Welcome to my blog!

I invite you to share your thoughts, but I do ask you to keep your comments appropriate. I won't feel badly about removing comments that are offensive. That doesn't mean you can't be honest—I want honest feedback—but I also like to fill my life with positive people and positive things. I guess that means if you have to say something negative, say it nicely! :-)

More than anything, I want you to leave here feeling inspired and valued—and like we've had a fun chat!

 

Friday
Oct312014

Congratulations, Dawn

Sterling and I, along with Sara and Sean, enjoyed dinner last night with Dawn Griffith, our million-dollar achiever, and her husband Richard. It was the last event of her home office visit, and a perfect way to end the two-day, whirlwind trip celebrating her significant achievement.

It really was a busy couple of days. We kicked things off on Wednesday with the traditional welcome at the home office, where employees greeted Dawn with a standing ovation and then a reception featuring a few of her favorite treats. She and Richard toured the home office, visited with employees, got to help design a stamp set, and hopefully just enjoyed their moment in the spotlight.

Our million-dollar achievers get to choose what they want to do during their home visit, and in the past, most of them have chosen to spend a day with me, which I have absolutely enjoyed! Dawn also wanted to spend some time with me, but her request was a little different—she wanted to film  videos that she could use in her business.

We were happy to oblige! We ended up filming two videos, which made for a busy day yesterday. . . but an enjoyable one! Several others were involved in filming one of the videos, and if it turns out the way it was planned, it will be a FUN video. Dawn will be releasing the videos, so I’m not sure when or where they’ll be available, but I can’t wait to see them!

 

Dawn and Richard were also here for our traditional home office Halloween celebration, which is always fun. Some of the employees dress up, some bring their children to do cubicle-to-cubicle trick and treating, and we all get together for lunch and other fun festivities. Dawn mentioned how much she enjoyed being part of our home office Halloween—and it was great to have her.

 

Monday
Oct272014

Fun Fall Weekend

We started Saturday off by attending Cooper’s last soccer game. . . so fun to watch him! It was a crisp morning, and we huddled together until the sun came up over the mountain and warmed us up!

Saturday afternoon we went to Seth’s last lacrosse game of the season—again, what a treat to be able to watch him play. We haven’t made it to any of his games, so it was fun to spend some time cheering him on.

Our girls didn’t participate in soccer games and lacrosse games, so while I’ve heard a lot about “soccer moms,” I don’t really know what it means. But when you’re not used to going to multiple games on one day, it was certainly a tiny taste of what so many mothers of kids this age must experience as they spend their Saturdays chauffeuring and cheerleading their children.  We loved being there for the boys—and spending time on the sidelines with other family members.

After the lacrosse game we headed to a dear friend’s house to pick up my traditional birthday cake. For as long as I can remember, Kathy Pitt (an illustrator at Stampin’ Up!) has made me a German chocolate cake for my birthday. Although I assured her I was simply thrilled for one (her cakes are beyond description—I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious they are!), she insisted on making two for our family dinner on Sunday.

We had a wonderful visit with Kathy and Greg (her husband, who also works at Stampin’ Up!), and then we loaded up the card with the cakes PLUS two dozen sugar cookies. There’s only one thing that Kathy makes that are more delicious than her German chocolate cakes and that is her sugar cookies. Ask anyone who works at the home office, and they’ll tell you—she has quite the reputation!

I thanked her profusely, and Sterling and I drove away. We didn’t even get one block before Sterling pulled over to get one of the cookies, and we had to resist the temptation to sneak another one all the way home! And when family arrived on Sunday, I have to admit that one of the cakes already had a missing piece. . .

I also spent some time this weekend reading through a pile of hand-stamped birthday cards that had arrived from Stampin’ Up! employees. Sara dropped them off at the house the night before we left for the European convention. I loved reading each of the sweet messages from dear members of our Stampin’ Up! family.

 I think the birthday celebrations are now officially over. . .it’s been a wonderful month. Thanks to everyone who made it so!

 

Sunday
Oct262014

My November Snack, Chat, and Stamp with Shelli Event (Oh My Goodies Stamp Set)

At our European convention last week, I shared my November CASE event during my stamping presentation, which focused on stamps (one of my favorite subjects, of course!). 

This month, my guests will be making these tags at my events.

My invite information:

Stamp, Chat, and Snack (SCS) at Shelli’s
Tuesday, November 11, at 7 p.m.
We’re heading into the holidays and you know you’ll need tags for your goodie gifts for neighbors and friends! Kick start the holidays with an evening of fun, friends, food and stamping! 

And here’s the information so you know what you need to provide for your guests to make these cute and easy tags at your party:

Demonstrator provides:

  • Oh My Goodies Stamp Set
  • Cherry Cobbler Classic Stampin' Pad 
  • Old Olive Cardstock
  • Very Vanilla Cardstock
  • Linen Thread
  • Deco Labels Framelits Die
  • 1/16" Circle Punch
  • Scallop Oval Punch
  • Large Oval Punch
  • Big Shot 
  • Stampin' Dimensionals

Here are some other projects that you can share to show the set's versatility.

This little bag with the tags tucked inside is a variation of the Make & Take tags that my guests will be making and would make a great gift for neighbors, friends, or coworkers. If you want to read more about my CASE events, check out my August blog here.

Friday
Oct242014

First-Ever Sisters' Retreat

Sterling and I returned Sunday from our European convention, and my sisters were at our house—waiting for the fun to begin!

We've never done anything like this before. . . just the three of us getting together to spend some time together. We decided it was about time! Although it was short (less than two full days), it was the only time we could do it in the foreseeable future, and we decided that anything was better nothing.

We didn’t really have an agenda. We spent most of our time simply talking. . . whether we were out shopping or sitting around the living room in our PJs, we were catching up, sharing stories, chatting about our families and life experiences and anything else that came up. We didn’t stay up late—we all agreed we valued our sleep too much for that! And we woke up in the morning without alarms. And when we did wake up, we planned the activities for that day . . . very spontaneous and fun.

The only regret we had was that our time was so short, but we definitely decided that our first-ever sisters’ get-together would be the first of many!

Tuesday
Oct212014

A Sweet Reunion

What a fabulous time we had in Brussels!

To start off, the weather simply couldn’t have been more gorgeous! The leaves were turning, the temps were in the ‘70s, and it was the perfect weather for walking. Which we did, by the way. The hotel that we stayed at was about a half-mile from the event center (an uphill walk to the event in the morning, which meant it was downhill after a long day—yay!)

Because of my RA, I was a little nervous about the walking—we even had a Plan B that involved a car and driver (apparently taxis aren’t anxious to pick up half-mile fares. . .who can blame them, right?). But thankfully, Plan A worked perfectly. Sterling and I walked slowly, but walk we did. And it was glorious! I loved the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air, beautiful weather, and amazing surroundings.

And, of course, once we reached the venue, I loved seeing our demonstrators. After missing last year because of my accident, seeing their warm, welcoming faces was such a sweet reunion. I enjoyed every minute I got to spend with these amazing individuals!

The Inspire. Create. Share. event was awesome—as it has been in South Pacific and North America. Kudos to our terrific events and training teams, who take the lead on these inspiring gatherings. Of course, they have been joined by dozens of others onsite throughout the year, and even more back at the home office, who work together to make these events a success.

The Silver 2 reception on Thursday evening was a perfect kick-off for the entire European event—a fancy affair in a fantastic setting (top floor with a grand view) and great entertainment (both the musical group as well as the little skit that Pam, Dave, and Axel pulled off!). 

Friday and Saturday were packed full of general sessions, classes, workshop, displays, and activities. I was able to attend everything but the breakout classes, and—as always—learned from what I saw and heard. I love seeing a new twist on a technique I thought I was familiar with or having a ‘wow’ moment when someone uses a product in a new or different way. And listening to the great business ideas that our demonstrators talked about is always enlightening and inspiring as well.

Highlights for me were sitting in the audience when Amy announced the global catalog (everyone went nuts! I’m very excited about that change myself) and being sent onstage to receive an unexpected birthday greeting. I was standing backstage, patiently waiting for my cue, when our stage manager told me to go onstage. I hesitated. . . this wasn’t the way we’d rehearsed it! But she insisted it was time, so I walked out (you never argue with the stage manager during a show!). Donna handed me a birthday card, and then employees started gathering cards from the demonstrators in the audience. Somehow they’d planned this fun birthday surprise without me knowing. Sterling and I opened every birthday card that day (there were hundreds), and that thoughtful gesture made this year’s extended birthday celebration even more special!

We enjoyed a few stolen moment exploring Brussels as well. The perfect weather made the city even more beautiful, and there were several fascinating destination spots within walking distance. We ran into demonstrators everywhere we went, which is always a treat, and we had our fair share of waffles and fries. We managed to taste test some Belgium chocolate as well, and last but not least, mussels. I had no idea that Brussels is known for their mussels, but when I found out that they’re loaded with garlic and onions, I couldn’t resist! After all, nothing  with garlic and onions can taste bad, right?

So, all in all, Brussels—and our 2014 European convention—was definitely a wonderful success!