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Archive for "Life"

Nicole, aka My T-Shirt Lady

Posted on August 25, 2021 by under Life.    

It was around this time last year when I first got connected with Nicole. She owns Simply Charming Designs. I would not have known about her had it not been for the amazing work that she did on Ben Meyer and Traci Grandfield’s league uniforms. They had Ben’s company logo put on their tops and bottoms. As someone who is obsessed with being “matchy matchy,” I immediately had outfit envy. I asked Ben who did it for him and asked for their contact information.

That was the start of my relationship with Nicole. Over the past year she’s completed several shirt projects for me. I’ve even referred several people her way including my friends Karen, Tiffany, and Kimberly (and probably a few others). I know Seth has gotten a few shirts from her also. Every time someone asks me about customizing shirts or adding prints or logos on them, I send them to Nicole.

The funny thing is, as I’m referring all of these people her way, we’d never actually met in person — that is, until recently. My friends always asked, how are you getting your stuff? I told them we usually just leave my shirts on her porch and then I pick them up the same way when they’re finished. Payment is through Venmo, so we’ve never seen each other. She’s usually not home when I’m dropping off or picking up (actually, it’s usually Brian dropping off or picking up because he works on that side of town), but she doesn’t have to be. I’ve never felt it necessary to meet her to do business together. All I know is that she does excellent work and she is quick and that is good enough for me.

Anyway, Kimberly had some shirts done a few months ago and actually got to meet Nicole. Of course I felt FOMO. I’m thinking, I’ve given this lady so much business and yet I’ve never met her in person. I think it’s time we met.

Fast forward to a year and nearly $500 in projects later, we actually had the opportunity to meet. Brian and I were on our way to dinner. I needed to drop a couple of shirts off to be printed and she just happened to be home.


Meet Nicole, the most awesome t-shirt lady ever. Over a dozen shirts later, we finally met! I was like, we have to take a pictures to commemorate this!


I dug up our transaction history on Venmo and my very first payment to her was on September 3. We would have been working on those designs and chatting back and forth over Facebook Messenger around this time last year.


T-shirts are mostly what I need but Nicole can do more than just shirts. She can do mugs, tumblers, notebooks — she can print on just about anything. If you have a project that you need completed, please be sure reach out to Simply Charming Designs on Facebook. She is super awesome to work with. I highly recommend her. Anyway, I am just one of many happy customers. Hire her for your next personalized or custom project and join the club!

Until next time. GNG.

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I am Officially Fully Vaccinated

Posted on April 21, 2021 by under Health, Life.    

I received the second dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine yesterday so I am officially fully vaccinated. Here’s a picture I took when I got my first dose of the vaccine at the old library a few weeks ago. The whole operation was super efficient. Having printed my form ahead of time, I was in and out in less than 30 minutes counting my mandatory observation time.


I was going to go back to the library for my second dose but the vaccine is now widely available. Rather than going downtown again, I scheduled my second vaccine at the Walgreens in Andover just down the street from our house. That part was no difficult but it took some doing for me to cancel my original appointment at the library because I couldn’t figure out where to cancel my appointment on the website. I had to actually find the email they sent me about the appointment and cancel it from there.

It was nice to be able to get it at Walgreens because (a) I didn’t have to contend with downtown and (b) I actually got to walk around the store during my mandatory observation period so I wasn’t stuck just playing on my phone. I used the time productively to pick out a card for a friend who is having a birthday celebration this weekend.

I have heard of people having issues after getting vaccinated and Brian, who is borderline anti-vaxxer (I say this because he has never gotten the flu shot ever and completely against the idea of getting vaccinated), never hesitates to tell me these horror stories of people getting sick. Other than my vaccination arm being sore, I’ve experienced no complications whatsoever.

Anyway, I’m hoping that this will encourage him to get vaccinated. I hate that he’s dragging his feet and won’t do it. Can you guys help me convince him please?

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Margarita Flights at Rio

Posted on February 2, 2021 by under Life.    


I’ve never really looked closely at the menu at Rio (because I always get the same thing every time I’m there) until our last visit a couple of weeks ago. That’s when I noticed the margarita flights. For under $10, you get to pick three different flavors of margarita. It’s awesome for times when you can’t decide which one you want to have. The flavors I tried were (from left) strawberry, mango, and pomegranate.

I usually order mango whenever I have a flavored margarita so it was nice to try the other two kinds. They have more flavors than just these three by the way, so I’m thinking I’ll be ordering another flight (with the other flavors) next time we go. Also, I liked all three flavors equally so now I’m even more confused about which one is my favorite. I may be ordering a margarita flight every time we are at Rio from now on just so I don’t have to decide.


As for food, Brian got his usual (above) and I got my usual (below).


That’s all I’ve got for now. Until next time. GNG.

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My New Favorite Jacket

Posted on January 29, 2021 by under Life.    


I got a nice gift from Chicken N Pickle a couple of weeks ago with the above note. As a huge fan of CNP, I’m glad that the feeling is mutual.


I have worn the jacket a couple of times now. I love it so much. It’s warm and cozy and perfect for winter. That’s all I’ve got today. I just wanted to show off my new jacket. Until next time. GNG.

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2020 Recap – Better Late Than Never

Posted on January 27, 2021 by under Blog, Life.    

I’m sure you’ve noticed that it is now the end of January and I still haven’t posted my normal end of year recap. I’ve really struggled with this because 2020 has been exceptionally craptastic. I am usually super excited to recap all the fun trips and exciting things that happened during the past year but 2020 has been nothing but depressing. I was whining about this to my friend Karen not too long ago and she reminded me that 2020 is the year that brought us all closer together so, besides the whole COVID19 pandemic (oh, yes, I thought I would get through the whole year without getting infected or that I would be one of the lucky ones to be completely asymptomatic but Brian and I both got it and we were sick for a good two weeks right before Christmas), there’s positive things that happened too. Inspired by her optimism, I sought out to recall all the positive things that happened last year.

First, I finally bit the bullet and started pickleball lessons. Mom and dad also picked up pickleball last year and, as a present, I got them a lesson with my favorite pickleball teacher too.

Pickleball is probably the only thing that has kept me sane throughout this past year. When the gyms closed during the mandatory stay at home order, I remember thinking I finally got what I wanted because I’d been gradually trying to get rid of Zumba classes to free up more time for pickleball.

I was good and practiced social distancing during the lockdown. I stayed home and isolated from everyone (except Brian) and started offering free virtual Zumba classes online to stay connected with my Zumba family. The ZOOMba kept me active during the month I wasn’t teaching classes at the gyms and wasn’t playing pickleball but it wasn’t the same. By the time the stay at home order was lifted, I was so ready to be around people again.

I resumed playing pickleball but decided not to plunge back into teaching a bajillion Zumba classes. I only brought back one class – my Monday night Zumba class at VASA. Pickleball became my primary outlet for all of my pent up energy and frustrations.

Some of the pickleball milestones from last year include the first anniversary of our local pickleball Facebook group and my officially becoming a USA Pickleball ambassador. I’d been growing the sport in my own way and so, when a spot came open, one of my friends who is an ambassador (Jeanie) encouraged me to apply and make it official.

Anyway, lots of fun pickleball-related stuff happened last year. I got to participate in my very first Nahola league (because, without all of those Zumba classes, I suddenly had time for it). I actually went a little nuts and joined a bunch of leagues and did pretty well in most of them. This is on top of my regular Friday night at Nahola and Sunday morning mixed play at the park.

Speaking of the park, Seneca was the place to be this past summer besides Chicken N Pickle, of course. CNP is like my second home and where several clinics and other fun pickleball events happened.

Besides the tournaments at CNP, I also played in some other fun ones in town:

I suppose now that I look back on it, the year wasn’t a total disaster. I had a lot of fun hanging out with my pickleball buds. Over the summer, we enjoyed pool pickleball at Brooke’s house. Our videos actually went somewhat viral on Facebook. LOL. And in the fall, a bunch of us had dinner together at Woodfire Grille (surprisingly, none of us got COVID from that event). I also had a great time hanging out with the gang when Noi (Michael’s friend who lives in Tennessee who is now my friend also) came to visit.

Other non-pickleball things that happened include:

  • Jenni’s Wedding – yes, she’s finally married!
  • Our New Mailbox – we’d been thinking about it for a while and with not taking any trips, we had an extra grand to spend on it.
  • Online/Virtual Mixology – I didn’t even know this was a thing until we did it for work.

Okay, so we didn’t avoid trips altogether. We just didn’t fly anywhere. We took some roadtrips this year and that was a departure from our usual but pretty fun overall. We drove to the Eureka Lake Waterfall and Coronado Heights Castle, within the state. We also went on a roadtrip to Eureka Springs in Arkansas where we stayed in a treehouse. And that was a unique experience.

Lastly, one of the best things to come out of 2020 (and this is going to make me sound like a lush) — to go booze!!! Admit it, y’all are happy about it too.

If this trip down memory lane wasn’t enough for you, you can review what happened in 2019 (we had so many fun trips that year) and also look back at 20 years worth of blogs. Anyway, as with these recap posts, I don’t have any pictures for you. There are plenty in the embedded links for you to enjoy if you click on them, though. Until next time. GNG.

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