Saturday, September 28, 2013

Did I Mention a New Career?

On July 3rd I made a very hard decision to leave ServiceNoodle and accept a thrilling position with  Three years with ServiceNoodle, it's owner and his family, my co-workers and my clients were all very hard to say goodbye too.  I loved the work and the quality products that I served my clients but time for a change to an industry specific position had come in my life.  I cannot express how much the work at ServiceNoodle has taught me about the advertising industry, digital media and the way that consumers search and shop online.  I feel as though God prepared me through my work at ServiceNoodle to be ready for

My first month at was spent on the road riding with peers in Milwaukee, attending training in Chicago and attending the annual Summit in Chicago.  I snapped a couple of photos of the grand stage at our Summit.  When does something, they certainly do it up right!

I couldn't believe how large and in charge the stage area was!  Everywhere I turned there was Purple everywhere.  Charging station/kiosk in every corner of the ballroom too which proved very handy to this gal.

Our first night was the kickoff which include Game Night.  Our MC's for the night stood up above the ballroom full of blackjack tables, poker tables, and all the other Vegas games that I have no clue what their names were!  We had food stations all over the place which ranged from desserts to appetizers.

Lunch everyday was an amazing spread worthy of dinner in my book. We stayed at the Hilton on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago.  Everything was top notch everywhere you turned.

As of today, I have been with for 3 months.  It's been fast and furious but at a different pace than what I was doing which is what my goal was when I took this position.  I love the company culture and the team spirit.  I have friends from Pennsylvania, Milwaukee, Topeka to Tennessee who I can call for ANY question and they are happy to help.  We have another get together in Chicago right before Christmas for our year end celebration of awards.  Golly Miss Molly, it will be fun!

Cash Visits

Living two hours away from my family can sometimes be a very hard thing to do especially when all the girls get together!  And especially when a new baby is involved!  NeeNee doesn't get to cuddle and love on the grandkids as much as she would like :(.  Great thing we all have cell phones with cameras, texting and even video to keep me in the loop.

Clarissa, Katie and Ella went to visit Nikki and Cash on Thursday.  Here are some of the sweet pics they took during their chit chat session.  I so laughed at this first one of Ella as she looks as though she's just done something or is just tickled that Cash is waking up!

Ella has a baby sister coming in just 3 months so getting to see and hold a new baby is a real treat.  She loves playing with her baby dolls.  I'm sure we will all have our hands full with keeping a sharp eye on her around her new sissy because of her current "baby handling" moves...haha!

Baby Cash and Baby Taylor get to know each other.  Katy said that her baby was doing some kicking while Cash laid right up against her belly.  Do you think the two babies knew something they didn't?

And the last picture to be added is Auntie Kissa with her niece and nephew.  If there ever was an Auntie award, Clarissa would absolutely win.  She is the most loving, caring and "playing" Auntie ever.  She's gonna have to juggle three very soon.  Ella won't know what to think with all the new competition for attention.  Good thing there are plenty of us to go around who love them all!

New Addition to the Family

I do not know where the time goes but it's just like "they" say, it goes faster the older you get!  I can't believe that I haven't posted since February!  I've captured so many memories through pictures and each time I think, "I can't wait to blog about this."  So a day at the lake, rain and a fresh brewed cup of coffee with Pumpkin creamer lead me to my ol' faithful Mac.

On September 17th, 2013 at 7:56 a.m. weighing in at 6 lbs 13 oz Baby Boy Cash Eugene Skinner made his way into the world for parents Nathan and Nikki Skinner.

He's just the cutest little thing!  He looks so much like his Momma with his dark hair and facial features.  Another of God's blessings into this NeeNee's life and everyone in the family.  Nikki is just the cutest little Mommy who is so into making everything just right and natural for baby Cash.  He's a nursing baby and we are so proud of her for making that commitment.  What fun it will be watching this precious baby grow up into toddlerhood.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cigar Band Collectors Journal

My husband came to me with an idea of how he would like to be able to keep his cigar labels all in one place and be able to journal the facts about each cigar smoke for the future.  My first thought was, "How does this involve me?"  After he expressed what was on his mind, my mind started swirling.  I said, "Let me make a prototype and we will go from there."

I thought about how this fit right in with my love of creating mini books and designing covers.  We went to St. Louis one weekend and shopped for materials at Achievers and several office supply stores.  The ride up and back was spent Google searching for similar items.  None were to be found when we searched for cigar band collections or any combination of keywords.  Yippee!  We purchased a couple of domain names that we liked and the wheels kept turning.  I hit several snags in the road as I searched for manufacturers and then just decided to focus on making three different styles to begin with.

The annual Branson Scrap Retreat held by Gwen Thomas was the date that I decided the concept would be born.  I collected my goodies and possibilities from shops such as Springfield Leather Company, Tim Holtz Ideal-Ology products and Bind-It-All binding products.  By the way, if you like to shop online, I found these word keys by Tim Holtz at Sam's.  I knew that Sam's wouldn't let the scrapbooking line go unseen.

Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Word Keys-7/Pkg - Antique Nic - Scrapbooking (Google Affiliate Ad)

With the help of my friends, I created three cigar band dossiers (fancy name).  This one is actually my favorite but my husband says that it's not as manly, masculine as the leather one that is next.  The cover is actually scrapbook paper that I found at Michaels!  It looks like real leather, don't you think?  The inside cover is printed burlap that I fell in love with at JoAnn's Fabrics.  I set out to buy regular burlap and found this instead.  Get this, it was less expensive too!  I combined all types of buttons, tags, letters and embellishments from Tim Holtz and various manufacturers.

Inside cover covered with printed burlap using YES glue, my favorite glue to seal the deal.

Now for my husband's favorite band collection "wallet".  The cover is made of 100% leather that has been cemented with leather specific glue and then hand laced with 100% leather to coordinate.

The pages in the cigar band journal are two sided so that you can store 40 cigar bands and the information that is relevant to each cigar band itself.  All printed on Acid Free paper to protect the label for many years to come.

The chipboard is from Tim Holtz and actually comes embossed with several different patterns in the package.  I chose the bump pattern to paint with acrylics in a dark walnut color.

The third and last style is constructed in the same size as the above two styles.  All three were joined at the binding using a Zutter Bind-It-All.  The cover is again a Tim Holtz chipboard that I misted in dark walnut.  I love the look it took on after I dabbed it with a baby was handy and I grabbed it!

The cover embellishments are a combination of letters, ribbon, bling and papers that I had in my stash.  The door knocker style embellishment is a new purchase from Tim Holtz.  Do you get the drift that I like his stuff?

The inside is merely covered with scrapbook paper using the YES glue and then I inked the edges.

My hopes and dreams are to produce more cigar band collection products to fit the style of the many different characteristics of smokers everywhere.  These will make nice Father's Day, Birthday and "Just because you need one" gifts. I would love to see my handmade creations in Cigar Smokers retail establishments across the United States!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"88" finds a Home!

My Mom, Mary, road back to Jefferson City with me last Thursday and stayed through the weekend.  We had a lot of fun!  The first night Clarissa came down from Columbia and met us later in the evening.  I showed them some Jefferson City evening lights and "prison bars".  We grabbed some nachos at a local restaurant called Prison Brews which is named after the prison just a block away.  You can actually tour the prison during the day or night.

We then went to High Street which is the main drag through the downtown area.  On Thursdays the streets are blocked off and they usually have a band for entertainment.  People are crawling up and down the streets and it gets kinda crowded.  We arrived after the band had shut down and Mom looked for some  Karaoke, but none to found tonight.  I then took them to Munichburg Tavern which is a new tap house in the heart of what some might say is a miniature German Town.  They have their own Bolche Ball court.  It got late really fast so we woofed down our order of hand dipped mushrooms and back for night night!

Mom and I went to several flea/antique markets on Saturday up and down Hwy 54 and Interstate 70.  This is where she found "88" who I think should have the middle name of "wooffer".  She named him that first and then changed it in memory of her "#88" that was her turtle in the races at church who ran away. does a turtle run away and never be seen?  I think that my Mom is the cutest sitting here with a life long friend, one that won't run away!  I wonder if she will paint #88 on his back?

It was great having you visit Mom and I hope to have you ride home with me again or just drive up for the week.  There is plenty of material to work up!  Love you!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

River Girl!

Ella loves the water and it appears that she isn't afraid of larger bodies of water than her kiddie pool. Katy posted this picture on FB and her caption was...I think we are in trouble, Ella likes the river.

Katy and Dustin's home is very near the river. I see many trips in their future to kick around the rocks and splash! Good thing they both were raised going to the river and they like hanging out there even now as grownups. Dustin used to search for crawdads and dig in rocks all day when I would take him. It was great as I would pop myself half in and half out of the water and just relax and watch.

Monday, May 28, 2012

My friend in the kitchen is approaching "Antique" status!

This morning while I was measuring flour, baking soda and oatmeal to make my husbands favorite Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies I reflected on the life that me and my Kitchen Aid mixer have seen.

I think back to what originally spurred me to make the investment purchase in the first place.  I have been volunteered to make my baby sister's wedding cake!  My Mother said that she would pay for Cake Decorating Classes at OTC if I would make the wedding cake, so off I went.  After several classes and trying to make my decorator icing at home with a hand held beater it became apparent that I NEEDED a Kitchen Aid mixer of my own at home.  This was truly an investment and large spend back in 1988 as it was over $175.00!  With two children under the age of 5 and working part time, money was tight.  I did make that mixer pay off during the next few years of making custom birthday, graduation and anniversary cakes.

My mixer has stood by me throughout the years and NEVER a problem with any part of it for over 24 years!  It tickled me to think of what a great purchase it has been since the style has not ever changed and it looks just like the new off white ones!  I love that all the younger gals I know now wisheth for a Kitchen Aid mixer but now the question is....What Color!  I have actually seen "skins" for them on Pintrest, in which I love because I can "remodel" my kitchen companion without the rejection of replacing her.  Here is a picture of what her daughter might look like now.  Click on the picture to view the going purchase price at Kohl's.  I love to shop Kohl's coupon specials and think that you could even get a better price using their 15% off or Kohl's cash!

Let me count the ways and yummy goodies that have come from my kitchen companion!  I love that it will do all the stirring for me while I multi-task around the kitchen.  It also is the ONLY mixer that will handle the motor demands of decorator icing and stiff cookie dough.  It will whip up some light and lovely whipped cream too!  I have used the dough hook for cinnamon rolls and bread a few times and loved it too.

I also decided that my kitchen companion has missed out on a formal name from me all these years.  I am looking for you have any?  We have put out many wedding cakes, cookies, and deserts.  Here is her picture too, isn't she a beauty still?