Twenty More Facts

Twenty Facts About RandomOlive -

I’ve written before about 20 things you might not know about me, but I thought it was time for me to tell you a few more things.

I’m participating in a Getting-to-Know-You game of 20 Questions with Kris (With a K) from the With a K Writing Academy. I’d love it if you joined along! Just go to check out Kris’s post about it here, and get started.

Here are my answers:

1 – What’s a ridiculous nickname you’ve had?

My roommates in freshman year in college called me Peanut. Still baffles me.

2 – Why do you write a blog? Have your reasons changed over time?

My original goal for the blog was to share neat stuff and show that creativity could be a part of everyday life. My aim is still to inject a bit of brightness and color into the ordinary.

3 – Where do you like to be when you are writing?

I can write anywhere. Seriously. I’m always scribbling on scraps of paper and I have “active” notepads and notebooks all over the place.

4 – Peanut butter & __________.


5. What does your Writing Process look like?

My writing process is usually a flash of brilliance in the shower combined with a desperate hope that I’ll remember that idea. On a regular basis, I complete three handwritten pages of free-writing in a cheap notebook. (read about how this has impacted my life here) I also outline and draft everything on paper with crossouts, circles, and arrows to rearrange. Finally, typing serves as a revision step plus a final proofread.

6 – What keeps you up at night?

Bad sleep hygiene like surfing Instagram from bed plus the incessant need to check email in the middle of the night.

7 – What was your last online purchase? Did you hide it from anyone? (I see you, impulse buyers & shame shoppers)

A lighting kit so I can create more awesome video tutorials and this book about lettering by Jessica Hische.

8 – What do you honestly think of elastic waistbands?

My dream uniform.

9 – What blogs or magazines do you love to read? Why?

Elise Cripe. Caylee Grey. Seanwes. April Bowles-Olin. Totally inspiring and gets me off the sidelines.

10 – What is your favourite way to express your creativity?

Colorful lettering. Project life. List journaling. Crochet.

11 – DSLR or iPhone?

It totally depends on the situation. When I’m practicing photography skills and visiting landmarks, I love using my DSLR. My fave lens: the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 for wide angle shots. I also love my iPhone for Instagram photos and regular everyday documenting. Either way, I process all my photos with RadLab.

12 – How do you feel about the semicolon? Do you have any feelings about punctuation marks, in general? (it’s ok if you don’t)

The semi-colon is awesomesauce; I use it all the time. I’m also a fan of quotation marks, periods, and oxford commas.

13 – What is a skill you really want to learn?

Acrylic abstract painting on canvas!

14 – Do you use a planner or journal to keep your life from derailing? What kind?

Planners are essential. I’ve been using the Simplified Planner for 2015 and I’m planning to use the Get to Work Book for 2016.

15 – What does your dream Sunday look like?

PJs til lunchtime. Nice lunch out. Back home for early PJs for the rest of the day. Plus a couch movie date.

16 – Do you have a full-time business or a side hustle?

Side hustle with a five-year goal to turn it full-time.

17 – Coffee or tea?

Soda. Pepsi Throwback or Cherry Coke.

18 – What is your favourite outfit?

Any pajamas. Oh, does that not count? My uniform of a fluffle (fluffly ruffle) or lace blouse with a cardigan, jeans, and flats.

19 – What scares you?

Heights. Fire. Blood-borne epidemics.

20 – Cats or Dogs?

Neither. Totally allergic.

What about you? Head over to Kris’ blog to play along!


How What I Do Between 8 to 5 Benefits You

Blogging Benefits from My Day Job -

I’m a Teacher

  • I care about communicating the best information to you and aiming for you to learn something or have a main takeaway.
  • I’m dedicated to learning (both yours and mine).
  • I enjoy seeing people experience that lightbulb moment when they understand something more clearly now than before.

I’m a Researcher

  • I like evidence and getting to the root source of information.
  • I will do my absolute best to make sure that the info I provide you is accurate and beneficial. This means outbound links to sources.
  • I’m always exploring new ideas and methods to share with you.

Are you a blogger with an alternate job? What skills from your day job do you transfer to your blogging?

Is it Olivia or Olive?

Olivia or Olive? What should you call me? | Messy paint splatter art layered over brush lettering -

Ever since I discovered the internet as a source of entertainment, I’ve gone by Olive in the online world. Various screennames over the decade have incorporated Olive and if I was lucky enough to get it, my screen name would just be “olive” if I was early enough. Five letters. Two syllables. Short. Sweet.

In real life, I go by Olivia – my given name. I do like my name. It’s unique enough where I’m almost always the only Olivia in the world. I used to be bummed that there’d never be any inventory of my name for personalized souvenirs, but I got over it when I realized I liked being unique better than that.

So what should you call me? Either one!

Do you have a preferred nickname? Do you use a different nickname in different areas of your life

Core Values of Random Olive

Core Values of Random Olive -

I’ve been thinking about what it is that I want this space to be. There are definitely tons of things that interest me and I’m happy to share them with you. But there are four main areas that I decided are the core values of this site.


I will help you embrace ways to be creative in your every day life.


I’m dedicated to your continual learning, even if it’s just a small factoid or you discovering a new resource. Your learning something new (no matter the magnitude) lights me up.


You be you and I’ll be me.


You deserve to have physical evidence that proves who and where you are in life. I’ll support you through whichever endeavor you choose (taking your own photos, keeping memory books, or using your own hands to create something).

I hope this all resonates with you! It was great to think about what my values are here. What are your core values for your blog?

20 Things You Might Not Know About Me

This blog post is a part of the ’20 Things You Might Not Know About Me’ Blog Tag started by April from Blacksburg Belle. She began this blog tag experiment to build community among creatives, help us bloggers to connect more and get to know each other better. This month’s topic is all about sharing just a little too much information about yourself. If you’d like to participate or want more info, check out the beginning post right here.

Question 1: How tall are you?

Five feet and one inch (a.k.a. 155 centimeters). And I totally don’t do anything to boost it. Flat shoes all the way; comfort is key.

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?

I’m not sure if this is really a hidden talent or just a little sneaky. Do you ever go to conferences where they give away swag? I’m really good at quickly finding (and collecting) the best swag with as little schmoozing as possible. I try to sneak by when the vendors are busy talking to other people. Or I just smile real big and ask “Can I take this?” and then leave.

Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve?

Gray font that’s too pale to read. I have bad eyesight people!

Question 4: What’s your biggest non-blog related pet peeve?

Inefficiencies in the retail world. People who order food too slow. Cashiers that juggle tasks in the least efficient sequence. I like my errands done quick!

Question 5: What’s your favorite song?

Hmm. This one is a little tough. I kind of stopped listening to the radio since I’m usually listen to podcasts during my commute now. Let’s say… You Belong with Me by Taylor Swift because it reminds me of my nerdy high school self.

Question 6: What’s your favorite Etsy shop that isn’t yours?

Lately, it’s been Big City Quiet’s digital scrapbooking supplies.

Question 7: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone?

Learn something new on the internet. I’m usually found watching CreativeLive or some instructional YouTube video.

Question 8: What’s your favorite junk food?

Ice cream. I love it. The more fat, the better.

Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

Nope. None.

Question 10: What are your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books?

Nonfiction: Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
Fiction: Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Question 11: What’s your favorite beauty product?

Eyeshadow is my absolute favoritest category of make-up. And Urban Decay makes some good stuff.

Question 12: When were you last embarrassed? What happened?

My extreme introversion and shyness usually prevents me from being in embarrassing situations…

Question 13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Cherry Coke

Question 14: What’s your favorite movie?

Right now, Wreck-It Ralph.

Question 15: What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?

According to the Mean Girls cafeteria seating plan, Asian Nerd.

Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Indoors. Probably in an isolated cabin in the woods… very Thoreau, except with internet.

Question 17: PC or Mac?


Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?

My husband washed my car for me. That was pretty nice.

Question 19: Favorite celebrity?

Emma Stone – I love that she utilizes paparazzi opportunities to promote social causes that she believes in.

Question 20: What blogger do you secretly want be best friends with?

Oh man, there’s so many bloggers out there that I’d just be happy to have a twitter exchange with. I think I’d click with Ms. Pretty Organised Caylee Grey.

On Marriage and Proposals

photo by The Goodness

Two years ago, my husband and I got all gussied up and made public vows and declarations of our commitment to each other in front of our family and friends. (i.e. we got ourselves hitched to each other)

Throughout the wedding planning process, the two questions that come up over and over: 1. How did you meet? 2. How did he propose?

The first question was easy; we met in college.

The second question… well, see, the thing is… he didn’t.

Let me expand… My husband and I met when we were in college. By the time college ended, we knew we wanted to get married someday, but we weren’t quite at that “someday” yet. We still had things to accomplish and had an idea that “someday” was several years down the road.

When “someday” seemed to be a bit closer, we talked about buying a ring (price ranges, styles, etc). And we agreed that if he was going to spend a sum of money and if I was going to wear it everyday, that I should get to pick it out. (It’s only practical, of course) The common TV trope is that the husband-to-be will magically determine the wife-to-be’s tastes and wishes and desires and select the perfect ring. That wasn’t our style; life has too many tests already.

So what did we end up doing? We went to the jewelry store together. I tried some rings on. We picked one we both liked. He paid. (Yes, I knew how much it cost.) It got ordered and shipped to us. And then I just started wearing it.

photo by The Goodness

No announcement. No fanfare. Just like we like it.

Sometimes I hear about other proposal stories and it baffles me that people are shocked and surprised when their long-term significant others propose. Like, if you’re at the stage in your relationship where marriage is in the foreseeable future, shouldn’t this have been discussed?

Our engagement and decision to get married was not a test of romantic skill. It was not a surprise. I knew (and he knew) it was coming. It was a joint decision between two people who love each other and communicate well. And I think that’s pretty awesome.

Here’s to two years of being officially married. And to the rest of our lives making joint decisions and communicating openly.

Who’s Olive?

Hi, I'm Olivia, aka Olive. I've been an avid reader of blogs for years and decided that it was finally time to start producing instead of just merely consuming.

I'm one of those people who always insisted that I was boring. Nothing exciting or glamorous. But you know what? I realized that I don't have to be glamorous to share the bright and colorful spots in my every day life.

Where to Find Me


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