7:00~12/16/11~NSNJ

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If you follow the 7:00 project, I’m sure that this will become a pretty familiar image: the Notes on the State of New Jersey website.

Unfortunately, a very busy work schedule prohibits me from spending as much time as I’d like improving and updating the site, but I fit in what I can when I can.¬† It’s coming along. ūüôā

Starting to use an iPad in the last two weeks has certainly helped me a lot with getting and keeping better organized…and it makes blogging and writing on the go that much easier.

(It’s even helped quite a bit with making this old Android phone better!)

Hoping you are enjoying your 7:00,

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Posted from WordPress for Android

Computer Programming and Ice Cream

As a teacher and a life-long learner, I’m always taking on a new challenge, a new class, a new skill. I’m not enrolling back into graduate school, or taking Spanish classes again (though I probably need to¬†estudiar espanol a bit more diligently). No, this time, my new endeavor is the language of computer programming, something called PHP to be specific.

Honestly, I don’t know what I’m getting into (and hopefully computer programmers out there are not laughing at me TOO loudly)…I just know that I REALLY want to learn this. ¬†Amazing things have been happening over at my Notes on the State of New Jersey site, and I’d really like to know HOW they were happening. So, rather than ask a million questions and bug the brilliant mind of John Conde, who is the man behind the curtain and responsible for it all, I am going to try to learn to speak to him in his language.

Let’s call this Day 1. ¬†Of how many, I don’t know. ¬†All I do know, is that I am getting started today. ¬†The plan for today consists of dedicating an hour to “investigative internetting” as I search for tutorials and sources and any advice I can get. ¬†I am ready to take notes and soak it all in. ¬†For sustenance, I’ve got a container of Edy’s Slow Churned Chocolate Chip ice cream and a giant spoon. ¬†Here we go…

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

It’s Almost September!

A funny thing happened on the way to this post…I actually found it in the draft pile called “It’s almost July!” ¬†The dates may be in the past, but the links all still work! ¬†Rather than delete it and start over, I’ve left it as is. ¬†Below is the original post as it was saved back in June. ¬†Boy, how time flies!

NSNJ Stuff
It’s hard to believe that June is almost over. ¬†This means that July is here, bringing with it Independence Day, fireworks, parades, and backyard parties. ¬†It’s a great time of year even though it always seems to go by just in a flash. ¬†There are a ton of fun things happening around the state this coming weekend to celebrate the 4th of July. ¬†You can visit our calendar at Notes on the State of New Jersey¬†to see some of the events.

The website is coming along nicely. ¬†We’ve got a few new contributors on board, and everyone is working on some pretty fabulous stuff. ¬†This week, Misty Layne shared her¬† first experience with the Jersey shore¬†and Cristina Fowler shared her own memories of visiting the shore when she was a kid. There is a new¬†archive page for all the articles published, and the articles now feature pictures – so be sure to check out some of the updates we’ve made.

Also, there’s a form now for anyone interested in advertising information. ¬†If you know of a business or service that wants to advertise to a NJ audience, make sure to have them fill out the form!

Catching Up – new Clash of Influence CD
A while back, I had the pleasure of meeting a New Jersey band, Clash of Influence. ¬†These guys have come a long way since those first shows I saw and my interview with them. ¬†In fact, they recently released a new CD called Clash of Influence. ¬†When I got my copy, the songs went immediately into my iTunes account so I could listen to the recordings that sound so much like the band’s awesome, live performances.

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

May 20, 2011

Happy Friday!

Where does the time go?

This week has been rainy and a little dreary, and the days have seemed to blend together for me.   But like the bright light at the end of a dark tunnel, today is Friday!  Rainy or not, Fridays are always pretty good in my book.

If you’re looking for some fun weekend reading, be sure to take a look at these first two installments of the column Southern Belle Turned Jersey Girl¬†by Misty Layne for Notes on the State of New Jersey!

Have a great weekend!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Behind the Scenes

Really great things have been happening “behind the scenes” this week!

NSNJ Contributors
This week, I have had the pleasure to meet with and work with several new contributors for Notes on the State of New Jersey.

Our list of contributors is growing!  You can get to know some of the new contributors and read their bios here.

If you are a writer or photographer, or know someone who would be interested in contributing to NSNJ, please reach out to us and let us know!

Social Networking
We have just joined the world of LinkedIn this week!  You can now follow the Notes on the State of New Jersey company on LinkedIn.  We also still have our twitter and facebook pages and would love for you to join us there as well!

Sponsors and Advertisers 
NSNJ is now looking for sponsors.   There are amazing advertising and sponsorship opportunities on the website.  If you are a New Jersey business or do business in New Jersey, make sure you reach out to us to find out how you can start advertising with us.

The week has been busy and productive, but there is still a lot more to do. ¬†I’m really excited about the way the project is taking shape and can’t wait to share more updates with you!

Happy Friday!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

NSNJ Progress!

Whether you’re baking or building houses or starting your own business, doing anything from scratch is never as easy as it looks. ¬†Even if it looks difficult (and I mean, like, extremely difficult), it’s not nearly as easy as that when you actually try it.

The latest screen capture for the NSNJ main page. It's coming along nicely!

Progress, however, is that crazy little thing that encourages you to keep on going. ¬†Yesterday, we made some incredible progress on the Notes on the State of New Jersey website. ¬†We still have a lot of work to do, but I’m really happy about what we’ve done so far.

The project is evolving and taking on a life of its own even beyond my original ideas. ¬†Check it out and see what’s new.

We’re looking for contributors, now that the site is in its current shape. ¬†If you are interested in writing or taking photographs, or know someone who would be, please let me know!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

It’s Almost April!

Sometimes Things Get Blurry
Being so close to New York City, many New Jerseyans work in the Big Apple, several major NY sports teams play in NJ (Giants, Jets, Red Bulls) bringing New Yorkers to NJ for the big events, and the line between NY and NJ is a little more blurred than many New Yorkers (or New Jerseyans, for that matter) would like you to believe. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, we still maintain distinct identities, but I, for one, happen to appreciate the blurriness every now and then.

Futhur at Radio City Music Hall in NYC

This past weekend, I crossed the river with a Grateful Dead fan to see a Furthur show. ¬†Furthur, for those of you who are like me and don’t already know, is a band made up of ¬†the remaining members of the Grateful Dead. ¬†The band also plays in NJ (Atlantic City and Asbury). ¬†This show at Radio City Music Hall was a good time and I would definitely check out another Furthur show in the future!

Well-Deserved Pizza
I also got to spend time with John Conde and work on the Notes on the State of New Jersey website this weekend. ¬†I’ve never taken on a project of this magnitude before, and it’s been such a fabulous learning experience for me to see what all goes into building a website from scratch. ¬†I’m so excited about the progress we’ve made so far and can’t wait to share the new updates with you soon!

Also pretty exciting was the delicious lunch break we took while working on the website. ¬†We went over to Inzillo’s Pizzeria and Restaurant in Jackson for some pizza. ¬†While we can compromise pretty well on topics pertaining to the web development, the selection of a common pizza topping was not so easy. ¬†The folks at Inzillo’s worked with us to make a pizza that we both enjoyed. ¬†The next time we work on the site, I’ll definitely suggest going back there for a lunch break!

Mom's birthday dinner at Chili's

 

 

Mom’s Birthday
Yesterday was Mom’s birthday and we celebrated at the Chili’s restaurant in North Brunswick. ¬†My nephews love the chicken tenders and burgers there, and Mom loves the food as well. ¬†To her surprise, the excellent wait staff came out singing with a special birthday dessert for her – and I caught it on camera!

The busy work week at school continues, and I am certainly looking forward to a fun-filled weekend.

It’s almost April and that means lots of awesome springtime New Jersey events coming up…like Jersey Shore Restaurant Week! Make sure you check it out!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

March 26, 2011

At The Elan with Notes on the State of New Jersey photographer, Christina Rudczynski

 

The Elan
Thursday night, I attended the grand opening of the new reception hall in Lodi, The Elan.

Ari Starkman, owner of The Elan, was there to energetically greet and welcome guests to his open house.  During the event, I had a great time chatting with Kelly Adams from RSVP to Me and Sophie Stone  from the Paramus Post.  The food was delicious and the entertainment from Uptown Swing got everyone on their feet. Anyone looking to have a wedding or other banquet event will definitely want to check out The Elan in Lodi!

The sugar bowl I painted at The Clay Pot!

 

My Sugar Bowl
Back in January, I went to The Clay Pot in Spotswood on a snowy Saturday.  I painted a sugar bowl (the colors of my kitchen), and left it there to be fired.  It was ready for pick up in just a couple of days.  My friend, Lauren, picked up the sugar bowl for me, when she got her own pottery piece,  but because of (lots of) snow and busy schedules, she and I just recently connected.

It was definitely worth the wait! I am very pleased with the way that my sugar bowl came out and I’m looking forward to going back to The Clay Pot and making another piece!

Best of Jersey
My copy of New Jersey Monthly’s Best of Jersey issue ¬†arrived today. ¬†Once again, Walter Bauman Jewelers has been voted as the Best Jewelry Store in NJ. ¬†(Yay!) ¬†I’m going to get myself a cup of coffee, and sit back with the magazine to see what other great NJ individuals and businesses made the list this year!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Having a Blast

I’ve got to say, what I get to do is a lot of fun. ¬†Really. ¬†As the new project (Notes on the State of New Jersey) is developing, I get to visit my favorite NJ locations and research new ones.

Last week, I went back to Pier Village in Long Branch to¬†McLoone’s Pier House to see old friend, Donny G, play an acoustic set for an intimate crowd. ¬†Then this week, I went up to Garwood to see new friends, This Noise Inside My Head (great name, right?), play a rockin’ set – for the very first time! They’re just getting their feet wet, but I think we’ll be seeing some pretty awesome things from them in the near future.

The Notes on the State of New Jersey website is still developing, contributors are working on some great pieces, we’re speaking to new advertisers, and it’s all coming together nicely!

I’m off to research a question that was submitted to the site by a reader. ¬†If you have a question of your own about New Jersey, be sure to ask us!

Ask a question.  Be a part of history!

Hope you are having as much fun as I am!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

A Weekend of Good Food and Good Friends

Trying to figure when these postcards were issued...

I got to spend some time walking around (as it snowed) in Somerville on Saturday evening. ¬†There, I visited one of the largest antique malls in the state, ¬†Somerville Center Antiques. ¬†The folks there were friendly and extremely helpful. ¬†I wandered around booth after booth of collectibles, and eventually found an old (though I haven’t figured out exactly how old) 1 cent Thomas Jefferson postcard. ¬†And officially started my collection of Thomas Jefferson memorabilia!

Tapastre in Somerville, NJ

After antiquing, and just a few blocks away, I had dinner at Tapastre.  The menu, cleverly organized by countries including France, Italy, Turkey, and Greece, offered a large selection of tapas-style dishes.  I thought the Seared Scallops, with a bacon pesto and blue cheese cracker, were especially delicious.

Sunday brought a great work session (and pizza!) with good friend and web developer, John Conde in Jackson. ¬†We made some updates to the Notes on the State of New Jersey website and more additions are on the way shortly. ¬†We’re almost ready to start posting the articles. ¬†It’s very exciting!

Then, I got to catch up with old friends at Taste in Red Bank where, again, I had a variety of small plates Рthough this time with a much more American feel.  The Buffalo Deviled Eggs seemed like a pretty unusual idea to me, but they tasted great!

Now, its back to work and back to checking the weather forecast. ¬†We’re under a storm watch again, and it looks like this next storm could be messy.

Be safe and have a great week!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl