Thursday, July 2, 2015

Stars and Stripes

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Independence Day.  With all the craziness going on in the country now, I hope everyone takes a moment to reflect on the values on which this country was built.  God Bless America...please!!!  We sure need it.

Aaron Tippin had a song back in 2001 called Where the Stars and Stripes and Eagle Fly and it is so fitting for this time. THIS is my vision of America.

Well if you ask me where I come from
Here's what I tell everyone
I was born by God's dear grace
In an extraordinary place
Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly

It's a big 'ol land with countless dreams
Happiness ain't out of reach
Hard work pays off the way it should
Yeah, I've seen enough to know that we've got it good
Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly

There's a lady that stands in a harbor
For what we believe
And there's a bell that still echoes
The price that it cost to be free

I pledge allegiance to this flag
And if that bothers you, well that's too bad
But if you got pride and you're proud you do
Hey, we could use some more like me and you
Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly

Yes there's a lady that stands in a harbor
For what we believe
And there's a bell that still echoes
The price that it cost to be free

No, it ain't the only place on earth
But it's the only place that I prefer
To love my wife and raise my kids
Hey, the same way that my daddy did
Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly

Where the stars and stripes and the
Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly

Thursday, June 18, 2015

OneNote for Travel

I'll be the first to admit it. When I first tried OneNote a couple of years ago, I was not impressed.  I was an Evernote user and kept a lot of my stuff (yes, that's the technical term) in my email folders or Google Drive or OneDrive.  But here in the last few months, I took another look at it (and figured out a few things I was doing wrong) and I'm REALLY liking it more and more.

As with any of the other Office products, I have taken a couple of online trainings/webinars on OneNote to gain input and see some of what it can do. Then I Google or Bing it to find out even more.  Input!!!  (I feel like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit).  Then, as Vicki Sokol Evans always says, the best way to remember something is to teach someone else.  So that's what I do and I enjoy it a lot! I'm a Master Microsoft Office Specialist on versions 2003-2010 and I'm working on my 2013 certification. I may try to add in the exam for OneNote this time. Continuous education...

I created a basic OneNote class for employees here at the City of Bryan and I did several sessions.  It's been a while and now I'm working on a project of creating a OneNote class focusing on travel arrangements, especially from the Administrative Professionals' side.

There are ton of ways to use OneNote and everyone finds their own groove and their own way of doing things, but I've found some ways that seem to work well for me.  I have been doing quite a bit of travel arrangements for the upper level managers in our department as well as some of their direct reports.  Searching through all my emails in my Inbox was getting to be tedious, so now I'm consolidating info in one place and it's soooooo much better.

OneNote can be used on the PC, Online or on Android, Apple and Windows devices, so it's great for cross-platform applications and everyone can pick their favorite.

I have a shared Notebook for all of our travel and each person has a Section Group and within that Group, there is a Section for each conference/training.  I have a Page with a table that I consolidate all info into an Itinerary. Another Page has the spreadsheet that is our Expense Report. When I get confirmation emails from flight, hotel, etc., I Send to OneNote, either using the button in Outlook or sending it to with the OneNote Clipper. and keep everything together for further info, but the Itinerary is the thing they keep track of the most. (I suggest a print out of the Itinerary to take with them in case of battery failure, no signal, dropped/lost phone, etc).  

I also include a page with a Packing List with the main things they need and they can add/delete as needed for each individual trip. Don't forget to add a little section in the checklist for the return trip and remind them to go through the packing list again before leaving the conference.  There's also a page with the agenda that I copy from the conference website, a map of the area with the link that they can click on to open in Google Maps, especially if the hotel is not in the location of the conference.  

While the travelers are on the trip, they can take pictures or use Office Lens to capture receipts, whiteboards, notes for the conference sessions, etc. This helps in case something gets lost and I can start filling in final expenses before they even get back from the trip.  I used this method for my own personal trip to our recent #IAAP Texas-Louisiana's last Division Summit. 

If you have access to do so, you can create the appointments on your boss's calendar and link them to the OneNote pages  - either agenda or itinerary as needed.

For me as the Admin, I have a Section called Misc Info in the travel notebook that is Password Protected for just me. There I have a To Do list of all the tasks that need to be done for the travel arrangements and I have a checklist for each person and their trips.  The checklist includes Register for the conference, book hotel, book car, book flight, book parking, start expense report, enter per diem advance, complete expense report, process P-card receipts, enter reimbursement request.  

After everything is completed, I move the Page for that conference to a Completed section and keep for reference until I have a chance to scan the entire thing into LaserFiche and make sure all i's are dotted and t's are crossed. (As a reminder, Sections can be re-arranged, but Section Groups are alphabetical. Arrange Groups by adding a numerical value if needed or use Z- on the Completed section or other section that you want at the end)

On my Section (password protected), along with the To Do Checklists, I have all the Pages saved as Templates, so it's super simple to copy them to create new travel Sections, an no one else can mess them up. I have info on the mileage reimbursement rates and per diem info.  I also have a table or spreadsheet for all the managers and their personal preferences - aisle/window seat, rewards program info, hotel room preferences, name as it appears on their ID, DOB...basically everything I need to booking their travel.

Just to be safe, be sure they sync the travel notebook before they leave town.

Haven't tried OneNote yet? Click here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Jammin' Photo Contest

Who wants FREE stuff?  Submit a picture of your favorite Jamicure...hands or feet and please include the name of the wraps/lacquer. You could win a free sheet of accent nails.  Yes...FREE!  No purchase necessary.

Voting will end Saturday, June 6 at 5:00 pm Central. Share with your friends! You (and they) can vote up to once per day. 

Click "Enter to Win!" at the top or on the left of the Niecy's Nails page or go to to enter and/or vote.

This is image is mine and is included as a sample. There's no need to vote for it.
Chalkboard Hearts and Sweet Sangria Lacquer

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

I love Spring when all the earth is covered in blooms of every color. It's also a sign of warmer weather, which as most of you may know, I HATE cold weather!  I love walking around the yard and seeing all the new things blooming in the yard. My Red Buckeye bloomed for the fist time this year. I've been waiting on that for a few years now.  They don't last long and they are not extremely showy, but if you get close, they have pretty blooms.

I got a couple of irises at the Kolache Festival last year and they bloomed this year.  Unfortunately, I don't know the species names.  I LOVE purple and I think these are just gorgeous!  Check out this one with the yellow top (click the image to see a larger version).  Even the beard has a "petal" on it.  I've never seen anything like that and I think it's really cool.  If anyone knows what these are, please comment and let me know.

The birds are happy too.  I look forward to the Purple Martins showing up in March and I TRY to keep the House Sparrows' nests cleared out of my bird house.  I got some new pins to put in my poles to make it a little easier to move up and down this year.  I love the sound they make and they can gladly have all the mosquitos they can eat!  I also have to be diligent on keeping the House Sparrows out of my bluebird houses. They have come through earlier scouting out the boxes.  Click the More Images link below and you can see video and hear the Martins' calls.

The hummingbirds are in for their first wave in March/April as well. The poor little things are so skinny and they are starving. I always make sure to clean the feeders and keep the solution fresh for them.  We normally just get the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, but every once in a while, I see a Rufus come through. For such tiny things, they can be fiesty and make a surprising amount of clicks and whistles.  They are very territorial, but they are so hungry at this time of year, that they will share the feeders pretty well.

See more images here of the birds and blooms from 2015.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Magnolia Depot Days

I went to Magnolia on Saturday with my Jamberry Team Manager, Carin Ponder, for the Magnolia Depot Days.  We had a booth at the festival and even though we had a good chance of rain all day, we actually only got a few drops, so it was a nice day.

We offered Free Shipping as we usually do at our booths and, as always, we have the Buy 3, Get 1 Free special.  We usually have a drawing for an application kit and a sheet of wraps, so if you see us anywhere, be sure to stop by.  Be sure to follow my Facebook Page, Niecy's Nails, to see where I will be next or contact me and we can set up an in-home or online party and you can earn free product.

Don't forget about Mother's Day!

They had a silent auction going on and I got the winning bid on a nice big cinch bag from Thirty-one.  With all the bags I have, I'm a walking advertisement for them. As it normally happens, I usually end up spending more money at other booths and such than I make, but I was after contacts as much as the sales themselves.

Design Dimensions - for that 3D effect
Stop by our booths to try a free sample
My manicure for this show was Happy Go Lucky and Aquamarine (retired now).  It was 9 days old at the time of the show.