Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Monday, 28 June 2010

The final day

So Friday was our final full day in Monaco and the day was left for us to do as we wished.

A small group decided to take the train to Italy as it was only half an hour away.  Now I LOVE Italy and Italian food and everything but I couldn't justify going to Italy when I had only walked across the road in Monaco.

The lovely Julie said that she wanted to go and see where Princess Grace was buried so we decided on a leisurely saunter around the Grand Prix track over to the Rock!

It was another gorgeous day (stupid weather report - heavy showers indeed!) and we had quite a stroll around the harbour / marina.  It truly was gorgeous and the mix of designer shops and small windy roads truly was a treat.

We went through exotic Gardens and met Shelli and Sterling - they are such a lovely couple.  So warm, friendly and just "normal", they have the skill of making you feel completely at ease which is just lovely.

All four of us then walked around the cathedral and saw where Princess Grace was buried.  I was expecting something a little grander than a concrete slap in the floor with a dead rose on top!!!! But there you go, sometimes I obviously just expect too much LOL!

Julie and I then had a look around the tourist shops for some gifts and decided to plonk for lunch.  We found a very reasonable restaurant and sat and had a leisurely lunch - goats cheese salad, some tarte tartin and a beer were the order of the day.  I think Julie was just happy she didn't have to eat fish again :)

We then caught a little tram / train back to the hotel as it was quite a walk we had done and our feet were a little weary.  It's only once the tram started that I had this terrible thought that it wasn't a tour that we could get off of.  You were supposed to stay on for the duration of the tour.  Needless to say, that when it pulled up at the Casino, we opened the safety chain and did a runner without looking back LOL!

A couple of hours sitting in the sun and a dip in the pool (had to be done) was the order of the afternoon before we had to get poshed up into our cocktail dresses for our final dinner together.

(If you are wondering where the photos are in this post, would you believe that my fully charged camera run out at the end of Day 2 - duh - it normally lasts for months!)

We all walked across the road from our hotel to the Hotel De Paris.

Here is a photo of us all glammed up stolen from Shelli's blog.

The Hotel De Paris was just beautiful and two small lifts took us up to the eighth floor to the restuarant that looked over Monaco - just gorgeous!  But not just the "normal" restaurant for us, no siree - Private Dining, don't you know was the order for us Stampin' Up! laydees!
The view was spectacular, the food was fabulous and the company wasn't bad either LOL!

A few of us had wanted to go to the Casino, so all dressed up in our posh frocks, we walked to the Casino.  When I was in Las Vegas, I gambled $20 so when in Monaco, I had to do the same.  10 Euros on Black at Roulette - yay - I won - 20 Euros - I know how to live the high life LOL!  I did succumb to put another 5 Euros but lost that.  Was happy that I came out on top though.
I did feel pretty stupid with my 10 Euros considering a early 20 something girl was betting between 20 - 40,000 Euros each spin of the wheel.  When we arrived at the table, she had 40,000 Euros.  We saw her go up to 90,000, back down to 20,000 but after watching for an hour, she left the table with 150,000 Euros!!!  Dawn Silver who said that it was like watching paint dry, took some dragging away by the time this girl had finished.  I think she understood the gambling bug by the end of it!
So, by 1 o'clock in the morning, it was time to bid farewell and retire for the evening.  Back at the room, we were greeted with yet another pillow gift:

A fabulous black patent handbag!  How on earth were we going to get all this home, don't  they know they booked me on Easyjet with the rigid 20 kilos and one hand luggage policy!

The next morning I had a little lie in, packed at leisure, checked out, had breakfast and said goodbye to those that hadn't left earlier in the day.

It was such an amazing trip and one that I would love to repeat - so it's all out for the next three months to achieve the trip to Prague next summer.

There aren't many companies spoiling their "employees" with 5* trips away in this recession.  I consider myself very very lucky and whilst I worked hard to earn it, without my customers and my team who worked hard too, I would never have achieved it, so from the bottom of my heart - thank you! 

Now what are Stampin' Up! goodies do you need in the next three months - we've got another trip to earn LOL :)

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Onto Day 2...

Well I seem to be the slowest at blogging about our wonderful trip, I hope you've managed to catch some snippets from some of the other lovely ladies that went away too.

So, onto Day 2 then....

We woke to a wonderful breakfast - everything you could imagine - the orange juice was fabulous and it is obviously customary when you have bacon to have one rasher lightly cooked, one rasher well cooked and one burnt to within an inch of it's life LOL - I'm guessing a few people like crispy bacon LOL!

So after a small shower of rain and a few changes of clothes by most, the weather perked up and we were off to the Fragonard Perfume Factory.  Here are the UK girls that came on the trip too - Monica, Michelle, Amanda, Jenny, Julie, Paula and Dawn.

We were led into a classroom where I was whisked back to my old chemistry lessons. Beakers, Pippettes and a row of bottles and we had a lesson in how to make your own perfume, base notes, middle notes and top notes - all familiar as I've had done some aromertherapy courses in my time :)

There was a whole range of fragrances, from the Eau de Crapolla from Sterling to quite a nice one that Dawn made.  After I smelt Dawn's I added a big squirt of Mandarin to mine which now smells a bit less like mosquito spray and is now more of a room spray LOL!

In hindsight I should have perhaps called my Eau Shea (!)

We then had a short tour of the Perfume Factory which made soaps and lotions aswell as male and female fragrances and we could shop if we wished.

From the factory, it was a short distance to Eze Village which was just beautiful.

There was a bit of a trek to near the top of the hill but my, was the walk worth it.  Eze was beautiful and the venue for our lunch just as beautiful too - this lunch seemed to have been the highlight of alot of the Demonstrators trips - it was just idyllic.

We then had about an hour free to shop and Monica, Julie & I found this beautiful shop where Julie found a bag that matched my outfit for Thursday evening perfectly.  I had been given some birthday Euros from my brother so they came in handy!

We had an hour or so by the pool when we came back although of course the clouds decided to come over just for that hour so I had time to get leisurely ready for the evening ahead.

We were back out to Cafe De Paris for a quick tea where I had a salad but a few people had Steak Tartare - I'd not had it before and even though it looked like an uncooked hamburger, it was actually very nice if you shut your eyes!

Then it was back to the hotel for a quick change into our pyjamas - yep it was time to get down and comfortable for an evening of stamping!

I spent too much time just chatting and taking it all in so I didn't do my Make & Takes but took them home so that we could do them there. We were lucky enough to be given a Serene Snowflakes stamp set, four inkpads, a pot of shimmer paint, some rub-ons and a journal book.

Once the PJ party was over, Amanda invited us all back to her room where the festivities continued...Consuela the maid serviced Monica and I in the bath (now who does have photos of that, I know they are somewhere LOL!) and there was more chatting and lots more laughing...

Then it was back to the rooms to find some amazing pillow gifts:

A fab bag perfect as a beach bag or workshop bag

A beach towel patterned the same as the Pink Flamingo Designer Series Paper:

Some fab flip flops with the Kaleidoscope Designer Series Paper pattern on them.  What is really cute though is that they have Stampin' Up! cut out of the sole so when I wear them on my holidays in August, I'll leave a Stampin' Up! trail behind me LOL!

And last but not least, this fab black cardigan perfect for workshops:

So, all in all, quite an eventful Day 2 don't you think?

Back again for our final day shortly :)

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Did you think I only stayed one night in Monaco :)?

I am so sorry.  I had every intention of updating with photos of Day 2 two days ago.  The last two days have sped by - I had a workshop last night and Team Training tonight and it's taken a while to prep for them both.

I do promise that I will be back with stories from Day 2 tomorrow though, so come back for more then.


Monday, 21 June 2010

Wow Wow Wow - what can I say!

I have been very fortunate in my life that I have experienced some of the best hotels and restaurants in the world, so I am very happy to report that the incentive trip to Monaco was up there with the best of my experiences.

I have had the most fantastic time away with some fabulous people and the memories of being one of the lucky 16 Demonstrators to go on the first European Stampin' Up! Incentive Trip will stay with me forever.

Where do I start?  I guess, from the beginning.....

Well, despite the start of my luxurious trip on this, I am happy to report that I took off on time.  This is our plane as we got off at Nice Airport.  Despite a weather forecast of three days of Heavy Showers, look what we arrived to.  Now given that there is alot of clouds over those hills, I was very happy to not have to get my umbrella out!

Once through customs, I was escorted to our transport where the lovely Amanda and Jenny were there having landed just 20 minutes earlier.  We were whisked (you know how those French drive!) through the hills and arrived at our destination after about half an hour.

We were welcomed at the hotel entrance by both Paula (UK Country Manager) and Shelli (Mrs Stampin' Up!) and that set the relaxed tone for the rest of the trip.

We were staying at the Hotel Metropole which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Casino and Cafe De Paris.

After a very quick unpack, it was back downstairs to meet Jenny, Amanda and Paula to go for a coffee in the Shopping Mall under the hotel.  When we returned to the hotel, Dawn, Monica and Julie had arrived so I went to Monica's room where champagne was drank before we had to get ready for our Welcome Dinner.

The food was everything you would expect from a Michelin Star restaurant:

Crab, Avocado, Mozzarella and tomato salad to start with.

A very fine fillet steak with the butteryiest mash I've ever tasted

Followed by a chocolate mousse slice desert

Our meal was over by about 10.30pm (9.30 UK time) so we all crossed the road to the Cafe De Paris to have a 20 Euro cocktail nightcap!! The people and car watching was the entertainment of the night!

It was a tough job deciding what to drink at those prices!

So, we strolled in about 12.30pm and went to sleep in our wonderful bedrooms.

And that was it for Day 1 - back tomorrow with the details of Thursday!

Have fun!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Happy Birthday to me, a gift for you!



It's my birthday today - 21 again :)!

It is also this week that I'm off to Monaco for the Stampin' Up! Incentive Trip that I earnt last year too - what a way to spend my birthday!

But it is thanks to you, my customers, and my team of Stampin' Stars that I am taking this fabulous trip.

So, to show my appreciation, FOR ONE WEEK ONLY AND ONE TIME ONLY, I am offering a *15% discount* for all product orders (not kits or product shares) received from now until midnight next Saturday 19th June 2010.

If you haven't got your own catalogue, HERE is a link to the on-line version!

I will be away from Wednesday through to Saturday so please don't worry that you don't get a response from me during that time. I will confirm any orders placed whilst I am away when I come back and arrange payment with you too. (I can take a bank transfer, cheque or Paypal).

I will of course be happy to deal with any orders up to Tuesday before I go.

So, is there something that you've had your eye on but kept putting off, this is the biggest discount I have ever, or will ever offer.

This offer CAN be used in conjunction with the current Stampin' Up! offer that if you put in an order of £250 or more (catalogue price), then you can claim an ADDITIONAL £20 FREE to spend on top of the normal £25 too.

A FREE hostess stamp set, £45 FREE to spend in the catalogue AND 15% off too - it doesn't get any better than that! (if you place a £250 or more order).

Have you got some friends or relatives that you can club together with?  Make the most of this offer, I won't be doing it again!

Call me now!
Tel: 01293 888816 / 07990 534538

Saturday, 19 June 2010

One more card

Here is another card that I got for my birthday from the lovely Justine :)

She's got two of my favourite colours there and I love this!  Think she might have just sold me that small square punch!

Anyway, as you read this, I should be on my way back from my wonderful Monaco break with lots of stories and photos to share!


Have a great weekend!

Friday, 18 June 2010

More cards to share

Well, whilst I am away, I thought I would share some more cards that I was given for my birthday.

This ensemble is made by the very talented Mrs Wonka (Zoe!)

The Bella Bleu Papers and Flight of the Butterfly have to be Mrs Wonka's signature mix at the moment, but don't they look lovely.

The above is my card and below is a matching gift card holder that she made too!


Very clever! Back tomorrow to share some more cards.

Have fun!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Four birthday cards!

Well, above are four of the cards that I received for my birthday!  A bit odd, you might think, until I remind you of the workshop that I did at home a few weeks ago.

Well this was the Make & Take card that we made that night and four of my friends thought it would be very funny to all send their masterpieces to me for my birthday - aren't they thoughtful!

This was also one of the cards that we made at Clare's workshop last Wednesday too - very simple, easy to make but effective.

Have fun!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Okay, so we should all be on our merry way now....

By the time this comes up on my blog, we should all be on our planes jetting it off to Monaco.

At most Stampin' Up! events, swapping is involved.  It's a great way of introducing yourself to other people and also a great way of getting samples and ideas from both people with different styles to yourself and with different supplies than yourself!

I had decided that I wanted to do something in a photo frame so the first job was to seek out some photo frames - ebay here we come!  Plain black 6 x 4" frames was the order of the day.

I then decided that I wanted to use the Monaco logo somewhere and somehow on it.  You may remember the luggage tags that we received a few weeks ago?  Well , in the scanner they went and printed and cut out and there was the base for my swap.

Now the colour of the log dictated that I was going to be using a brown, so I went with the new Soft Suede colour.  I also wanted something bright to go with this too, so out came my colour of the moment - Melon Mambo!

Using the En Francais stamp to do my background (nice touch with Monaco being at the bottom of France!), I then made up four single squares / items with lots of different bits.

Here is a list of what was used:

En Francais, I (heart) Hearts, Tiny Tags, Spotlight on Christmas and Occasionally stamp sets
Full heart, Tiny Tags, Small heart, Two step bird, Scallop Square,
Large Star and three circle punches
Melon Mambo polka dot ribbon and some clear crystal brads!

So, here is my masterpiece (Excuse the reflection LOL!)

I'll be certain to show you the swaps that I got in return when I come back!

Have fun!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Some birthday cards

Well, it's the day before I trot off to Monaco for a couple of days! I still need to do some shopping, some packing, still make my swaps and more!

In the meantime, I have done some blog posts so that you have something to look at whilst I am away.

So first up is my cards handmade from my sons!

I think there is potential here:

This is Kian's single layer card.  A man of few words compared to his brother :)

Below is Ethan's card:

I'm guessing that they teach them how to use Clip Art at school!
And Word Art too :)

And of course, not to forget the finishing touches.  Boy, what a sense of humour!
Yes, the World Cup did overshadow my Day a bit!

Anyway, tomorrow I will be back with the swap that I did for the Monaco incentive trip - it took a while to think about what I wanted to do but once I'd decided, it came together rather well, I think!

Have fun!