New to Instagram – Sharing, Learning and Getting Inspired

Instagram photo - Mother Day flowers in shades of pink
Pretty in Pink – a view from above.


The fact that I have an active Instagram account is nearly as shocking to me as it is to my daughters.

For the most part, I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to technology today.  There was a time, oh so long ago, when I might’ve said that my technical skills verged on savvy. Yes, two kids and 15 years later, I’m in the elite group of folks, 40 and over, who don’t have a clue about social media.

When it was suggested I start “Instagramming” for 3 Olives & a Twist, I burst out laughing at the thought. I can barely manage Facebook and this blog. How in the world could I possibly handle Instagram? What would I post? My mind immediately went to selfies – NO, just NO!

Being new to Instagram, I quickly learned that this photo-sharing application is actually much more than selfies and the seemingly popular “look down at your shoes” shot. Here’s one…

white shoes stepping on wood
There are a lot of these on Instagram – I don’t get it.


In fact, it is full of amazing imagery, as long as you know what to look for.

The Beauty of Instagram

I’m a very visual person and I love pictures – when I began searching hashtags of interest, I stumbled upon a veritable feast for my eyes. Stunning photos of food, interior design, architecture, landscape, botanicals, travel and, of course, cute pups have all stopped me long enough to warrant a [icon name=”heart” class=”” unprefixed_class=””].

Many photos are posted by professional photographers. I marvel at their talent and eye for interesting subjects and have begun to draw inspiration from what I see. As much as I struggle to take a decent picture, Instagram has actually helped me with angle ideas, filters and cropping options.

The simplicity of Instagram is also appealing. There aren’t a lot of buttons to tap and interaction is as little or as much as you want it to be. I’ve found myself mentally transported to beautiful countries through posts from all over the world. It has opened my eyes in many ways and when something questionable pops ups, I shut those eyes tight and quickly move on.

At the end of the day, I’m having fun with Instagram. It has become a tool in fueling my creative energy.

Instagram and Me

On behalf of the blog, I try to post things to the 3 Olives & a Twist Instagram that make me feel good. I love pictures of dogs, shoes, jewelry and just yesterday, I posted a pic of two lovely frozen margaritas in honor of Cinco de Mayo.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!! #picoftheday #lifestyleblogger #cincodemayo #celebrate #cheers

A photo posted by 3 Olives & a Twist (@3olivesandatwist) on

Though I’m still new to Instagram, with each picture I take and post, I’m learning. Learning to take a better photo, learning how to use social media in a way that is not scary to me and learning that, indeed, an old dog can learn new tricks.

Today my #picoftheday is something that always makes me happy… flowers. I hope you enjoy the image and thank you to my wonderful family for sending me my Mother’s Day bouquet early.

Follow 3OlivesandaTwist on Instagram for more photos. If you love pictures like I love pictures, you too may find Instagram to be a fun place to share.

Do you Instagram?

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Keeping Up with TV Texting – I Can’t!

binoculars to read TV texting
Bedpost Binoculars – The only way I can keep up with TV texting.

You’re probably wondering what the heck that photo is all about. Those are the mini-binoculars I use to read TV texting between actors that every show now seems to display with the apparent expectation that I can read that far away. My sister was over the other day and asked, “Why in the hairy heck do you have binoculars on your bedpost?” (yes, she really talks like that). It has become so normal to me that it didn’t occur to me that they do seem odd hanging there unless I’m some kind of Peeping Tom peering out my bedroom windows into the homes of neighbors. Rest assured – I am not.

Allow me to explain. My favorite thing to do is curl up in my bed at night to watch my shows. Lately, I’ve been challenged by the distance between me and my beloved television. I can see the characters just fine; however technology has, yet again, wreaked havoc on my happiness. Dialogue has been replaced with text exchanges or a stream of social media content at the bottom of the screen that apparently I’m supposed to be able to read from across the room. Newsflash BravoTV and all other networks, but let’s be honest, mostly Bravo – I can’t read TV texting between actors unless my nose is nearly pressed to the screen. It is so frustrating because I’m missing out on critical aspects of my shows when I can’t read the tiny print. Am I alone? Is anyone else having this problem?

Enter my mini-binoculars! It might sound ridiculous, but indeed they get the job done. I am now able to read text messages on screen and am back to being fully engaged in my shows. Hey, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.

Two shows that have been particularly challenging from keeping up with TV texting throughout the plot are House of Cards on Netflix and Younger on TVLand. TV people, enough already. Just go back to the good old spoke word. Please!

I hope this gave you as big a laugh as it did my sister.

Have a great weekend! Hippity Hop.

For a little more on this subject, check out this article from

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Tech-Tip Tuesday: Make your Own Emoji with Bitmoji

bitmoji - make your own emoji
That glass of wine should be a martini!

Do you Bitmoji? I came across this fun little app when my friend, Rose, texted me a cartoon image of herself that looked so much like her, I couldn’t help but giggle when I saw it. I immediately texted her back to ask, “how did you do that?  “It’s a Bitmoji,” she said.

Well, that meant nothing to me, so I went straight to my in-house tech team for clarification. On duty that day was my oldest, Julia. She let me know that Bitmoji is an app you can download to your phone. It allows you to make your own emoji, a.k.a. create an avatar likeness of yourself to go along with the cute messages you see in the featured collage. Thank you to my youngest, Ally, for helping me put that together. I don’t know what I’d do without my girls, xoxo.

Bitmoji lets you pick your eye-color, skin tone, hairstyle, fashion sense and more to make your own emoji.

Julia kindly created Bit-Beth for me and before I knew it, my friends and I were sending these little bit-o-grams to each other whenever we wanted to communicate.  Julia let me know she thought bitmojis were a little goofy and more for the “mom” crowd, but I didn’t care.  I think they are clever and a perfect mood booster when simple texting and Emojis just aren’t enough.

Want to see how cute you are? Then go ahead and download Bitmoji to make your own emoji. Your friends will love the new you.

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Techno-Dummy: Working Through Technology Issues

 Technology issues drive me and this lady mad!

Is this you? Well, it certainly could be me. The more time I spend on my computer or phone, the more I realize I have no idea what I’m doing. Technology issues make me want to tear my hair out. In fact, they kind of scare me. Not in a security or privacy kind of way, but in the way that I fear I’m so clueless about what I’m doing, I’m either going to blow up my entire system or I’m going to send out posts or messages that make absolutely no sense.

Whether I’m working on an outrageously slow Google doc or my phone is making mysterious, unintended phone calls, I’m never quite sure if my technology issues are because of me or just technology gone wild.

If you’ve signed up to receive email notifications for my blog, you know I’ve been having trouble working through the kinks of my email plugin. Let me first say thank you for signing up and, most importantly, for your patience.

I slightly panicked over the issues until I realized that I’m far from alone when it comes to experiencing technology issues. This weekend, Saturday Night Live spoofed an extremely awkward moment from the 2016 Grammy’s when rapper, Bow Wow, attempted and failed to kick off the show with about a minute and a half to go. A minute never felt so long! His feeble efforts to fill time were so uncomfortable, yet hilarious, and SNL made it even funnier picking on the Kid’s Choice Awards. In that moment I realized problems are going to happen no matter who you are or what you’re doing. Your best bet is to relax (good advice from my sister), handle them with grace and laughter and everything is sure to work out. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but since I’m new to the blogosphere, I must practice what I preach.

My fingers are crossed that email notifications for this post will go out perfectly. If they don’t, let me know. Meanwhile, I’ll take a deep breath and keep smiling.

Have a laugh at both videos here:
SNL Kids Choice Award Skit
Bow Wow’s Grammy Fail


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Tech Tip Tuesday: iPhone Photography

iPhone photography- light adjustment

My fellow iPhone users – iPhone photography has never been better. Did you know that your iPhone camera has a photo light adjustment feature?

I recently discovered this handy little option when Googling how the heck to take decent iPhone pictures. You may already be aware that if you tap your photo screen, a yellow box appears which locks in your focus and exposure.

I thought that alone was good, but recently learned there was more to it. If you swipe up on the star, a line appears. Run your finger up or down and you can control the level of brightness. Suddenly, my iPhone pictures went from drab to fab. Tack on a good photo editor app like Snapseed or even iPhone’s own photo editor tools and your pics could rival those of a pro.

So simple, but useful! Here’s the thing, I’m a technology ignoramus. My kids surpassed my computer, phone and social media capabilities many years ago. I often just hand my phone to my 13 year old, Ally, whenever I need to do anything beyond checking messages.

I figured my little discovery was old news to most, but several of my friends didn’t know about it and even a photographer friend was unaware. When Julia said her iPhone camera didn’t have that feature – I showed her that it did. I was excited to have even this tiny bit of knowledge and I think Julia was surprised I knew something she didn’t.

So, every now and again, if I come across a technology tip worth sharing, I’ll pass it along. If you have any quick and dirty tips of your own – please share. I can certainly use all the help I can get, whether we’re talking about iPhone photography or any other aspect of technology.

Here are some more great tips from

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