Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Stampin' Up! Grand Vacation Cruise



Hi Friends! Yesterday my husband and I returned home from an absolutely amazing Western Caribbean Cruise on board the "Allure of the Seas".  What a fabulous time we had!!!!  For a full week we were pampered by the incredible staff on the ship; ate the most delicious food; enjoyed room service every morning and evening on our cabin balcony whilst enjoying the ocean view; saw excellent shows including the Broadway hit "Chicago"; visited with demonstrator friends from around the world; swam in the warm waters of Haiti; took in the sights of Jamaica; explored Cozumel with a "Living History" tour of Mayan culture, food and ceremonies; and even managed to get in lots of R&R!  I can't wait to scrapbook all my photos and momentos with our new Project Life products!!!  I thought I'd share some of my photos with you!
Photo from our cruise ship balcony - I couldn't wait to get into the water & go swimming!
Ahhh - pure heaven.  If I could I'd swim in the ocean every day I would - LOVE it!

The "Living History" tour about the Mayan culture, ceremonies, cooking and traditions was awesome!

This lovely lady showed us how tortillas are made and cooked - and they were the best I'd ever tasted too! We also learned (and tasted) about the history and process of making chocolate from cocao beans and tequila from the blue agave plant. I never liked tequila prior to this trip but discovered that authentic & 100% pure agave tequila is a whole different world! I brought a bottle of Baluarte home to sip and savour with friends!
Speaking of friends, I met Mathilda (a demonstrator from Holland) during our "Living History" tour in Cozumel and let me just say she is one of a kind! Anyone that meets Mathilda is lucky to know her - what a fun lady she is! I've never known anyone with such a zest for life and I can't wait to see her again.  I love how Stampin' Up! brings new friendships into our lives.

I also loved visiting with demonstrator friends I haven't seen in awhile too! It was so nice to see Jamilla and Gerry again and meet their daughters.  Also in the photo were our Dining Room servers - their service was exceptional and their smiles and fun personalities had us laughing all the time!
My handsome husband and I, heading off to one of the formal dinners.  I love wearing dresses and getting gussied up so it was fun to have the opportunity to do it for our dinners - which, by the way, were DELICIOUS.
 
Every night we'd return to our cabin and find pillow gifts from Stampin' Up! - it was always so exciting! Amongst some of the gifts were custom embroidered beach/deck towels, water bottles, yummy treats and more! Even my hubby had fun opening the gifts (yes, we had to take turns each night opening them! hahaha!)
And each gift had it's own unique gift card.  This card came with the box shown above - can you guess what was inside? Tons of new Stampin' Up! products! OH MY GOODNESS!!!!  I can't wait to play with it all!
 
One of the things I'll miss the most about this trip is the room service.  It was pure bliss to get up to fresh coffee and fruit and enjoy them on our cabin balcony with the view of the ocean, the warm air and listen to the sound of the waves.  I could easily get used to that every day!!!
Enjoying the beach at Cozumel, Mexico.
Shelli Gardner, Stampin' Up! Co-founder and CEO has a wonderful blog and she's posted awesome photos from our cruise too (you may even see hubby and I, along with our friends).  To view Shelli's blog click HERE.

Each year I work hard to earn the Incentive Trips that Stampin' Up! rewards us with and I couldn't have done it without my loyal customers and the lovely demonstrators in my "Serene Stampers" group.  I'm so grateful for each and every one of you - thank you!!! And I'm also grateful to be a part of a company that spoils us with trips like this when we reach certain milestones with our personal business.  Honestly, even though I work this business full time it usually doesn't feel like 'work' - I LOVE it so much!  When I bought the starter kit back in 2002 (the day Stampin' Up! started in Canada) I just wanted the discount on my stamps.  I never even dreamt I'd one day be earning Grand Vacations (and becoming one of the top 20 demonstrators in the country!).  But it just goes to show that when you love doing what you're doing and sharing your passion for it with others, you can reach the goals you strive for.  Last month I celebrated my 12th anniversary with Stampin' Up! and somehow each year just keeps getting more and more amazing than the last!  If you'd like information on how you too can be a part of Stampin' Up! contact me at serenestamper@gmail.com or click HERE.  I promise you'll LOVE it!

One of the best things about every Stampin' Up! vacation and event are the card swaps! Demonstrators who participate create a card front using our products and we swap them with each other so that we come back home with tons of great cards and inspiration!  To create my card swap I cased & tweaked a card from the new Stampin' Up! catalogue (available June 1st - demonstrators get theirs a month earlier...yet another perk of being a part of the Stampin' Up! community!).  The card I created even features a new photopolymer stamp set from our Project Life line called "Day to Day" and cards I cut into strips from the "Everyday Adventure Project Life Card Collection.  I used My Digital Studio to print out the cruise ship we were on and the Post Card Stamp for the background.



To show my heartfelt appreciation to all my customers I want to give you a gift!  
  
As I'm sure you know, Stampin' Up! has retired a lot of our products and I've been clearing out my Stampin' Studio - I have a ton of stamps and accessories that need new homes to go to.   And, as my regular blog readers know, I'm moving to another province this month and I won't have the space for these products in my new studio - so I want to give some of my retired items to you!  Here's what I'm going to do: 
The first 10 people who place a min. $50 order (prior to tax and shipping) through my online store will automatically receive one stamp set from my stash. 
Please note: these stamps are gently and lovingly USED but still stamp crisp and clear.  However, there may also be some stamps in the sets that are brand new, never used.   
Plus, the first person who places an online order of $100 or more (prior to tax and shipping) will ALSO receive a bonus gift of Stampin' Up! products too! 
And everyone will receive a hand stamped thank you card with their packages, created just for you from me!
This offer ends May 31, 2014 and your gifts will be mailed out to you first week of June!  

http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/default.aspx?dbwsdemoid=1000037


  Remember to check out the new Project Life items! I LOVE them and I know you will too!!!


Well, my friends, I'd best get cracking.  I've got to unpack and do laundry from our vacation, finish packing for our move to Nova Scotia (as of next week we'll be officially living on The Sea Bound Coast!) and my 12th Annual Hostess Appreciate Dinner is this weekend and I've got a lot of preparations and cooking to do for it!  I am so excited but boy, I've got a LOT to do this week!  At least I managed to split my hostas, rhubarb and other favourite plants from my yard yesterday evening, so that I can transplant them at our new house.  I'm also fighting a bit of a cold so I'll definately have to find some time for extra sleep somehow! HA!  Ohhhh, life is good, isn't it?

Enjoy the day and HAPPY STAMPING!




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