Clemson By the Numbers | By Drew Carlisle

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With just under seventy-two hours until the Clemson Tigers face the Alabama Crimson Tide with hopes of winning just their second national championship in the program’s history, we give you some interesting and significant numbers to digest as we reflect on how Clemson has arrived in this position and what can be accomplished if they should emerge the victors in the desert on Monday evening.

40

The Clemson team is one of the youngest of the college football landscape this season, with a total of forty freshmen and redshirt freshmen on their roster entering the 2015 season. These newcomers have collectively made innumerable contributions to Clemson’s undefeated run: Mitch Hyatt, who seamlessly assumed a starting role on the offensive line after Isaiah Battle was dismissed from the team; wide receivers Ray Ray McCloud, Deon Cain, Trevion Thompson, and Hunter Renfrow – a walk-on who earned a starting position amid one of the deepest and most talented position groups in the country; Greg Huegel, who took over the starting position at kicker when projected starter Ammon Lakip was suspended for drug charges before the season. Even as recently as the semi-final against Oklahoma, national pundits were enamored by defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who has created havoc for opposing offenses all season and caught a pass from punter Andy Teasdall on a fake punt, as well as defensive end Austin Bryant, who embraced the “next man up” mentality when All-American Shaq Lawson was sidelined with a knee injury during the first series of the Orange Bowl.

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{Photo: Getty Images}

9

One of the major concerns for Clemson entering this season was the experience it was returning. While fans and coaches alike were confident that the talent was there, the lack of experience was glaring. Clemson only returned nine starters from the 2014 team, and had lost an astonishing nine starters from its defensive unit. Clemson featured just ONE returning starter collectively on its offensive and defensive lines entering the season.

301

With 301 passing yards in Monday’s game, Deshaun Watson can become the first FBS player in college football history to record 4,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a single season. Watson is only the third player in FBS history to accomplish 3,500 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a single season.

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17

Deshaun Watson is 17-0 as a starter in games he has finished. His only loss as a starter came against Georgia Tech in 2014, when he suffered a knee injury in the first quarter and would not return.

7

Dabo Swinney has victories over seven coaches that claim a national title during their careers and has claimed a defeat over a new champion head coach each of the past four seasons. He has yet to add a new pelt to his trophies this season, with one more opportunity against the most decorated active head coach in college football.

13

Should Clemson emerge victorious on Monday, they will bring home their second national title in program history. They would be one of only 13 programs to win two national championships in the last fifty years and one of only 28 teams with two national championships in college football history.

1

Clemson is the first team in the history of the College Football Playoff rankings to maintain the number one ranking from beginning to end. They also currently hold the most #1 rankings in the College Football Playoff Rankings.

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7th

Clemson boasts the 7th best total defense in the country entering this game. Among Alabama’s opponents this season, only Wisconsin (3rd) and Georgia (6th) rank higher. Neither of those programs countered with an explosive offense, finishing at 80th and 77th in total offense, respectively.

11th

Clemson also holds the 11th best total offense ranking in the country entering this game. Only Ole Miss (10th) holds a higher ranking among Alabama’s opponents this season – the only team to defeat the Crimson Tide in 2015. Ole Miss ranked 54th in total defense. Without a doubt, Clemson presents the most complete team that Alabama has faced this season – no other team they have faced has been ranked inside of the top 35 in both total offense and total defense.

305

The listed weight of Christian Wilkins, Clemson’s freshman defensive tackle. In the semi-final game against Oklahoma, Wilkins caught a 31-yard pass from punter Andy Teasdall on a dually route – err, wheel route – on a fake punt in the second quarter.

USP NCAA FOOTBALL: ORANGE BOWL-OKLAHOMA VS CLEMSON S FBC USA FL

200-200

In six of its last seven games, the Clemson offense has posted 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing. In the history of the football program, Clemson has never lost a game when accomplishing that feat, holding a record of 75-0-1 when surpassing 200 yards on the ground and in the air.

500

The Tigers have also amassed at least 500 yards of total offense in ten consecutive games, a school record. The program is again undefeated when accomplishing that statistic, holding an impressive 95-0-1 record when eclipsing 500 yards gained.

18

Clemson is seeking its 18th consecutive victory, the longest standing winning streak in the FBS subdivision. Clemson took over this active streak when Ohio State lost to Michigan State in November of this year. The Tigers program still has quite a bit of work to do to set the all-time record – in fact, they would need to not only win Monday, but complete a three-peat of undefeated seasons (and by default, national championships) through the 2017 season to surpass Oklahoma’s record of 47 consecutive wins from 1953-1957.

5

A victory over Alabama would give the Tigers five victories over teams ranked in the top 10 of the final College Football Playoff Rankings, having already toppled #4 Oklahoma, #8 Notre Dame, #9 Florida State, and #10 North Carolina. No other team can, or has, accomplished more than two.

4

Winning Monday would give the Clemson Tigers victories over four of the six teams with the best all-time records in college football history in the last four years (Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame) and ten of the top 19 programs. They have not had the opportunity to play the other nine programs during that span.

15

With a victory versus Alabama, Clemson can become the first major college football program to accomplish 15 wins in a single season in the modern era. Florida State was the closest to accomplishing this task in 2014, but fell short in a loss to Oregon in the College Football Playoff semi-final last season.

Without question, the 2015 season will be one of the most memorable for the orange-clad faithful and will cherished and retold for years to come. However, around midnight on January 11th, the Tigers have the rare opportunity to push through the threshold of being arguably the greatest team in 2015 and cement their case as one of the greatest teams in college football history, immortalizing their program and adding to a list of unprecedented accomplishments that can never be taken away.

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Drew Carlisle is the  Mid-Atlantic Regional Field Manager of GradImages, Clemson Alumni (’07) and fan, creative writer and father to two adorable girls. He is husband to Lauren Cop, featured writer, and brother to Lauren James.

Previously written by Drew Carlisle:

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon! Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

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Baby Tailgates | Tips for Bringing Children to Sporting Events | By Lauren Cop

Fall is a wonderful time for changing leaves, everything pumpkin and football – lots and lots of football. You may feel like you can’t bring your kids (especially toddlers and babies) to these events or won’t have fun. But in fact, both you and your children can go to these events and have a wonderful time. As a former high school volleyball and track coach, Clemson fanatic, and general sports enthusiast – my children have been to countless sporting events starting as early as three months old. As with most things with children, some events have gone better than others. However, most of these events have gone smoothly. Here are some of my helpful tips and tricks that have allowed us to be sports fans and make great memories.

Carlisles_at_Football_2014{Picture taken by my MIL Lesa Carlisle}

Pre-Match – As with any athlete the pre-match warm-up is extremely important for having a successful event with young kids. They need to have had several days of a regular schedule and good sleep. What regular schedule right?! Honestly this is mostly about the sleep and nutrition!! If you are traveling – the sleep is the most important. Good nutrition before the match is important too because there is a chance that your children will be too distracted to eat during the event. I can not stress enough… Look up your surroundings!! Where is the best place to park? How far will you have to walk? Are there hills? Is it safe to park here? Will you have able to leave early if necessary? There is nothing worse than going to a sporting even with kids and not being able to leave, commute to the event, or feel safe. Make sure you also include a strategy on when it’s time to call it quits, where to feed the kids, bathrooms, break areas, who can you count on for help etc… Although as in the game it may not come across as at first projected – it is always good to have a game plan! The better you plan your event the better your end result will be.

Equipment – There are definitely must-haves and non-essentials when discussing athletic equipment! For me the MUST haves for my young ones are listed as follows:

  • Sound-negating head phones — Especially for those under one it really helps with a sensory overload not to mention protecting their hearing. Over-stimulation is by far the one factor that will really effect those really little ones!! So make sure they feel comfortable by helping with the sound. Here is my favorite!
  • Wagon/stroller/carrier – This not only keeps them contained but can also be a perfect sleeping location when the kids get overwhelmed. I have found a carrier is best for kids under the age of 1 ! The younger ones tend to need a place for comfort, protection, and sleep – and therefore are best suited with a carrier. A stroller is best for ages  1-3ish. The toddler ones tend to need a place to sit and watch from a distance or take a rest which makes the strollers best for them. If your kids are older than 3-6ish and can walk longer distances go for the wagon. This way they can hop in and out of the wagon as needed. It is also great for towing other items to the event.
  • Diaper bag – packed with diapers, wipes, changing pad, extra clothes for baby, extra shirt for parents, snacks, and drinks. Try not to fill it with too much stuff because you don’t want to over pack and carry extra weight. If you are going to a tailgate keep the snacks at a minimum because surely there will be things there that they like.
  • Lovey – Bring your child’s lovey or some favorite toy for comfort and distraction. I would not bring something that is expensive or not replaceable – but it also needs to be important enough to comfort your child in case they are feeling overwhelmed. Also if you are tailgating or at an outdoor even bubbles is a wonderful distraction and gives everyone a case of the smiles!

The less you have to carry and be responsible for, the better. There will be tons of distractions and others who want to help entertain your baby so please take advantage!

L_D_V_2013{Drew, Viv and Me enjoying Clemson Football, 2013}

Fuel – Hydration is most important – period. Whether it is an outdoor football game in the South or an indoor basketball game in the North it gets very hot during sporting events. There are lots of people close together so temperatures rise quickly. Babies and young children don’t sweat much if at all so it is even more important for them to stay hydrated. Also try to bring foods that will help with hydration. Don’t be surprised if your child doesn’t eat much – there is lots of excitement and distractions going on – so it can be hard for them to want to spend their time eating. Just make sure you have plenty of snacks that you can keep on hand. Children tend to just want to munch when distracted, anyway. Don’t stress too much on the nutrition today – that was what the pregame was for – just make sure they get some fuel to stay happy.

Play Calls – Athletes continuously practice every possible game scenario so they are prepared. It is important to have a game plan before the big event. Also children thrive on predictability – therefore it is important for you to try to keep their normal schedule. Although this may not be practical, try to keep feeding and sleeping as close to on schedule as possible. Keep an eye on when you need to make time outs or even if this means you have to arrive at the event early and/or late this can make the difference between a total meltdown or a win!

{Photo Credit: Mikethetruth.com, Click for Source}

Time-Outs – It is important to find a quiet, safe location for rest and regrouping. Some of our favorite locations are the car, family restroom, the woods or an out of the way hallway. Your child will probably need to have at least one if not more than one break from the excitement – at the very least for a diaper change. Also for older kids you may need a location for a legitimate timeout for poor behavior. If you child is feeling overwhelmed these time outs can make the difference between going home or staying for a successful game. Sometimes kids just need that special one on one time to feel comfortable again in a stressful situation.

Team Mates – Man to man coverage is best. When you are outnumbered by child people you could be fighting a losing battle. Not that you couldn’t be successful because you can, but according to my husband (NOTE: This is a picture of my husband with my girls in the background during one of my games) it is “extremely challenging”. One adult per child really makes things much easier – and the more teammates you have the better! This way you can go to the restroom by yourself, have adult conversation, and even watch some of the game! Don’t forget to communicate and work together with your teammates. Games are rarely won alone!

Fans – They can be your allies or enemies and the tide can turn in a skinny minute. It is important to keep them on your side. Allow them to help in small doses with distractions, communication, or even watching your area while you change a diaper. At the same time, they can change the tide of your game – there can be predators, germs dispensers, or people who are not sensitive to parents’ needs/desires. Keep a watchful eye, encourage those who need it, and run from those who mean you harm! However don’t be afraid to use them as extra team mates. There is a reason why event environment – particularly fans – can really affect the difference between an easily won or lost game.

Game Over – It is important to know when it is time to call it quits. Know your children’s cues of when they have had enough or are about to have a total meltdown. Try to get in some time outs to determine if this is really the end or if you can regroup. Please don’t force your child to stay just for your enjoyment. You all will be much happier if you just quit while you’re ahead and end the game. No matter what, this will not be giving up the game – instead you have lost to a better opponent – your child’s happiness.

The more games you go to – the more chances of success and the easier it will get on your children. Don’t sacrifice your happiness and entertainment for fear of your child’s behavior. If this is something you want as part of your family dynamic, then it is important to participate in those things earlier to acclimate your child to these types of environments. You can be successful – it may be stressful and may take several attempts – but it can be done with minimal obstacles and melt downs!! Enjoy your fall events and of course GO TIGERS!!

© 2015 Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the ciao_laurencop_sig-01Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Why are all the photos of the kiddos watermarked? Why should you think about watermarking pictures you take of your children before you post them on your own blog?

Once in a Generation | Clemson vs. Notre Dame | by Drew Carlisle

Hill_run_ND_CU{Photo Credit: Lauren Cop}

In the week leading up to Saturday’s titanic clash between Notre Dame and Clemson, there was a sense that the magnitude and atmosphere were too great for any of us to understand. Several variables were converging perfectly to make this an unprecedented event: the return of one of college football’s most storied and celebrated programs for the first time in nearly four decades; the skepticism from national pundits and fans across the country of Clemson’s legitimacy as one of college football’s elite; the swirling excitement generated through the selection from ESPN’s College GameDay and SportsCenter On the Road; the sixteen days of dormancy for Clemson’s squad with a bye-week that followed a Thursday night road trip to Louisville; and of course, the inexplicable, apocalyptic weather conditions that would ultimately reach their precipice during the course of the competition. The anticipation of this game was a once-a-generation type of scenario for the orange-clad faithful.

Drew_Jeff_Back{Photo Credit: Lauren Cop}

The excitement of this matchup was evident throughout the offseason – ticket prices ballooned from the onset, reaching their height at an average prices northward of $300 before a recession shortly before the game when it became apparent that the abysmal weather was inevitable. When Notre Dame and Clemson had last faced off, the two programs were both vying for national attention. Notre Dame was seeking to add to their illustrious hardware collection, having won the national title less than two years prior following the 1977 season – which also hosted the first-ever matchup between these two squads. Clemson was a program aspiring to rise to the top under the guidance of a young new coach named Danny Ford. Many parallels can be made to the present-day matchup – a youthful coach, Dabo Swinney, trying to elevate Clemson’s national perception and legitimize Clemson as one of the nation’s elite; a Notre Dame squad who’d competed in the Championship, albeit unsuccessfully, just three years prior; and a general sense that this presented one of the most exciting and implicating matchups of the young season.

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{ Photo Credit: Tyler Smith | Getty Images}

While there were prognostications from both perspectives throughout the country, the general consensus seemed to slightly favor the Fighting Irish. Those who expected Clemson to win undermined that prediction by citing all of the injuries that Notre Dame had suffered this season, seemingly disregarding the rash of attrition Clemson had also suffered simply because it wasn’t at the “sexier” positions. Nevertheless, Clemson had arguably suffered equitable losses at key positions, most notably the offensive line, linebacker and defensive end. Predictions of a Notre Dame victory declared Clemson as over-matched pretenders that would be posterized by Notre Dame’s superiority in the trenches. With a few exceptions, most didn’t seem to give Clemson a chance, and those who did provided preconceived excuses for Notre Dame’s underperformance.

This would only be the fourth time that Clemson had played host to the College GameDay crew in the history of the show, so that in and of itself had elevated the excitement and anticipation beyond the notoriety of the opponent. Through two occasions in 2013, Clemson had proven to be an exceptional and memorable host, and they would once again exceed expectations. Despite treacherous weather and nearly twelve hours between the start of GameDay and the primetime kickoff, fans provided an excellent showing, prompting the admiration and commendation from ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit on air:

“Can I just turn around and mention these guys for being out here? I don’t know how many inches of rain we’ve had here… I thought we might have five people out here, but we’ve got thousands and it just speaks volumes about this fan base and how great they are.”

ESPN’s Samantha Ponder was also highly complimentary of the Clemson hospitality as she reflected on her visit on Twitter:

“Most fun I’ve had at (College GameDay) in 4 years despite the terrible weather! This place should be on every (college football) fan’s #bucketlist.”

The impressive turnout would set the tone for the course of the day.

Tiger_Onesie{Photo Credit: Lauren Cop}

Truth be told, this team, the fanbase, and everyone surrounding this program feels slighted about the perception of this program outside of the Upstate. Despite impressive consistency against inferior opponents in recent years, the “Clemsoning” moniker has continued to taint the program’s reputation and color the program as an under-performer. A sober review of the program disproves that misnomer: 30 straight wins over unranked opponents; multiple consecutive seasons accomplishing a higher final ranking than their preseason assessment; recent victories over national powerhouses like Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, and Oklahoma; and four straight years tallying double-digit win totals. Nevertheless, Clemson continued to be labeled a paper champion, unworthy of being considered among the premier programs in the country – a misconception that creates great unrest and frustration within the passionate and devoted fanbase, who are beyond ready to retire the term – and the belief – alike.

Hazard

{Photo Credit: Lauren James}

So with all the hoopla, with all the excitement and anticipation and pageantry and national discussion, with the national doubt and skepticism and with the nation’s attention honed in on the Upstate of South Carolina, Clemson Nation seized its opportunity. No amount of weather – even a once-a-millennium storm that incessantly pounded the entire state with unimaginable quantities of precipitation – would dissuade the fanbase from showing out for their team. They congregated for GameDay, romping through the mud and braving the weather; they tailgated through the wind and rain, despite ruthless gusts that repeatedly sent tents toppling through parking lots; they endured and persevered, and when game time arrived, they filled the stadium despite the driving, unforgiving downpour. Following the example of their coach and team, they refused to validate the outside expectations. They demonstrated mental toughness, determination and teamwork and contributed in whatever way possible to fulfill their duty. They filled the stadium. They cheered. They disrupted. They celebrated. They showed out.

CUvND1{Photo taken through the safety of a ziploc bag – pardon the slight blur | Lauren James}

And they were rewarded with a gutsy, resolute performance from their Tigers. Although Clemson’s grip slipped in the final quarter and the game became much closer than the orange-clad audience would have liked, the team did not give in. A decade before, when Clemsoning was a reality, this team would have likely fallen victim of their previous reputation. But those days are gone, and a new mentality – a new expectation – has been instilled. This team has vanquished the skeletons of its predecessors. And through all of the adversity they faced on this apocalyptic Saturday, the entire Clemson populous willed the obliteration of the aforementioned reputation. In a seemingly endless sequence of opportunities for Clemsoning to materialize, this Clemson team consistently – inexplicably – quashed each instance. For every “Clemsoning” in their history, they seemingly offset them by overcoming adversities amid the deluge against the Golden Domers under the lights in Death Valley.

The truth is, what unfolded on Saturday will be immortalized in Clemson lore regardless of how this season unfolds. If luck falls Clemson’s way and some fortune continues to land in Clemson’s favor, this could prove to be a magical season and this may be viewed, in retrospect, as the catalyst that inspired the team to greater heights. Only time will tell if that’s the case, and Clemson certainly still has much improvement to be done before they are ready to reach the precipice of the College Football world. Nevertheless, expectations as of now are pretty high in Tiger Town, and justifiably so. No matter how this season transpires, those that were in attendance this weekend will tell the story for decades about the driving wind, the relentless rain, a rabid, rowdy fanbase, and a team of young men who would not be refused.

This was a once-in-a-generation game. If you were there, soak up the memory, because you’ll be telling your grandchildren about it decades from now.

Drew_Lauren

{Photo Credit: Lauren Cop}

Drew Carlisle is the  Mid-Atlantic Regional Field Manager of GradImages, Clemson Alumni (’07) and fan, creative writer and father to two adorable girls. He is husband to Lauren Cop, featured writer, and brother to Lauren James.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon! Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Drew_Wins

{Photo Credit: Lauren Cop}

Just Shoe Me | Orange Rain Boots and Weekend Link List for 10/2

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Get ready tiger fans! It’s going to be a soggy day in Death Valley! As such, I thought it only appropriate for my Just Shoe Me post to feature rain boots so you can be prepared for the next rainy day… I know I wish I had an orange pair today – I will for the next rainy game though!!

Here are some that I found – click the links for where to buy:

{ Orange Polka Dot Rubber Knee High Rain Boots | $22.99 }

Dirty_Laundry_Womens_Raindrop_Big_Croco_Boot

{ Dirty Laundry Big Croco Rain Boot | $22.85 }Chooka_Rainboot

{ Chooka Women’s Top Solid Rain Boot | $69.95 }

  M-and-B_Womens_Rubber_Orange_Welly

{ Moneysworth & Best Women’s Orange Welly Boot | $82.95 }

…and some good reading this weekend while you enjoy your coffee (thankful for a gameday without a super early start!!!):

9 Resources for Freelance Babes

10 Things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Camera Could Do

Fall Style Inspiration from The Small Things Blog

And for motivation to keep hustling your dream and working your boohiny off… The Rags-to-Riches story of Ralph Lauren

Happy Weekend and Go Tigers!!!

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Go Tigers | Beat Louisville | Free Printable Tailgate Checklist

Happy Game Day Tiger Fans!

Short post today – but I created this fun little graphic to help generate some spirit and wanted to share…feel free to post on your social media!

2015_ClemsonvsLouisville-01

I stumbled onto this site yesterday, too…click here to listen to this Louisville Preview published on Shakin the Southland.

I’ve also included a free tailgate checklist that I created, which was originally published this post (which also has my Bloody Mary Mix recipe and Cocktail Shrimp recipe as well!)

Safe travels to everyone heading to the game! Let’s go TIGERS! Beat those Cardinals!!

ABientotJespere_LAC_Sig-01

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Monday Musings | Orange Rainboots | Pumpkin Spice Puppy Treats | New Friends | Creative Inspiration

Happy Monday!

WHEW!! Where is September going?!?!…I’ve missed not one but TWO Just Shoe Me Saturdays, and TWO opportunities to e-window shop ORANGE shoes for y’all! POO! It really has been crazy around these parts. I honestly can’t believe we are halfway through the month already!!

Speaking of shoes though…I did just run across these GORGEOUS rain boots:

TheOutnet_MM6_Maison_Margiela

{MM6 Maison Margiela}

We are two home games down, and it was cool enough this weekend to get up in the attic and get down some fall clothes and décor!! This morning I even considered the need to possibly grabbing a jacket to go with my outfit! I’d say summer has officially made an exit and we are in one of the South’s short seasons (because y’all know spring and fall are not exactly full timers). They pop in for a visit and then say ta-ta pretty quickly. It’s so true what they say – whoever “they” is – about time going faster the older you get. Obviously time doesn’t ACTUALLY speed up, but boy it sure feels like it does!

Football_Full_Swing{Football Season in Full Swing – This really never gets old, Photo by ME}

My last two weeks have been CRAZY. Van and/or I have had something going on every night of the week after our day jobs, plus I’ve been doing lots of Olive Shoe/Art by LAC freelance stuff…and that said, a HUGE thanks to everyone who is ordering invitations, art prints, business branding and other goodies! I may be crazy busy, but I’m having a blast and designing my heart out!

These_Hands_Though{These Hands Though #artistproblems}

{A Li’l Olive Shoe Work}

Last week on Thursday when I went to get a hair refresh, I took a load of Olive Shoe goodies to Backstreet Beauty Salon, including a look book of invitation designs, some note cards, and some wood block prints. If you haven’t ever visited the fabulous ladies of Backstreet, you should stop by sometime. They are super talented, and overflowing with souther charm to boot! Backstreet is a little boutique style beauty salon tucked away on a side street in Anderson, and they celebrate their 30th year in business this year! My good friend Mykael and her cohort in making things beautiful, GeLee, were the masters of our hair and makeup for Van’s and my wedding in April, and they made everyone look amazing while keeping us laughing and relaxed! If you have an event coming up – these are your go-to girls!

{Backstreet Beauty Salon & Boutique in Anderson, SC}

{The Backstreet Beauties – L to R: Mykael, GeLee, Lynn, & Pat}

On Friday, I had the pleasure of having lunch with the charming and disarming Dorothy Camak #inreallife. I’m pretty sure – no, I’m positive – we could have spent hours chatting as we sat at one of my favorite places for lunch in Anderson right now, Earle Street Kitchen and Bar. (If you haven’t been, go – it’s delish, different, and they have local art for sale on the walls). I met Dorothy at a mutual friend’s birthday party a few weeks ago, and after finding immediate commonalities decided to have lunch. We had each heard about the other, and I had just published my testimony, She’s Gone Biblical, Y’all | A Testimony of Faith, that week – which she’d read… Dorothy, a freelance writer and author of dorothycamak.com, has faced plenty of tragedy and adversity herself having lost her father nearly a year ago. Resilient, filled with spirit and positive energy, this lovely lady is allowing her experiences to fuel her Faith and forward movement in life. I left lunch with a new friend and thoroughly inspired! It’s always exciting to meet a fellow creative thinker AND make a new friend! Read more on her blog or follow her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!

{An image from Dorothy’s Instagram last week that I just LOVE LOVE LOVE via Clare Smith}

Just a little Olive Shoe update before the link list: some very exciting things are happening and coming soon – which includes a new regular featured writer that I’m DYING to announce, but I think it will be more fun to let it be a surprise for her first post…so keep your eyes open – I am BEYOND excited about this!!!

Additionally, new products are being added every day to my Etsy shop, there will be a new shop section soon for personalized rubber stamps! YAY!

ALso, Christmas card orders are 15% off through the end of September, so get your order started and save a few bucks! I have about 10 pre-made designs already available, with more coming, that will be customized to your photo and wording. Completely customized designs are available as well! All cards will be professionally printed and come with white envelopes. I can also order nearly any color envelope if that’s something you’re interested in!

Add-On_Custom_Christmas_Card-01{Custom Christmas Card Designs by The Olive Shoe}

And when you get a break in your busy week, here’s some cool stuff that I really feel is worth sharing from around the web recently…

It’s pumpkin spice season!! Here’s a little pumpkin even for your pups:

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These very creative “equally creepy and cute” knitting crafts from Aknitomy on Etsy:

Periscope 101 from Living Well, Spending Less:

7 Can Soup from The Pioneer Woman:

All 50 States Re-imagined as Food Puns from Food Diggity:

{See All 50 in their Facebook Photos HERE or Click Links Above to Read the Article}

These AH MAYZ ING 19 Giant Flower Structures Honoring Van Gogh:

{Thanks for the link Silla!}

Hugs and love! Have a great Monday!!

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The Olive Shoe is designed and run by LAC James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit Lauren’s online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Just Shoe Me | 3 Flats for Work This Week and Weekend Link List for 8/29

Oh la la! I love a peep toe! I love a D’Orsay! I love a cut out!! I LOVE SHOES! Here are three pair of orange flats you can wear to work all week in anticipation of this weekend’s first CLEMSON HOME GAME!!! WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO! Happy dance! Happy dance!

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{ Loeffler Randall Emma }

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{ On Second Trot Flat from ModCloth in Carrot }Nine_West_Dorsay_Orange

{ Nine West Blossom D’Orsay }

And here are some other good reads to kick off your weekend:

This DIY Birch Tree Art from Casa Watkins

Got some extra time this weekend? Make your own Farmhouse Table!

These one of a kind, only-in-Paris, street signs…

and I’m definitely putting this book by Louise Fili on my wishlist!!

6 Things you can still do with a first generation iPad (Yep, I still have one)

21 Things You Can Automate in Your Creative Business…one of the best and most useful posts for creative entrepreneurs I’ve read in a while – and I read a lot of them.

Hope everyone has an amazing weekend! Enjoy the last bit of summer!!

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The Olive Shoe is designed and run by LAC James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit Lauren’s online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

A DIY Wedding: Choosing Our Wedding Colors

When Van and I were first talking about our wedding, we had the conversation that I’d imagine nearly every couple planning a wedding has… what we each envisioned as the “look” for our wedding. It was then that Van revealed to me that he’d always wanted an orange and purple wedding. That’s right, tiger fans, I said orange and purple. It was a time stop moment for me… you know, the ones where you remember when and where you were at the exact moment something happened…We were riding in his Tahoe on Highway 17 in Myrtle Beach after having lunch with my grandparents.

LaurenVanWED059 {Photo Credit: Curtis Snyder from Kismet Photography, booked via COMPLETE Greenville}

The conversation went something like this…

Me: “I was thinking along the lines of yellow and aqua or turquoise”. Spring wedding…Daffodils are one of my most favorite flower…and yellow is my favorite color…and orange too, of course ;).

Van: “I’ve always thought it would be cool to have an orange and purple wedding…where the guys wear orange and the girls wear purple.”

This is what happened in my brain at that very moment:

And I said, “You mean, like Dumb and Dumber style?”

He responded, “Well, I was thinking more like orange and white seersucker.”

I relaxed a little. Hmmm, seersucker I can work with, I thought. But we were getting married in the spring. Clemson orange and purple are not exactly light, airy, spring colors…

I said, “Well, what about my yellow?”

He said, “I don’t think yellow goes very well with orange and purple.” I realized then and there that to my normally no-fuss fiancé, this orange and purple idea was pretty important to him…I began to mull it over and try to digest it.

On the bright side, as die hard Clemson fans, I realized that everything I bought for the wedding would be reusable at some point in the future. We tailgate. We love Clemson….and as Frank Sinatra put it…

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But how was I going to pull off elegant AND whimsical AND Clemson? Aye aye aye. My mom, with her brilliant, amazing self, suggested white dresses for the girls, and I wanted them to be able to pick their own. Van’s math brain was NOT crazy about the mis-matched dress idea. My artsy brain was pretty attached to it, though, so I kept approaching it. I suggested that I give the girls purple pashminas to bring in the purple, and that the girls would be able to hopefully re-wear their dresses by choosing their own…after some convincing, and encouranging by his own sister who also liked the “pick-your-own” idea…he approved.

So, on April 4, we got hitched….in the beautiful Carolina Wren park in downtown Anderson, SC…in orange and purple and white…complete with orange and white seersucker, mismatched off-white bridesmaids dresses, and the Clemson bus. Stay tuned…all the DIY details and photos will be coming soon!!

LaurenVanWED275{Photo Credit: Curtis Snyder from Kismet Photography, booked via COMPLETE Greenville}

Oh, and if you need to borrow anything orange and purple…I probably have one, or 25… ;).

à bientôt j'espèreLauren is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Oh Frank, such a wise man!! Happy Friday!

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Happy Friday!! Are you wearing yours?

If your cheering on the Tigers tomorrow, don’t forget to “Purple Out” in honor of our Military Servicemen and women.

“Clemson hosts its second annual Purple Out on Saturday, Nov. 22 as the Clemson Football team welcomes Georgia State on Military Appreciation Day.

The Purple Out is a student driven initiative meant to represent the great significance the color purple has to the United States Military and Clemson University. It is an active way in which the Clemson community can show its support of the university’s military tradition and the United States Armed Forces.” from Clemson Tigers.com

{2014 Purple Out T-Shirt Design}

Have a great weekend!

à bientôt j'espère

Lauren is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit Lauren’s online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Happy Birthday to Coach Dabo Swinney!

Happy Birthday to Clemson University’s head football coach, Dabo Swinney!

Thanks for all you do to build morale and coach our team!

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With many thanks,

Part of your Clemson family

Lauren is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit Lauren’s online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!