Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!





Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of black forest cake or tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

Contact Nani at
chroniclesofnani@gmail.com

Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Challenge Ends Today!

Just a reminder for anyone who hasn't participated in "I Wanna Talk About Me" at Scrap Bird, you still have a chance to get this great add-on for "Because Of You" for free before it goes into the store tomorrow!


The February challenge is to scrap a page with a photo of you and someone or something you love. Simple enough to do in a scrapping Saturday afternoon, no?

If you aren't a member of Scrap Bird yet, come on over! Sign up today and you can not only score that add-on, but you can still PM me for the free alpha for "Homemade Love!"

Lot's of great challenges, good people and beautiful bonuses and products in the store at Scrap Bird!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Friday!

It’s been an interesting week this week. I’ll be starting next week with a big call list for Monday to follow up a bunch of unsolicited resumes I sent out this week, including a follow-up on that interview. Truth is, I hate those calls. Well, I hate looking for work. After all this time of searching, I just want someone to see my resume and say “I can’t believe she’s still available! When can she start?” Yeah, I know, me and thousands of others who’ve been pounding the pavement for over a year.

That’s the part that gets me - over a year. Earning a degree was supposed to keep this from happening. But I read Q&A boards at job sites that at least give my misery company. There are many, way too many, degreed professionals in the same boat, especially in this area. We are that middle that got sliced out of the corporations across the country. Not experienced enough to move up and “overqualified” to move down, it’s relocate, retail or recareer. Well, for me, I kiboshed the relocate last December. I really don’t want to live in a different part of the country than my husband. Heck, I didn’t even want to move too far away from my boyfriend before we got married! My knee won’t let me do retail, or I’d already be there. So now, I’m looking to recareer.

I’ve been giving some serious thought to going back to school for maybe an IT certificate, with the hope that I can get an entry level techie job and finish a bachelor in the evenings. I’ve also given thought to a marketing degree, I’m really not so many classes shy of that since I had an undeclared business minor with my first degree, but there are so many jobs that call themselves marketing jobs out there right now that are just scams, making it really difficult to tell if that’s a promising field or not anymore. So, I’m really leaning towards learning a little more about networks and Windows and moving in that direction. The reeducation is still in the exploratory stage, but boy, even if it’s just a class a semester, “in School” looks better on a resume than “looking for work” with no new references!


That was a “live-on-screen journal” entry. Suitable for the blog because it’s not too personal, named no names, not too negative and doesn’t have any of that blowing off steam language that occasionally surfaces when no one else is around. That’s some of what was lost in the file corruption of the 2008 Chronicles of Nani compilation. To be true, it hadn’t occurred to me that just one class at a time was a good idea when I was trying to crunch the tuition numbers for the degree programs. I could get some techie classes at the junior college for much less to start. I just need to be able to do the tasks and talk the talk as I make the transition into a new field. I’m feeling better all ready!

Sometimes to see all the trees, you need to really analyze the forest!


Now I feel good enough to stand up at the podium and accept some awards!

Edna has got to be one of my biggest angels in cyberspace! She is awarded for her creativity, upbeat view of things, effort and in general fostering good will on her blog and it’s all so well earned! But she also never hesitates to name me as one of her favorites too! That always makes me feel so good and in a personal world that is often met with frustration during the job-search hours, it’s a huge pick-me-up that just makes all the difference in maintaining my optimism!

I have three new awards courtesy of Edna:


This absolutely sweet friends award.


And this, the Nagrada award.


And finally, The Blogger Oscar...Which means I have been recognized as an entertaining drama queen! YAY! LOL

Seriously, Being recognized as creative, entertaining and a general good friend is a great honor. I love the awards for my little coffee shop here in Cyberspace!

I’m going to get on to deciding to whom these will get passed in a couple days, but I wanted to recognize that Edna had bestowed the honor on me!



Saturday Scrapiday!

Tomorrow I’ll get some scrapping time! David has, what I call an adult play-date. He’s meeting a bunch of guys in the Motherland at Chuck’s house. He’s the owner of a very cool model railroad. They do operating sessions, where everyone is assigned different roles, dispatcher, engineer, etc, and run the railroad for a couple hours.

I was there the first time he went. Chuck’s railroad is awesome! It’s definitely not a kids’ railroad at all. He had a very sophisticated signal system, sound effects, a track layout that’s modeled after a real 80’s system and schedules and procedures mimicking the real deal. It’s heaven for everyone who ever did or wanted to work for the railroad or even still does. This is the type of layout David wants to eventually build a house over. Yeah, I can see me someday baking cookies for a house full of model railroad fans and sitting in myself!

Right now, it’s too much stress on my knee, but yesterday, I did the groceries with a lot less pain afterwards than usual. Maybe it really is starting to repair from the exercises I’ve been doing! That would be nice! But for right now, I’ll be having a scrapbook holiday while he’s out. When it’s your husband’s play-date, you don’t even have to pickup of drop off!


Boy Was I Ever Tagged!

Livia tagged me and tagged me good! Oh, this is really a fun one!

The potential to embarrass oneself is definitely there, but I generally do things to me that would be embarrassing and just laugh at myself, so here I go!

The rules:

•Go to your photo folder in your computer
•Go to the 6th folder of photos
•Go to the sixth picture
•Put the picture on your blog and a description of it
•Invite six friends to join the challenge
•Link them in your blog.

Now, I don’t have a photo folder on my hard drive. There is a pictures file, but it just has code information for iPhoto, not actual pictures. Now there are TWO main folders of pictures as well as several smaller folders on my extended HD, so I chose to use the file of unscrapped and saved project pictures. That one has many subfolders!

So, the sixth folder is “Nani 40 DVD” The photos and tiles I used when I did my DVD for my 40th birthday party, and number 6 is this:


That’s the composite of my high school senior picture and the proof that Mom kept on her dresser mirror because she loved my pouty-face. That was actually a little tame for my 80’s hair, but I wore it a lot bigger after I got out of high school.


And now I tag, because I just have to pass this one on...
Edna, Beth, Linda, Veelana, Rhonda and Darlene


So a bit of the “grrr” job world, a bit of feel good, a bit of happy alone-time to look forward to and a bit of plain fun. It’s been a good blog!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wait ‘Til NEXT Year!

I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day this year, whether it was with your spouse, unmarried Significant Other or just with the people who make you feel loved. But if you did spend that “lovers’ holiday” with friends and family or if you spent it alone, maybe you might be ready to launch you own passion search.

Passionsearch.com is a different kind of site. It’s not one of those sites where you fill out a profile and hope someone reads it, like a girl sitting all alone at a bar hoping someone nice, not creepy buys her a drink or that opportunity to meet someone at the airport before they fly back home 1000 miles away. When you sign up for Passionsearch, you’ll be asked relevant questions, to target you to local people.

Don’t think it’s one of those sites that essentially sets up blind dates either. They don’t ask for personal information to find you a “perfect match” on paper. They let you explore and see if you can meet someone local, with similar interests, but enough differences to have some spark. They realize that a little chemistry goes a long way.

The best thing about Passionsearch.com is it’s absolutely free! You don’t have to pay to respond to someone interested and you don’t even have to pay to make the first move! So many sites have monthly charges taken off your credit card or charge per message you send! Passionsearch doesn’t even ask if you have a credit card. Membership and participation are free!.

When you go to the Passionsearch home page, you’ll be guided in interactive video format to enter in the basics and get you started on a new way to meet other singles seeking singles. More targeted than most and not as intrusive as others, Passionsearch may be just what you’re looking for to make next year the most memorable Valentine’s Day of your life!

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Diet Wellness

Today’s breakfast:
Five Caramel Swirl cookies and coffee
320 calories

I’ve decided to, sigh, once again, recommit myself to eating better. I have Project 365 to thank for the inspiration. Inspiration and the plain desire for something to work is so important for making it work. I’ve also found some daily inspiration from that Skinny and the City Newsletter. I’m telling ya, even just the words of wisdom and cooking ideas in the email are a great addition to diet wellness!

Diet Wellness, I don’t know if anyone “official” uses that term, but it was made up by me in this context, is simply how easy is it to stick to a healthy plan. Creating diet wellness is up to the person developing the plan and any plan is best when its controlled by the person living with it. I liked the fact that today’s Skinny and the City newsletter addressed excessive fasting and the fact that it slows down your metabolism so you actually lose weight slower and can even gain weight on too low a calorie diet. That was my folly when I tried The South Beach diet back when it was new. I knew that with elevated cholesterol, I couldn’t eat all the fat that diet required, so I cut the fat out. With no fat and no carbohydrates in my diet, by the end of 2 weeks I was sick and had gained weight! Less than 600 calories a day will do that to a body!

I found that when I’ve been successful, the key is balance and portion control. Sounds simple enough, but what I really have to do is abstain from eating at all when I watch TV or work on the computer. When my attention isn’t focused on what I’m eating, it gets out of hand. Even switching to healthier snacks didn’t make a difference. I once ate a whole bag of baby carrots watching an hour of TV!

Where Project 365 comes in, is that I’ve also had great success when I photograph my meals. I LOVE the digital age for that! Since I’m photographing them, I spend extra time making the plates look nice. It actually makes me wait a little longer to eat, which makes me want to eat slower and enjoy the meals. Maybe that sounds a little silly, but hey, what works for you is the measure of your diet wellness!

The most important thing for diet wellness is to NOT torture yourself! A sure way to gain every ounce back or not stay on the plan at all, is to create a diet that is so different from what you enjoy eating that you’ll change right back to the old habits you determined were giving you results you didn’t like in the first place.

My number one diet wellness rule is chocolate. I’m a Chocoholic, so any diet that denies me chocolate or allows lower quality or chocolate substitutes, isn’t going to be one I stick with. Besides, I’ll binge the first chance I get due to chocolate withdrawal! I stick to a diet that REQUIRES that at least 50 calories of my food must be chocolate every day. Some days, It’s 220 calories of Hershey bar or a scoop of ice cream, some days it’s 2 Hershey's Kisses to meet that minimum. This way I can avoid an easy downfall for cohabitants, and really an important part of the total diet wellness package: dessert with ones mate! I can enjoy a treat with David without straying from my personal plan and I never go insane from craving chocolate!

So, the photograph above was this morning’s breakfast. Usually, I have a banana and some toast or cereal, occasionally eggs and a breakfast meat when David and I have breakfast together, but this morning I woke up hungry and craving cookies! I think some grapes with lunch, maybe veggie soup, is in order. But what an awesome “diet breakfast” it was!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Post Kitten Claws Shopping

I’ve been doing some window shopping. Sometimes things need replaced around the house! Max Furniture is a company based in Texas that had some nice things to think about in my cyber-travels!

First off, I noticed they have some really nice Bathroom Vanity Cabinets. I wasn’t looking for new stuff in the bathroom, but whenever I start looking at new home stuff, I always end up looking at the bathroom stuff first. My Dad is a construction man and my bathroom when we lived together was redone twice. Dad doesn’t do plumbing, but he does tile and design work!

But what I wanted to see was Home Furniture. Our next real purchase in the home will be in the living room. We have a living room set that has a few years and a kitten on it! David has said a few times, “That love seat owes me nothing.” It’s been around a while. It predates his wife and definitely predates Kaline.

When Azzie was a kitten we had a similar situation at Mom and Dad’s house. a couch that Dad always used that “owed us nothing.” Cats flex there claws on an inanimate object when they’re happy. We eventually found a scratching post that Az liked, but Azzie was Dad’s cat and before we found that post, she flexed her claws on that couch. It took a few years because they weren’t sharpened on the couch, only flexed, but eventually the old couch started showing the effects of her claws. Once we finally had her on the post, she stopped clawing the couch and it was time for a new one.

Kaline is a Momma’s girl. She likes to hang out when both Mommy and Daddy are there, but, even then, she “shows her joy” with us all being together by flexing her claws in the love seat, where I usually sit. Kaline has been in this house since just after her first birthday and she’ll soon be four. The love seat is starting to show some frayed spots! Of course, I wanted to see what kinds of living room furniture Max Furniture has!

They have some really sweet sets! I was drawn to check out the Sectional Couches. Our living room furniture is in a right angle setup anyway, so a sectional sofa would work great and give room for one more butt instead of an empty corner between the two pieces. There are some nice leather sets, but I liked the upholstered ones with plenty of pillows! I’ve always loved lots of pillows. It goes back to my coveting Jeannie bottle in I Dream of Jeannie when I was a kid!

They have really nice sets with additional pieces you can add. In the one I was looking at, I’d want to oversize ottoman, but we don’t have space for the armchair, and the shipping is FREE!

We have, I hope, just a little more time before we get that right post for Kaline. Then we’ll be in the market for that new living room. I’m keeping Max Furniture bookmarked! If you’re kitten is already post-satisfied, or if you just want to update any room in the house, Max Furniture is definitely worth a look!

Photoblog Wednesday

The cutest cats in Toledo!

The basic rule of bed-making: Make the bed up right after you get out of it, while your husband is feeding the feline kids or it just has to wait until evening before the blankets can be straightened!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Art Gallery Cyber-Field Trip!

If you appreciate fine art, and really, of one type or another, everyone does, you really need to check out this site! Paragon Fine Art has some wonderful works by a selection of contemporary artists. From the steamy, sexy works of Tomasz Rut, to the panoramas of Kerry Hallman, to the Dali-ish look of Glen Tarnowski, there is something for every taste.

I find the works of Sergey Smirov to be especially appealing. Smirnov (1953-2006) was a Russian painter, whose pride of his heritage definitely shows in his work. His portraits are greatly influenced by the “parsuna” style, which evolved in Russian art from the late 16th Century to the 18th Century. The paintings show the slightly flattened faces of a style moving into naturalism from the old icon art. When I looked at the gallery of his work the first thing I felt was the richness of tone that I love so much in the Italian Masters from the Renaissance, then just a general appreciation for the facial styles. I have a favorite Smirnov portrait too! Tchaikovsy, who was one of the first composers I really loved, has a portrait that looks like it’s Shakespeare on the wall behind his piano!

Take a moment, or a few, to visit Paragon Fine Art! It’s a nice trip to the gallery, from the comfort of your own home!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

I’ve seen many TV interviews and read about it in papers and magazines, couples who have been married a long time are asked to what they owe their happy, married longevity. It’s never “We’re both successful with lots of money” and it’s certainly not “The sex is still great and abundant after 40 years together.” The most common answers are, “We can talk about anything,” or “he/she still makes me laugh.” The photo for the mug shot today is to ensure the longevity of my own marriage. It will make David laugh!

I wanted to write about an experience. I felt like describing something I enjoyed. I knew exactly what I wanted to write about and which mug I needed to photograph for it. Trouble is, I couldn’t quite reach the mug to take it down and photograph it. So, this picture was taken on my tippy toes reaching up to put the camera in front of the mug!

Okay, David, that’s enough laughing at “your shorty.”

He doesn’t mean it in the pop-culture term of endearment way when he calls me his shorty. He is simply calling me short. At 5’7”, I am NOT short!

David, you can stop laughing any time.

I’m just going to go on to today’s Mug Shot.

Mackinac Bridge
Mackinaw City & St. Ignace, Michigan

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. There was a time that the only way to get from one to the other was by ferry or through Wisconsin! (by way of Indiana and Illinois) With entries in Mackinaw City in the Lower Peninsula and St. Ignace in the U.P., The “Big Mac” is the only road connecting the two halves of the state.

I remember traveling “up north” when I was a child what an amazing site it was to see the bridge in the distance as we got closer. You can see the bridge for at least a good half hour from the I-75 before you actually get to it. Dave and I would crowd in between the front seats to see it as soon as my Dad announced that it was visible. It was a giant monolith, welcoming visitors to the Upper, home of great camping and Ledo’s Pasties right off the bridge for lunch.

Pasties are stuffed pastry pockets with meat and vegetables, sometimes potatoes, but the original ones had rutabaga. They were an easy to carry lunch for loggers.

Of note here is the proper pronunciation of this classic Michigan meal. Pasties are past’-ease NOT paste’-ease. Past’-ease are meat pies. Paste’-ease are the tassels strippers wear on their...NOT MEAT PIES!

I recall listening to the Bridge radio station when we were kids to see if we’d be able to cross. I never understood that. There was even a time that we could cross, but had to have a police escort to cross because we had a trailer. Didn’t understand that either.

Then I remembered a news story as an adult, a Yugo basically jumping up and over the side of the bridge. WHAT? It seems Yugos are very light cars and this one got caught by the undercurrent of wind on the middle, grid lane, of the bridge and it just picked it up and away it went.

In 1992, Mom and I took a trip up to Sault Ste. Marie to go to the Soo Locks. I drove. Going North on the I-75, I saw that powerful monolith of my childhood for the first time from the driver’s seat. An excited tingle ran down my spine. Approaching the Big Mac to drive across it for the first time was a half hour of building excitement. It was more than when I was a kid. Back then, it was like watching something exciting live on TV. This time, I was the live excitement!

When we got into radio range for the bridge station, Mom tuned it in. They were talking about wind conditions on the bridge. They were moderate and trucks or cars towing trailers should use the paved outer lanes only. Cars could proceed on the center grid lanes, but use extreme caution.

“The grid! I just HAVE to drive on the grid!” I told Mom.

She said I ought to start on the paved side and then if I felt comfortable with it, switch to the grid side. I did just that. After about six feet on the paved side, I changed lanes!

The thing about the Mackinac Bridge, is those grid lanes in the middle are an aspect of the engineering design. They allow air to flow through instead of beating against the bridge. It makes the bridge safer and more durable. But the winds in the Straights of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet, can be very strong!

As, I moved the Camaro over to the middle lane, I could definitely feel those winds pushing up on the bottom of the car. Camaros are low to the ground, so in normal driving, even on the freeway, they are mostly under the radar of crosswinds. Fighting or even feeling the wind was kinda new to me! It was a thrill ride! Both hands on the wheel as we crossed, I dealt with occasional gusts that actually moved the car! Now I understood why sometimes you can’t cross!

As our five mile journey, my first time doing it in the driver’s seat, from the lower to upper parts of Michigan drew to a close, I felt energized. I had faced a challenge my Dad and Grandfather boldly undertook when I was a kid and reached the other side victorious!

We got off the freeway at the first exit, Highway 2. The road to Ledo’s. After all, I’d earned my pasty this time!

Patch 365 Layouts and Coming Attractions (with freebie!)

I’ve been keeping myself busy this weekend so I could stay away from looking out the windows. I don’t know about many of the other dwellers of the snowy north, but I’m pretty well sick and tired of the snow by the beginning of February. I’m not a big fan of the white stuff, except in train pictures, anyway, but by this time of the year, I have really had it. So, this weekend we get another “snow event.”

David has heard the whine. He laughs at me and calls me a wimp. But ya know, I do get to get even when he is complaining about how hot 85 degrees is in the summer. I guess we’d be most happy as a pair in an eternal spring and summer world. Actually, I could even live without the trains in the snow if I could ALWAYS photograph in a world that is either New England in the fall or Tennessee and Georgia in the Spring.

But this weekend, in Ohio, we have snow again. So I’ve had time to catch up on my Patch 365 layouts and a couple pages in my catch-up goal for the year too.

Here’s week 7!

Credits:Kit - “Oooh Shiny!” by Veelana,
Template from “Project 365 Template Set 2” by Digitalegacies Designs


I love that kit by Veelana! The colors are my favorites and the kit made me smile inside when I worked with it no matter what the picture out the window looked like!

Week 7 highlights included our day trip to Columbus, John at his 50th birthday party and of course, the furbabies!


Week 8

Credits Kit “Because Of You” by Digitalegacies Designs,
Template from “Project 365 Template Set 2” by Digitalegacies Designs


Week 8 included the Valentine festivities, so it was only natural to use one of the kits I created for the lover’s holiday to scrap the seven photos for out 8th week of married bliss!

Week seven includes the Red Sox Yahtzee I got David for Valentine’s Day, the flowers he got me, the chocolate fondue we shared, our registry print out that includes the Mike and Ikes and that lovely shot of me on the flooded basement day!

I’m excited to share the templates for these two and two more in the store soon!


New in the store!


Following on the heels of the modestly popular Project 365 template set at Scrap Bird, I’ve added a second set of multi-photo templates in the store. This set includes the templates used in my Patch 365 weeks 7 & 8 and 2 more new layouts waiting for your choice of kit to go with your photos and journaling. “Project 365 Template Set 2” will be available in the store this week!


More Love Cooking!

Have you visited the one dollar shop at Scrap Bird? You’ll find some great things there, like frames, quick pages, paper pack add-ons and this week, you’ll find another offering from Digitalegacies Designs too!


The add-on for Home Made Love gives you 3 more papers, 3 more ribbons, another scraper and a dark wooden spoon to go with your “Homemade Love” kit and alpha, plus a bonus Quick page!



This is the layout I did with the quick page. When Rina was visiting last summer, we made Crostada. I mean she made it and I supervised! She was so proud. Tori usually takes the lead in the kitchen, so she was very happy to do it ALL!

Quick pages are easy! Just drop in your own photo, a few words on the tag and you’re good to go with a page in minutes! The whole add-on is one dollar at Scrap Bird!


Exclusive Blog Freebie!

Want to take “Homemade Love” for a test-crop before you buy? Try out this Chronicles of Nani exclusive sampler!

Link
Click preview to download “Homemade Love Sampler”
password is jelly-roll

Homemade Love Sampler includes 1 paper, 1 ribbon and a wrapped frame.

As always at The Chronicles of Nani, if you do a layout with any Digitalegacies Designs products, I want to see it! In fact, I want to see it bad enough that there is another freebie in it for you! Send your layout to chroniclesofnani@gmail.com and I'll send you the link for Crimson and Clover!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dolphins At Play

This site is too sweet!

dolphin bubbles

Click the image, don’t be afraid! It takes you the to Sea World Dolphin page. You can read about the dolphins, but what got me is the Dolphin Bubbles video. Click the video to start and and it’s an underwater video of Dolphins at the Orlando Sea World playing with water bubbles. They are so cute and it’s just addicting to watch them!

They swim at the bubble rings and catch them or swim through them, which makes more rings. It’s just TOO CUTE!

Clicking is free, so is reading, but most important, so is watching the video of the dolphins!!

Get the kids in the room before you click! They’ll love it!

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Nani Tries Something New

I’m writing while taking a break. I wonder if Donna Reed ever had to any serious sink plunging?

I have a homeopathic drain declogger setting in the bathroom sink. It’s a strange drain that gets build up trouble often. This drain-cure is NOT the something new the post title is talking about. Actually, this is an old idea. Dad heard about it on a Mr-fix-it type radio show a few years ago and it worked wonders on my slow shower drain!

We’d tried Draino and Liquid Plumr and various commercial solutions. You spend $6-10 on a bottle that does one declogging and it doesn’t work well. Well, Mrs-fix-it to the rescue! The solution is pretty simple. Spend roughly three dollars on a large box of baking soda and a gallon of white vinegar. When the two are combined, they make a mild acid. Just pour a healthy amount of baking soda in the drain. Then pour in a cup or so of vinegar. Watch it bubble! (Hint, young kids LOVE to watch, older kids love to do it!)

If it’s a mild clog, it will eat away at it pretty quick. For more stubborn or sludgy clogs, it may take a little plunging or just leaving it in the drain until it finished eating away at it. If you need to, apply it a second time to finish the job. It clears the clog, is safe on your pipes, a mild enough acid that it won’t burn your hands and that $3-4 investment will last for about six clogs, three if they are really bad ones!

Now the “NEW”



I’ve tried some new things lately. I signed up for Facebook. I had no idea what Facebook was, but I got an invitation, from Darlene actually, and joined. It’s pretty neat. I think half the people I’ve ever worked with, a fair chunk of the digital scrapbooking world, most of Mensa and all of my relatives that are under 50 are on it! I joined yesterday afternoon and as of lunchtime, I have almost 50 friends.

I haven’t run into anyne who’s sent a shocked “you’re married??” message yet, so that means we’ve done a decnet job of telling the masses. Facebook is pretty cool. It’s like a personal and private message board/chat thing. You stop in and read at your leisure, like a message board, but things get updated in real time while you’re signed on, like a chat. Very cool.

I got an invitation to check out my cousin’s son’s motorbike racing pictures. I need to power up the translator. While he sends me messages in English, his son’s pictures are all captioned in Italian! But, hey, that’s more practice on my reading in Italian too, right? I’m looking forward to cyber-reuniting with more family and friends. I’m also going to be careful to turn it OFF on a regular basis. I can see that it could become addictive! LOL


There’s something else new on the married front. By request of family members, David and I did an after-the-fact bridal registry. I participated, but sorta under protest. I didn’t think you gave gifts for an elopement. Grandma told me some time ago that in gift-giving etiquette for weddings, you should give at least as much as would cover the cost of your dinner at the reception. Well, no reception, so in like and kind for a wedding announcement in the mail, a card, no? When we were talking about doing a wedding, I didn’t want to register either. I just feel weird about it.

But, David explained it to me as something you do for other people. It gives them a way to choose something they know you can use and it makes them feel good to give. Well, that hit home with me. I appreciate the “need” to give in times of celebration. I’m not good at controlling myself because it feels so good to do it. So, why would I make it more difficult for someone else?

So we registered a few things we keep saying we need, but don’t buy. The notable exception being the fancy-pants one cup coffee maker, which David encouraged me to say yes to putting it on the list. I think he liked the idea of limiting the cup size because he perceives that I drink too much coffee. I like the flavor variety packs that you can get for the single cup brewers. Besides, I can always brew a second cup! I was bummed, however, when I verified that our list was online. The Mike and Ikes are not available online! Everything else is, but someone ordering and having sent from online, can’t give Mike and Ikes. I wonder if Pilot gift wraps and delivers? Do they have a gift registry? Next time I stop there, I’ll have to inquire! ;)

We have to re-register for the Mike and Ikes!

I was going to take a paid post opportunity to write about a chat community for married people. I thought that might be a nice lunch idea, stop in chat about, oh, what to make for dinner, ideas on places to go things to try as a couple, you know, married stuff. I checked out the site/chat room. The “married chat had 2 people in it and no one was talking. The “naughty chat” had people in it but I was the only married one when I got there! Yeesh! I said I was writing a review of the site and asked if I could interview someone. I did talk to one guy who told me he came into that room from a completely different site. It seems this company has many portals, but the same chat rooms. I was supposed to write a review with a positive tone. I just couldn’t do that, so for 6 hours, I can’t sign up for any new opportunities wile that one runs it’s time limit course. Most of the sites you can check out before accepting the opportunity. I guess I’ve learned my lesson. If you can’t check out the site BEFORE accepting the opportunity, I probably don’t want to write about it!

So anyway, there’s the new stuff! I’m on Facebook, I need to register at Pilot if I want Mike and Ikes, don’t look for me at Married Chat. You can find me at Scrap Bird (shameless plug) Remember to PM me for your free alpha if you join and be sure to check out the challenges! I have more “Because of You” add-on kits to give away!

And now, I need to see if my drain is ready to be called unclogged!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Photoblog Wednesday

My Yummy Valentine!

After our traditional "Lover's Shrimp Scampi" this year, we had a chocolate fondue for two, with raspberries, strawberries and pineapple pudding cake chunks.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Shoes On The Other Feet

Okay, everyone knows that I, daughter of the middle class answer to Imelda Marcos, do not particularly like shoes. That was one point where my Mom used to ask me “Who are you and where is the child you were switched with at birth?” But she always admitted that it was just that my Appalachian roots were strong in me in my shoe closet!

I’m a barefoot girl in a fashion footwear world. So, I have to have shoes. But those shoes better be comfortable, quality shoes and I don’t want to pay a lot for them! I happened to surf onto SoftMoc shoes. Doesn’t that just sound comfy?

The first thing I noticed was their great selection of Kids Shoes. Maybe if I’d had really great shoes as a kid, I would have followed in Mom’s footsteps. Sorry about the foot-pun!

In the Women's Shoes they have some really cozy looking boots. Now I just bought the first pair of work boots I’d ever bought a couple weeks ago. David said I really needed better footwear for railfanning in the cold. But the boots at SoftMoc are cozy and warm boots, pretty boots! There are also some nice casual shoes and the prices are all quite reasonable!

I even took a peek at the Men's Shoes. They had some nice shoes that I could see David wearing to work and even some snuggly slippers too. He needs some snuggly slippers at home so he doesn’t go to bed with ice blocks!

SoftMoc just has something for every foot!

Monday Mug Shot

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Another set of demitasse in the collection, these ones are memorable for many reasons, but including in a big way, the coffee!

As an adult, traveling with my parents was always a ton of fun. I got to enjoy their company with all of us as adults, but they still spoiled me like their kid, but in an adult way. They took me places I couldn’t especially afford without really saving up, then they told me to put the money I’d saved away. I eventually learned it did no good to protest, but I could afford extra spoils for all of us. On this trip it was the coffee!

In February of 1997, The three of us took the train from Windsor to Toronto. Dad is not, nor has he ever been, a train geek like my husband, but Dad is where I got the rail bug. The appreciation of watching the trains and travel by rail is something Pop brought with him from San Marino when he emigrated at 13 years old. They lived near local tracks that at the time of his teens and my childhood were busy and while he’s never admitted to sneaking trackside to squish pennies on the rails, something I did when we visited Noni, we did always count the cars and celebrate the lights coming on when we neared the tracks when visiting. Pop had gotten, or anyway, had Mom get, a set of first class tickets on the Friday morning VIA train. Our weekend was to include seeing The Phantom of the Opera at The Pantages Theater, Brunch at the CN Tower and a visit to The Hockey Hall of Fame.

David’s eyes will roll when he reads this, but the coolest thing about arriving at the station in Toronto was the coffee shop before you even had to go into Toronto’s cold February air. One of the things Dad loves about Toronto is when he asks for a small coffee cup, 8 ounces, of espresso, no one looks at him like he’s on a death wish mission. The truth is, if you’re jittery after a cup of espresso, you’re reacting to the rich flavor of the robust coffee or the conditioning of your brain to react to it, not the caffeine. A shot of espresso has less caffeine than a cup of light breakfast blend coffee. The lighter coffees don’t have the caffeine roasted out while they get their flavor! Anyway, our first stop just HAD to be the coffee shop!

We checked in to our hotel, the Westin Harbor Castle for the weekend, where, you guessed it, there was a coffee cart in the lobby! The coffee cart was a full espresso and cappuccino cart! You could have room service bring you a cappuccino too!

Everywhere in Toronto was bustling with activity, people bundled up to brace themselves for the cold, but the outdoor newsstands and carts were still in full force. Hearty Canadians, eh? I had to make frequent stops indoors to get warmed up, even though I too was bundled! What Dad has always loved, at least as a tourist, about Canada is the melding of his favorite characteristics of Europe with his favorite parts of the US. I don’t think I’ve ever been in Canada with my Dad that he didn’t smile all the time.

The coffee theme was pretty much a mainstay. We had street vendor coffee with hot roasted chestnuts, a stop during intermission at the coffee bar at The Pantages with wonderful after dinner cappuccino at Alice Fazoulis, where we had reservations for after the show.

The brunch at CN Tower included Mimosas. Oh yeah, the other great thing about traveling with my parents was I didn’t have to drive. Well, okay, we’d taken the train. No one had to drive. But a champagne breakfast is always a cool thing anyway. After brunch...yep, MORE CAPPUCCINO! About the only place we went that did NOT have a coffee bar was the Hockey Hall of Fame. That's a shame. They have that great giant coffee Cup there too. ;)

The toughest part of the weekend for cold-allergic me was the sub zero wind chills in February in The Great White North. Ah, but all the rich, warm coffee drinks helped me get through!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Some New Stuff!!

It’s been a pretty busy last couple weeks! There have been a few decent leads in the job-searching world and even an interview! The interview was for a full-time writing position I’d really love, but they are very early in the process and say they are being choosy because it’s a key position. I can’t say I blame them for being careful. I don’t know if being an early interview is a good or bad thing. If they were pleased with the benchmark I set, it’s good! I feel like I did well. The only way I won’t get the job is if someone else is simply more qualified. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!


I’m so behind on a few important things! I want everyone to know that I am truly grateful when my blog receives recognition, and in that recognition, I receive it for the work I do on it. Yes, The Chronicles of Nani is my hobby and a labor of love, but it’s work too and I SO appreciate my friends, the regulars at my cyber coffee shop, making a fuss about it!

I have a few awards that I haven’t posted yet. But, in my own defense, we JUST got the last of our wedding announcements in the mail this week too!

First, Edna of Miss Edna’s Place gave me this award. It's an award for the neighborhood spirit and friendship our blogs let us all share! (But I would think it might also be the willingness to make lemonade out of the lemons you get in life, and for a while I’ve had a surplus of lemons in the job world!)


Next, I got 2 from Lelanie of Lelanie’s Taggers Kits.




My designer heart and ego are just tingling here! :D

Of course, as you know, the custom is to pass awards along! What I’ve done is taken the numbers of the suggested pass alongs and averaged them out. So, I’m passing all three awards on to six blogs!

First, Lelanie gets the lemonade stand, for her giving nature with her freebies in tagger and full scrapbook size.

If you’ve seen Edna’s layouts and designs you’d know why she gets the two creativity awards.

If you don’t know why it’s so easy to cross pass on these awards, visit these ladies’ blogs and see why!

Now, my 4 additional picks for this award trifecta!

Veelana’s Designs
Kim’s Scrappin'
Livia’s Corner
mITSYBELLE Designs
Ambowife Designs

You’ll find generous freebies and talented art and design work at all four of these blogs! (Yeah, so I can’t count. I’m still cute, right?) ;)


FINALLY A New Kit!

I have a new scrapbook kit that I’ve been working on too. Like I said things have been pretty full and it seems like I’ve been working on this one forever! But, I’m pleased with how it turned out. It’s probably going to be in the store after the weekend, but I’ll show off the previews and tell ya about the freebie opportunity now!

First the unveiling! You’ve been hearing the song on the iPod for a few weeks, Journey’s “Homemade Love.” Now, it’s a new Digitalegacies Designs kit!


“Homemade Love” has patterned or textured 12 papers and 23 elements, which include frames, journal mats, ribbons, bows and some fun baking accessories to show off your photos of “hot jelly rolls and love!”

The kit is also great for recipe pages and recipe cards. your young chef’s baking days or documenting the kitchen remodeling!

“Homemade Love” also has an available full alpha in coordinating colors and patterns. It’s also great for the (eventually) coming warm summer colors and they are bright enough for a feminine layout and strong enough for a masculine one!


The alpha is sold separately in the store. But you can get it without buying it for a couple of weeks!

FREE ALPHA RECRUITING DRIVE!

As I said the last time I did this, our community is more fun when we have more people participating! When I did the “A Kiss For Christmas” freebie for joining Scrap Bird, there were a few people that took me up on the offer, so I’m trying it again!

I have a free “Homemade Love Alpha” for new members at Scrap Bird. All you have to do is join Scrap Bird and send me (Nani) a PM! This freebie offer is for anyone whose join date is after February 13, 2009. Now, if you are already a Scrap Bird member, you’re not counted out! If someone joins and mentions your Scrap Bird ID in their PM to me, I’ll send you both the link for the alpha! So, if you send someone to Scrap Bird, be sure to tell them about the free alpha and to make sure to mention you in their PM to me!

The membership drive is for the rest of February. You must PM me before March 1!


So, that’s it for now. If you haven’t taken advantage of my sale, tomorrow is it! Get the three love kits, “My Blue Heaven,” “Because Of You” and “Your Own Special Way” at 20% off. Get in early and pick them up when you PM me for your free alpha!

I kinda doubt I’ll be around Saturday - It’s my first married Valentines Day! heh, heh, heh....

I hope you all have a wonderful day of love with your special someone or the friends and family you love!

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"A Chair For My Little Friend"

Blue floral upholstered chair at Zoolabees

I didn’t have a doll house when I was a little girl, well, unless you include a Barbie Townhouse. But I mean sweet little miniatures, like I used to marvel at when I watched “The Friendly Giant.” Honestly, I don’t remember a ton about the show, except that the Giant always set up dollhouse chairs for us, his little friends, when we came to visit. His miniature guest living room made a definite impression on Little Nani!

Zoolabees is such a cool site! They have all kinds of dollhouse miniatures. I thought the mini fireplace and all of its accessories were very cool and there’s a computer set up and nice desk chair for the office too. I think the office set and the fireplace would be must-haves for me if I started a dollhouse now.

Don’t laugh! There are actually more adults who enjoy collecting and arranging their own miniature kingdoms than children! The hobby especially appeals to those who enjoy interior decorating. The dollhouse world in miniature is the softer rendition of model railroading, only instead of carrying coal, it’s serving tea! Of course, if I was doing it, I’d have to have plenty of comfy chairs and a cappuccino bar, to greet my little friends too...and one really HUGE chair, just in case my old friend, the Friendly Giant stopped by! ;)

365 Fried Worms

Day 2 of Week 8
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Odd title, odder picture, huh?

Okay, lemme ‘splain.

Did you ever read the book, “How To Eat Fried Worms?” We read it as a class in 5th grade. A kid bets another kid that he can’t eat a worm every day for I think a month. There was a movie of that book not long ago, but I didn’t see it.

Many parts of that book that have really stuck in my brain. I guess I’m endorsing it as a really good book for preteens! One of the scenes that has stuck came to mind last night when I took this picture.

Near the end of the time of the bet, the better was seeing the bettee getting close to winning. As a “gesture of friendship,” he invited his friend to go to a baseball game with his family. At the game they feasted on ballpark food till they were stuffed, as young boys are apt to do. It was just before midnight when the boy who was on the worm diet realized that in all of the ballpark feasting and getting home a bit late, he forgot to eat his worm for the day! Recognizing the whole outing as a ruse to get him to forget to eat the worm and lose the bet, he took a raw worm, rode his bike to the streetlight, and under the glow of the streetlight proclaimed that he did NOT fall victim to the scheme and he was eating his worm. Them he swallowed it whole.

Great scene to have thriving in my brain for 32 years, huh? It was a baseball game. If they’d gone to a carnival, I wouldn’t have remembered it.

Anyway, yesterday it rained. Over a foot of snow has melted away in a couple of days, saturating the ground and then it rained. It rained, and rained, and rained. Then it rained some more.

I did a load of laundry. When I went down to exchange the loads I saw the water at the bottom of the steps! It was a small puddle that I stepped over, but there was water seeping in from the wall area near the steps. Then I saw water under the steps and going into the laundry room. I turned the light on. The edge of the carpet was wet, I stepped onto the carpeted area.

“Squish, squish.”

Yeah, the carpet was wet all right! It was wet under it so the water wasn’t visible until I stepped in it and my steps brought the water up. I started scanning the area. The night we found Kaline had been similar on the other side of the dividing wall, so most of the things stored down there are in plastic crates now. I wanted to make sure there were no paper boxes or items on the floor. I went back to see if I could tell where the water was coming from.

“Squish, squish”

The carpet was wetter the closer I got to the wall. Then I noticed that the water was more towards the wall that divided the basement and not in the corner. I really hadn’t looked into the uncarpeted main room next to the stairs.

“squish, squish”

I walked back to the washer area and peered around to the main room. I could see a bit of wetness and went into the room to turn on the light. As I got near the rope that turned on the light, the water was past the soles of my shoes and splashing!

“UGH!”

I clicked on the light. 2 paper boxes in the water! I managed to hoist one up onto a higher surface. The other one was too full and heavy for me to lift, so, I emptied the contents one piece at a time onto the tool bench. Did I mention that there was a huge sheet of web connecting the box to the wall?

::shudder::

Then I switched the laundry load into the dryer. By this time, the whole basement was so damp and my bad knee was just throbbing in pain and I opted to wait to do another load at a later time. I went up stairs and I called David, so he’d be prepared for it when he got home.

After David got home he took a look. Not as growly since he was prepared, but I forgot to put the bag of used cat littler up higher. It was wet. I went down with a plastic garbage bag. The main room was now a small glistening lake. And the shoreline of that lake was now just past the cat boxes! We had to bring at least one box up for the kids.

Then it was bedtime. I sat on the bed, with that “How To Eat Fried Worms” scene in my head. “My Project 365!” I couldn’t get either cat to stand still for a picture and when I tried to snap one of David, he sneered, rolled his eyes and turned into the bathroom before I could snap.

So, proclaiming that I was NOT missing a day in my project for a wet basement, I held that squirming camera in front of my face and clicked. There was my Wednesday Patch 365 shot.

Make that only 364 Fried Worms.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Photoblog Wednesday

You can pick your friends...

Red Robin has some interesting movie-themed decor. Sitting under the Groucho tribute at John's birthday dinner, Rich just couldn't resist this photo op!

(Yeah, I know if we'd been on that side of the table instead, this photo could just as easily been David!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Skinny and the City

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond Fudge Cake
from Skinny and The City’s Skinny Kitchen!

I just signed up for the email newsletter from Skinny and The City. Look at the picture! How could I not?? The recipe is a healthier recipe for a decadent chocolate dessert and one I just might spring on David!

Skinny and the City was started by registered dietitian, Tanya Zuckerbrot, and the site is dedicated to health and wellness, including weight loss, while still enjoying a normal lifestyle. The daily newsletter from the 5 RDs who contribute to the site includes recipes, restaurant guides and beauty and fashion tips and trends.

I read an article on the “Obsessions” page about a scented, heated, therapeutic body warmer, called The Nelly Pack. It comes in many different styles to be used on different parts of the body. They are recommending it for soothing stress and eye fatigue or even soreness and swelling...like my knee, maybe??

I signed up for the newsletter and I’m DEFINITELY going to try that chocolate raspberry cake!


(this was originally a sponsored post, but the site pulled the sponsorship at Social Spark. I still think it's a great site!)

Code Of Ethics

Monday...Tuesday Mug Shot

Sorry I’m late with this week’s Mug Shot, but it’s for a good reason, well a good reason for me. I’m working on an ad that may very well score me an interview for a full time job! I’m not counting any chickens yet, but I have a nice egg. This would be a job writing in a style that is very similar to the compensated posts I do here. I’m kinda excited about it, so I got right to work on my sample copy. Wish me luck!

Now, I’ll take a moment to do an uncompensated plug! I have tried a few nominally priced resume distribution companies. By moderately, I mean around $25. Think about that. When you have no income, three of those services equal a month of groceries or a big portion of the heating bill. One place will distribute my resume for $20 a month and will even show me where it went and if it was reviewed, because they have a money-back guarantee if it isn’t reviewed by a minimum number of companies. BUT, if you want to see WHO reviewed it so you can follow up, that's another $10 a month. That’s the site that hooked me up with the company that will do my resume and teach me how to job hunt for ten thousand dollars. Then there’s iHire Marketing.

iHire Marketing is part of the iHire network, this one specializes in marketing. You can post your resume for free, but you need to be a premium member to apply for listed jobs. At first that made me mad. I am not a premium member because paying to apply for jobs just seems like too big a financial risk in this job market. But what they will do for free is have your resume searchable by their member companies and do a limited distribution. Buy limited, I mean for a fee, I can send full resume and cover letter. In the free distribution you get to write a short paragraph to sell yourself and a listing of what you have done and what you CAN do with your name and contact info. The introduction is emailed and faxed to companies in specified area codes.

I’d done this once in Michigan a few years ago. On the day they email and fax your introduction they send an email letting you know how many companies got your stuff. On the very day they sent out my information in Michigan, I got two calls that resulted in interviews. After the sticker shock for that career rapist, oops...I mean counselor, career counselor, I decided to try the iHire Marketing distribution in Toledo. Yesterday morning I got the email confirming that they’d emailed my introduction. Yesterday at noon, I got a call. If you are in the job market and have just a little or nothing to spend, try the iHire network! They have many sites that target on specialties and that summary blast is available on all of them from iHire Dental to iHire Construction to iHire Clerical or iHire Trucking! I can only give a testimonial for iHire Marketing, but even if you have nothing to spend, what they can help you with for free is worth more than most of the pay services!

Ah, but before I return to proofing my sample ad and packaging my requested application in response to my happy call yesterday, you didn’t come here to read about my job status. You came here for the “It’s about time” Mug Shot! And here it is...


Chateau Grand Traverse
Michigan Wine Country

In August of 1998, Mom and I were enjoying a long weekend with Grandma at her house in Hale, Michigan. Hale is in Mid-Michigan. If you make the mitten shape of the Michigan Lower Peninsula with your left hand, Hale is at about half way between the base of your index finger and the first knuckle at about mid way across the finger. This is Michigan Geography! Traverse City is roughly a half inch above the tip of your pinky. Imagine that the nail of your pinky finger extends to the tip of the ring finger, but there’s a space. The tip of your nail is where Old Mission Point lighthouse is. Keep in mind that this is a “quick map” of the Motherland and not necessarily to scale. Length of fingers varies from “map” to “map.”

Mom and I decided that we wanted to take a day trip to try out some of the tasting rooms at the Michigan wineries in the Traverse City area. What was a weekend trip from home, was an easy day trip from her place. We tried and tried to get Grandma to say “yes” to going with us, but she insisted that we go without her. Eventually Grandma won, because Grandma ALWAYS wins, and Mom and I left in the morning for our trip to WIne Country.

We took non-expressway state roads across the state. It was a gorgeous sunny day and there was very little traffic on the trip. When we got into the Traverse City area, the sky changed to that bright and clear blue it turns on a sunny day when you get near a large body af water. I have always loved that about the Great Lakes, how clean and fresh everything looks and feels. We drove into Old Mission Peninsula and took the road that followed the shore. There were hills and fields of grape vines everywhere! The signs directed drivers to the various wineries with which the vineyards were associated. We stopped at two wineries’ tasting rooms. We tried Cabernets, a couple different whites and of course the local specialty, cherry wine. Chateau Grand Traverse was the second winery we stopped at. We wanted to stop at one we’d never heard of and one we knew we like the wine from. We’d enjoyed the Chateau’s wine for a few years, so that was a particular destination.

After packing up more souvenir wine and this mug, we headed to the Old Mission Point Lighthouse. Mom was a lighthouse fan and I enjoyed finding them with her. We spent some time enjoying the beach and snapping shots of the lighthouse and the sign that told us we were at the 45th parallel, half way between the north pole and the equator. One step farther and you’ll be farther away from the sun, closer to the frozen north and hypothermia than the life-sustaining light and warmth at the equator. Yeah, I’m being melodramatic. Funny, I recall Mom saying the same thing at the time.

We stopped for dinner on the way back to Grandma’s house, but we enjoyed a bottle of Cherry Wine with Grandma that evening as we told her about our day and the breathtaking views in Michigan Wine Country!

Friday, February 6, 2009

What is TUTS?

This is a site that linked to The Chronicles of Nani. When I went to check it out, I can't even look at the site unless I register and it looks like an adult site, which I have no interest in joining or having my site linked to. I suppose my stats tracker site could have been hacked and bogus links put in my account.

Please if anyone knows what TUTS is, or if you linked here from it and it's not an adult site, let me know what it is.

Panic attack over, but serious concern still remains!

Thanks!
Nani

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Snippets 2

I really did have a few things collected that I wanted to blog about! Yes, it was Buckeye Chuck all on his own again at coffee break time this morning. TASTY dinner last night! hehe...

Today was a comme ci, comme ca day. That’s French for “so-so” but I was hoping a little romance language would make it feel better. Hmm... nope. Asi-asi? Nah, Spanish didn’t make so-so better either.

On the jobless front, I sent off some initial letters to a few recruiting agencies. Then, as I was finishing one of the letters, right as I finished typing my phone number, my phone rang! It was John. He was looking for an update on the weekend. The Saturday we’d originally scheduled his 50th birthday dinner on was a snow storm in Michigan a week after our foot Saturday, so we rescheduled it for this weekend with a regular games night. While I was on the phone with John, another call came in. This was a job related call.

I hung up with John and returned the call from a company in North Carolina that does job coaching stuff. At one site where I distributed my resume in Toledo, they offer a free consultation to go over your resume. That's what this is, except it’s not. This call the gentleman talked about setting up an appointment with the president of their company to go over my resume, their services and what they can do to help me. He set me up the appointment to call them tomorrow morning. I did ask about the fee, he told me that would be discussed tomorrow but gave me their web address.

The average cost for an individual looking for a job for their services is 5 to 10...THOUSAND dollars! For that “investment” I get two weeks of training with the resulting expectation that I will be able to find a job, on my own, in about 6 months or so.

---choke, choke---

Now, if I had five to ten thousand dollars laying around to fix my resume, I probably wouldn’t need it fixed since I’d have to ALREADY HAVE A JOB to have that kind of money laying around. I could probably scrape up a couple hundred for a really good resume, but thousand? THOUSAND? YEESH! What country are they living in? One much more prosperous than the USA right now.

I spent the rest of the afternoon researching local companies that do resume writing and career coaching. There has to be someplace that can just do a professional resume for under a few grand!



I’m A Naughty Clicker!


Well, I’m not supposed to click on my own ads. But look at the picture! Clinique’s own rendition of that was in big and bold and beautiful full length of the Google ad spot on The Chronicles of Nani. My storage is paid for this month and I have been, I’m not kidding here, using HAND lotion for moisturizer for almost 6 months! Thanks in part to the apples I’ve been able to sell, I mean stuff ON an Apple, I have enough to get some proper facial moisturizer. If I stretched out what I had enough, I could foot the bill for my all-time FAVORITE, reason everyone used to think I was so much younger than I am moisturizer and get the bonus with it, which includes an exfoliating lotion and a cleanser. My poor face is so dry and flaky-looking. So I moved my mouse over the ad, the Angel and Devil on my shoulders.

Well ya know what? That Devil actually told me to wait and click for something more expensive because I look good for a senior! The Angel decked him and said “Go on and click honey, Google will understand for one click, you’re making a purchase after all.” So I clicked it.

The nice man from UPS brought my box this morning. Right after lunch I exfoliated and put on some Dramatically Different Moisturizer. It felt SO GOOD! My face just drank it up and I put on another application. My face was already starting to look like me again! Tonight, I’m going to do an oatmeal facial and a mask. I’m anxious to try the utility blusher and mascara too, but I’m not sure what I’ll do with 2 full-size lipsticks. I really don’t wear lipstick. I’m a clear lip balm girl.

Oh yeah, Google either knew it was me or Ad-sense is a bit of a rip off. It registered a click, but no payment for the click. Usually a click is worth 3-50 cents and this one resulted in a sale! That Angel was right, the Angel is always right!


Old Freebies



Next month will be the one-year anniversary of my first kit, “Train, Train.” I think I’m going to do a new train kit. this one will be in the store, the main kit anyway, with new and different stuff and with my skills greatly improved as a designer. I think, for the sake of space in my 4-Shared account, that I’ll retire freebies after a year.

That means if you haven’t seen and downloaded the old kits, you want to make sure you do! By the end of March, “Train, Train,” “I’m All In,” and “Raspberry-Orange Slushie” will all be history



Patch 365 Week 6

Heck, I’m a wise old married lady now! Six weeks, wow.

credits: kit - "Train, Train" by Digitalegacies Designs,
Project 365 Template 4 by Sweet Tomato Designs

Journaling reads:
Tuesday, 1/27 - Baggle alarm clock says, “Feed me, Dad, feed me NOW!”
Wednesday, 1/28 - MORE SNOW! We just might need to get one of those snow blowers of our own! Thank God for great lending neighbors!
Thursday, 1/29 - The icicles are HUGE and they don’t even look pretty anymore!
Friday, 1/30 - Think we can train her to flush too?
Saturday, 1/31 - Durand, MI, those CRAZY railfans!
Sunday, 2/1 - a little bit of pre-Super Bowl railfanning at home
Monday, 2/2 - If Mommy bends over the bed and makes a nice cat-pillow, Kaline is THERE!

This week’s layout was done with a template NOT by me. I found a new blog just yesterday, Sweet Tomato Designs. Yeah, I was drawn to the name. I think it’s pretty cool. If you stop there, you’ll find all four of her Project 365 Templates and a couple of other freebies too!

I did Week 6 with Sweet Tomato’s Project 365 Template 4 and “Train, Train” You know, A year ago I thought “Train, Train” was a pretty big and complete kit! When I do the new train kit some time in the not so distant future, I might add, oh, ribbons, journal mats, more than one frame. Yeah, I’m pleased to say I’ve grown as a designer. But I’m also very pleased to say that it’s still a good kit! I will probably work on photographing for extraction some new signals and signs, but I did a good job on the signal masts in “Train, Train.” So, if you have a train buff, model railroader or little one who loves to watch the freight trains, stay tuned for an even better way to scrap those shots of them in the future! Steam kits are cool, but a kit for lifelike models or real freight trains? You don’t want to let that runaway!

Nani The Dragon-Slaying Artist

You all know that I have a very healthy inner child. You also know that I have a couple of twin teens that visit us from time to time. So ORIGINALLY I was checking this site out for them. I thought they might enjoy it because they spend so much time fighting over the their Game Boys. Well, I got a little, ahem, into my research.

MEGA Brands Kids Zone just has some really cool stuff! It’s an online games site. Seriously, I’d so much rather the girls were playing games that made them have to think at least a little online than have them drone in front of the TV watching reruns for the twentieth time and pretending it’s cool. So, I had the chance to check out a site with a variety of games and, well, try some of them out myself. How else do you now if you are actually using your brain to play it?

Rina likes dragons, so I decided to try Dragons Crystal Warrior. I was az knight with an ax. My mission was to run around the castle grounds killing other knights and get power bricks to try to get the dragon krystal. Work with me here. I was a cute little knight that kinda moved like a jogging robot. Where I got into trouble, is you don’t get any points for killing the dragoons. I killed two. They were breathing fire at me! I got points from the gold bricks for the two flaming-arrow-shooting other knights I offed, but bupkis for the dragons. Yet in the end, since he wasn’t worth points, I left him alone and it was the dragon who I DIDN’T slay that turned me into charcoal.

There is also a calmer game that lets you color. Oh, it reiterated why I manipulate shapes as a designer instead of freeform drawing in PhotoShop, but it was neat. They also have backgrounds you can color that sorta look like those velvet and mare kits. I had so many of them at my place when the girls were little. They just loved them! As I recall, I had a few of them hanging on my office wall too. Maybe that’s why so many coworkers from the other departments thought I had kids. I did a black velvet butterfly painting. You should give this a try. It’s a good place to practice for the Picaso challenge at SAS!

It was a fun site and yeah, took more strategizing or creative brain power than watching iCarly...AGAIN! So, yeah, I think I’ll bookmark the site...for the girls when they vist...really!

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Dinner Last Night

Mmmm.... Tasty Groundhog!

I take my dislike of winter VERY SERIOUSLY! ;)


Pitchers and catchers report in 9 days!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Photoblog Wednesday

“Just NO pictures of my butt!”

I bent over the side of the bed to pet Kaline, who was ON the bed. She always hops up on my hip when I’m laying on the bed and in absence of my hip, couldn‘t resist perching herself up on my butt! David got a hold of my camera to take a picture of her and I told him he was not to take pictures of my “big ‘ole butt” because I would never show them to anyone or scrap them or anything! This was his compromise. It’s actually kinda cute!

Is Love In The Air?

If you are looking for love, perhaps you’ve tried online dating sites? Perhaps you've had miserable luck with online dating sites? Maybe you were just at the wrong site!

Now, maybe you’re thinking, “Newlywed thinks she’s an expert.” Believe me, I’m no expert! If marriage DID make one an expert, I’m still too much of a rookie to be there yet anyway. But before David and I met, I visited a LOT of online dating sites! Some of those sites were just not a good match for me. How would I find a guy that matched me on a site that wasn’t even right? When I met David, it was on a site for people with similarities beyond men and women seeking men or women. That made a huge difference, but yeah, we’re an online dating success story. In fact, my brother and his fiancĂ© met online too!

Don’t you wish there was a Dating Directory Online to help sort out the sea of match-making sites? Well, click to datingdirectoryonline.net! They sort out the sites by age groups, geography, ethnicity, orientation and the most important ones, the sorted by interest sites. There are sites devoted to matching people into fitness or tattoos. The ice breaker is right there to start meeting people!

If you’re seeking a friend, a companion, the love of your life, why not give it a try. You could be lining up a first date for Valentines Day!

Snippets

Memorial Day Weekend, 2006

It was a nice Tuesday today! I paid some bills and while out doing that, got a a new job lead source! I also, feeling lucky from my errands run, jiggled a little at the connection on the computer for the bike and it powered right up when I plugged it in! YAY!!! Now I can set the resistance to “uphill!” 5 minutes and not just my legs, but even my butt was tingling! And the sensors on everything worked too, when I asked for the results of my 1-mile mini-ride, it gave me high marks for speed, calories burned and heart rate. Aside from the crippling pain in my knee, I’m in pretty good shape for too round! LOL


As you know, I collect “shorts” for my blog and post a variety blog every now and then. Well, except that I just had to put a little stand-alone post about my plans to roast Chuck for dinner after implying that we’d have 6 more weeks of winter. That was topical and needed to be presented first thing...the day after. :) Hey, I live with a newspaper man. It may not be “live” but I take the time to make sure the facts are right.

Well, and that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!


Read Any Good Books Lately?

I’m reading “Slouching Toward Fargo,” by Neal Karlen. David borrowed it from a coworker and let me read it after he was done. Yes, he warned his coworker that I’m a slow reader. This one, even though it’s a baseball story, has started really slow for me. It's not just the dyslexic slow. It’s a “not feeling it" slow. It’s written in first person and the beginning of the book is very much about the writing business. I can so get why David would enjoy that, a combination of “talking shop” and a personal passion second only to trains...well, maybe after trains and poker now. But the “shop talk” for a shop I’m not in was a little drudging for me. David promises it gets better, more baseball and less about writing. I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt.

I've left the link for Book Swim on The Chronicles’ bulletin board. The click is still worth 50% off your first month there! I’m thinking I might see if David would want to give it a try. I don’t read quick enough. It’s like someone who watches one movie a month joining NetFlix, but between the two of us, maybe. I know I was avidly searching the house for a new book after the holidays. I wasn’t going out through a foot of snow with a nasty cold to even go to the library at the beginning of the year. It would have been nice to have a book delivered to my mailbox!


Guest CT Spot

Oh, this one isn’t me looking. (although if you’re interested, Digitalegacies Designs still has a couple of openings!) This is about me BEING! I am a guest CT member for Tirza’s Treasures for the month of February. I was originally going to be her guest for January, then I got my own store. It was Linda’s suggestion that I might want to postpone my CT agreement until I got settled at Scrap Bird. I SO appreciate her wise suggestion! It really did take the better part of January to get into a rhythm as a pro designer. But now, I’m so happy to get this CT position!

I made the offer to CT for Tirza’s Treasures during the SAS designer contest. Linda was forced out of two contests thanks to Ike and a power outage that kept her from making the deadlines. Her kits are fabulous and I offered that when, not if, but when, she gets a store, to contact me about CTing. So now I get top play with some really great kits (that I didn’t have to make first!)

The first kit I’m working with is “Soft As Steel.”


Isn’t this a gorgeous kit?? Such perfect colors for a spring weekend combining the awakening greens with the cool steel of the rails and dusty industry of a limestone plant!

This is my first layout with Soft As Steel.

Credits: kit - "Soft As Steel" by Tirza's Treasures
Fonts - Ma Sexy and Chalkboard


I’m using this kit for all of the pages from our railfan trip in Canada Memorial Day of 2006. See? I am making a little headway in catching up!



FBR Anyone?

I’ll finish this entry with a reminder about a feature that hasn’t had any love since Thanksgiving! I guess, it’s kind of okay, since I’ve been so tied up with getting the new settled in my world, but I’m a well-adjusted job seeker by day and newlywed-pro scrapbook designer-Donna Reed by night and I’m ready, willing and wanting to take a Friday challenge again!

If you aren’t familiar with Friday By Request, you can check out the guidelines for making a request here. There is also a link to every request I’ve done since August 2006, 52 entries on Blogspot or Yahoo that have been requested by you the readers of The Chronicles of Nani!

I welcome your new challenges for 2009!