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 the tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

Contact Nani at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com
....................................

Christmas Scrapbook Freebies

If you were visiting from Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies, follow the
hyperlinks for Digitalegacies Designs' mini kit Christmas Cocoa
and the add-on Christmas Cocoa Flowers.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bring Me Chocolate Bunnies, Bring Me Spring!

“Chocolate Easter bunny
In a jelly bean nest,
I'm saving you for very last
Because I love you best.
I'll only take a nibble
From the tip of your ear
And one bite from the other side
So that you won't look weird...”

excerpt from “Patience”
by Bobby Katz


You can read that whole poem and more at Celebrations.com. They have some great ideas for things to make your Easter celebration even better than just what the bunny brings! There are more poems, party ideas and recipes for baked Easter goodies too!

Nothing like preplanning, huh? I’m working on some Easter scrapbook stuff, so this was a neat site to check out , lots of good craft ideas too!

In addition to it’s religious significance, Easter is a time of getting ready to welcome in spring! Okay, okay, last year Easter was a time of getting snowed back home shortly after taking off for Grandma’s and making a snow bunny the next day,but that was a good Easter memory too! Helping David build his first snow creature, we were child-Picassos for the day!

My favorite Easter memory is more a favorite Easter tradition. Grandma and Papa always came to our place for Easter weekend once they were living up north. The Saturday night before Easter was egg night. that was a Grandma and me thing. When I was in my early 20s, we’d sit at the kitchen table with a bottle of white wine and a dozen boiled eggs and all kinds of decorations. Sometimes, as we got near the bottom of that bottle of wine, the eggs had a “special” look. hehe

Of course some 20 years later neither one of us drinks too much anymore and we’d start feeling too tipsy to decorate eggs by the second glass! Now we go to Grandma’s house and she takes the brood out for Easter dinner the Saturday before, but sometimes we still do eggs, in fact a couple years ago, David helped and we made sports ball eggs. I gotta tell ya, footballs are just naturals for eggs!

If you want some other ideas for egg decorating after you checkout the recipes, celebration.com has 20 Easter egg decorating ideas. I think maybe Grandma and I should do some eggs this year!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's A Half-Birthday Party!

Happy Half-Birthday to me!
I’m half way to 43!

Not so many people acknowledge their half birthday after about age 12. I remember telling Rina and Tori, who were being bullied by a kid in kindergarten because he was “5 and a half and they were only 5,” when their half-birthday was and they realized that they were 5 and a half too! The bullying stopped when they told him because suddenly, they were peers.

Of course, at 5 1/2, you say you’re 5 and a half. Other kids would call you on it if you said you were 6. I round up after January 29 when someone asks how old I am. I discovered that, just like when I was 5 and a half, when I was 39 and a half, my friends called me on it again! I was just too excited about turning 40 for everyone’s liking and they refused to let me say I was 40 before July 29! Well, from here to July, I’ll probably say “43” when someone asks how old I am, but you all know that I’m 42 1/2. Shhh!



Okay, enough already with the snow! YEESH!

We just had a foot a couple weeks ago, now the storm that was SUPPOSED TO miss us, dumped almost another nine inches between Tuesday night and yesterday at noon. It had JUST gotten to where there was enough ice and packed snow clear for me to walk in the driveway without fear. We have awesome neighbors who lent us their snow blower again. We are going to fill up the snow blower's gas tank and we’ve discussed adopting one to live in our garage.

The Weather Channel was reporting from ice-storm crippled Paducah , Kentucky yesterday morning. I was in Paducah in December, 1998. I had interviewed for a job in Hopkinsville at their FOX affiliate and drove out to Paducah to meet Kelly for dinner. I was not going to be that close to Missouri at Christmastime and not meet up with Kel for a long dinner! I spent about an hour at the National Quilting Museum while I was in town. They had some really nice quilts there! Grandma would love it! I told her that on Christmas morning when she opened the cloth quilt badge I got her when I was there. It was an awesome conversation piece brag badge to add to her name tag for the quilting guild at home!

I was pondering, if I’d taken the job in Hopkinsville, which would have required a second job to pay rent, but could have been a gateway job to Nashville or bigger, I would be icebound anyway. Ten years later, I’d have maybe been in Nashville where yesterday it was 30 degrees colder than it was in Knoxville, in the mountains! I already did a blog complaining about the broken promise of global warming, right?


On to happier things!

Stay tuned to this blog and/or Scrap Bird for news about my beginning of February sale! If you love love and you love scrapping about love, you’ll love the sale! And there’s your Thursday tease! hehehe


I have a couple more CT introductions!

First, Marzena, Mamrotka, signed on as a guest CT! Very cool! It’s not uncommon for new designers to be on established designer's CTs. You know, like that chick form Digitalegacies being on Darlene Haughin’s team? It’s especially cool when an established designer lends a promoting hand and does a guest spot for a (hopefully) up and coming designer!

She did a couple of layouts last week with “My Blue Heaven!”

Happy One-Month Anniversary by Mamrotka,
Credits - “My Blue Heaven” by Digitalegacies Designs

This one was personally such a sweet wish to see in the Scrap Bird gallery last Friday, but I love the way she cascaded the flowers on the cake. It kinda feels like our eloping selves had a cake after all!

Woman by Mamrotka
Credits - “My Blue Heaven” by Digitalegacies Designs

What can I say except “stunning.” I hadn’t really though about the possibilities of this kit beyond romance, but what a powerful layout this one is!

You can see both of these layouts at Scrap Bird and other galleries around town as well. Stop by and leave some love when you do!

Speaking of love, Rhonda shared her first layout with “Because Of You” with me. Oh My, FABULOUS!

Young Love by scrapin_rho
credits - kit “Because Of You” by Digitalegacies Designs

I love what she did with “Because Of You” It really does work well with teen layouts! “Because Of You” will be part of that love sale in a few days when it is officially for sale, February 1.

And now I get to boast about a new member of the Digitalegacies Designs team! Sheri, sherriberi39a, is a very proud and devoted grandma of four. If you visit her gallery at DSP, you’ll see the grandkids a lot in her layouts! She just sent me her first layout with “Your Own Special Way.” I had to chuckle, different kits and different ages, but same title!

Young Love by sheriberi39a
Credits: “Your Own Special Way” by Digitalegacies Designs

Such a great presentation and a completely adorable photo!

I gotta say, these are three ladies that have really made my January! Creative teams are about promoting scrapbook designers’ kits, but they are so much more. It’s people sharing their talents, learning and growing together. My designing gives me ideas to scrap better and vice versa, seeing the amazing work others do with my kits, helps me grow and broaden what I can do as a designer. I know as a CT member, I learn and get exposed to new scrapping ideas too. I still have a couple of guest spots, with the possibility of being a longer term, open for February. If you’re interested, shoot me an email at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com.


New in the store!


Since I’m officially releasing the Valentine kits Feb 1 and that’s a Sunday, they may not actually be in the store until Monday, the first business day in February. In the mean time, I have released a new set of Brag Book Pages, this set with “Eight Days A Week.” As it says in the description, the Beatles believed in one more day in a week, so does Digitalegacies Designs! This Brag Book set is 8 pages, priced as if there were seven. Thank the nice gentlemen from Liverpool!


Patch 365 - Week 5

credits: "My Blue Heaven" by Digitalegacies Designs

The features of married week 5 included our one-monthiversary, picking up David’s ring and “branding him,” and my toe-socks (that one was a slow day, but they’re cool socks!) Since we celebrated our 1-month during this week, I used the kit I created to celebrate our wedding, “My Blue Heaven,” for the layout.


Now that you’ve had some fun looking, how about some fun getting?

I have a special blog freebie in honor of my half-birthday. I wasn’t sure if you’d enjoy the template or the quick page more for the freebie, so I bundled them both in one download! You can use the quick page for a Valentine or anniversary week Project 365 page, or any collection of love pics. Then, you can turn or flip the template and create something totally different! Have fun with them!

Sorry, this link is expired.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Photoblog Wednesday

Alarm Clock?

FEED ME!

Baggle doesn't have a problem getting up-close-and-personal when it's breakfast time and he thinks the service is slow!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Having a Baby With Glamor and Style

In the world of digi-scrapping, I am in contact with a lot of expecting Moms and Moms of babies! It’s one of the cool perks of the hobby, hearing the excited stories about the baby’s progress through the pregnancy and the wonderful firsts of a newborn!

I remember some 15 years ago when Deanna was expecting Rina and Tori. One of her complaints at that time was how hard it was to find cute Maternity Clothes. Chulamama is a wonderful resource for that! Chula is Spanish for “cool.” Chulamama has a gorgeous bounty of ways for an expectant Mom to be a cool mama! They have stylish and cute dresses, skirts and tops, comfortable jeans and casual wear and downright sexy maternity lingerie. It’s everything a pregnant woman needs to feel comfortable and as beautiful and radiant as she really is!

Chulamama has the stuff to make life just a little nicer after the baby is here too! It’s never too soon to pick out the essentials for the new baby. Chulamama has a wonderful selection of Strollers and you can choose from some great Baby Cribs to have waiting in the new family members room when he, she or they come home! They have a collection of baby clothes and essentials in many name brands as well. I have to admit, I saw a couple of great high chairs! We had a set at Mom and Dad’s house when the girls were little, so I know when there is a baby in the family, some things you just need for when they visit! They have some VERY cool high chairs and baby home gear, that would even blend right in at a bachelor uncle’s or bachelorette aunt’s house too!

So, if you’re expecting or if your family is expecting and you want the very best in maternity wear and the essentials to get ready fort the new arrival, think Chulamama!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

Kentucky Horse Park
Lexington, Kentucky


I’ve been to Kentucky Horse Park several times. Lexington is really not that far from where home used to be in Michigan, not for a weekend trip anyway. It’s also the first actual “South” stop when you’re going anywhere “Down South” from Michigan and the I-75. It’s a neat park.

There is royalty in that park! Retired race horses, known ones that were in triple crown circuit races make their retired homes there. There are also working horses, the ones who shuttle guests on the carriage rides. Then there are the show horses. They have a “Parade of Breeds” show a couple times a day, where multiple varieties of horses are shown and the riders and commentators tell about the breed, where it’s from, what distinguishes it from other breeds. And, it’s the final resting place of Man O’ War.

Man O’ War is the most celebrated racehorse I can think of. He is buried at The Kentucky Horse Park, his remains were brought there in 1977, 30 years after his death. He is buried beneath a statue of himself surrounded by a circular walk and memorial garden. The heart and hooves of his sons, War Admiral and War Relic are buried there too. When thoroughbred horses are buried, the heart and hooves are what is laid to rest, symbolic of the essence of the horse. Man O’ War’s entire body was laid to rest intact. There is also a statue and memorial for Secretariat, but not the whole garden!

At Kentucky Horse Park, there is also The International Museum of The Horse, tracing man’s relationship with horses throughout the ages, the theater, where you can see “Thou Shall Fly Without Wings,” a fantastic film to see before you tour the park. It’s a fabulous place for the whole family, educational with a lot geared towards kids, but plenty of really interesting stuff for adults too! Of course, there’s also the gift shop, which has great horse memorabilia and jewelry, standard souvenir fare and mugs!

Notes From The Weekend

Puffenberger??

I have a few things I’d like to talk about as I greet the new week this morning. I’ll get the Mug Shot done at lunch, so if you’re a Monday Mug Shot fan, be sure to come back for that!

First off, catching up since I haven’t blogged in a few days, David and I did finally get to celebrate our wedding a month later! We went to Mancy's on Friday, 8 PM reservation and went to a locally renown steak restaurant and both has fish! David had the swordfish steak, a common favorite of mine too, but I wanted to try something different! I had Shrimp Alexander. OH MY, what a treat! Trying something new was a very good idea! We shared a split of Sauvignon Blanc with our fish dinners. David is very well adjusted to “Nani doesn’t do Chardonnay,” and picks excellent white wines from the rest of the wine list. I’m really waiting for a new fad white wine. Most of the white wines in restaurants are Chardonnay. The od fads don’t go away. Through the Merlot fad I could still get a good glass of Cabernet! I would love to see Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris (not Grigio, but Gris) become popular. For dessert, we shared a turtle pie. Mmmm....

Saturday was sunnier than expected. David went out looking for trains, but I stayed home. It’s not that I’m just a wicked coward when it comes to the cold. I did some scrapbooking and other winding up the end of 2008 stuff on the computer. I still have to finish bundling the full Chronicles of Nani. I had to recopy all of the web stuff and retype the written stuff. My file for the year corrupted while saving, of course, and it killed the whole year! I need to get into the practice of copying the full files or putting them on disk or something. I have the full year, that I add to as I go on my extended hard drive, but I only had the one, even if I had copied it over, if I had been copying a corrupted file, it really wouldn’t have helped. So, now I think I need to back it up on disk once a month to make sure I don’t lose data. I do some of my personal entries right on the computer. Those ones from 2008 are lost. That makes me a little sad. I write in my private journals to work our problems. If something is bugging me, I might type ten pages, then the answer to my problem hits me like a V-8 moment! Losing those entries doesn’t unsolve my problems, but it’ a nice affirmation to read them later and if someday my nieces, or great nieces inherit my books, they might gain some insight from my woes and solutions too. But, if I find I’m really bugged about losing the 2008 entries, I’ll write about them in 2009!


What’s In A Name?

With marriage, my name changed. Of course, it didn't have to, that was a choice, a choice that made two important men to me very happy. I took David’s last name, but kept my Dad’s last name as my new middle name. With that change, I now use my middle initial on my accounts and in my signature. When I order things, I put my first name and middle initial in the first name section of forms.

I use PayPal more to get money than spend it. All of my internet income get to my bank through PayPal, so of course, I needed to change my name at PayPal so it matched my bank! The procedure for doing that seems easy enough. I need to email, fax or mail a copy or scan of my new ID and my marriage certificate. So, I scanned those things and sent them through PayPal’s system for name changing. Now, when I got my ID done, they had to do a second one because the first one had my old middle initial on it. Understandable mistake, since they had the old ID right in front of them when they did it. Fortunately in Ohio, driver licenses are done while you wait, so it was only about ten more minutes to fix it and have me out the door. Since the PayPal system didn’t even ask what my new name was, they were just going from the new ID, I wanted to make sure that they included the middle initial since I didn't use my middle initial before. I sent an email that was replied to by an automated computer problem solver with a reply that had nothing to do with my question. I figured I should find a customer service phone number so I could talk to a person!

Imagine my surprise when I logged into my PayPal account and was greeted with “Welcome (Mrs.) Puffenberger!”

I just stared, wide-eyed and laughing. They got the first name right, but the last name is no where near correct! It took me a moment to figure out where in the heck they got the last name. Puffenberger is the last name of the probate judge, not even the judge who married us, but his name is on the certificate. Now I’m wondering if a computer doesn’t scan and pick out names for name changes too! No offense to the judge, but perhaps I would have considered keeping my maiden name if David’s last name was Puffenberger. In fact, David said he might have considered taking my name!

So after 10 minutes of speaking into the phone and hitting buttons while an automated computer system tried to figure out where to send my call, I finally spoke to a person! It took about another ten minutes of explaining what my name actually is, but the woman with whom I was speaking finally got it figured out and changed it while I was on the phone to the correct, matching my bank account, name. Whew! When I mentioned that I wondered if it was an automated computer or if it was outsourced to India and the person processing my paperwork didn’t speak English, there was silence. (Now I think I recognized that tinge of an accent she spoke with!) “Global” or not, PayPal is based in California and the people pushing their papers should be able to read something as simple as a marriage certificate in the company’s home language. Yeesh!

This is becoming a long morning coffee, so I’ll finish it up with a promise that the mug shot is coming and there are a few more neat things this week!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Better Way To Profit From Your Talents!

If you make and sell handmade gifts, or make and have ever thought about selling your handmade gifts, you really need to check out Art Fire at artfire.com.

A small artisan can list up to ten items at a time including pictures with a free account and there are no fees for sales! They do have a premium membership that lets you sell an unlimited number of products and other preferred features too. Right now, that service is only $7 a month! No fees for sales in the premium package either. Plus, Art Fire has partnered with Trees for the Future, who is planting a tree for every new member. You know how much I support the “no-pain eco-friendly” stuff!

If you’ve ever thought about testing the internet sales waters with your handmade gift items and don’t want the eBay fees whether or not you even get a look at your listing, Art-Fire is a great opportunity!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Happy Nani-Week!

credits: kit - “Your Own Special Way” by Digitalegacies Designs

There are many things making me smile today. First of all, today is my first monthiversary as a married woman! LOL Yes, I‘m 42 years old and counting milestones by months like a teenager. I guess love’s goofiness doesn’t age discriminate. That’s okay. David and I have mutual affections for each other’s goofiness.

We’re thinking of going out for a nice dinner tonight. Oh, that’s not to celebrate a monthiversary. A nice dinner every month could get expensive and it would also lose its specialness. We had originally planned to do a nice dinner together to celebrate being married right after Christmas, but remember that “sickness and health” challenge we had right off the bat? Well, we faced that well and are finally healthy enough to enjoy our “elopement reception!” So, we owe us a nice dinner out, if not tonight, soon!


This has been a great week on several points. Jonathan is home! After an extended stay at the garage, I now have a working 1994 Camaro WITH HEAT! I’m a Detroit girl by birth, so of course I love my car, but when the temperatures weren’t even reaching double digits for highs, I wanted nothing to do with my baby until he had working heat again! Coming home from the shop, I actually was feeling too warm - but I didn’t complain.

Also, I’m typing on a white keyboard with apple keys! Many thanks to Seamhead Gypsy for reminding me about the Mac Mall! The greatest thing is that this keyboard’s first language is Mac. It even talks to my computer in dialect, so response time between hitting the keys and seeing the results is instant! And I have my old windows-style mouse, which is made to work with a Mac too and is just more comfortable!


In the scrapping world, I have a new CT member! Rhonda, known to the scrapping world as scrapin_rho, is a relatively new digital scrapper with a paper scrapping base. If you look at her gallery, it’s not obvious she’s new to digital but it is obvious that she has a good eye for creating great layouts! Her most complete gallery is at Elemental Scraps and her newest gallery is at Scrap Bird where she’s already done the “I Wanna Talk About Me” challenge with a great goals layout!

I reposted my CT Call at DST. I’ve decided to go old-school and just ask for a gallery link rather than a layout with Digitalegacies products. I’ll see plenty of those when I assemble the whole team, right? So, now, this is my Guest CT call with an option to stay!

If you’d like to be a guest CT until the end of February, just send me a link to your most complete gallery and what other CTs you’re on. The spot would be until the end of February and it can become permanent if we both like the idea.

Minimum requirements for a Digitalegacies Designs CT member of guest CT:
1 kit per month, 2 layouts per kit
post in Scrap Bird and three other galleries
Participate in the “I Wanna Talk About Me” challenge at Scrap Bird.

Now, to sweeten the deal just a bit, I’ll show you two Valentine-themed kits that aren’t released yet!


“Your Own Special Way,” inspired by the Genesis song that’s in the current iPod mix, is a romantic kit with deep candlelit colors, hearts, roses and even a glowing candle! It has 12 papers and 28 elements and will sell for $5.00


“Because Of You” was inspired by the dance song by Ne-Yo, also in the iPod mix. It’s a more whimsical Valentine kit, suitable for teens and anyone crushing from that lovebug’s bite. It has 10 papers and 16 elements plus 12 conversation hearts with a few updated sayings to go with Love as “the sweetest drug.” It will sell for $4.00 in the store.

These kits won’t be released until February 1, but Digitalegacies Designs CT members will get to try them out when they join and for free! Free kits and pre-releases are part of the spoils for CT members for the promotional work they do!

I’m still looking for a few talented scrappers to join the team! If you’ve never been on a CT before, please apply! I’ve never had a CT before, so we just might be a good match! For now, I’d like to have three long-term CT members with a couple guests each month. If you're interested, contact me at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com


There is one more thing I wanted to mention that makes me smile this week. Remember when I started doing the sponsored posts, I said my goal with the sponsored posts, and now add my designing income to that, was to be able to buy a cup of coffee when David and I are out railfanning without having to ask for it. Well, last month I was able to buy my own coffee. I could even buy David a cup! Oh, it’s not Starbucks, but Speedway pumpkin spice, hey, good stuff! Next goal is make enough to pay a bill! But seriously, that little bit of self-sufficiency until I land a real job means a lot to my self esteem! Thank you all so much for supporting my sponsors or at least tolerating me supporting them!

Okay, well, tons of stuff to do today, so have a great Friday and if you’re a scrapper, please consider my call!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Great Escape!

This is exciting news, well exciting in a follow up way. I wrote about a Branson, Missouri getaway a while back and now I have information about Hilton’s Hilton Branson Escape Package!

Two hotels, The Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel and The Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing, offering extraordinary amenities, fantastic location, both in the center of the entertainment mecca of the Midwest and now a great package an even greater price!

Between February 5th and 8th, for only $79.00 a night, you can enjoy a stay at either The Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel or the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing with those dreamy Serenity Beds, plus a free movie, drinks for two and breakfast. That’s the makings of a great romantic getaway before the crowds and “no vacancy” messages that go with Valentines Day on a Saturday!

That romantic getaway can include a dinner cruise on Branson Landing Cruises’ Lake Princess, a dinner yacht that also includes a spectacular views of the fountain show at Branson Landing, an exhibition of sound, water, light and fire!

One of the afternoons of your getaway might include the Comedy Jamboree, lots of laughs and audience participation. Hey, you might be discovered, or at least remembered!

If you’re not looking for a romantic weekend, how about a girlfriends weekend? That Winter Escape Package could be just the escape form your SO and the kids you need. A weekend with your best, enjoying girl time and some great Branson area shopping! Enjoy that Winter Escape Package and the fountain show with 3 outlet malls within 5 miles of the center of the city! A dream girlfriends shopping weekend!

Branson has a little something for everyone and with a great package to offer some unwind time, the Branson area Hiltons may be just what you need!

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Photoblog Wednesday

Welcoming in 2009

We played Cubbies Yahtzee! Our rule - when you got Yahtzee with 5 Cubs logos, you yelled "HOLY COW"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cabin Fever

Today is sunny...the bright shiny sun, twinkling off the mounds and mounds of bone-chilling snow. BLEH! Add that to my car won’t be back from the shop until tomorrow morning and you have a the right environment for Cabin Fever, just right now my cabin is all of Ohio, Michigan and Indiana too, heck anywhere there’s snow, that’s my cabin!

But before my dreamy brain can take a trip, I need to do some shopping! I have a set of soft black leather luggage that I bought many years ago. One of the clips that holds my garment bag together never came back from Vegas when Kelly got married and I have screws sticking out of the overnighter where once there were plastic “feet.” I need new luggage!

Enter into my dreamy getaway Hartmann luggage! Hartmann is a first class line of Luxury Luggage! Don’t think that I’m talking about luggage that’s beyond any of us! I made an investment in the luggage I have some 15 years ago and it has served me well! You need dependable luggage if your belongings are being separated from you and thrown in the belly of a plane or even the underside of a bus or luggage areas on a train. Hartmann luggage offers a sound investment in protecting your property when you travel with a bit of style too!

The first thing I thought I’d need was something in the way of wheeled luggage. One thing I definitely know as a semi-abled person, that is someone with a bad knee that challenges my walking ability, is that wheels is the way to go when traveling! I’ve walked airport concourses with my wheeled commuter bag and my overnight duffle. Believe me, some of the wear and tear on my duffle is from dragging it! Hartmann’s WIngs collection is just gorgeous, not the number one priority when selecting luggage, but a big plus! For weekenders, there’s the 22” travel bag, on wheels, and listed as acceptable carry-on luggage! There is also a satchel tote that matches that collection.

I have a satchel tote with the luggage I have now. That tote carries my purse inside of it, for double protection of what’s inside my purse, but it also carries a magazine or journal, changes of clothes or at least clean undergarments, toiletries and an extra pair of nylons, great for business travel! The tote also fits under an airplane seat. So, for a short trip, the satchel tote and 22” travel bag - on wheels - makes a short trip one free from having to deal with retrieving checked luggage. For a longer trip, there are larger travel bags and 2 different sizes of garment bags, all on wheels for ease of movement.

To finish off the set, Hartmann has some great executive accessories, including a passport cover, and a 6-ring compact agenda, appealing to me because it’s a journal! If I’m not writing on the computer, I’m writing by hand in my journal. The travel journal I have now is getting close to full, so I need to consider options for a new one there too.

I feel a bit of stress relief just browsing the great luggage from Hartmann and talking about a new set for me. Feeling a bit of cabin fever too? As cabin fever sets into spring fever and spring travel, maybe some new luggage is the cure for you too!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

Fountain Of Youth
St. Augustine, Florida

I visited St. Augustine on a vacation with my Mom and Dad in the mid 90s. We were staying in Jacksonville Beach and did St. Augustine as a day trip. What a neat place!

There are lots of stone buildings, lots of old and old-world styled buildings. Pop is always up for an adventure or two. He was the one who wanted to go to Daytona because he’d just bought a new SUV and in Daytona, you can drive on the beach. He just wanted to get pictures of the new toy on the beach! St. Augustine was like that. He wanted to go drink at the Fountain of Youth!

We got into St. Augustine around lunchtime and found what looked like an alley, but it was an alley full of little market tables here and there and concession areas, with the back fences of people’s homes on either side! I saw my first real live orange tree growing in someone’s backyard! It was a small tree with about a dozen oranges on it. The little market area is also where I tried alligator!

I recall that I ordered an actual sandwich for lunch, but Mom and I shared an order of gator fritters, bite-sized fried alligator! Tastewise, it wasn’t bad at all. It had a mild lobsterish taste. I wasn’t crazy about the texture, though. I don’t know if it was the gator or because it was fried, but the texture was very chewy. I called it a lobster-flavored fried superball!

Next we took a chartered tour of the city, learning about the old architecture and Ponce De Leon’s discovery of the Fountain of Youth. Dad pondered if he could get a bottle to take home.

Well, finally, we went to the shrine where the historic and fabled fountain was. Would you believe, they DO sell bottles of the water! All of the good tourists from our bus lined up to sip water from the fountain.

Now, if you recall my stir about The World of Coke and my brother with the Beverly, you know what I mean when I say Dave would have had a big gulp, swore he felt younger already and had another gulp, encouraging everyone to drink up so he didn’t return to toddlerhood alone. But Dave wasn’t there, and my Dad will agree that the reason so many people DO age, is because they probably tasted the water at the Fountain of Youth and decided gray hair and a few lines was a better alternative. If I have to drink that stuff every day to remain young, I’ll go gray too!

It was a great day, a sweet town, neat orange tree and okay gator, but DON’T DRINK THE WATER!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In The Dark


Hey! That’s an old Billy Squier song from the 80s! This could be a scrapbooking post, It could be a new kit name.

But it’s not.

If it became a kit, it would have a dark keyboard with gray numbers on it and a caricature of a struggling hunt and peck typist working at night. that’s me right now. I’m seriously thinking about some new desk lighting as an interim fix. But a new keyboard is a better fix!

Let’s backtrack to New Years Eve. In all of the bustle about the secret wedding, I never relayed this story, a doosie that still represents a source of anxiety for me!

First rule of keyboards is that they NEVER get thirsty. Bizarre a thought as it is to me, they never crave coffee either! I KNOW that. I have known that on three previous occasions when my keyboards have taken a big swig of coffee. They don’t survive it. It only takes a few drops and they drown, they drown a slow drunken death as the keys slowly cease to recognize each other and throw worse gibberish than I usually type on the page. Then there is nothing and nothing left to do but say a few last words and let it go.

I had buried a keyboard in March of 2006 after a cup of coffee got knocked into it by a misbehaving kitten. The kitten survived. You might have read her blog! :) This one wasn’t so dramatic and there’s not as much of a story. I’d taken a phone call about the New Years Eve gathering in the other room where my phone was charging. When I went back in to the computer room to continue working on “My Blue Heaven,” I reached over to hit the space key and wake the computer up and tipped the coffee cup onto the desk!

I didn’t get much on it, there was a little that you could see on the inside of the clear bottom, but it didn’t seem to be effecting it. I cleaned up the rest of the mess and tried to type. It typed, but not the keys I was striking. Then it slowly stopped doing anything. I used the mouse to power down.

David and I stopped at Best Buy on the way home. Or was it Circuit City? I always get those two mixed up. We found a cheap-plus-on-sale wireless keyboard. It’s a Microsoft, but it’s USB and says it’s Mac compatible.

Okay. In tenth grade I was French compatible too! I could say “Comment allez-vous?” and even understand the common replies. By the end of French ne, I could even mutter my way through a menu. I was not proficient, but I could manage in a conversation with someone who spoke the language if they were patient. That’s this keyboard. There is a delayed response while it looks up the commands in the Mac to Microsoft dictionary and carefully pronounces them. My Mac is patient. It figures out what the keyboard is telling it, usually.

But the dumb thing has missing buttons and buttons that do nothing. There is no Apple key, the command key that controls all of the keyboard shortcuts. To make up for that deficiency, Mac commands are done with the start key. There are two Mac keys on a Mac keyboard and there is one start key on the left side, and it’s in the wrong place! And I do know enough about Windows to know that the start key, when the computer is on, starts the shut down sequence, so as a hunt and peck typist, it makes me hesitate and freak out a bit when I go to “command S” to save and I’m hitting the key that turns everything off! Plus, the thing is dark gray with medium gray markings. I have the overhead lights on right now and my own shadow is getting in the way!

I’ve decided that this keyboard is a good backup for a couple or three years from now when, inevitably another cup of coffee will give a keyboard a sip, but I need a white-keyed, proper keys, Mac keyboard! I love my Windows mouse, but they can keep the keyboard!

But even then, I’m still thinking about desk lighting to save energy instead of the big overhead fixture! Plus, it’ll still help me see the white keys better too! ;)


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Where’s My Global Warming?


Lots and lots to talk about tonight! Now would be a good time to try the caramel latte and the black forest scones! Of course, it’s all calorie-free as long as you stay away from the jello! It’s good jello, but it will blimp out your avatar like nothing!

First, let’s talk about the weather! Oh come on, what else do you bring up to break the ice at a coffee shop when it’s not baseball season? The Patriots weren’t even in the playoffs this year, although their season was nothing short of a brilliant comeback after losing Tom Brady in the first game! The Pats rallied behind Matt Cassel, filling Brady’s huge shoes, and made a serious go of it this season. Ya gotta just admire that heart.

And my old home team entered the record books, a perfect season - perfectly lousy! My brother and I smile when we talk football. He is a Colts fan now. Laura brought him the Colts much in the same way that David brought me the Patriots. Detroit natives have to marry into a good team! As for Pop, he puts on his Michigan Wolverines hat and claims, “I like college football better anyway.” Yeah Pop, spit those grapes out if you don’t like ‘em! hehe

Okay, now, The Lions have already made their mark, the Patriots weren’t in the playoffs and the Colts are done. All that’s left is the commercial bets in the Super Bowl! I’m kinda hoping Arizona makes it, just because they aren’t supposed to. I like defiance. And I think Budweiser is probably the only sponsor who will put any serious money into their ads this year. We’ll see. But now the weather!

The forecasted low here is -7. Yes a minus and that’s not a wind chill! Minus ten tomorrow! What happened to global warming? They promised! I just want them to make good on their promise. Minus ten, indeed. Global Warming my bundt cake!

And speaking of cake! Well, first speaking of Patch 365. It’s been 3 weeks now! I’m an old married lady!

Here is my layout for week 3:

This is a quick page done with “Eight Days A Week.” If ya like it, keep reading!

Week 3 includes cat pics, for our married life is very centered around our furbabies, David on the snow blower kindly loaned to us by out next door neighbors. We had a FOOT of snow last weekend! By snow time, David was doing better than me, but we were both still sick. We SO did not need a foot of snow to move off the driveway and my car! The feature photo is from just this Monday, the last day of week three. Pretty icicles on the atrium window meant full coffee cans catching the drips inside! We need insulation implants up top! Also in the photos are a very sweet card from Heather - our very first wedding card, and a fabulous wedding gift from Lisa and Asher. That photo is the subject of page two in the layout for week 3!


“Marital Aids” was also done with “Eight Days A Week!” the tilted comment in between the frames reads,”With a gleam in my eye, I always said that the major reason so many marriages don’t last today is that they lack the essential ‘marital aids’ that wives have had in history: a wooden rolling pin and a cast iron skillet!” I mean, Donna Reed had a wooden rolling pin and a cast iron skillet ya know? Come to think of it, so did Mom. I have a wooden rolling pin and a cast iron corn bread pan...and the train muffin pan!

Here is the text from the layout:

My first attempt at making a cake for David, in 2005, was a bit of a disappointment. I tried to make a three-car train out of mini loaf cakes for his birthday. When he saw the cake, he paused, trying to figure out what it was.

“Is it an orange school bus?”

It was supposed to be a BNSF engine! The ballast car and container cars looked a little more like a train and he chuckled and kissed me. He loved his school bus! The orange BNSF engines became known to us as “school buses.”

I shared my train cake story with Mensa friends and Lisa, a friend with whom I have so much else in common, is a talented foodie who has her finger on the pulse of the things that make a talented kitchen life even better. She sent me a picture of the Nordic Ware train muffin tin as a “for next time” thought.

UPS stopped by the house on January 8, 2 weeks and 2 days after we were married. They delivered a box addressed to us both, the card inside was to David and Nani - “Congratulations from Lisa and Asher.” It was the train muffin pan!

Lisa is all for the “kinder gentler marital aid,” but love is still secured in the kitchen!

My smile was a mile wide when we opened the box! We’re planning to send out our announcements next week and those will include the thank you cards for the cards and gifts we’ve gotten. I have some cake mix left from Christmas, so I may try out the pan in a day or so! You know, just to make sure it works!


I’d read a few inquiries on some of the scrapbook sites message boards about Project 365 Quick Pages. Well, since I made “Eight Days A Week,” with Project 365 in mind and did the template set, which is part of “Eight Days A Week” if you buy the kit, I thought it might be a good kit to do some quick pages with.

You can get the set of four quick pages in my store for $2.75. Add the kit to your cart and "Vintage Valentine," by Darlene Haughin, which is on sale right now for only $3.25 and you’ll the HUGE "Chocolate Love" for free. That’s $11 for over $20 of scrapping supplies and you’ll be set with a weekly layout for your Project 365 for two months the easy way with quick pages and templates! Give it some thought!

On a strictly personal begging note, I don’t get anything but a warm, loved feeling for this one. If you’ve given any thought to maybe stopping by Scrap Bird and maybe casually signing up, even if it’s just to do one challenge, I’d really love it if you’d consider doing “I Wanna Talk About Me!” We’re a new site and there aren’t a ton of members yet, so participation in the challenges is slow, but I’d really love a little company in the cyber challenge room! A crop is a lot more fun with a few other scrappers, ya know?

Lastly, what you were waiting for if you were intrigued by the quick pages! The page I used for week three isn’t in the set in my store. It’s here!

Sorry, this link is expired.

This one is my gift to you! Yes, I hope you’ll stop by the store and check out all the goodies from the talented designers there and oh how I’d love it if you joined and joined me in my challenge, but I also just really want you to enjoy some of the fruits of my labor!

Today’s freebie comes with a bonus word art. Many of you may be doing Project 365 and even getting ready to scrap week 3, but I left the journal area blank on the quick page so you can use it for other types of pages or even just other weeks. But if you do use it for week 3, the word art is there to add as you wish! the forums at Scrap Bird!

Photoblog Wednesday

Breakfast Time!

They're indoor cats and never go outside, yet somehow, they still need to eat more when it's cold!

Safety Starts at the Ground Level!

I was on the phone with my Dad yesterday, he was taking a break and gave me a call from work. He mentioned that it was even getting cold inside the house he working on! Now, I come form a “Construction Princess” world. When I was a kid, I waited up until dark to day goodnight to Daddy before I went to bed in the summer when it got dark late. As I got older, I began to really appreciate not just the late summer hours but the outside work he did, even in the bitter cold in the winter! Winter meals usually started with a big bowl of hot soup so he could warm up!

This week in the north and eastern parts of the country is supposed to be that bitter cold winter weather. In Toledo, Friday’s high won’t even go into double digits! That makes me think about how much I hate the cold and how quick my feet get painfully cold, always have, that’s just me. If I go outside in the winter, I need warm boots, but what about the people who work outside?

If you work outside, or if you have a loved one who does, it’s not just warmth! Boots need to protect too! Work Boots USA is a great site to check out boots that keep feet dry, warm and protected. In fact, they have steel and plain toe boots and regular work shoes for men and women.

Sheri has an indoor job, but it’s a factory job that requires safety shoes. Imagine a heavy part falls on your foot. It’s not a laughing matter! It can put you out of work for days or weeks and in this economy, that could be devastating! A good, comfortable, steel toe work shoe is such a sound investment!

Scotty worked for many years outside in construction. In that line of work, you need work boots that are warm, keep feet dry and are rugged. Also, as a type 1 diabetic, boots that protect have always been important. I didn’t realize until I’d attended some diabetes classes with my Mom years ago, how careful a diabetic must be about their feet due to decreased sensitivity! A good pair of work boots can mean ensuring your ability to work is there for years!

Work Boots USA is sure to have the boot you need for work whether you’re looking for a rugged construction boot, a comfortable assembly line shoe or a stylish safety shoe for a supervisor walking the factory floor, check out the great selection at Work Boots USA!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

From The Ohio Turnpike


Today’s Mug Shot should be sponsored by ODOT, but it’s not. It’s totally my views and opinions!

I love this mug! It’s just a sweet mug, all old timey and quaint! I bought it at the souvenir shop at one of the service plazas on the Ohio turnpike. I’ll be honest, I don’t really remember which trip, but it’s dated in the 90s, so likely it might have been a soccer trip. Mom and I traveled to see indoor soccer a lot when we had season tickets for the Detroit Rockers in the 90s.

But what the mug reminds me about, what I want to tell about, is the service plazas on the Ohio turnpike! There are three between Toledo and where I got off the turnpike for Cleveland when I was writing for The Great Indoors. The publication is produced in Cleveland and the editor is also a minor league baseball fan, so we’d travel for baseball in the soccer off season when I was on his staff. I got to know those plazas pretty well, especially the Commodore Perry one, at the half way point! Now, there’s a Starbucks there, so it’s a good rest stop en route when you leave Metro Detroit at 3AM to be in Cleveland at 6 to have breakfast and get to an afternoon baseball game in Pennsylvania!

The service plazas on the turnpike have not just Starbucks, but Cinnabons and Max and Ermas with game rooms, souvenir/sundries shops and standard fast food fare and maintained pay-at-the-pump gas islands. They also have WiFi and penny squishing machines, one of my favorite attractions! They are nice places to relax for a few moments off the road on a trip. They have comfortable, clean facilities with touch-free flushing toilets and sinks and abundant stalls in the ladies rest rooms to keep stops to a minimum, if preferred, too.

Ah, but the turnpike plazas have not always been a pleasant oasis for road-weary travelers! I remember the days of comparative little huts with one fast food joint or a greasy spoon and three or four working stalls in the ladies room. That is not nearly enough, especially in the summer for the route to Cedar Point. I remember coming home from events east in the summer. The one thing you never wanted to do was “need” to stop on the Ohio Turnpike! If you were lucky enough to find a turnpike plaza with a working toilet, you didn’t expect it to be clean and by Sunday afternoon, it was always bring-your-own TP!

In the late 90s ODOT started remodeling all of the service plazas. Now they are the stops you kinda look forward to! A somewhat overpriced snack will keep the kids from being cranky in the car while you take a minute to unwind with a Frappuchino! My favorite bonus, the restrooms are maintained and clean! Even on Sundays in August, there is toilet paper and you can go in with flip-flops on and still have dry feet when you get back to the car!

Starting at the end of this year, we’ll have EZ Pass on the turnpike too. (FINALLY!) The Ohio Turnpike has definitely come a long way from when it was just a good place for a Michigander to get a ticket! Improvements in the service plazas have really made it the way to travel across the north part of the state in comfort and style.

To quote the Pretenders, WITHOUT the sarcasm - WAY TO GO OHIO!

(please read the comments for a big correction!)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Project 365 - New Kit- CT Call!

Happy Snowturday!

Yes, you all know how fond I am of that white stuff. The one good thing about a snowy Saturday is time to spend with my Mac just for play! I get to blog and scrap and maybe work on a new kit.

Married life has started off as a huge challenge of that “sickness and health” part of the vows! David and I have been trading good and bad days fighting with a nasty, and I mean nasty, cold that we both have! Yeah, married folks share everything, right? He is pretty much on the mend, but he fell to it first too, a couple days after Christmas. It didn’t get me until New Years Eve. I’m in the no voice and coughing all the time part! But, I’m thinking I only have a couple days left then, right?

Since the snow was already starting and I felt in no way, shape or form like going anywhere last night, by “scrapbernation” started yesterday. I did the Scrap-It challenge at Scrap Bird, which is a nice page featuring pictures of “my boyfriend’s cats.” Yeah, still stuck in 2006, but it’s a sweet page of the boys! I’m inviting you all to come see my gallery at Scrap Bird! While you’re there, why not try out that Scrap It challenge? Everything you need to do it is there for free!


Patch 365

My personal Project 365 will provide some daily memories of our first married year! Here is the page I did for Week 2!

credits
Kit - “Musical Memories” by Darlene Haughin at Scrap Bird and Stone Accents Studio
Template from “Project 365 Template Set” by Digitalegacies Designs at Scrap Bird

It’s been 2-1/2 weeks already! WOW! You must understand, this is my first marriage and I am 42 years old. It’s a bizarre and somewhat surreal thing to be for me, a wife. Funny thing is, I am better about remembering that David is not my boyfriend, but my husband, than he is about remembering I’m his wife! Just today he mentioned something about suggesting to one of his favorite sites that they need to offer coffee mugs because his girlfriend collects them. He must have a thing for women who collect coffee mugs. His wife collects them too! ;)

My week 2 layout includes that good shot of my ring and the paperwork I was getting ready to fill out before I went to the Social Security Administration office last week. Next week, when it’s not snowing, I’ll get my driver license changed and get the engraving work done for David’s ring. Maybe that will help him remember me! :D My favorite caption from the week two photos is the one that goes with the picture of the kids. “We’re following directions. They are SLEEP pants!” They were curled up on the bed on David’s Patriots pants.


New Kit!

I’ve been collecting the things I need to work with for a new kit, an idea is brewing for another and a new one in the store! (fun hint - ALL three titles are currently in the iPod!)

The first iPod song you heard is a Beatles classic that everyone has probably at least heard once or twice, if it’s not a song you know all the words to, like it or not! “Eight Days A Week” is the new kit in the store.


“Eight Days A Week” is pretty much a setup kit. I made it to accommodate Project 365 layouts, but it is equally great for school projects, calendars or creating layouts that are journalling intensive. Of course, use the frames, 3 alphas and swirls with a few other items from your digital craft drawer to create colorful traditional scrapbook layouts too!

Also new in the store at Scrap Bird, is “Project 365 Templates Set.” Four templates four putting one-week pages together for your Project 365.


My Week 2 page was done with one of the templates in the set. Of course, if you aren’t scrapping a project 365, they are great templates for any layout with lots of pictures! A great way to make sure everyone at a holiday or other group gathering is represented in your memory pages!

“Project 365 Template Set” is available for only $1.99, but if you like both the new kit and the new templates, DON’T buy the templates! The template set, all four of them, come free with “Eight Days A Week!” So you’ll get the kit with the templates in the download for $5.00. You can buy three full alphas alone for that price other places!


It’s Time!


Now that the dust has settled from moving into my first store, I am assembling my first Creative Team for Digitalegacies Designs!

The minimum requirements for a CT member will be 2 layouts per kit and 1 kit a month, posting at Scrap Bird and three other galleries and participation in the “I Wanna Talk About Me” challenge at Scrap Bird.

To apply:

Download any Digitalegacies Designs freebie from The Chronicles of Nani and use it to create a sample. Post that sample in one gallery with the credit: “(kit name) blog freebie from Digitalegacies Designs at Scrap Bird.” Send me a link to it at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com. Also mention any other CTs you are on and what Digital Scrapbook site you call “home.”

Right now, I hope to find 3 long-term CT Members and rotate 2 guest CTs each month. I’m a new pro-designer, so I welcome anyone who is looking for their first CT to apply! We all have to start somewhere and I acknowledge RC Mama Designs for taking me on as a CT Member when I had no experience and Darlene Haughin for all of her support as I’ve ventured into the world of Designing and will definitely try to be as great a “boss” as they have been for me! Everyone who applies, of course, will get “Crimson and Clover” for sharing their sample layout!

Well, that’s the news in the world of Nani on this snowy Saturday in Toledo, Ohio. Now I have laundry to fold, a photo to take, a kit to start working on and a challenge to do, all that wifey-designery-creativey-Nani stuff! Thanks for reading and please apply to my CT!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

All The Good Stuff!

First, I’d like to share the unveiling of the January 2009 Mega Kit at Scrap Bird!


Isn’t is just cool? I really enjoyed making my part of this kit because, well, hello? CHOCOLATE LOVE! Is it totally me, or what? Okay, it’s totally a ton of us! This huge kit, made by all the designers at Scrap Bird, sells for just $10.50! That’s 55 papers and 79 elements of Chocolate Love and if you spend $10 in the Scrap Bird store, that huge kit can be yours for free! Visit Scrap Bird for all the details and a few more looks at everything in this amazing kit!

But in case 134 digital delectables for free isn’t enough to bring you over to our place, I want to introduce you all to the wonderful challenges at Scrap Bird! If you haven’t joined yet, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Of course there’s my challenge, “I Wanna Talk About Me,” a book of me challenge. This month, I’m asking you to share your resolutions, goals or plans for 2009. I did the first page for my “Patch 365” project. In addition to the points you’ll earn to spend in the Scrap Bird store, I’m also offering this quick page made with my “My Blue Heaven” kit.


But wait, there’s more!

One of the challenges Marzena (Mamrotka) hosts is the photo challenge. This month she’s asking to see some photos of your favorite sports. I’m working on mine right now. Betcha can guess what MY subject is, huh??


Darlene’s quote challenge asks you to use this quote from Benjamin Franklin, “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.”

Darlene has a great quick page done with her “One Winter Night” kit that you’ll receive as an extra posting bonus for participating too.



And there's STILL MORE!

You get you extra freebie up front in Mamrotka’s Scrap It Challenge. each month you get a mini kit to make a layout, only catch? You can’t add any extras! You can recolor and manipulate what’s in the it however you want. It really challenges you to be creative!

Here is what this month’s kit looks like!



Em-ka does the scraplift challenge. This month she’s featuring the gallery of Nonoczka. She has this floral bonus for participating:


Mamrotka hosts two more! Here is the prop for this month’s Template Challenge.


And in Use Those Elements, you have a list of “must haves, then you let your creativity go wild! This month, come see what you’ll add to your 3 photos in the list!


That’s 7 fun and creative challenges this month. Six of them are eligible for the bonus points when you use Scrap Bird shop products, so you could earn up to 65 points this month alone! You’ll also have the four additional freebies this month and at 60 points, you’ll have earned a $3 gift certificate. If you join today, you’ll have plenty of time to get all those points and earn a nice Valentine for yourself!

Come on over and see what’s happening at Scrap Bird!

Photoblog Wednesday


Things Change!

Project 365 will make Photoblog Wednesday a little easier, huh? LOL This was the defining shot from week two. Making my metamorphosis to "wife" complete with the forms to officially change my name!

Teddy Bears Looking For Work in the UK!

Okay, okay, maybe not that bad. No one is going to replace the intangible feeling of security from hugging a Teddy Bear (even for us grownups!), but there is a company in the UK that is making Teddy’s job a little easier by supplying the comfort and style of a great bed!

Time 4 Sleep is a UK based company with just a huge selection of beds from the classic metalwork of the Windsor to the elegant dark leather of the Tuscany and so many in between! They have wood, metal, leather and faux leather, upholstered in avant and antique styles. They even have whimsical children’s beds! (Imagine your princess sleeping in a horse and carriage or your little man calling it a night in a bulldozer bed!

Does what a bed looks like make a difference in how well you sleep? Perhaps not in the long run. Once the lights are out, it’s all about the comfort of the mattress, but when you walk into your bedroom, does your bed look inviting? We sleep on a bed without a headboard. As much as it may not seem to matter, we’ve been talking about a nice antique-styled frame. Something that says classic, elegant, cozy! When we switched from the old futon frame to a real bed frame it made an incredible difference! Add that touch of class with the posts on the bed and WOW!

Time 4 Sleep has standard mattresses with various pillow tops for super comfort and Memory Foam mattresses that support the whole body while they cuddle you to sleep! There are also other bed accessories at the site.

UK Teddy Bears may not be unemployed, but their workload sure is a lot easier thanks to Time 4 Sleep!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Project 365 and a Free Template!

Well, as the realities of married life and the congestion in my chest settle in... Yeah, as I’ve been saying to David, we’re being tested on the “sickness and health” part of the standard vows right away! He was having a danger-sign tickle in his throat after work the day before BORT Rail, marriage day 4 if you’re counting. It’s less than that actually, since we were married in the afternoon. So his throat got worse and he ended up home from work a couple of days when the cold got really nasty with the aches and all. The I started feeling it New Years Eve! I was taking Benadryl in hopes of staving it off by a couple hours before 2009 and ended up awake and in nasty pain from fever aches at about 4 AM. David was trying to help me and said I was just radiating heat.

Now we are both trying to just get over the last of it. I was doing well yesterday, but last night I was scrapping and I felt progressively worse...again. I managed to stay up until David got home from work, medicated and went to bed, but then I was bad this morning and slept until 10, which is insanely late for me! I’m doing a little better now, but Benadryl is still my best friend and I’m hot cocoa and soup dependent!

I did finish the layout I had almost finished last night this morning. (It was really only missing the papers in the background!) This is my first week of pictures in my project 365! These are the photo a day from our first married week!

Credits - Template - Project 365 Template 1, freebie
from Digitalegacies Designs at Scrap Bird,
Papers and ornament from “It’s Christmas All Over The World,”
Heart from “My Blue Heaven,” both by Digitalegacies Designs at Scrap Bird
railroad sign from “Train, Train” Digitalegacies Designs blog freebie


Okay, obviously, I didn’t take every one of them, but they were all taken with my camera. They were still my ideas for photos, I mean, I said “can you take a picture of us?” LOL

The layout was done using all DIgitalegacies products. They are all in the store, except “Train, Train” which you can download here for free. HINT - just click the “Freebies” link on the bulletin board up top for all the entries labeled “freebies!”

My first week layout is also done on a Digitalegacies template!


Sorry, this link is expired.

Also new in the store this week are more brag book pages with “My Blue Heaven!”


This set of four, leans a lot more to the wedding theme of the kit, but they’d also be great pages for a engagement or anniversary brag book! The set is only $1 at Scrap Bird and it makes it a neat half dozen with the two freebie pages available here! When you stop to purchase the rest of the brag book pages, be sure to pick up the Digitalegacies store freebies while you‘re there.

A Branson Getaway?

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I’ve visited St. Louis ad Kansas City in Missouri, but I haven’t has a chance to visit Branson. I have friends who have. They tell me that Branson is an absolute entertainment hot spot! It’s closer than Vegas and less expensive than New York.

In addition to multiple theaters boasting greats in not just country music, but classic performers, there are museums and first class restaurants. I noticed they have a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum. I remember visiting a Ripley’s museum when I was a kid. SO COOL! I’ll have to try that when I eventually got to Branson too!

In choosing a hotel, I’d think Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing and Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel are excellent choice. The two hotels are located across from each other in downtown Branson, near the Branson Landing shopping and entertainment complex. Both hotels have all the amenities you’d expect from Hilton including, state of the art TVs, free internet access and “The Serenity” bed. If you haven’t stayed at a Hilton property and slept in one of their serenity beds, you have not had simply the best night’s sleep you’ll ever have! Notice I didn’t say “except for home?” The first time I stayed in a Hilton after they started putting “The Srenity” bec mattresses in, I was (jokingly of course) asking if there was a way to squeeze the bed in my suitcase!

Hilton Hotels offer wonderful packages for family, foodies and romance! If you are thinking about a trip for entertainment, think Branson, MO. If you’re thinking a trip to feel relaxed and pampered, think Hilton, And, if you are thinking of an entertaining trip to feel relaxed and pampered, think the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing and Hilton Branson Convention Center. The pictures were enough to make me think it’s time for a getaway!



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Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
Lebanon, Tennessee


Yeah, I know the Mug Shot is supposed to be the last marriage week reveal. What is this Lebanon, Tennessee stuff? Hehe...The Cracker Barrel restaurants corporate office in in Lebanon, Tennessee!

Cracker Barrel has got to be one of my favorite family restaurants of all time, if not THE favorite! What started as a direct mail ad for what looked like “just another chain restaurant” when Mom and I were planning my first trip South in 1989, became: an awesome place to eat after a long fall drive in the gorgeous Kentucky river area; an oasis in the dark after an all-day, often lost drive in Alabama; worth 2 hours wait when the first one opened in Michigan; worth the drive; a treat for Grandma; the best pre-Shakespeare breakfast around; Scotty is full, really?; Elizabethtown has the best corn bread of all the CBs; Merry Christmas; I can’t believe the ice, can you recommend a hotel?; Mary! The ring is gorgeous!; dinner between work and school - only one semester left; he couldn’t stop talking about himself, at least it was great food!; Jessica, it’s awesome to meet you in person; breakfast with Tori and Rina before the Big Pig Gig; Heather, he’s great, ask Tracy!; David, meet my friend; SURPRISE!!!!!!.....

Okay, that's my short history of Cracker Barrel. What many have tuned into The Chronicles for today is the story about the LAST time I was at Cracker Barrel!

The original plan for New Years Eve was two rooms and someone bring one more card table for at least 8 for the night of games and friendship to bring in 2009. Of course, after freezing rain made it impossible for us to tell everyone about the wedding at UNO, since it didn’t happen on the 19th, New Years Eve was planned to be when we told the rest of our friends about it.

I had sent out an email to everyone looking for a final count and to see who’d make it for dinner before we left for Dayton. When I got home, I had email from Rich. He was working at 3 AM on New Years Day and wouldn’t make it. He thought Jackie was working until 9 PM on the eve and then in the morning on the day and might not make it either. Then a call from Heather. There was nasty snow in the forecast and she wasn't sure. John said he’d be there for dinner and games, but he wasn’t staying all night. MaryA would be with her ne beau out of town, Sheri said it depended on work on NYE and Scotty said he couldn’t. Can you believe it? The last big reveal we had planned and people bowing out?? :(

By Monday afternoon, we’d sorted things out. I reduced the reservation to one room and Sheri, John Heather and Jackie were meeting us at Cracker Barrel for dinner. I tried and tried to beg Scotty and Rich to come just for dinner, but no- luck, even with the promise that it was a nice “surprise” I had for everyone. I even unsuccessfully tried begging Scott two more times on New Years EVe!

So New Years Eve came. David worked during the da. We knew we’d probably be a little late for 6:30 in Monroe, but with the usual wait at Cracker Barrel and the tendency for everyone, especially if coming form work, to run a little late, we figured it would be okay. I kinda wanted to be the last ones there anyway!

When we got there, John came out to the store part of the restaurant yo let us know they’d just been seated. Sheri and Jackie were there and Heather was...Heather was pulling into the parking lot! It worked out well! Heather came in an grabbed the last chair while I was taking off my glove and telling everyone I had the “surprise.” Note that I took off my glove - just the right one!

I had the marriage announcement that was here on the blog a couple days ago printed into 4X6 announcements. We are planning to print more to mail to the relatives, really! I shuffled through the stack, as if there were different cards facing me. I placed one face down in front of everyone, telling them not to flip them over until everybody has theirs. When they were passed around the table, I said, “Okay, flip them over.” David and I cheered, “SURPRISE!”

I took off my left glove and we both sat down. Comments ranged from “Oh my God, really?” to “So when are you really getting married?” We assured them that we were really married already There was congratulating and Sheri called her Dad. “Say ‘hi’ to Dad and tell him!” Our poor waitress kept coming back to see if we were ready, if I had even opened the menu yet! Oh eventually I did, even read it and ordered the shrimp dinner!

Everyone wanted the whole rundown, you know the one that it’s taken three days to fill you all in on? “How did Dad react, you really hadn’t even told him?” Heather couldn’t believe that we had spoken on the phone a few times since the 23rd and I kept quiet. I told her that the phone was for anyone I wasn’t going to see in person. John asked if Scott knew. Well, I was really trying to get Scotty to be there, so, no, Scott did NOT know! John instructed that I HAD to call Scotty.

I called Scott. I told him the surprise had been revealed and as to what it was, listen to the message from the table. I held out the phone and everyone announced “YOU WON!”

About 20 years ago, Scotty, JeffT and I were having a conversation about relationships and commitments. We agreed that we never wanted to get married. That kind of tying down was just not for us. We teased each other about who would be first, each of us insisting, “not me!” We entered into a friendly bet of who’d be last. No money or anything, just the pride of being the winner of a bet we thought would never be one. Maybe one of us would weasel out, but more than likely we’d all be single forever.

I have a photograph from 1999 of Scott and me high fiving each other over Jeff’s head. He was in his wedding day tux! The caption of that photo is “One down, one to go!” On that day, Jeff smiled and said, “I’m pretty happy to be a loser. I got Jeanne!” A little over nine years later, I have to say, “I’m a pretty happy loser, too. I got David!”

The Spouse That Snored

Do you have snoring significant other or roommate? Has anyone ever said anything to you about “Shaking the rafters” at night with your snoring? It can be a pain, true. When our family home was being built in 1976, we stayed with my Great Grandmother and I shared a room with her. It’s amazing I made it to middle school!

Seriously, I got to the point where the sound of snoring, even loud snoring, became comforting to me and now even when David snores I sleep right through it, unless the sounds are just “wrong.” When he has a cold the snoring is irregular and noticeable to me. But thus far, I’ve never noticed odd snoring unless he has a cold. But I know a little about what to listen for! I studied up on it as best I could when Mums and I shared a room!

Sleep Disorders Guide is a great online resource. Make sure what you find annoying isn’t a sign of something worse than annoying, like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where one actually stops breathing while asleep. Does your partner ever wake up choking or gasping? Does your roomie wake up several times a night? Those could be symptoms of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can also lead to weight gain, memory loss and depression. That’s a bit more serious than an annoyance to joke about!

Visit the Sleep Disorders Guide to get more information on sleep apnea or other sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy or bedwetting. You can even get tips on lessening or avoiding jet lag! It’s a great resource to have bookmarked!