Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Very Late Night

Although there are many, many, many amazing benefits of being a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, one of the most exciting is the opportunity to preorder products before they become available to customers. Sunday night at 1:59am (11:59pm Stampin' Up! time), was one of those opportunities. I was so excited to order the new scoring tool (and too many other products to mention), that I stayed up to place my preorder as soon as they became available.

My faithful dog Lily stayed up with me. Well, I woke up very sleepy at 7:30 this morning (2 1/2 hours later than normal). I had to wake Lily up to go potty at 9:15 and then she just wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. Now, about 6 1/2 hours later, she is still napping on the couch.

I'm very excited about the products in the upcoming Holiday Mini Catalog - I can't wait to create samples and start sharing them with you. I have been saying "there is no way Stampin' Up! can top this catalog", but they keep outdoing themselves!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Back Home Again

I got home on Monday, but I have to say it is hard to break the habits I got into on vacation. I went out for lunch on Tuesday with my friend Susan. We went to Mongolian Grill. It was a fresh and delicious meal. We enjoyed talking about what we learned at Convention and what we plan to do next with our businesses based on what we learned.

Here are a few more cards to enjoy. I love the use of the flower punch for the flame on these birthday candles.

Since it is so hot here, I started thinking about Christmas cards in an attempt to cool down. Here are two beautiful examples I saw on my trip. They both use the new pennant punch!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Extra Day On Trip

Saturday night, some of our group flew home on the "red eye" so there was some major packing going on. Here is the FULL elevator with three of the girls from our group and their luggage.

When I got as far as Chicago on Sunday, the airline was looking for three volunteers to take a bump. I wouldn't ordinarily do this, but the offer was so sweet I couldn't pass it up. They offered $400 in airline vouchers, a night at the Crowne Plaza, free shuttle from and to the airport, and dinner. Since I didn't have to be home for work on Monday, I decided to go for it.

Although I was without luggage (and everything but my computer and my camera were in the luggage), I am glad I did it. Here are photos of the room and dinner I enjoyed on the airline.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Last Day of Convention

Today was the last day of Convention. Although I'm sad to see this exciting week end, I'm really tired and looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tomorrow night.

I went to Memento Mall with my friend Susan today and had to take advantage of the umbrella display. I snapped a few pictures of Susan - this was my favorite.

When we were leaving the building at the end of the day, I had to have someone take a picture from the other side of the door.

We went to Biaggi's for dinner tonight. My friend Diana ordered the Caprese which looked scrumptious.

I had the Farefale Alfredo - it was delicious.

After dinner, we decided to walk for a while at the outdoor mall. I was so amused by the fountains where children were running around and screaming in delight.
So here are my the rest of my favorite swaps before the WOW swap last night. I will be posting those once I return home.

Another Fun Day at Convention

It's midnight here (2:00am at home) so this has to be a quick post. I put in a lot of pictures, but the explanations have to be short.

First, here are three of my favorite swap cards (before the organized swap I was in tonight). I will take pictures and post those after I've slept and finished with Convention activities.

I was so excited to meet Renee Wright today! She was my Demonstrator Business Building Coach. When I walked up and said my name, she started talking about how much she enjoyed the Simply Adorned inserts I sent her back in January. I can't believe she remembered me and my small gift!

We went for breakfast at the hotel this morning. I couldn't finish this yummy meal, but I sure gave it a try.

We at dinner at The Blue Lemon at 5:30, but I saved room for dessert at the Marriott with Rebecca Bernzweig, Ruth Bingle, and Susan Auyer at 7:30. It was great to sit down with very successful demonstrators and learn what is working well for them in their businesses. I really enjoyed my time with them.

I picked the strawberry cheesecake. It was so fresh and summery.

However, I had "dessert envy" as soon as I saw Susan's decadent hot chocolate cake.

In the end, I still love Susan even though she didn't offer to share with me.

We rushed from dessert with these girls to second dessert with the group I've enjoyed eating with most of the week. We went back to The Bayleaf Cafe because we enjoyed it so much last night.

We drank out of Mason jars - check out the size of this water.

But, water wasn't the only refreshment enjoyed tonight. Denise was thrilled when she got carded and so was Melanie.

But, when Pat went to hand the waitress her ID, she didn't need it. We got to laughing so hard I almost wet my pants.
My second dessert of the night was Brown Betty. I'd never had it before, but I was sure glad I had ordered it. It was so delicious I almost forgot about the dessert envy earlier in the evening.

Here is a group shot outside of the restaurant. It was a late night, but it was a blast. One of the best things about convention is the time spent with old friends and making lots of new friends. I've definitely done both on this trip.

I would love to have you join me at Convention next year as a member of my team!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

First Official Day of Convention

First, I'll share two of my favorite swaps from today.

The first is a very vintage look from my friend Jenny Peterson - it uses one of the new Designer Frames Embossing Folder, Crumb Cake Seam Binding, and Precious Butterflies (hostess set).

The next card was designed by Jacque Craig and uses the new My Friend stamp set, Beautiful Wings Embossing Folder, and Rhinestones.

There were exciting announcements at the general session today about new products coming in the upcoming Holiday Mini. One is a new scoring tool that I can't wait to order. I'm sure it will quickly become one of your favorite tools!

The most innovative product they announced today was a new cookie stamp set that will become available on October 1st. They served us cookies made with this product at lunch today. I can't wait to get my hands on the cookie stamps and use them with the students in my Kindergarten class.
Here is our entire group at lunch today It is fun to get together with my stamping friends for a few days every summer. I'm enjoying my time here so much - it doesn't seem like I had been here less than 48 hours when this photo was taken. I had just eaten my 7th meal since I arrived.

So here is the 8th meal. We went to Bayleaf Cafe for dinner and I enjoyed the Chicken Skewers - it was fabulous!!! I took photos of everyone's dinner and may end up posting them at some point, but it is getting late.

Even though I was stuffed, I had to order the Waffles and Ice Cream so we could all have a taste for dessert. Isn't it beautiful?

Here we are all digging in...

and then I am taking a big bite. Yum, yum, yum.

We went straight from dinner to Awards Night. Look at the backdrop on the stage - stunning.

My friend Missy Shipman earned Founder's Circle by being one of the top 100 Demonstrators of the Year. She actually placed #64. However, that wasn't the best news of the night. She was chosen as a member of the Advisory Board! She was completely surprised and taken off guard, but thoroughly delighted!

Well, off to bed - early morning. I'll try to post again after activities tomorrow.

More Photos From Check-In Day

Here is a picture of me in the dress I made to wear tonight and the sun hat I made to go with it.

Here is one of my favorite swaps of the day (I have other swaps, but am too tired to take pictures because it is really late.) using a brand new set from the new catalog. We have some of the best sets in this new catalog!!!

At the Garden Party (Kick-Off Party) tonight, we were challenged to wear decorated sun hats to the party. I took a few pictures (but there were many more I should have taken - there are so many creative people here!!!).

I ate dinner twice tonight - once before the garden party and then again after - because I wanted to go out with the girls who hadn't eaten yet.

The first meal (my third of the day) was a "Plain Jane Potato - Lite Version" - can you believe this is the small version of their famous potato?

We went to dinner at Olive Garden after we finished at the Garden Party. I thought a nice frozen drink would be good. Don't worry - no booze.

I had planned on just eating a little salad, but the cheese ravioli looked so good I just had to order!

Well, I better get to bed. Convention officially starts tomorrow. Look for more information and photos when I get back to the hotel (if it's not too late).