Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!

Yes, I’ve been gone a while…a long while. I’ve had some other physical and subsequent mental issues. I don’t really want to talk about them. It enhances the stress and potential depression. I read an article that explains the MIA from blogging probably better than I could.

Isolation: When Our Disease Makes Us Withdraw

So whether it’s starting over or
just continuing like I was never gone…

Welcome to my coffee shop in Cyber Space
Try the pumpkin spice scones!

Contact Nani at

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

How can your eyes knock you on your butt? My pupils now get smaller when light shines at them, like they’re supposed to, but the left one was still a little faster at 5PM. The right one was still dilated when the left one started to slowly react to light again. I was telling David that my entire body is just sensitive like that. A single cold pill puts me to sleep and I can have a nasty ache in my back in the morning, take one Advil and I’m good to go all day. I also drool for a half a day after I get a filling. So, my eyes were finally acting normal by about three, maybe a little after that. They are fatigued and I am tired, like the feeling after the shock wears off from a car accident or something. Yeesh!

But I can read again! I think I type a little faster when I can see what I’m doing. Knowing what’s going on the screen does help.

So now, my brain is ready to think and tell a story! Today since my eyes are knocking me on my butt, I’ll tell you about a mug and how it makes me think of shoes! Here we go!

Turner Sports
Atlanta Georgia

There was a time when this mug was a dream. The dream went something like this: I walk into One CNN Center in a stylish tailored gray suit with modest pumps that are custom fitted to my medium feet with AA heels so they are comfortable and don’t slip off the back as I walk. I have a black leather soft side brief case and a cappuccino in my hand. I walk up to the security desk that leads into the office halls and the desk attendant says “Hi Davonna! Close game last night, huh?”

I say something like, “Yeah, extra innings are always nail biters this late in the season!”

Then I walk down to the office with my name on the door.

The Braves are my number two NL team, but when this dream was the current big one, the Braves were number one in my world. I had sold my loyalties to what would be my home team. Sometimes in the fantasy I worked for the Braves, not as the executive producer, but a features producer or something. I was important, but I wasn’t in charge of everything. I think even in my Type A days, I subconsciously wanted out of my marriage to work.

Sometimes I was a main editor for World Championship Wrestling and other times I was a marketing specialist for TBS basketball, but my dream of dreams was always to work for something related to the umbrella of Turner Sports and I always had the perfect shoes.

I feel in love with the city of Atlanta the first time I visited there in 1989. It was just a kind of magic. The first time I was there with Mom, I didn’t even go to CNN Center. It was the next year when I went on my own that I visited CNN. You see, I was sure I wanted to be in Atlanta, but after my visit to CNN, I knew that I wanted to work there!

That trip I took alone was where the shoes come into the fantasy so vividly for someone who hates shoes. I had gone to Atlanta to look for work, so I was dressed professionally when I was downtown. A light-colored conservative, for me, suit with moderate heels that I hated, They killed my feet, but I was in my 20s and better able to do the walking in them and dumber about putting up with it. It was only a few years later that I adopted the habit of leaving them under my desk at work and going with stocking feet unless I was meeting with someone from the public.

I was going to take the tour at CNN and walked past the guy who shines shoes there. He said hello and asked if I wanted to take a break and he’d buff my shoes for me. I thanked him but said no. Then he asked me how old my shoes were. I thought that was an odd question, but he proceeded to tell me that he could tell by my walk that they didn’t fit right. Either they were older and stretched or I needed better shoes. I was a bit amazed. He offered a seat and he took a look at my shoes. He was the first person to ever tell me that my heels were narrow, that my shoes weren’t supposed to slip like they did. He told me that I might be better off to consider investing in custom shoes.

“Good shoes make a difference in everything!” He told me I had nice legs and good shoes would show them off better too. Yeah. That’s how the older gentleman’s advice became an important part of the fantasy. In the dream I can afford the custom shoes!

I’ve been to CNN a few times alone, with my parents, with friends. And I always get to relive that moment of conversation with a smile. Every time I walk past the shoe shine area, I remember fondly the 50-ish African American man with the warm smile who let me sit in his chair for a few minutes free-of-charge with his flattering comments and his volumes of knowledge about shoes.

Nani! What Big Eyes You Have!

Well, I made it through my first appointment with my new optometrist this morning. Living on a 35 MPH street with a school just a house length away made my first challenge of the day getting out of the driveway! Then I was driving into the sun looking for the office, passed it by almost a mile and turned around. I did find it in plenty of time for my appointment. It’s a storefront office right next to Cold Stone Creamery. That’s the Cold Stone David and I both get our free birthday ice cream at!

As I suspected, my right eye has become way different than my prescription for distance. Looking at the letter chart without my glasses and one eye covered, then the other, wow am I off balance now! My distance prescription is way stronger on the right than the left. I asked the assistant who did the refraction test on me if that was something that should worry me. She said the doctor would let me know if there was cause for concern. She gave me three drops in each eye to dilate them for the rest of the tests the doctor would do.

According to Dr. Bloomberg, the eyes tend to do the most of their big changes between 40 and 60! That’s when the eye’s lenses start to lose their elasticity, but it’s normal and not something to worry about. It’s just something that may cost new lenses every checkup! I remember when my eyes first started to change in different directions as the year passed. One eye would get worse for distance and one worse for close up. That was when I was around 40. Dr. Levin said, “Happy birthday, welcome to middle age!” Remember, Dr. Levin was my eye-guy since I was 13. He was quite in tune with my sense of humor.

So, now I definitely need some new glasses. I picked out a back-up frame for distance and a set of reading/computer glasses. Those will ease the pain in my back from leaning in so I can see the screen! I’ll pick them up when they are ready, in a couple of weeks, and I’ll drop off my current glasses and my sunglasses to have the lenses replaced. Now I just have to let them finish regaining some semblance of normal when the drops wear off!

After checking out, I got my free pair of stylish paper sunglasses. You know, the really dark one so you can drive home with dilated pupils. I got home at 9:30, had coffee and went up to the computer. I couldn’t see the screen. They told me it would be a couple hours before I could see up close well. So now I can see well enough to type, but not really to read comfortably. My hands do know a little about the keyboard and I’m not totally hunt dependent to peck. (but spell check hurts a little still!) My HUGE pupils are just now starting to slowly shrink when the light hits them. It’ll wear off soon, but I still can’t read and I’m thinking TV might hurt, but maybe I’ll make lunch and give it a try.

That picture? As big as my pupils are, see the white dots? It was full bright self-portrait flash and still, no shrinking! I look like Kaline when she’s giving the little kitten face. (Or a possessed horror-film extra)

Before I get going to lunch, I want to mention to everyone who stops by for the occasional freebie that I have a freebie poll going on. It’s right under the iPod in the right column. I want to know what types of freebies you enjoy. Whether I’m giving them from the blog or inviting you to the store, I want to offer freebies you can use!

Okay, now I’m really feeling like an egg roll and a rest for my eyes!

Finding Coffee Money

I know, I know, sponsors, ads, commercials, blah! But in a tough economy there are a few truisms.

Business cuts advertising first when they need to tighten the corporate belt. Not a great idea because when times are tough, competition is tougher. You NEED advertising. It’s still the first place they cut!

But, we all have things we’ve had to cut back on or out. For me, it’s my cappuccinos! At three bucks a pop, those are rare treats now where they used to be the beverage stop of choice before work when I was in Michigan in better times. I know fellow designers who have been selling scrapbook kits longer than me have noted cuts there too. We might even be looking at a ticket OR a hot-dog at the ballpark this year!

An awesome band aid that might get us all through these times with a little less stress, at least on occasion, is to check out the opportunities online. I looked at a Freelance Job Board where they match businesses getting what they need for a little less with people looking to earn a little more. You all know I do sponsored posts. Those sponsors haven’t afforded my daily cappuccino again, but I can treat myself weekly and I love not having to ask David for little things at the gas station when we’re railfanning!

If you’re feeling a pinch, it might be worth a click to check it out and see if any of the opportunities match what you enjoy doing. Some things pay more, some less, but this post alone will buy a cup of Speedway coffee, soft pretzel at a Mud Hens game or a set of Digitalegacies Designs Project 365 templates. What could you get for just a little bit of your spare time?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bragging Time

As I’m sitting here with my evening coffee and looking at the gallery for Digitalegacies Designs at Scrap Bird. I’m a little overwhelmed. There are some great layouts in there! I’m a new designer in a new store, so sales are slow. That’s only because no one knows me or my work yet. We’re working on that.

When I say “we’re” working on that, I mean the stuff I do, the challenges, freebies, promoting and layouts and the hard work and time Marzena puts into building Scrap Bird and the encouragement she gives her designers. But where I’m most blown away and is with my Creative Team! They all do such great work! For me, it’s knowing that my kits can make great layouts. I had very talented ladies showing off my stuff in February and an equally incredible crew this month! I’ve shown you the pages that Jana and Fenny did with I Feel Lucky and you’ve seen Jana’s first page with the newest kit, One Step at a Time, but I now have a gallery full of just wonderful pages with that kit and I want to brag about these talented ladies that are making my designs just shine!

First off, take a look at the second page Jana did with this kit:

What a great combination of soft colors in the photo with the bright paper and elements! I love the way she frames her pages!

Here are a couple from Fenny:

One scrapper, one kit, two layouts that are very different, both boasting talent and creativity. She goes a great job of showing off the kit's versatility!

Be sure to check out the Digitalegacies Designs gallery at Scrap Bird to see the beautiful layouts that feature Fenny and her hubby done with My Blue Heaven too!!

And now, I’d like to introduce you to a new Digitalegacies Designs CT member! Jeltje is great at taking a kit and making it hers to scrap with. If exactly what she needs isn’t in the kit, I bet she can make what she needs from the kit!

I just love the way she created clusters and extra elements from the papers in the kit!

Like I said, I’m just blown away at the great work these ladies do!

Come on over to Scrap Bird and see what the very talented ladies who have helped me out and have done with my kits! Hey, this is what you can do with them too! I’m doing the pages for my 40th birthday dinner with One Step at a Time and have gotten some inspiration from these great layouts myself.

So check out the gallery and be sure to leave some love for these great pages! While you’re there consider doing the I Wanna Talk About Me challenge. There are still a couple days to get those Crimson and Clover quick pages and If you haven’t joined Scrap Bird yet, why you still have a couple days to sign up and PM me for the One Step at a Time add-on that will be in the store in April!

There is just wonderful eye-candy and talent to spare at Scrap Bird! Come on over and check out all of our great designers!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Patch 365 and a Freebie!

I’ve decided that I have a cold. It’s one of those ones that knocks you down, but you get back up and think it was a little one and is gone, but a day later it comes back. You know what I mean, the nasty buggers that just don’t stay gone. That’s what I’ve got. Tuesday afternoon and evening I felt pretty awful, like I was gonna get really sick. Then yesterday I was feeling a lot better. Now I’m doing poorly again.

My biggest problem is drugs. I’m not good at taking them. I took Benadryl Tuesday when I started really feeling bad and one before bed. When I felt good in the morning I didn’t take any more. This morning I had a nasty ache in my knee, which occasionally happens, but by the time I finished doing groceries this afternoon, I was limping bad and my back was sore on the other side. Then part way through dinner I began to stuff up again. Now I have a soreish throat too. I took another Benadryl and if I feel good in the morning, I’ll try to remember to take another one anyway. It’s a cold. We don’t have anything pollenating yet for allergies!

It’s been an okay week though. I met my new dentist and I got an “okay” on the health of my gums and I‘m scheduled for the cleaning and a consultation for the repair and cosmetic work I need/want done. That happened before I got the cold. So, I didn’t give it to the dentist or her assistant, but maybe I got it that way! Hmmm... I still like her. She was awesome about explaining everything I was going to hear her talking about while I could still ask questions instead of while she was prodding around in my mouth! I also had a few decent jobs I sent resumes to and an offer to redistribute my resume for free from I Hire Marketing which I took advantage of. Next week is my eye doc appointment and I meet with an advisor to get ready to enroll for the next semester at the community college. I want to talk to someone about which IT certificate will be the most advantageous for me to earn.

So, there’s the exciting day-world of Nani. The evenings are more interesting! I’ve been doing some scrapping. I got weeks 11 & 12 of my Patch 365 project done!

Credits: Template from Project 365 Template Set by Digitalegacies Designs,
paper and ribbon made by me. Fonts - Comic Sans, Girls are Weird

Week 11 featured that Cherry Chocolate Blossom donut, Our futile attempts at training Kaline to use her new scratching post, thank you cards for wedding gifts and the shot of the kids crowded in Baggle’s carrier at the Vet!

Credits: Template from Project 365 Template Set 2 by Digitalegacies Designs,
kit - Kitten Kaboodle by Enaideel Scraps

The big shots from week 12 are me before and after my donation to Locks of Love and several cat pictures! Enaideel Scraps’ Kitten Kaboodle was a great kit for this one!

I wanted to share one more layout that I just liked the way it turned out. This was actually for a challenge from last month at Scrap Orchard, but I clicked on the most recent challenge this month in that category and didn’t realize until I’d already done the layout that it was already over. The challenge was to use triangles in your layout. I still think it turned out pretty nice!

credits: BOGO blog train kit from the Scrap Orchard Designers,
papers from: Pixel Geek Designs, Amanda Heimann Designs
and Irene V. Alexeeva Fonts JD and Capitals

Fortunately, it also goes with the My SAS-y Self challenge at SAS!

Now a couple of pages with my One Step at a Time that made great quick pages!

Credits: One Step at a Time quick page blog freebie by Digitalegacies Designs

Ten years ago, little 5-year old twins! :)

Credits: One Step at a Time quick page blog freebie by Digitalegacies Designs.

What a difference a decade makes, huh?? They just looked so stunning at Dave's wedding The bride and all, now three, nieces looked gorgeous! Well, okay, so did the guys, even my brother!

Of course, if you read the credits you know what the freebie is! It's two quick pages made with One Step at a Time!

Download them by clicking the preview. The password is still optimism. Personally, I don't care if it's not a hot seller. I love this kit and I'm very proud to say I created it!

Okay, Benadryl is kicking in and I'm still stuffy and sleepy now. I'm going to hope that it does the trick THIS time! Enjoy the quick pages!

Nani The Orange Marble

What a great break in the day! I took a few minutes to play as a guest at MagNext . Yeah, if you go there it says “Kids Zone.” Let’s be optimistic and call it “Inner Kid Zone.”

You know I’m always on the lookout for things that might be entertaining and new for when Tori and Rina visit. MagNext looks pretty cool. You are a ball. If you sign up you can dress your ball and stuff, so, since it was free, I signed up to be a marbled orange ball. Oh, and if you see a moneybag, click on it! You’ll get a free gift! I found that out by clicking and I got a free hanger, so I can be a Christmas ball now. It’s a Flash game, so the graphics are really cool. One of the classes available for my certificate is Flash, so there is a point of personal interest in checking it out too.

In this outer space-type virtual world there are cool games to play. I tried iCoaster. In iCoaster, you, or me, the marbled orange ball, travels on a roller coaster rail. Fun! But wait! It is a game after all and not just the fun of watching yourself as a ball ride the coaster! As you are cruising along there are pieces of the rail missing! Your mission is to select pieces from the menu and put them in place. I get the game, but I also have that think-quick and mouse ability of an adult who spends her computer time writing or slowly and carefully placing pieces in PhotoShop. I bet Rina or Tori could do a better job of not falling off the rail and meeting their doom. Hey, maybe they can teach me? I did a much better job of getting the hang of the car races. I even earned some mags to put towards buying a hat, but you won’t see my ID on the top scores any time in the next 20 years!

The more people you know in the game, the more fun it can be. If you have a game lovin’ kid in your world, they’ll lover this, and they might even teach you how to play!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How I Got My New Sister!

The first thing I’ll mention in the playback of the weekend is Shakespeare. “What’s in a name?” Really, what IS in a name? Answer - a place to sit! This was the first family event and the first event with place cards and assigned tables I’d attended since getting married. When we walked up to the table where the place cards were, the first one I saw was my Uncle John’s with my OLD last name on it. So, I started looking for mine and didn’t see it! My husband gave me my card and reminded me that I wasn’t an “L” anymore!

Tori and Rina gave the groom away!

The ceremony was held at the same hall as the reception with Laura’s brother officiating it. It was quite cool how they set it up! As the ceremony started, Dave came in, escorted by Tori and Rina. Then Laura came in, escorted by her daughter, Amanda and son, Rob. At the end of the aisle that lead to where Dave was, they stopped and Amanda’s husband, Aaron escorted her to the front and Rob escorted his Mom the rest of the way. Instead of asking who was giving the bride away, there was a Children’s Declaration of Consent. I thought that was too cool! Too many marriages that combine families don’t make a point of including the kids in the ceremony more than as part of the bridal party. The kids’ consent or lack of it can truly make or break a marriage, a family. I got a little misty from that!

The newlywed family!
Rina, Tori, Dave, Laura, Amanda and Rob

After the ceremony was dinner and then of course the dancing! Dave was talking to David and me and made a comment about Laura looking like a million bucks and indeed she did look gorgeous! Then he said when he saw her he looked himself over and decided as a couple they looked like $1,000,001!

In lieu of a bouquet toss, they did an anniversary dance. I first saw this done at my friend Mary’s wedding in 2007 and thought it was the coolest thing ever! I had long hated the barbaric ritual of herding all the single women and making them fight over thrown flowers while others laughed at them for being single. I think it bugged me most because I’d often referred to it as cursing someone with the next wedding. I was perfectly happy when I was single as a single woman. I didn’t need to be made a spectacle because of it and I did not want to be treated like an animal thrown into a fighting ring.

steps off that soap box now. Continuing with wedding story.

When Mary and Sal got married, they did an Anniversary Dance. All the married couples got on the dance floor and then the DJ called out “everyone who’s been married for less than a day, leave the dance floor,” and so on counting months, then years until the couple who’d been married the longest was the only one left. If we’d had a wedding, that would have been done instead of a bouquet toss and I gave it to Dave as a suggestion and he laughed because that was already the plan!

So, all us married folks got on the dance floor. The first call was for anyone married less than a day and Dave and Laura left. The next was for anyone married less than four months. David and I were two days shy of three months, so we left. Came to find out later that Dave knew it was less than three, but he told the DJ to say four so we wouldn’t have to do the math on the dance floor! (Come on Bro, at three months, even a husband still remembers the date he got married! hehe) The last couple dancing was Laura’s parents, over 60 years! Is that awesome or what? In addition to the bouquet, they renewed their vows after the song. Totally awesome! Nani gets misty-eyed again!

The favors were great! In the invitations, there was a request to send a recipe. There were books called “The People We Know and The Food They Eat” as the wedding souvenir. A fun collection of recipes from the friends and family of the bride and groom. The first recipe is for a family favorite that Mom always made for holidays. The page before it was written by Dave about Mom. I didn’t read it until later because I knew it would make me tear up. Talking to Dave and Laura at our table, Dave asked if I’d read it. I told him, “no, I’ll read it later.” Laura told him “I told you she’d want to read it alone.” I said it would probably make me cry and he proceeded to tell me what he’d written and my eyes got glassy and Laura made him stop. But when I did read it later, it was very sweet.


My camera disappointed me. It just didn’t have what it needed to take decent pictures in the hall. Most of them turned out grainy and red-eyed. Dave is going to send me a disk of their photographer’s photos though. So, I get to scrap a wedding after all! I told him I’d give them a book of the wedding from the point of view of the groom’s sister. There are a couple from my point and shoot that turned out okay!

The vows

Okay, I confess that the fountain gave me a flashback to Dave’s first wedding. But, that fountain was bigger and it was showering out Asti Spumante. I don’t think this one was alcoholic at all. ;)

Tori and Rina said they felt like mascots because everyone wanted a picture with them. But look at them! They’re BEAUTIFUL! Mascots should look so good!

Laura leads the conga line snaking through he hall!

Photoblog Wednesday

End of the line

Last weekend of operation for the semaphore signals between South Raub and Linden, Indiana. This shot was taken near Romney, Indiana, CSX train Q643-21

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It’s Transitional Wardrobe Season!

It’s that time of year when you put on a coat in the morning because it’s chilly, arrive at work where the heating and cooling hasn’t adjusted for the change of seasons and it’s hot and end up wishing you had a sweater because the air conditioning kicks on when the suns shines through the windows, forget your coat at the restaurant at lunch because it’s a beautiful spring afternoon and wish you had it at 5:00 because the rain has started and it’s COLD again!

Oh, you all know I really do love spring, but it does take a good transitional wardrobe to get through it! In steps Sears with 75-80% off original prices on fall and winter apparel. Here is one that totally grabbed me. I love versatile pieces in my closet.

This Studio One Women’s Plus Short Sleeve Shirtdress was originally priced at $78.00. You can get it for $19.99! It’s a cute, simple dress that’s fine for a relaxed professional look. Dress it up with a blazer, warm it up with a sweater, or for more looks, wear it unbuttoned with dress slacks and a blouse or a a simple solid dress. Using it as a duster, you can lighten up the look as we swing into spring. The dress is a poly-knit, machine washable, multifunctional and only a quarter of the original price with plenty of season left in it as we transition into spring!

See this dress and many more deals for women, men and kids at Sears! It’s while supplies last at the discounted prices until April 18, so click now!

Click Here


Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

Sorry things are running a bit behind today. Sometimes the Monday Mug Shot just skates in under the midnight wire anyway. My life isn’t all blogging all the time. (Wouldn’t it be COOL if it was? ;) ) But we got in very late last night after a weekend in Indiana. LAURA IS OFFICIALLY MY SISTER!!!!

Oh yeah, remember the layout I did with the free quilted quick page a couple weeks ago? That was October and last Saturday was the wedding! Yes, my brother got married, that’s how I get to have Laura as my sister. I get a new niece and a nephew in the deal too. Sorta culture shock for me. I have an adult nephew and a married adult niece! Wow. That was fast! hehe

I‘ll share some wedding details form the sister-of-the-groom point of view over the next few days. It was a really nice ceremony and a FUN party! I even danced for two songs, bad knee and all. No - I don’t dance well with the knee. Maybe one day I’ll get a new knee, better, maybe bionic. Then I can dance well again, but I still had a good time!

So coming this week at The Chronicles of Nani:

Wedding details form the main event in Indiana this year
Great photos from Spring 3rd!
Patch 365 layouts
a freebie Quick Page (or two)

But for right now, let’s get on with the Mug Shot!

Taquamenon Falls
Paradise, Michigan

When I worked at Omnicom Cable as the Sports Director, I put in some MAJOR long weeks in the spring. In a salary job, a 65-hour week pays the same as a 40-hour week, even a 35-hour week! By the time the spring tournaments were done, and the spring workshops, which I taught were over and graduations for 4 high schools were recorded, I had worked three months of more 65-hour weeks than 40s! I had an awesome boss, who was a bit of a workaholic type herself, but always made sure that everyone took a break, got time off when they needed it and got at least some comp-time for their extra hours!

My spring responsibilities, usually resulted in her calling me to her office and opening her planner to the pages where she was keeping track of most of the hours that I wasn’t. I was usually told I had 5 comp-days, which was the max she could give, and told that I needed to take them “as soon as possible.” Things slowed down in the summer when the schools were out and she insisted I take a vacation when I had the time to do it. In 1992, right after my first Spring as a producer, that time was in mid-July. Mom and I took a trip “Up North.”

This was the same trip as my first crossing of the Big Mac (see the 2/23/09 Mug Shot) After our crossing and that stop for pasties, we went on toward the Soo Locks, stopping in Paradise. Michigan is the only state that can tell you the exact mileage between Paradise and Hell! It’s the only state with both!

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan really is like being in a completely different state from the Lower Peninsula. It’s more forested, little pockets of civilization dot the greenery, but it’s mostly wild and beautiful. Walking in Taquamenon Falls State Park truly is being in Paradise. The songs of many birds high in the trees fill the quiet and squirrels run up and jumping from branch to branch. Then the sound of running water, lots of running water gets louder and louder!

The upper falls are among the largest falls east of the Mississippi River, dropping nearly 50 feet. There are several places on the path in to the falls for viewing and great photo ops! I remembered having seen the falls as a child and it was neat as an adult to see them again and realize what I did and didn’t remember about them. I remembered they were beautiful and I remembered they were orange.

Orange? Well yes, orange! The water at Taquamenon Falls runs orange from tannic acid from the trees that grow in the swamp land that feed the Taquamenon River. I believe it runs more orange at some times of the year than others, but in the summer, when we were there, it was O-RANGE!

We spent a while there and got the obligatory souvenir photos at the upper falls, then went to the lower falls!

The Lower Taquamenon Falls are not a drop like the Upper, but a series of smaller falls stretched out over a larger area. They are still pretty, but not as intimidating as the 50,000 gallons of water per second that rolls over the upper falls. They are powerful yet peaceful series of falls stepping down the river.

After a day of clean fresh air in the mid-July jacket weather of the UP. we were good and ready to get a hot dinner and check-in to our hotel for he night!

Sweet Tooth Dreams

Tomorrow is my first consultation with my new dentist! Of course this makes me think about candy!!

With good habits, candy is not your enemy! I brush at least twice a day, more if I need it and floss every day. I also enjoy a sweet piece of hard candy, chewy taffy or refreshing Mints . And you all know I have to have my chocolate too! That’s a dietary requirement!

The point is, sugars won’t instantly rot your teeth and with proper care of them, you can still enjoy the sweetness that’s meant happy to you since you were a kid.

Mmmm,... spring makes me think of all that wonderful kid-stuff, like flying kites, blowing bubbles through a bubble wand and bubble gum! When I was a kid gum was Wrigley's Gum , Juicy Fruit. Come on now, everyone had Juicy Fruit as a kid, didn’t they? As an adult, I prefer Double Mint from those classics, but really, I prefer something sugarless, like Extra. They have some awesome flavors including bubble gum, which was a very common thing to see me with as a kid...of 40. Extra is great because you can pack a few pieces in your mouth for only a few calories and no tooth-decaying sugar, so you can have that flavor in your mouth and blow when-you-were-a-kid-size bubbles! And Mr./Ms. new dentist, it won’t stick to the work you’ll do to me either!

So, tomorrow I’ll brush, floss and head out to meet my new dentist. I’m actually kinda of excited about it. My smile is anxious for the cosmetic boost too! But right now, I’ve worked myself into a strange craving for some sugar-free bubble gum.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Nani, Nani, Nani

My new electric best bud!

I actually was going to do one of my potpourri entries yesterday with a few briefs, but the first one ended up so long! I’m just very pleased with the progress of Wife 1500 so far. If it’s working for me, you might find a kernel or two that works for you too. Yes, a pun with the kernel comment there. hehe

Now to finish what I started yesterday!

First off It’s another Crazy Thursday at Scrap Bird! This week you can pick up my Project 365 template sets for half off. That’s only a buck! Four templates in each set, that’s 2 months of Project 365 layouts with your choice of paper and elements but done the easy way! Just place the paper above the layer, create a clipping mask and you’re good to go! You can see many samples of those layouts by clicking “365” for the posts with that label.

One Step At A Time Layout

I got the first layout with One Step at a Time from my CT! This one was done by Jana, one step at a time is baby’s first steps! I kind thought in the back of my mind that this kit would be good for this kind of layout and Jana definitely proved that thought right! She did just a great job!

Sweet Thanks

I got this very nice thank you from Linda, Tirza’s Treasures!

It’s presented as a sincere thank you for awards and nice comments. It doesn’t have to be passed on today or ever, but it can be. Very cool sentiment!

I get many awards for which I am so grateful. I do, sometimes a little while after receiving it and sometimes right after, acknowledge all of them, but I don’t always pass them on. It’s not that I want to spoil the fun, but I sometimes just don’t have the necessary time to do it. But I do appreciate them all just the same.

Now, I’d like to pass the sincere thank you to everyone who reads this. Thank you for taking a few moments from your day to stop in at my cyber-coffee shop and read a little! Thank you for thinking of The Chronicles of Nani!


More mundane but, to me, exciting news! In the wake of the feel-good donation to Locks of Love, and finally moving my hair care to Ohio with the rest of me, I’m going to savor the fruits of wedded bliss! I’m getting my teeth cleaned! That’s not nearly as corny as it sounds. My teeth badly need cleaning. I’ve been near-broke and uninsured for a few years! With “I do” comes “add my wife to the policy!”

I am almost militant about brushing and I am what my old oral hygienist thought to be rare, I floss every day! I’ve been told my smile is one of my better physical traits and right now my teeth could really stand a face lift! So next week will be my first visit to my Toledo dentist. They’ll do X-rays and the initial consultation to decide what the cleaning and caring plan of action will be to get me back to smiling confident that my smile is my best best-feature it can be!

A week later will be sorta bittersweet. I’ve had the same optometrist since eight grade. It was reading glasses then, but he is also the one who recognized my dyslexia and helped me with eye exercises to overcome it and make reading easier for me. He taught me how to put contacts in. He gave me an explanation that a young me could comprehend about exactly what astigmatism is. (He used the baseball-football analogy)

But Dr. Levin is in Northville, 70 miles away now. If I need a new prescription, that’s a long way to drive with unreliable vision! So, in two weeks will be my first visit to an optometrist who isn't Dr. Levin or one of his partners. I think this is even scarier than a new person cutting my hair!

Opposing Views and Paid Posts

I wanted to mention this just to let you know what I do behind the scenes! Anyone who has ever left a comment here knows that I only publish approved comments. This does a few things. The number one thing it does is gets rid of any need to enter a confusing set of letters before the comment posts. When I read it, I’ll figure out if you were a real person or a machine. I’m an accomplished hunt and peck typist. That means I’m pretty quick and even accurate if I put my mind to it, as long as what I’m typing are words as I know them. When I have to type in those security combinations, I usually have to do them 2 or 3 times. A machine would probably do a better job of faking being a human than me! I understand how it works as a security measure, but since I read them all before they appear, I don’t care if I’m deleting gibberish from a bot. I don't like the security codes and I don't think I need to put anyone else through it here.

The other more important thing comment approval does, is it let’s control-freak me have...control - over the content of my blog. This is important because I don’t allow comments that hurt or slander me, my readers or my sponsors. Yes, I’m protecting the generous sponsors who support my caffeine habit by letting me do a little promotion for them through compensated posts. As I say in my disclaimer on the bulletin board, I choose opportunities to promote products and services that I think are a good idea or in the case where I’ve used it , a good product. A good clue is that if there is a link in the text for a non-scrapbook post, it’s a compensated post. When I am recommending a product or service on my own without compensation, the links will here on out be after the post. For the most part they usually have been anyway, but I'm going to do it that way from now on so you know if it's a sponsored post or my personal testimonial. I'll never say I've tried a product unless I have, sponsored or not. If you disagree with a product that is a sponsor, please feel free to leave a comment, even leave an email address and we can trade emails about anything you think would be a better product. I do read every comment and I always check out links you share. However, if the comment is on a compensated post and especially if it recommends a competitor, I won’t publish it. That’s contrary to the contractual agreement with my sponsor and my own personal business ethics. But if you want to chat about it “off-blog” leave me contact info and we can chat over the coffee I can afford after doing the post!

Well, there are my little bits and bits for this week. Exciting weekend scheduled!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How Is Wife 1500 Going?

First, I did NOT go have my small Shamrock Shake yesterday and I ended the day having to eat four pretzels to get to my minimum calories count. I had more than enough left for the shake. I still want to get my shake before they’re gone until next year. Maybe this weekend. I found flounder fillets at Kroger, regular $9 bag for $2.99! That was dinner, so there were definitely calories left over yesterday. Great dinner though!

Spaghetti dinner I cup of pasta with meat sauce,
salad with Newman’s light balsamic vinaigrette,
1 slice Texas toast and 1 glass cabernet. 450 calories

This is a bit of an update on the Wife 1500 project. I’m doing well so far with keeping between my numbers. Usually, I can stay between 1000 and 1200, but the 1500 number is in place so I can occasionally have McBreakfast when David and I are railfanning or ice cream/cake for dessert. My honey loves his desserts but he usually doesn’t want to have ice cream without me, so I structured my diet in a way that allows me to enjoy evening dessert with him. I don’t consider that splurging. That’s making sure my diet doesn’t make David crazy. That would be another sure way to have an excuse for not being disciplined. I have to look out for myself too. After all, I’m doing this for me!

Recently, bless him, we found out that we both like Jello. Strangest thing for that to be such a big deal, but especially after a heavier meal, like beef or pasta, it’s a nice light dessert and while a bowl of ice cream is 150-250 calories, a bowl of Jello is 80! It’s the perfect companion for our nightly Yahtzee challenge!

Also HUGE thanks and shout-out to Skinny and the City! Joining that mailing list was just awesome for me!! I’ve gotten some great tips and recipes that I’ve added to my cooking routine. I also got a link to Kernel Season's Popcorn that changed my way of crunchy snacking for the WAY better!

I air-pop my popcorn, 120 calories for five cups! Then I spray it with popcorn spritzer, which by the way is butter flavored cooking spray with a little salt, and sprinkle on the flavor topping. Skinny and the City had a coupon code in their email newsletter that offered a free bag of popcorn and a free full-size popcorn spritzer with any order. I bought two shakers of flavor, caramel and garlic Parmesan, and my freebie was worth as much as my purchase, it was essentially all you see in the photo for half price. Did I mention that the newsletter was free? I’m loving my morning coffee read!

By the way, you can’t just buy microwave popcorn to do this. Lots of fat for cooking it, even the light varieties. It must be air-popped. It gives great flavor and no fat with the spritzer and shakers. An air-popper is about $20 anywhere you buy Kitchen appliances, but you CAN still air-pop in the microwave too. Get a standard lunch-size paper bag. Put 2 tablespoons of kernels in the bag and fold it tight on the top. Put it in the microwave for 2-4 minutes. Times vary per microwave, but you don’t want to leave the popcorn unattended at first anyway, until you are sure of the time. Nothing is nastier than the smell of over-nuked popcorn! Just let it go until it stops popping, same as regular microwave popcorn. Now you can put it in a bowl, spritz, flavor and mix, or you can just spritz and flavor in the bag and shake!

I did this for a while, but I realized that I was making popcorn almost every day anyway and I was running out of paper bags! So I picked up my air popper at Meijer. I think it was $22. So now I have my popper, bag of popcorn, butter flavored spray and 3 shakers. I picked up Kernel Season's’s kettle corn at Meijer when I got the popper and new bag of popcorn.

Another Nani-testimonial! I tried Kahiki egg rolls. It was a link from an email, maybe that was Skinny and the City too, but don’t quote me on that one. I went to the Kahiki home page because while the egg rolls look good and only 70 calories each, I can’t have them if there is MSG. Nasty reaction MSG gives if you ingest it when you’re allergic! Well, NO MSG in the egg rolls! They have veggie, shrimp and chicken. I’ve tried the chicken too and they are very good for only 10 more calories, but I LOVE the veggie ones!

I downloaded the $1.50 off two coupon from their website to try them. I couldn’t find them at the nearest grocer to me, but they had them at Meijer, where David prefers to get his steaks anyway, so that’s convenient for me! The egg rolls cook in the microwave in their crisp pouches in 2 minutes, 4 if you’re cooking 2. They are full-size tasty egg rolls and only 70 calories! Plus, bonus time, I cut a coupon off the box for 55 cents off my next box. At this rate, they’ll never be full price either!

So this is all great, but am I getting results?


I can already see it in my face. I like my face as it is just fine, so of course, it’s the first place it starts to show if I lose a little weight. That’s probably where my fear of losing too fast is. I’ve seen people who lose a lot really fast that have a gaunt corpseish look for a couple years after weight-loss. I always struggle with the polite “oh, you look GREAT” and the honest “don’t worry, your face will fill back out and you’ll look good again.” So of course, the first place it starts to show to me is my face gets thinner. I’ve talked to other women who’ve complained that the first place they lose is the bust. I wish! Murphy’s law of dieting is that you’ll show loss first in the last place you think you need to lose. In a Biblical sense, Murphy is Satan tempting you towards gluttony for the sake of vanity! I won’t give in, but I still want to figure out how to lose in the bust.

We don’t have a scale in the house, and truth is, I don’t want one. Actual weight fluctuates with time of day and the results of exercise too. Muscle weights more than fat. An occasional weigh-in at the doctor’s office or even at a friend's house is sufficient. I can tell by clothes that are already fitting a little better and “hey, that roll used to hit my elbow when I relax my arms.” Everyone who has ever struggled with weight KNOWS what I mean by that! You see, if I can’t keep looking at a number on a scale, I don’t KNOW that it’s a good time to “take a break.” As long as I can see it and feel it in the mirror and my closet, I’m good and satisfied that the plan is working!

Of course some people need the scale for encouragement. That’s cool too. I truly believe that what works for you is the right way to do it. If I lose enough by the end of my first married year to be worth writing a book, it won’t be the Nani Diet, but the Nani Diet Motivational Inspiration book. Of course, you all will have read it in The Chronicles of Nani for free!

So there’s the update on my quest to buck the norm and LOSE in my first year of marriage. Thanks for your support and definitely try those yummy suggestions!

Try these great diet treasures!
Skinny and the City
Kernel Season's

Photoblog Wednesday

Every time I think they just can’t get any cuter...

Snuggle-time: Baggle is protecting his sleeping little sister?

Okay, they tell me the groomer, protector and hurdle are usually signs that the protected, groomed and jumping is the alpha, but at the food dish, Baggle still calls the shots. It’s a senior thing. The older cat selects their specialty and leaves the younger cats to the rest of the cat jobs. Azzie did it too. (Don’t tell Kaline!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mmm... Fresh Gazpacho!

I was reading a friends blog, heck, I’ve read posts on several blogs about gardens now that the spring weather is starting to look like it's gonna stick around. This happens to me every year, I get the garden bug! Yikes! Garden bug, Dad used to have trouble with those eating one plant or another every year. His garden is much smaller now, but he still battles those who would be the "extra protein" in his veggies! That makes me wonder about bugs in my garden if I try it too!

When I think garden, I think of how awesome it would be to have tomatoes and cucumbers in the back yard. YUM! Fresh gazpacho, salsa and made from tomatoes right off the vine spaghetti sauce! Never mind that I can just crunch right into a fresh cuke and garden-grown is the only way I’ll eat a tomato that isn’t part of something else. I love tomatoes, but prepping them for market changes the flavor, ya know?

So what will it take to get Nani digging up some dirt to grow a couple of food-providers?

You’ve heard me rave about Safer Brand organic pesticides and what a great idea those are for garden vegetables that give you just the veggie and it’s goodness when you eat them, rather than adding chemicals to your food. Safer Brand has an organic tomato growing kit that might be a convincing argument for me to mark off a garden patch (pun SO intended) in our backyard.

The tomato and vegetable gardening kit includes a bottle of tomato and vegetable insect killer that is OMRI listed, organic and made to target those pests that are naturally attracted to your garden veggies! They list more bugs that the spray will attack before they can attack your plants than I knew there were!

The kit includes the Stake It Easy system. That’s truly cool! You can make the skeletons for little tomato castles in your garden! The system includes stake anchors and 36” stakes with expandable connectors and extensions. You ban build a stake network up to 6 feet tall to support the best growth of your vegetable plants.

So, after a few blogs and then checking out the Safer Brand site again and discovering the kit that can get me started, I’m taking an even more serious look at making this my garden year! I can taste the fresh gazpacho already!


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

cluster made with “I Feel Lucky” by Digitalegacies Designs

Happy St. Patrick’s day to all who celebrate it! I remember years ago the ad agency producers at work took off at lunch and never came back. It was an unofficial half-day holiday. They “networked” for the afternoon. I guess seducing Irish clients at the pub, right? ;)

I am wearing my green today. It’s in my green Irish eyes! That’s where I get those green eyes from, also the freckles here and there. I have a little real Irish blood in me! Of course, the green eyes is where my legitimate Irish green stops. St. Patrick is the Catholic patron saint of Ireland. The Catholic part of Ireland is represented by the green part of the flag. My Irish ancestors are represented by the orange part of the flag. They were Protestant.

I do have one glitzy “Kiss Me I’m Irish” T-shirt in black with green sequins, but on St. Pat’s day, I usually wear my Siena Heights shirt. It’s long-sleeved and green. Now, my school colors are blue and yellow and usually I don’t wear things that are in the “wrong” colors. I support breast cancer research, but you’ll never see me in a pink baseball cap. But, I make a one-day exception for my school shirt in green. I am not Catholic and my Irish isn’t Catholic, but I went to a Catholic university! So, green for St. Patrick with my school logo is totally appropriate!

When Mom was a preteen to teenager, my Great Grandfather used to growl at her on St. Patrick’s day because she wore green to school. He made a point of reminding her that she was NOT Catholic Irish! Dad-dad died when I was very young, but I remember him as a loving man who could rumble the rafters if he was peeved at something. I hope that wearing green to represent the Catholic school where I earned my degree can keep me from feeling that rumble from beyond!

I have a couple of sweet mentions from blog friends I want to share!

First, Edna has bestowed upon me another award to brag about.

Yanno, as a new pro-designer in a new shop, there are many challenges to my ego and general desire to keep doing it. When I only sell one or two things in a month, it’s a little discouraging! But I have to remember that I’m new at this, I’m building my own reputation and also working to build the store’s image as well. (Darlene Haughin has been a GREAT coach!) But all this makes getting recognition for my design work, from a scrapper and designer in her own right that I respect, even more meaningful to me. Thanks, Edna! The encouragement and boost from a friend is a WONDERFUL gift!

I am passing this one one to some great unsung, or not sung enough, heroes in the designing world!

Tirza’s Treasures

Veelana’s Designs
LiviaY Designs
Kim’s Scrappin’

These are all fairly new, not quite pro or not as widely known designers that are just FANTASTIC at the craft!

mITSYBELLE tagged me for the 6 and 6 photo show and tell. Since I’d already done it, I told her I’d show 7 and 7! So, here’s the 7th photo in the 7th folder on my EHD.

The seventh folder is called “Photography” and it’s my artsy-ish shots! This is an evening shot of the CN tower in Toronto in July of 1999.

Okay, now for the eating part of break time. I'm debating between a nice green salad or a splurge for a small shamrock shake. Either one means I go for a ride in the almost 60 degree sun today! Luck of the Irish, huh?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

Corelle Basic Beige Mug

This mug is not plain. It’s classic neutral, perfect for a dream kitchen.

I fell in love with Corelle dishes when my Mom first got them when I was about 13. We had stoneware dishes before that. Those ones had lots of ...character. The were dark beige with a floral design that matched my Mom’s taste in kitchen decor, burnt orange, olive and brown, very style of the day for the mid-70s when the house was built. Mom and I were alike in so many ways, but in the ways we weren’t alike, we were WAY different!

Our aesthetics tastes were very different. I love Andy Warhol, Mom was nuts about Vincent Van Gogh. As an adult, I’d draw pictures of a teddy bear in crayon with and ear missing and tack them up on the refrigerator for her “Teddy Van Gogh.” She gave me a giant Campbell’s Tomato soup can for Christmas one year...full of white cotton underwear. We enjoyed teasing each other about our taste, or opined lack of it!

So it was with kitchen decor. I often commented about the backdated, flower-child kitchen in Northville. She informed me that she was of the flower-child era and had every right to have a flower-child kitchen. Of course, it wasn’t my kitchen, so I wasn’t going to change anything, but after all, SHE was the one who raised me to have an opinion and speak it.

Eventually, in fact pretty quickly after Mom and Dad moved into their dream home with their two preteens, the old stoneware was pretty well chipped. It was “movin’ on up” not to be eating dinner on the old melamine set we had, but the heavy clanky dishes weren’t so durable. Enter the dishes that did NOT match the 70s kitchen.

Corelle is virtually indestructible. We had a bright white set with a whispy green pattern. Mom liked them well enough, but I KNOW that if they’d had olive-green plates with an orange floral design she’d have gotten them, I just know it! She did swear by the brand for the quality though. “You don’t wear out Corelle, you give them to your kids when you want new ones.” I told her not this kid. I had ideas in mind for my dream kitchen by about 16. I wanted a sage green and peach country kitchen in a home with an ultra modern living room. That all works together when you’re 16.

When Corelle started making the “Forever Yours” pattern, I was in love. Beige plates with peach hearts and green accents. The obsession with the peach and green kitchen and the Forever Yours pattern went on for a few years. Mom feigning choking every time I looked at it or talked about it. When Mom saw a few items in that pattern on a clearance shelf, she looked at me and asked if I was really serious about it. I think I was about 20 and had been dreaming of my peach and green kitchen nearly half a decade. I was serious. So, Mom started buying me a few pieces of Corelle and the coordinating corning kitchenware for every gift-giving occasion and some occasions she made up when she found them on sale.

I had decided that I wanted the basic beige base set with Forever Yours accents. I reminded her what she told me about Corelle not wearing out and I didn't want to HAVE to have kids if I ever decided that I wanted a different color scheme! So 2 sets for four of the beige Corelle were a Christmas present. It included the dinner plates, soup bowls and mugs. She also added eight dessert bowls.

Today, the peach and green accents are in storage waiting for the day we can build our home over David’s dream train layout. The preview of the kitchen to come is in the set of nesting bowls that includes my popcorn bowl. I had chipped one of David’s bowls when I was washing dishes before I even moved to Toledo, so for the safety of his not-so-durable dishes, we do use the virtually indestructible beige Corelle in the kitchen today.

I have so many mugs that have pictures and words and character of their own, but what’s true in life, is true in my mugs. Never overlook the simpler things. What may seem like one of many and a plain cup, has one of the warmer stories that brings a sweet memory of Mom and a smile to my face when I tell it.

I'm Ready For The Sun - and BASEBALL!

A couple is on vacation and having a disagreement about how you pronounce Kissimmee. So when they stop for lunch, they ask the teenage girl working at the restaurant to help them out.

“Can you pronounce the name of where we are, and say it slow!”

The girl looks mystified and says “BUR---GER---KING”

It’s smack in the heart of Florida and home to so much! There’s more to eat than just Burger King and way more to do than argue about how to say it, it’s Kissimmee, Florida!

It’s free or carefree or both! You can enjoy a vacation without breaking the bank and find a ton of fun!

The free part is pretty obvious here. If David and I went for a trip to Kissimmee, we’d of course do some railfanning. Amtrak and CSX both have tracks in the area, but I would have to give my camera some bird time too! Kissimmee has the largest population of nesting bald eagles in the continental US! There are many areas that are wetlands or woodlands, habitats that are perfect for many species of birds. I would love a card full of pictures of those birds that you just don’t see in Ohio or Michigan!

As far as carefree or to splurge a little, at this time of year, the heart of Florida is the heart of Grapefruit League Baseball! You KNOW I’d have to take a break for that. Florida during spring training has long been my dream vacation getaway! The Houston Astros play their spring games in Kissimmee at Osceola County Stadium. What a great opportunity to get one of those more intimate and closer to the players seats and work on recruiting Lance Berkman for Cincinnati!

I’m just sayin’, I could...

After the trains, birds and baseball, I think we’ve had a full day without spending a lot of money. Now we can splurge at a nice seafood restaurant for dinner. Remember, heart of Florida - fresh seafood in almost every direction!

Now, hit that Kissimmee link and read about the Freedom to Enjoy Sweepstakes! Totally cool. They are giving away 3 weekend trips for two and 2 week long trips for four! Two drawings will be held in April and May. No Grapefruit Baseball then, but Florida Minor League ball. I’m still putting my email addy in! See you in Kissimmee!


One Step at a Time Freebie

Just a quick coffee break note this morning to give a gift! One Step at a Time is officially available in my store as well as part one of the sampler! So here is part two!

In the blog freebie you get a flower, a word art brad and a glitter-trimmed award ribbon. The password is optimism. Click the preview for the download page.

After you download part 2 of the sampler, if you haven’t visited the Scrap Bird store for part one yet, make sure you get the rest of the freebie! Part one is a paper, another flower and a bracket frame. If you haven’t joined Scrap Bird yet, when you stop for part 1 of the freebie, why not join and PM me for the free add-on for newcomers?

Enjoy the free sampler and as always, I appreciate your comments at The Chronicles of Nani!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

One Step at a Time

As the regulars at The Chronicles of Nani know, I’m not a full-time designer by any means. My “day job” is the full-time task of finding a day-job in a very squeezed market! I find great relief from the stress and looming cloud of gloom that the job market presents in my hobbies. My scrapping and design time is pretty much in the evenings, worked around doing my Donna Reed duties and spending time with my husband and on the weekends when we aren’t out doing something else. That means that it is sometimes a task to get a kit finished! I figure I’m doing well if I get 2 new kits a month, my rent contribution to the Scrap Bird Mega Kits and a few templates or quick pages. Oh yeah, I do still scrapbook too! **wink**

I fell in love with a song and video the first time I saw it. That video on TV (Thank goodness for my taste in teen-TV!) was my first introduction to the song and I was totally hooked! One Step at a Time, by Jordin Sparks is such a upbeat song with fantastic lyrics! And in the video, I LOVE HER DRESS! That you see many colors in common with the video in my new kit is not at all a coincidence!

One Step at a Time is filled with bright colors and sparkle. There is a lot of word art with positive words and sayings, award ribbon tags and flowers. There is also a Digitalegacies Designs signature piece, the photo-journal card!

The papers are full of rich textures, flowers and sparkle. You’ll also see some papers and elements with a fade reminiscent of that dress I love so much. In all, there are 12 papers and 35 elements, more than could be shown on just one element preview!

One Step at a Time will be available this week at Scrap Bird. Make sure you check back at The Chronicles of Nani for the freebie! When sampler part one is available for free in the store, sampler part 2 will be free here!

See the video that inspired this kit at the Jordin Sparks You Tube page!

New Members Bonus!

I’m looking for more people to participate in the I Wanna Talk About Me challenge at Scrap Bird! So, I’m offering a freebie bonus to members who join between now and the end of the month! It’s simple, join Scrap Bird for free and PM Nani and ask for your bonus!

Wanna see the bonus?

This add-on for One Step at a Time won’t even be in the store until April, but you can snag it for free when you join before March 31! Just send me a PM asking for the free add-on and I’ll PM back the link! If you are already a member and want the freebie, just recruit a new member and ask them to mention you in their PM to me. I’ll send you both the link for the freebie!

Now, I’m not saying you HAVE to do my challenge if you join and get the freebie, but I’d love it if you did! In the I Wanna Talk About Me challenge you must use at least one item from a Scrap Bird designer. That item can be from the store or a freebie, so, here’s a good start! You can put together a pretty nice layout just from the add-on and if you use any Digitalegacies Designs kit for your layout, you’ll not only get the challenge bonus, a set of quick pages made with Crimson and Clover, but you’ll get the blog bonus for using my products too, the full Crimson and Clover kit! So, you could end up with THREE freebies!

So come on over to Scrap Bird! The company is great and feeders are full of seeds to make your creativity grow!

The freebie offer expires at 11:59PM EDT on March 31, 2009