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Viewing Blog: A Latte a Day, Most Recent at Top
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1. A Latte A Day Has Moved

My illustration blog A Latte A Day has permanently moved to my main website at DesignerM.com/blog. Please update your bookmarks, links and RSS feeds.

New blog address:
http://DesignerM.com/blog

New blog feed:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/ALatteADay

Please be patient during site conversion.

Thank you,
Maggie

1 Comments on A Latte A Day Has Moved, last added: 3/3/2010
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2. Announcement - A Latte A Day is MOVING

Changes are coming down the pipes which I would prefer to avoid but can't. Recently, Blogger notified all users that it will no longer support FTP after March 26, 2010. This will affect A Latte A Day as I use FTP to publish my blog. While I am not happy about this, it is what it is. This also goes for my Treasure to Be Found blog.

So, I have to make some decisions about whether I want to move my blog(s) to a new URL(s) or possibly move them to WordPress. As my schedule is pretty busy at the moment, I don't know if I will have the time to move them by the deadline. I am told once the deadline passes, the blogs will still be viewable but neither me or you will be able to post or comment to it.

In the interim please bookmark my www dot designerm dot com website if you haven't already done so. There you'll currently find that this blog, A Latte A Day, is linked to the word NEWS. When I move my blog, I will also provide links under NEWS to the new blog.

If this is all too confusing, you can contact me on Facebook or email me at designerm @ hotmail dot com and I will direct you to the new blog once it's up and running. After March 26th, 2010, I won't be able to post to this blog, so please check my website for updates!

Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience.

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3. Valentines Love

Flowers from my sweet husband K, the smiling face holds special meaning. I love and adore my husband and I adore roses! Thank you for another wonderful Valentines Day! XOX

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4. Otterly Incredible Game

Tonight's game was otterly incredible, with the Saints winning the 2010 Superbowl. The Colts were leading until the second half of the game and they unfortunately became dinner for the Saints. Smells fishy to me...

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5. Weekend Wish


Guess who's behind the wheel of my car. Right, that's K. He loves driving my car because it's oh-so-fast. And Twinkle? Well, he's just hangin' around enjoying the ride.

Father Time, please slow down so we can relax and really enjoy the weekend...

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6. It's All About the Ride


Meet twinkle my driving companion. He digs Volkswagen Passats like I do. He jumped into my car one day while we were having coffee at Starbucks and has taken up residency.

He's living the good life, sitting on the sunroof catching some rays, so happy the sun is shining today!


It's time to work out and get into shape for summer and swimsuit season!


This car has amazing speed and Twinkle likes to drive fast- it's all about the ride baby!

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7. Merry 'Christ'mas

Merry Christmas to all. May the love of Jesus Christ fill your hearts with joy and peace at Christmas and always. As for us, we are blessed beyond compare this Christmas because we have and treasure each family member and friend, and the unique way each one enriches our lives beyond compare. Thank you.

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8. Blessings Abundant

God has blessed our family so abundantly. To you and yours, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Above is a salad that almost didn't make it to the feast in time!

1 Comments on Blessings Abundant, last added: 12/24/2009
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9. Challenges & Courage

I've been an avid reader all my life and have been focusing lately on following Jessica Watson, the 16-year old Australian girl sailing solo around the world in 8 months, non-stop on the Ella's Pink Lady . You can follow her daily blogging as she posts from somewhere out in the ocean as she sails around the world. She left just 9 days ago from Sydney, Australia.

Prior to Jessica's solo trip, Zac Sunderland from CA, USA set the record as the youngest person to sail solo around the world and completed his 13-month trip on July 16, 2009 at age 17. His record was surpassed 6 weeks later on August 27, 2009 by Mike Perham, of the UK.

You can read Zac's blogging journal of his completed solo sail (his trip started in June 2008-see his archived posts by month, in the right-hand column of his blog page).

It's interesting to read both Jessica and Zac's blogs and compare their similar circumstances and challenges they face(d) on a daily basis.

As a parent I don't think I could watch my child take on such enormous and dangerous challenges alone. It's easier to understand when you read their family's backgrounds. Sailing is an integral part of their daily life and is what drives them. That said, I have amazing children who have faced their own enormous challenges and I am so proud of them. Every person has their own path to walk (or sail) in life. I am always encouraged and inspired by those who fight against all odds to survive and have such enormous courage and will power. I have the will to fight, yet some days feel I fall short of courage (defined as mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty). I trust that God has a guiding hand in Jessica's life today, and each day ahead.

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10. Fall Colors



We took a drive through the countryside today to look at the fall colors. The day started out sunny, then turned gray and overcast with rain showers, however I was still able to capture these images. The most amazing discovery was an infestation of lady bugs we encountered at a lookout point of an indian earth lodge. The walls, floors and just about ever square inch of the earth lodge was covered in thousands of lady bugs. Their colors were so different, no two were the same. I love fall colors, especially red barns, lady bugs and the red leaf of the burning bush.

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11. Name That Car

I recently purchased a new car and I absolutely love it! I had to have a name for it so I spent some time thinking about it. The color of the car looks silver from a distance, but when you pass by it, turns a white-gold metallic color, quite unique I think. So, I decide upon the name "Ingot" which means a bar cast of gold. It's also a German made car, incredibly fast and fully loaded. I completely understand the phrase "total driving experience" because that's what I have when I drive my new car! I took this photo from my Blackberry.

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12. Holidays


K and I taken during the holidays spent with my family.

Spending time with family means more to me than anything. I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful family and extended family. Some recent photos taken over the holidays, moments I will always cherish!

3 Comments on Holidays, last added: 8/17/2009
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13. Freezer Jam

When my parents were here for a visit, Mom left us some of her homemade freezer jam. It was so delicious that when we got down to the bottom of the jar I had to do something quick, (lest we have mutiny on our hands!) so I made a dozen jars of strawberry freezer jam. As long as I can remember, my mom, my grandmother, and great aunt, have been making homemade freezer jam from the fruits of their gardens, so I'm carrying the torch. The batch I made was so yummy too, and as you can see, I made it just in time for my birthday. "Why not treat myself?" I said. :)

It's been fun giving away more than we've eaten so far, but don't you think sharing things that make you happy, give you more happiness in return? I do. Have a great weekend!

3 Comments on Freezer Jam, last added: 8/2/2009
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14. Tree Business

Hugging makes a person feel good doesn't it? Hugging lets the person know you really care about them. Do you give real hugs or perfunctory hugs? I really dislike perfunctory hugs, so I give the real thing, every time. So today, I challenge you, give someone a hug and mean it!

5 Comments on Tree Business, last added: 7/28/2009
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15. The Four Dollar Photo


While my parents were here visiting last week they parked their motor home in a local park. We took them for a tour around the park, then K and I climbed a tower where one could see for miles upon miles in every direction. We took a few photos and I found myself hugging this beautiful tree that had long limbs going out in every direction. It inspired me to do the illustration in (see my previous post of the little girl), one that tells it's own story.

The photo illustration was also inspired from the same thought- though with a twist. To see the above photo illustration and others in a sharper format, click here.

When we went to the park to drop my parents off on the last evening at their motor home, the person at the entrance to the park insisted we pay $4.00 (the fee for all day entry). You've got to be kidding me?! For just 10-15 minutes? My mother had just gotten out of the hospital after having complete knee replacement surgery, and the distance was too far to even walk from the main gate, so we paid the fee. They could have given us a 15-minute pass. As it was, it was almost 8pm, at which time (we found out on our way out) the booth closed and you could drive in and out without stopping or paying a fee. We all understood the park person had a job to do and rules to follow but he handled us in a very poor manner considering he knew it was almost 8pm and could have shared that tidbit of information. The money wasn't a big deal, but the principal of the matter was.

Needless to say, my parents left immediately, instead of staying the rest of the evening as planned (even though they had previously reserved and paid for that night). They wanted to get an early start heading home, so that just gave them an additional reason to leave, and up until then they had really enjoyed the park. People forget that great customer service keeps people returning and telling others how great a place is. Not going the extra mile once in a while can go a long way to destroying a business' reputation. The state park lost otherwise happy customers because they had the wrong person as their "director of first impressions."

Now you can see why I included the dollar bills in the photo illustration. :) Blogger seems to make these illustrations lossy or unclear.

4 Comments on The Four Dollar Photo, last added: 7/6/2009
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16.

Click on the thumbnail below to see a larger version of the above illustration and mouse over the corresponding thumbnail.




While my parents were here visiting last week they parked their motor home in a local park. We took them for a tour around the park, then K and I climbed a tower where one could see for miles upon miles in every direction. We took a few photos and I found myself hugging this beautiful tree that had long limbs going out in every direction. It inspired me to do the illustration above of the little girl, one that tells it's own story.

The photo illustration was also inspired from the same thought- though with a twist. When we went to the park to drop my parents off on the last evening at their motor home, the person at the entrance to the park insisted we pay $4.00 (the fee for all day entry). You've got to be kidding me?! For just 10-15 minutes? My mother had just gotten out of the hospital after having complete knee replacement surgery, and the distance was too far to even walk from the main gate, so we paid the fee. They could have given us a 15-minute pass. As it was, it was almost 8pm, at which time (we found out on our way out) the booth closed and you could drive in and out without stopping or paying a fee. We all understood the park person had a job to do and rules to follow but he handled us in a very poor manner considering he knew it was almost 8pm and could have shared that tidbit of information. The money wasn't a big deal, but the principal of the matter was.

Needless to say, my parents left immediately, instead of staying the rest of the evening as planned (even though they had previously reserved and paid for that night). They wanted to get an early start heading home, so that just gave them an additional reason to leave, and up until then they had really enjoyed the park. People forget that great customer service keeps people returning and telling others how great a place is. Not going the extra mile once in a while can go a long way to destroying a business' reputation. The state park lost otherwise happy customers because they had the wrong person as their "director of first impressions."

Now you can see why I included the dollar bills in the photo illustration. :)


4 Comments on , last added: 6/17/2009
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17. Pasta Love



I just completed these pattern samples, inspired by my love for pasta!

Click on the thumbnail below to view an adapted larger version of this pattern.


I don't know about you, but in our family, we eat a lot of pasta. What you say? You, a fitness buff, EAT carbs? Yes, I most definitely do! Especially since Barilla came out with their Next Generation...Plus pastas. They're not just your typical pastas. They deliver protein, fiber and Omega 3's in every bite, and that's great news for those of us who want to be heart healthy! And, if you're bored with spaghetti noodles, Barilla offers a variety of pasta shapes.

2 Comments on Pasta Love, last added: 6/15/2009
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18. Summer Smells




Don't you just love this weather? It's in the high 80's here today. Last night we sat on the deck and you could smell all the BBQ's in the neighborhood wafting our way. We discussed how great it would be to bottle that BBQ smell, perhaps mist it over the deck sporadically; yummy! With summer BBQ's come things like pasta salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, brownies, and cherry crisp. Wow! My mouth is watering, is yours?

I remember as a young girl, our families had a yearly family reunion and everyone would bring their favorite dishes to pass. What a feast! Not to mention, catching up with loved ones, great stories and loads of laughter. My, but the stories were GRAND.

Here's an illustration inspired by summer, loved ones, and good food. The pasta salad was a yummy dish my talented SIL Nelda Jane made for us while we visited her and my brother Buck last year in Florida. K and I still rave over the fact that they were the most incredible host and hostess - Buck and Nelda, thanks for the good time, and for spoiling us-you rock! Wish we were there!

Today is my Mom's Birthday, and she and Dad are spending it with Buck and Nelda down south, WE LOVE YOU MOM and hope you have the best birthday ever! We can't wait to see you and Dad in a few days!

2 Comments on Summer Smells, last added: 6/15/2009
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19. Fridayness



I was feeling inspired yesterday and created this fun illustration. My SIL has a collection of cobalt blue dishes and vases. My brother and SIL live in tropical weather and love to fish and also collect decor with a tropical feel to it. For a larger image visit here. The photos may take a moment to load, then just mouse over the top left thumbnail. Have an awesome Friday!

1 Comments on Fridayness, last added: 4/6/2009
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20. Times Have Changed

Times and medicine have changed since the 1800's. Small vials of medicine have been replaced with plastic tamper proof containers that come in all sizes-including jumbo size. Thankfully, our medicines and perscriptions now come with ingredients, directions on how much to take, and when to take it, and warnings of possible side effects, etc. I am SO thankful for modern medicine and the new age in which we live in!

1 Comments on Times Have Changed, last added: 4/11/2009
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21. A Girl's Gotta Do

During these tough economic times and the recession, saving money is a must. A girl's gotta do, what a girl's gotta do-shop for sales! Click on the Save Money for an illustrated sales magazine cover.

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22. Happy Mother's Day!

Listening to my new Nano, a gift from K. :) Love it and love him, he is such a sweetheart! I loaded my music collection on it, and I am listening to some of my most favorite songs- too many to name. Donna Lewis- that girl can sing like no other, can't she? Also The Unfeeling Kiss- by Garbriel Yared, off the City of Angels soundtrack. A few years ago, I have my vehicle broke into and all my favorite CD's were stolen-these two were among them - and I still want them back! Still miss them, but I am building my music collection up again. Music really brings back great memories where you relive moments in time. Amazing isn't it?

Wishing all Mom's a Happy Mother's Day! Today I happily talked to my sons, my Mom, my Mother 2 :), and friends, then a lovely dinner with K. The end to a perfect day...

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23. Our Little Family





What started out as absolutely elation has turned to sadness. Not long ago, a cardinal family nested in our grafted willow tree not far from our window. Daily we listened and watched as the female layed not 2, or 3, but unbeknownst to us until later - 6 eggs. The proud male flittted from the backyard to the front, calling to his mate and strutting his stuff, the proud papa. We couldn't have been happier. I have loved cardinals for so long and had often seen them in the neighbors trees but never have they stayed long in our yard, so you can imagine my surprise (actually glee) when I found out they had built a nest and set up house in our tree. We set up a bird feeder (that K's Dad built and hand painted-so cute) and filled it with seed so they would have plenty to eat.

This past early Thursday, here's what happened: I am so upset. I was awakened last night at 1:07am. A cat attacked our cardinal in it's nest and she flew off screeching. She may have been injured. This morning I found the nest on the ground and 6 eggs scatttered (yes 6 now!). 3 were broken and 3 were whole. I am just sick about it, we had so wanted to watch them all hatch. I put on gardening gloves and put the nest and remaining eggs back. It's highly unlikely she will return.

Thursday morning: Two of the broken eggs had embryo's that were close to being ready to hatch.The eggs were different sizes so it's apparent she just kept laying them. It's also apparent that our ornamental willow is just too low to the ground and too vulnerable of a place to hatch baby birds. You can see the claw marks on the tree bark. We now think the cat carried the female cardinal off and killed her. She has never returned. *Just sick about it.* Mother Nature, it's just not fair!

Friday: I dreamt of little red balls of feathers hatching and flitting about under her window last night...was so excited, called my husband to come look. So sad it was just a dream.

Prior to the attack we had been trying to take photos of them, however they can be quite elusive. I took these through our windows and screens so the quality isn't very sharp. The male was at quite a distant, the female just before she flew back to her nest one early morning. The only time I saw her during incubation time. Thankfully we at least have these photos. The male still comes by every day calling her. We hope he'll find another mate and try again, maybe in our little tree. If he does, K will build a cover to keep the cat from climbing again. That cat is best warned to never step foot in our yard again.

2 Comments on Our Little Family, last added: 6/4/2009
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24. Lifelong Friends

Our irises are in full bloom right now and I am loving it, just wish the winds would die down so we could enjoy them more.


Just had a wonderful talk with life long friend Melody, and it it was so good catching up-after all these years! This one's for you Melody, sharing a bit of my garden with you. I have about 9 or 10 colors, I think. Do you have any irises in your gardens? Funny how when old friends reconnect they can pick up right where they left off. :)

2 Comments on Lifelong Friends, last added: 5/22/2009
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25. Feathers and Flowers

Today I spotted the male cardinal at the bird feeder. We're glad he's still around, although he doesn't sing like he use to, so sad.

Here's a photo of his (and her) apartment, or at least it was until that fateful night. Hopefully, the male will find a new mate, and maybe they'll build their nest here again next year. As an update, we found another egg under the tree, that would bring the egg count to 7 total!


More from behind my lens: Iris power, yay! I love these irises, they're variegated and such a deep purple, they're almost blue. They are almost spent now, but I've taken lots of photos. More lovely colors to come.

1 Comments on Feathers and Flowers, last added: 5/28/2009
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