Olive Us: Sneak Peek #2

May 11, 2012

Ready for another Olive Us update? Here’s the extended trailer! Are you still excited? I sure am. And I still have butterflies. You guys had lots of great questions on the last post and I didn’t get a chance to comment, so I’ll answer some of them here.

Q. Is it called Olive Us as in I Love Us? Or, as in All of Us?

A. The second one. It’s Olive Us as in All of Us. Cute, no?

Q. Why Olive? How come she’s so special?

A. Olive is our 3rd child. Third children are notorious for not getting enough attention. Seriously, there are all sorts of books written about birth order and 3rd kids have a hard time of it. So Ben Blair and I have been trying to come up with a project to highlight Olive’s talents. She’s great in front of a camera, so we thought it would be fun to create a little show where she’s the hostess. We knew the other kids would also want to be involved, so the name Olive Us was perfect!

The format of the show has changed since we first conceived it last summer — in fact, the episodes we’ve shot so far don’t feature a hostess at all. But we stuck with the name, and we still think of this as Olive’s project.

Q. How do you feel about kids and privacy on the web?

A. I get asked this question frequently, so I should probably put it in my FAQs. : ) I’m not sure how satisfying my answer will be to you. Basically, it’s never been a thing I’ve worried about. Before I even started blogging, I remember talking to a co-worker about privacy. She asked me: If the New York Times called and wanted to do a profile on you as a graphic designer, would you share your kids’ names? And I was like: Yes! For sure. (I love my kids names and like to tell them to anyone who wants to hear — Ralph, Maude, Olive, Oscar, Betty and Flora June. So great!) But my co-worker was adamant that she would never share her kids names in a public forum like that.

So I suppose it’s just one of those things. Either you’re comfortable with it. Or you’re not. No stress either way. As parents, Ben Blair and I continue to talk about this and so far, we feel good about our decisions.

Q. What is Olive Us about?

A. Ooooh. Good question. And challenging, because we’re still trying to figure out how to describe it. We’re trying lots of things and experimenting with different formats, so the description is still a moving target. But I’ll try: Olive Us will be a show that will appeal to both children and parents. It will be beautiful and inspiring. It will encourage your family to get up and do or make or move.

Episodes will be short — around 2 to 5 minutes. One was shot documentary style. Another is a cooking segment. And another will be a charming cultural peek at life here. What they’ll all share in common is beautifully shot footage, great music, and happy vibes.

Lastly, we aim to show healthy, happy relationships between siblings. We feel worn down by the super-sarcastic dialogue we hear on shows aimed at kids — especially between brothers and sisters. We want to share a more positive take.

Q. Bad mama! Why aren’t the kids wearing helmets during the bike riding scenes?

A. Ugh. So sorry! I should know better than to model a bad habit like that. Will you cut me some slack if I tell you it’s a cultural thing? The only riders I see wearing helmets here in the French countryside are serious road bikers who are prepping for the Tour de France. As for kids on scooters, bikes and skateboards, helmets are pretty much non-existent. So as I was pulling together props and equipment, it didn’t really cross my mind. But again, I should know better! Sorry about that.

Q. When does Olive Us launch?

Next week! The first episode is still being tightened up in editing, but it’s almost done. I hope you will love it! I can’t believe how nervous I am about the whole thing. That’s just the way it goes with a new project — the family has poured heart and soul into this and we want it to be so good!

We bought the url http://oliveus.tv and plan to have all the episodes live there. But something is wonky with the url registration and we seem to be stuck for a minute. I’ll let you know when the site is ready to go. It will have more FAQs, behind the scenes footage, and short bios about the kids. For now, you can watch both trailers here.

Thanks again for all your kind words last week. Such encouragement! I really, truly, sincerely appreciate it.

P.S. — Once again, the music is by Geoff Groberg. And the video was shot and edited by Tiger in a Jar.

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim May 11, 2012 at 5:34 am

I can’t wait! x


2 Kim May 11, 2012 at 5:36 am

Oh, I just watched it again. Now I really can’t wait!!


3 Nathalie Nissan May 11, 2012 at 5:56 am

What a beautiful family! Every detail from start to finish is so gorgeous and as outsiders we found it very inspiring! Wishing you all lots of fabulous footage and pure enjoyment for us!


4 mary VanZandt May 11, 2012 at 6:00 am

soooooo charming!


5 alexis_gentry May 11, 2012 at 6:13 am

Hooray for exciting new projects! And really, the premise is quite possibly the coolest ‘reality’-design-kid-footage ever. I truly love the music. Ratatouille meets the Gypsy Kings. Kind of. At least in my head…:D


6 Ann May 11, 2012 at 6:58 am

This is too sweet! I love the little lemonade stand. Is that what that is?


7 morgan May 11, 2012 at 7:04 am

darling! here in Neuilly (suburban paris), every kid wears a helmet. almost no adults but all the kids.


8 Mags May 11, 2012 at 7:12 am

This is just painfully cute. I can’t wait to see the finished product!


9 Ris May 11, 2012 at 7:16 am

So fun! Thanks for sharing your fun adventures with us :)


10 Jennifer F. - American Mom in Bordeaux May 11, 2012 at 7:31 am

Can’t wait…should be fun to see the adventures..and I’m hoping my kids will enjoy seeing other kids doing fun things and being together as siblings.


11 Jordan May 11, 2012 at 8:35 am

Love it! Can’t wait to see more. :)


12 Julie May 11, 2012 at 8:46 am

Yay, yay, yay on the “happy healthy sibling relationships”!!! I LOVE that! We often find ourselves telling our children “Please keep ‘school’ (constant nasty, sarcastic, biting, supposedly-just-for-fun remarks) at school! You’re at home now with people who love you. Be nice!”


13 Julie May 11, 2012 at 8:47 am

Also, I don’t mind a bit about the “no helmets” thing. How wonderful you live in a place where it doesn’t matter so much. Lucky you!


14 Krystle @ Color Transformed Family May 11, 2012 at 9:32 am

I am excited. The color in the video is beautiful. It is so cool that your family has worked on this together. We need more media displaying families that get along and love each other.


15 Mairi May 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

These videos make me feel happy as a child! I want to explore the world as fearlessly as your beautiful children do. (And I am 37:))


16 Ivonne May 11, 2012 at 9:55 am

I think this project is lovely in every way. Congratulations!


17 cupcakes for clara May 11, 2012 at 10:01 am

I cannot wait for the launch of Olive Us. You are just about the most inspiring family I have ever come across.


18 Miranda May 11, 2012 at 10:07 am

Delighful start to finish! I can’t wait to see more.


19 chelsea May 11, 2012 at 10:44 am

This is really adorable. From the logo to the name to the styling. Can’t wait to watch more.


20 tere May 11, 2012 at 10:57 am

I love the vibe behind this project, I think we are lacking of something like this, thanks! Really! Do we get to share the videos? I would love to!


21 Kacy Faulconer May 11, 2012 at 11:19 am

Can’t wait for Oscar’s break-out hit spin-off. When it happens? I called it.


22 Robin May 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Blair Family = Awesome. Can’t wait for Olive Us! The name is wonderful, and I’m sure the episodes will be, too. Love you.


23 the sleepy time gal May 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I love the idea behind it… kids being kids and loving life and each other. Beautifully done, too. Looking forward to it!

And Happy Mother’s Day to you this Sunday!


24 Nicole May 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Eagerly anticipating! It happened again…clicked on your clip and out of nowhere my son appears (he just turned 3 last week) and exclaims “I heard THAT music!” – then he snatched the iPad and ran away to find his sister who is a BIG fan already! LOVE the trailer and can’t wait!


25 Janan W May 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm

looks great, look forward to watching:)


26 marcy May 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm

this is so fun and sweet. cannot wait to see it! my kids will get such a kick out of it!!!


27 Megan May 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm

My kids are completely fascinated by what your kids are doing in these videos.


28 This girl loves to talk May 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm

the shot of the girls eating lemons…. one of them looked so much like Jordan! never saw it before… so cute!


29 kathy May 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I know I am going to love this. The music is wonderful. Your children are adorable.


30 Ellen May 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Gabby, After watching the first trailer last week, my husband and I talked about how we love how you are so intentional drawing out your kids with each other and your professional life. Your blog has become something that they are involved in and it seems to have created something a strong family identity for them! We only have one kid now who is 16 months old but I hope that we will have some success at drawing out our children and creating a family identity with them, too. Thanks for sharing your lives with us!


31 Lili May 11, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Hi Gabby, As a mother of four, and wishing I could take them all to France (the country of my father) I have been wondering how your kids have adjusted to the french schools? Are they all french speaking students now? Do you find that it is very easy for them to speak in either language? I haven’t seen anything on that subject yet.


32 mom in mendon May 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm

More!! MORE!!!


33 Sarah May 12, 2012 at 12:11 am

Third children might get a bit of a bad rap – Orson Scott Card is the third born in his family…


34 Avril May 12, 2012 at 12:25 am

Looks so cute! Your kids are adorable! Would love to know how the kids deal with sibling rivalry. I have 2 girls almost 4 and 7 1/2 and though they love each other, they still fight. The little one likes to boss the big one and all of us around. Ugh. Can’t wait to see your project, I really admire you and how your doing it! Thanks so much for sharing your life. Happy Mother’s Day!


35 Rosa @ FlutterFlutter May 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

I LOVE IT!!! The trailer makes me smile! Did I mention that I love it!?!! ;)


36 Trish M May 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Thanks for focusing on sibling relationships. I teacher several children’s classes that involve siblings ages 1-5 years old. May parents tolerate and allow their children to treat each other in a way the child would be allowed to treat a friend or stranger. And we wonder why there is sibling reverly. So excited for Olive Us!


37 Liz Maravilla May 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Patrick and I watched the clip and said “of course the Blairs are doing this!” we love it and will watch it and look forward to happy inspiration from it.


38 Rixa May 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Please, don’t apologize for not using bike helmets! Honestly this American obsession with safety drives me a bit nuts (and so do the motorcycle riders who *don’t* wear helmets). Enjoy your helmet-free biking without guilt!

(Written in a fit of jet-lag insomnia down in Nice…)


39 B May 13, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I have, I guess, a continuation of the question on online privacy and your kids? Mostly…I get that you aren’t concerned about, say, your family’s safety or whatever . in terms of sharing personal stories/photos/names — which I think is great, because people are _so_ paranoid about so much these days — but how do your kids feel about their own privacy? I mean, I am just so intensely grateful that the internet wasn’t a thing when I was growing up, because if I knew my name/photos/personal information was being broadcast to the world by anyone –friends, family, whoever — I would have been furious. I would still be furious, but at least now I am an adult and so I am pretty much in control of that kind of thing. (I still don’t let my picture get taken if I think it might end up on a Facebook page or something — one of the many reasons I will never be a Facebook user.) I mean, I hated anyone taking my picture when I was a kid, because I hated the thought that it would be shown or viewed or anything in any context that I was not in complete control over. So, do your kids mind that they are living their lives in the public eye, to a certain extent? If any one of them said to you, “Mom, I don’t want you using my picture/telling personal stories about me/mentioning me directly/&c. on your website/various internet places”, would you respect their wishes?


40 Lindsay - ShopEllaLou May 14, 2012 at 9:47 am

Wow, the trailer looks wonderful Gabby! I’ve been excited to see the trailer since you mentioned it on your panel at Mom Summit 2 – I can’t wait to see more.


41 Jessica L. May 14, 2012 at 10:01 am

It looks absolutely beautiful and charming. I can’t wait to see Olive Us come to fruition. Looking forward to the premiere.

Jessica L.


42 Jen May 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Very excited to watch once you launch it. I have no doubt it will be amazing.

My husband and I have tried our hand at filmmaking in the past and it’s a huge project. One of the things I love about it from a parenting/teaching aspect is that it shows kids all that go into movie + television making. They get all the behind the scenes which I think helps them be more critical (in a good way of course!) of what they see.


43 Erin Loechner May 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS!!!! Best name, execution and family. What a treat we’re in for! :)


44 luckybeans May 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm

What has struck me the most is the positive modeling of sibling relationships: the world truly does need more of this! Thank you.


45 Sadie R March 6, 2013 at 9:29 am

People don’t wear helmets in the Netherlands, either, and seriously, they bike everywhere!


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