Over on Instagram…

There are so many social media avenues, I do not possess the time or desire to explore all of them. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, etc. I see the most value in Facebook but in the last year I’ve also been active on Instagram. I like Instagram for the following reasons:

  • Pictures only – no one is posting articles on politics or vaccines or guns, etc. Just snapshots of life, staged to varying degrees depending on who you follow. ;)
  • Short captions – only about three lines show up under the picture, so you could write an essay but generally captions are brief.
  • Positive commenters – I have nothing scientific to back this, but in general comments seem more positive than other social media channels. Since comment replies aren’t divided into threads, arguments rarely happen and seem to be quickly dropped as they are hard to follow.
  • Selective followers – I don’t have a public account, so I feel better about posting a lot of pics of the girls. I have much fewer “followers” than on Facebook which I like.
  • Creative aspect – there are plenty of kid pics and selfies, but there’s more. I enjoy the artistic element of intentionally creating visually appealing photos. I also poke fun at it.

I also have several friends who are more active on Instagram than on Facebook, so it’s a good way to stay connected with them. And it’s just fun! I like the combination of day-to-day family stuff and an artistic element. It reminds me to look for the art in the everyday and to capture things even if they aren’t “perfect.”

I’m not unique or trendy to like IG, rather I’m behind the curve to embrace it, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ve been mini-blogging on Instagram. #instablogging

Beauty and the Best Friend


Before our Disney trip, we introduced the girls to Beauty and the Beast. Though they’d seen several other Disney princess movies, we’d waited on that one because of potentially scary scenes. It was good timing, and they enjoyed it immensely. 

Hannah is our emotionally perceptive one, and this is quite evident when watching movies. She gets so into the story and feels things acutely. Watching movies with her is like watching the Final Four with a Jayhawk fan – lots of jumping and yelling and sometimes tears

As expected, she was absorbed with Beauty and the Beast, and things were going pretty well. Until the part where Gaston gathers the town people with pitchforks and fire to kill the Beast. Hannah jumped up with genuine tears flowing down her cheeks, and she yelled at the TV, “No! You can’t kill him! He’s her best friend!

We comforted her and laughed a bit, then I thought about what she’d said. She didn’t see a weird love story between a girl and a monster, she saw a friendship between two individuals – a real friendship that wasn’t based on appearances and that required patience and compassion to get along. 

There are scores of articles on the dangers of the “Disney princess culture,” but maybe they are just through the eyes of psychologists. I agree fairy tale plot lines are ridiculous (like pretty much every other movie!). But in the eyes of one of my girls, Beauty and the Beast is a tale of blossoming friendship. And isn’t that the best kind of love story?

Jim Gaffigan in the Flesh, the Pale, Pale Flesh

Five months ago, we used some of our “Christmas money” and bought tickets to see Jim Gaffigan. He’s our favorite comedian, and if you’re not familiar with him, just look him up on YouTube. I logged on soon after the ticket sales went live, and I was able to get eleventh-row seats. (If he’s not in your area or you don’t want to splurge on tickets, this is for you)

Then the wait. I honestly almost forgot about the whole thing until July as I glanced ahead in the calendar to August. Jim Gaffigan! The excitement came again. In such an instant gratification-driven culture, the waves of anticipation have been fun. 

Some friends also got tickets, so we met for dinner – Thai chicken pizza at CPK, yummmm – then carpooled to the amphitheater. And thanks to my very pregnant friend, we were able to be dropped off right by the entrance. 

  
No pictures of the actual show because very pale guys don’t photograph well under stage lights. But we laughed until we had tears (didn’t think of bringing Kleenex to a comedy show) and told each other “Merry Christmas!” 

Jim Gaffigan live. Now crossed off the bucket list. 

The name game

We had a contest to guess boy or girl before our ultrasound with Violet. New game this time!

We chose a name for the new baby and revealed the first initial C with my necklace.

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Since then, we’ve have several confident individuals either venture their guesses or declare that they know for sure but refuse to say it out loud (FYI, we don’t buy this tactic, Hannah uses it often). So we have the name game!

We’re currently 30 weeks along – starting to get into baby prep mode. Both Hannah and Violet have monogrammed Christmas stockings from Pottery Barn Kids, and this week the new one for the baby arrived (hopefully the baby arrives before Christmas does). So we are not bluffing, we have a name!

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If you would like to share your guess, leave a comment below for official entry into the Name Game. We will not accept any guesses after the baby is born, anyone who swears they knew it all along will not be taken seriously. Put yourself out there now for internet fame! (or at least fame among the 15 people that read my blog, haha)

Contest will be open for the next 10ish weeks.

Sewing project: Princess dress

I have always enjoyed sewing, but since I don’t have a dedicated sewing area, it’s difficult to get projects done. I have to pull out my sewing machine after the girls go to bed, get a couple hours to work and then have to pack it up so little hands don’t find it the next day. Luckily, I was recently able to find a project that fit within my evening “work hours.”

Hannah was invited to a princess birthday party (again, pretty much the only 4- and 5-yr old theme, but who can blame them for wanting to dress up). We don’t have a very big dress-up collection, do I decided to make something resembling a princess dress so she’d have a fun new outfit.

After much Googling (I don’t do Pinterest), I found the Urban Princess Dress. It seemed easy enough to finish in an evening, and it was super cute without froo-froo and bows. Another plus – the top of the dress is a cut-off tshirt. It just so happened that the week before, Hannah had an unfortunate scissor accident and cut a hole in the front of one of her shirts. I cut the shirt off above the hole, and it was perfect for the princess dress.

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We picked out some fabric at the store to match as well as some matching thread and wide elastic. Those were the only supplies – easy!

I followed the tutorial as listed on the blog. I found the directions to be pretty clear, and the only time I had to redo a seam was my own carelessness. In less than two hours, I had a dress!

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I immediately noticed the skirt on my dress was nowhere near as full as the skirt in the photos on the blog. I don’t think she gave accurate dimensions of the pictured dress. But I was still happy with how it turned out.

And Princess Hannah loved it! She feels very fancy in the long skirt.

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I see some of the store-bought princess dresses, and they seem so flimsy that they’d fall apart if you actually tried to play in them. This dress lasted fine through the super-fun birthday party as Hannah was climbing on a swing set, having sword fights and chasing a dog. And there has been much playing since then.

This was a fun sewing night, and I’d recommend the Urban Princess Dress tutorial for anyone wanting a cute dress project.

Wildlife safari family day

No preschool today, so Brett took the day off for a fun family play day. It started with the girls not sleeping in. Woohoo for 6am. Then I was off to my running group. We are now running more than walking, eeeek. Three miles later, I was headed home, we ate lunch then hit the road for a safari!
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is a little over an hour south of us. Brett and I had been before kids and thought it would be fun to go back. It sure was! Here are a few pics from the drive through safari and the petting zoo.

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Baby zebra

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Howdy

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One of the goats grabbed a food bag out of Hannah’s hand and started eating it, and she started screaming. After that, she held the bag way up.

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Baby goats

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Yum yum, baby shirts are tasty.

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Baby giraffe

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Tired girl waiting for a snack.
Both girls were wiped out but had a blast! Mommy and Daddy are wiped out but had a blast. Off to relax with a glass of wine and ice dancing finals. From the wild to the civilized…

Red – Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday

My second time joining Five Minute Friday, a link-up where dozens of “rabid, vociferous mommy bloggers” (aka PicMonkey addicts) write on the same topic and post their links together. Each Friday, a new word is posted, and the challenge is five minutes of writing – unedited, real and flowing. This week: Red

red coke

Go

Red is an icy cold Coke after walking for hours at a dusty Texas fair. With a side of Frito pie. Refresh and recharge.

Red is a pair of bright shoes I keep telling myself I could pull off. But I don’t have the guts.

Red is my baby’s first bloody nose, staining the sheets and causing panic to her momma. Just breathe and snuggle.

Red is a shiny Kitchenaid mixer on my counter, alluring and inspiring. What can I whip up today?

Red is a classic wagon with my smiling daughter yelling, “Faster!” to her daddy. Sweet memories.

Red is a stop light. A stop sign. Beware. Do not enter.

Red is the color of the blood that flowed down the face of someone who loved us so… Anyone remember that song?

Stop

Olive Street highlights

If you’re new to Life on Olive Street, or if you’re like me and could always use a refresher, here are some of my favorite posts from the last two and a half years. Family and fun first, then food. Mmmm, looking back over these is making me hungry.

smashing cookies

Happy Father’s Day – drama!

Nice donkey.

Wild West Fest – miniature donkey and miniature Hannah, the cuteness is off the charts

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Violet’s birth story – written by our doula

Food:

ginger chicken noodle soup

Ginger chicken noodle soup

verde soup

Chicken verde soup

apple small

Crockpot applesauce

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Fancy acorn squash

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Brussels sprouts hash

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Bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin and green bean casserole

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Vietnamese noodle bowl

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Chicken salad

Snapshots: Sister plans

Hannah has lots of ideas for Violet. She tells me what Violet should wear and where I should put her for optimal participation in whatever plan has been concocted. I often comply since it is usually worth it in entertainment value for me. ;)
One day I was told to put Violet in a tutu and sit her on the Jayhawk burpcloth in the hallway so that she could watch the “Snow Eve Ballet.”

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This production involved singing, dancing, a suitcase and an airplane.

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Another one of Hannah’s creative ideas involved Violet, the rolling bee, and a pair of shorts.

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And sometimes Mommy gets in on the silliness.

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There is no boredom at our house.

New look

If you usually read my posts on your email, go ahead and click through to the site… New look!
I have an opportunity coming to expand my blogging work (more info on that in the future), and I need to develop some more skills and be more familiar with the many customization options in WordPress. So I’ll be playing around over here on Olive Street and trying some new features. Notice the scrolling featured posts on the home page – pretty cool!
I’ve just started experimenting, so if you see some changes, that’s why. I’ll try not to accidentally crash the site as I’m playing around. ;)