So, I wanted to capture the end of our Summer and Olivia at the fun age. She started TK this week (it’s Transitional Kindergarten, a California thing). That means she goes to school everyday!

_janie and jack olivia 19

To celebrate the end of Summer and her new school adventure, Olivia and I got dressed up and we went downtown for a little date. We went out for her favorite treat – Macarons from De Coeur Bake Shop. Olivia asks for these special sweets many times a week. Usually it sounds something like this, “Mom, sometime we should go have Macarons.” She’s just throwing that out as an idea or a suggestion. So this week I indulged her request and surprised her with her favorite cookies. _janie and jack olivia 9

I’ve always been a fan of Olivia wearing black and white. Maybe it’s because she is such a toe head. For her first year, I took monthly pics of her in a black and white polka dot shirt. Janie and Jack sent us the most adorable mix and match black and white combinations. Janie and Jack clothes instantly turn life’s smallest moments into ones to treasure. I’m so glad I have all these fun pictures of Olivia at this stage in her life.

_janie and jack olivia 18

Olivia is a spunky, energetic, outgoing kid. She keeps us busy and bring so much joy to our family.

_janie and jack olivia 1 _janie and jack olivia 2 _janie and jack olivia 5 _janie and jack olivia 6

Here’s what Olivia is wearing:

_janie and jack olivia 12_janie and jack olivia 7 _janie and jack olivia 14 _janie and jack olivia 15

_janie and jack olivia 10 _janie and jack olivia 11

Now, I challenge you to go document your life! Take sometime today to take pictures of your kids, your pets, your friends. You’ll be glad you did.

_janie and jack olivia 3

This post is sponsored by Janie and Jack. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 


Leather Backpack Purses

June 21, 2016

I’ve always been a fan of a cross body purse. I love having my hands free, maybe it’s a mom thing. I feel like I’m always have to hold a kid hand and carry lots of things. But, recently I’ve been eyeing backpack purses for even more hands-free freedom. Here’s a few great options in a lot of price points (from $30 to $200).

leather backpack purse

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

And while I was in Canada last week, it was a birthday! My mom surprised me with a beautiful leather backpack purse from Roots (she didn’t even know I’d been looking at them). Plus, I’ve always wanted a Roots purse. I’m pretty sure every good Canadian should own something from Roots. This fun bag, can worn three ways – as a backpack, a cross body purse, or just as a regular should purse.

What do you think? Does practicality win over style for you too? Do these feel too 90s to you?  I do have to admit that I rocked a backpack purse in my youth.


My Warm Weather Uniform

May 20, 2016

timberland sandals zappos

Summer is definitely here in sunny California. I really am not very stylish, I dress for comfort, it’s #1 in my book. I’ve got three kids and just a busy life. So, shorts, comfortable sandals, and cotton tops are my uniform.

I’m not pretending to be a fashion blogger or that I know a lot about what’s in style.  This is just me, and what I would actually wear any day of the week. This is my “mom” style. Here’s the honest truth, I don’t think I look awesome in shorts, far from. I just know they are comfortable for the adventures of my everyday life. If I’m not DIYing, I’m cleaning, cooking or driving my kids all over town. Folks swear by dresses in the heat, but they just aren’t for me. Shorts are my go-to. I spend a lot of time exploring downtown Bakersfield and my neighborhood. I’m always taking walks in search of great photo-ops and locations for future shoots. I’m a mom on the move, ask any of my friends and family, I just don’t sit still for very long.

This year I’ve been trying really hard to love the body I am in. I’ve been working out at least 6 days a week. And while I don’t have the slim, toned body I’d like to have, I do feel strong and healthy. I’m grateful for that. And maybe I should be wearing long knee-length “mom” shorts (or even worse, capris), but I don’t want to. I’m feeling more and more comfortable in my skin these days. Maybe it’s my age, I am a lot closer to 40 then 30. I kind of wish I have this confidence in my 20s, because back then I looked a lot better in short shorts.

timberland sandals zappos timberland sandals zappos

I usually slip on a pair of flip flops and go, but these grey Timberland sandals from Zappos look way more put together, and are every bit, if not more comfortable. And because I’m busy, I don’t have time to hit our sad little mall, so Zappos is my favorite online shoe store. I stress out about trying on and having to return online purchases, but with Zappos it’s so easy. Free shipping and returns friends, yep you heard that right. Zappos carries a the whole Timberland line of shoes. From stylish flats to fashion-forward oxfords and chunky heels, Timberland’s styles for women are beautiful, comfortable and perfectly versatile to transition your daytime outfit for a night out. These Timberland Caswell Closed Back Sandal in Dark Grey, are flexible and have a super comfy Ortholite footbed, for all day comfort.  I love that these aren’t black or brown. The grey felt sophisticated and different.

_timberland sandals zappos 1 _timberland sandals zappos 3 _timberland sandals zappos 4

Top // Shorts // Bracelet (similar) // Clutch // Sandals

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My friend, Ally Swen Photography took all these images.  If you are in Bakersfield California, she knows her stuff!

This post is sponsored by Zappos and Timberland, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 


Poolside Essentials

April 11, 2016

Before the week gets away from us, I wanted to remind you to sign up for my new newsletter. I’m excited to launch a newsletter for the very first time.  I don’t want this to just be a recap of the blog, so I’m working on some exclusive content and fun freebies just for my newsletter folks. So, if you haven’t already, fill out the Join the Mailing List form on the righthand side of the blog

Now on to today’s post, I think I’m posting this round up because really I just want to be sitting poolside this Monday morning. Last week, I was lucky enough to get a few hours by the pool in Palm Springs. I’m a water lover. Give me a pool or a beach and I’ll be wet.  I’m not afraid to get in and get my hair wet. But, I am a redhead, so I have to be smart about all that time in the sun. So, I’m always lathering on sunscreen and my big straw hat is perfect for shading not only my face, but also my shoulders.

This week I bought a high waisted bikini at Target!!! EEEK, you guys, I haven’t worn a 2 piece since pre-babies (that’s like 15 years ago). All the stretch marks have kept me in tankinis and one pieces. But, this last week I decided to try out the high waisted look, and I love it! My body is far from perfect, but the older I get, the more comfortable I get in my skin. Often I think, “Well, those would be cute on a skinny person, they aren’t made for curvy girls like me.”  And then I decided, what the heck, all the cute styles can’t just be for the skinny folk.  So, now I’ve worn a bikini in public and high waisted cropped flare jeans as well. Things are getting crazy friends.

poolside essentials

  1. Round Towel
  2. Round Sunglasses
  3. Straw Hat
  4. Rose Facial Spray
  5. Sun Lotion
  6. Water Bottle
  7. Black Bikini Top
  8. Striped High Waisted Bottoms
  9. White Plastic Birks

That stretch between Spring Break and Summer can feel like forever. So, let’s just dream about a lazy day poolside. Maybe a fancy drink in hand and a good book or magazine to flip through.

The round towel is pretty amazing.  Not only will it make a great picnic blanket for the beach, it’s big enough to wrap your whole body in.  And I can’t get enough of the Rose Facial Spray. Midday, when I’m feeling tired and need a perk up, a couple sprays on my face and neck totally do the trick.

Beach, pool, lake, river, what’s your first choice for a swim?


Comfortable Ankle Boots You Can Wear All Day

March 2, 2016

This Fall, Winter and now Spring, ankle boots have been my go-to foot wear.  I love them with jeans and leggings and also with skirts and dresses. I own numbers 4. and 7. below, these are both boots that you really can walk in all day long and your feet still feel good. 
When it comes to investing in shoes these days, I no longer feel like a can wear shoes from Target or other discount stores. My feet and back just can’t take it. Now I’m just sounding like an old lady, but that’s kind of what I am. So, when it comes to shoes, I like to buy a brand that is known for some comfort and support.
One of my favorite online sources for good quality shoes, at great prices, is You’ll want to visit their site often because each day they offer a new sale and a daily deal. They carry all the brands I love, like Lucky, Clarks and Born. I’ve shopped around and found 7 great ankle boot options for you.
1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7.

Are you more of a brown leather or black leather person? I thought I was all about brown, but I find myself wearing my black boots quite often.

(Gold Foil Kindness is the New Black shirt available HERE!)

This post is sponsored by Groupon.  Thank you for supporting the brands that help make this blog possible.