Monday, August 25, 2014

Well hello again…

The kids are back to school, "summer" is over and I finally have a little bit of time to get some things done!  hahaha  I don't know if that's how you feel too, but our life this summer has been such a busy, busy whirlwind that I have to say I'm actually kind of happy it's over.  Now don't get me wrong… I went kicking and screaming all the way back to the first day of school.  I didn't want to send them back to school.  I enjoy them at home, I enjoy the sleeping in, the days with nothing planned, just spending time with them…  So the school schedule is NOT my favorite.  But sitting here in the quiet and blogging my thoughts… that's kinds a nice.  (Wish I was on that bench in Bellagio gathering my thoughts, but I'll just imagine it in my mind) But this time does give me a chance to take a breath and think about what my plans are for the next couple months before the holidays are upon us.  GASP!!!

Some of the things I want to accomplish are:

1. Get a NEW WEBSITE!  I have one (it's super duper old and crusty) but it needs a make-over big time.  Or just a whole new website would be good.  Looking into things and excited about this!

2. Get rid of all my blogs and combine EVERYTHING together in ONE place! (I have 3 blogs… it's kinda embarrassing…  but one was personal life stuff, this one is supposed to be about my Creative Retreats (I'm breaking the rules today I guess) and the last one is a food blog!  (love that one too, but haven't updated it in forever…)  So with one website that can be a kind of a "lifestyle" site, I think that will fulfill this desire.

3. Start being CREATIVE again.  Oh man, why is this one so tough?  I haven't been creative since my Creative Retreat this summer with Heidi Swapp and Rebecca Cross.  I haven't taught since then and I haven't even stepped into my artsy room in FOREVER!  So I want to take time to recharge those creative batteries inside me!  We all need this and I know I'm ready to get going on this right NOW!

4. Get going on three new projects I've wanted to do for a while… that ARE creative!  I guess they aren't really "new" but a restart or like hitting the "refresh button" for me.  I'm SO excited about these:
- The first is a Journaling Bible!  I've seen these for a long time, fell in LOVE instantly and I finally ordered one!  I can't wait to get started TODAY!!
- The second one is a Filofax!!  Yes, I'm a paper girl and I've said that for years to my hubby.  He's tried to get me to just put everything on my iPhone but I just don't like it.  I've had day planners for many years, got away from them for a while (sorry Lance, paperless just isn't in my DNA) and now I'm happy to say that I got a Filofax and even started making it all cute and pretty!!
- The last project is Project Life!  Now I tried this years ago when it came out.  I started and stopped it because I thought it was too much.  It started as a 365 day challenge.  Well I'm just NOT that organized.  I also stopped because I was too restrained by all the pocket pages.  But I've taken a look at it again, created my own style of PL and I'm going to do kind of a "free form" Project Life for our families memories.  I'm excited to do this and spend time getting our stories written done and into books that we will have for years to come.

So I think that's enough on my "to-do" list for now…

What are YOU thinking about accomplishing now that the kiddos are back in school?  Or just as Fall is coming around the corner??  Would love to hear from you.

I'll share some photos of these projects as they come together and would LOVE to hear from you if you are doing any of the same projects and know of any communities or places where I get can ideas.

And don't forget…

There are still some spaces open for the two Creative Retreats in Italy next summer!!  I've updated the REGISTRATION PAGE over there---> so go check out the details, email me if you have any questions and really pray and consider joining me and the teachers next summer in Italy!  It really is a life changing vacation.  I should have "testimonials" on here (maybe I will on my new website) because the people who come do NOT want to leave.  I promise you… you will not regret going to one of these Creative Retreats.  You WILL regret not going though.  This is such an incredible part of Italy, I have come to love this lake and it's people and I really do want to show each and every one of you the beauty and joy and inspiration that you can experience here…

Hugs to all,


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hi everyone!  

So excited about the Creative Retreats next year!  So many wonderful people are joining us next year in France AND Italy and I can't wait to share these beautiful places with all of YOU!

Sign ups went GREAT yesterday and I want to THANK YOU for a great turn out!!

I'm SUPER excited that my very first Creative Retreat in Paris is SOLD OUT!!  I'm a little sad too because I know a lot of you wanted to join in on that…  I want this to be a small group though because it will be easier for us to get around the city and experience it in a very special way.  So, for those who couldn't get in I do have a wait list.  It's getting pretty long but that just shows me how much YOU love Paris too!!  (and I may just have to do this again some day…  Right?  :)

The Creative Retreats in Italy are still going strong and are open to register, so sign up soon to secure you spot!  As most of you know, this is truly where my heart is and I would LOVE to share this part of Italy with you!  Both weeks are going to be AMAZING with the teachers I have for next year AND the places we are going!  So check out those weeks and see what will work best for you!  I'd LOVE to enjoy a week with you in one of the most beautiful places in all of Italy… Lago di Como!!

Now I have a bit of "housekeeping" on the retreats…


PLEASE NOTE:  I am so sorry, but I made a mistake on the pricing/accommodations for the Italy Creative Retreats and I have to correct my REGISTRATION PAGE.  (It's for the BETTER though and I'm not afraid to admit I make mistakes…)  

The pricing I quoted IS FOR 2 PEOPLE PER APARTMENT!  

In the description I quote that the accommodations are for 3 people to an apartment.  That IS TRUE for the PARIS "mini" retreat, but NOT the Italy ones.  So the pricing of $3,499 is for 2 people!!  That's good news… You won't have to have anyone on the sofa bed and you'll have more space in your apartment!!!

So we can do this two ways:

1. You can keep the price AS QUOTED and now instead of 3 people to a room, you will have the 2 people to the room.  You get the same price with an added bonus of only sharing with one other person…


2. You can get a DISCOUNT if you want to still have 3 to a room!  Now that's good news right???  So if you've signed up and were cool with sharing 3 to an apartment and want the DISCOUNT, just email me and I will apply the $250 discount to your balance.  (So new price becomes $3,250)

I'm sorry for any confusion.  I have to admit that I copy and pasted some of the "Payment information" and then realized later last night that I hadn't changed it from the Paris to Italy retreats.  There's no reason for you to have to share 3 to a room when you don't have to right?

But, it's up to YOU!  You can decide which way you want to go and I will work out the accommodations depending on who has signed up and how many people want 2 or 3 to a room.

Sound good?

Ok…  Last night I had a LONG night going to Los Angeles to pick up two Italian boys from the airport.  So for the next month we will be hosting these boys in California and we are so excited to show them America for the first time!!  I will be around and can answer emails every day but we will be going places with them a I won't be on the computer as much.  Feel free to email me or call me though, I'm always around to help you if you need it!

I'll be sending the Contracts to everyone by this Friday.  So check your email for that.  I need to get that signed and sent back within 4 days to secure your spot!  So take a look at it, you can either fax it to me, email it back to me or send me a photo text with your signed signature pages filled out and then pop it in the mail.  Whatever works best for you.

Have a GREAT day everyone!!



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

So excited… SIGN UPS ARE LIVE!!

You can sign up over here --->  under the REGISTRATION PAGE!

I'll be around all day (until I have to pick up two Italian boys from the airport tonight…) so if you have any questions, feel free to email me or call me.  

See you next summer… in France and Italy!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tomorrow is the DAY!!!

I have all the information up under the REGISTRATION PAGE over here ---->

So go take a look at the 3 Creative Retreats for 2015 and be back tomorrow morning at 9:00AM PST (California time) to SIGN UP!!!  At 9:00am the PayPal buttons will be LIVE!

You can also check out the teachers blogs and see how excited they are!!

Scrapbook Creative Retreat Teachers:  Both are European teachers that will truly INSPIRE YOU!!!  Céline is from France and Zoey is from Italy!!


Art & Faith Creative Retreat Teachers:  Both are AMAZING Artists and Women of Faith.  I have wanted to have a Faith based Creative Retreat for a while now and I am so blessed and honored to have these two along for a week of INSPIRATION and CREATIVITY and sharing the gifts God has given all of us! 

This is such a blessing each year.  I can't believe this will be my 4th Annual Creative Retreats next summer!  Thank YOU for all your support and encouragement and for your willingness to follow me half way around the world!!  It truly is a JOY to do this each year and I am beyond amazed at this little DREAM of mine becoming something bigger then I ever imagined!!  

See you tomorrow,


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Exciting news...

I have decided to open up ALL 3 CREATIVE RETREATS THIS TUESDAY!!

I want you to have all the options open at the same time so you can make the best decision on which Creative Retreat works for you… (or you can stay for more than one and get a DISCOUNT!)

So more details COMING SOON!  (And in your email inbox today if you're on the INTEREST LIST)

So now you will have the option to sign up for 1, 2 or 3 Creative Retreats in 2015:

1. Paris, France  - June 7 - 12, 2015

2. Lake Como, Italy - June 13 - 20, 2015  (Scrapbook Retreat)

3. Lake Como, Italy - July 11 - 18, 2015  (Art Retreat) 

Hope to see you next summer in France AND Italy!!



Well I can't believe I just got back home from Italy and now it's already time to ANNOUNCE the next Creative Retreats in Italy!!!  (and Paris… SO excited)

I do this for a reason though.  I really want as many people to come as possible and I want you to have plenty of time to save up for it, plan for it and get to know the people you will be going with… and to get excited together!!  I understand this is a LUXURY retreat.  It's not something most people can just decide in one day to go on…  So I want you to have time to think about it, pray about it or just DREAM about the possibility of going some day.

So with that said, I want to share the DETAILS of the Creative Retreats for 2015!  I'm SO excited about next year and I hope you are too!  Enjoy looking at the information and feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

The first Creative Retreat for 2015 will be in Paris, France!!

As I said above, I am finally doing a Creative Retreat in Paris, France!  If you've followed me on any social media or my blogs over the years… you also know that I LOVE Paris.  I have been there many times and have come to know and love the many wonderful facets of Paris.  This city is AMAZING and if you have never been…or want to go back... please join me next June!  I want to share this beautiful, creative, inspiring city with YOU!

This will be a bit different than my Creative Retreats in Italy.  It will not be a full week so I am calling it a "mini" Creative Retreat.  I will be the only teacher and there will only be ONE class that I will be teaching at the end of our time together… for a reason.  I'm very excited about what I have planned and I want to keep it a secret for now.  This retreat will focus more on PARIS and the places that make it special.

Here's a taste of what the Paris Creative Retreat will include:

Paris ~ 5 Nights ~  June 7 - 12, 2015 - $1,955

- Five nights in a beautiful apartment in my favorite Arrondissement - Saint Germain
- A day exploring one of the most wonderful Paris Flea Markets
- A day trip to a picturesque town outside of Paris
- A Chocolate and Photo tour of Paris… YES, it's that awesome!
- Afternoon tea in one of the prettiest restaurants in Paris
- A Cruise on the Seine River at night for a memorable dinner
- Exploring the Fabric & Trim district in Paris
- Strolling through my favorite garden and enjoying lunch in this beautiful setting
- One Mixed-Media class that will be a culmination of our time in Paris
- Almost all Breakfast, lunch and dinners are included
- Little Parisian gifts and surprises during the week
- All private taxis to and from excursions (no subway for us…unless you want to)

Sign ups for this Creative Retreat will take place on NEXT TUESDAY, JULY 15th!!  You will find ALL the information on the REGISTRATION PAGE --->  over here

PLEASE NOTE:  I can only take 10 ladies on this special "mini" Creative Retreat so the spots will fill up fast!


The next Creative Retreat will be back in my "2nd home" of Bellagio, Italy…'

The 4th Annual Creative Retreat in Italy ~ June 13 - 20th, 2015
~ Scrapbook Week ~ 

For next year I am changing things a bit and including MORE then ever before!!  As each year goes by I learn new things as I put these events together.   This helps me to grow and change things a little each time to hopefully create an amazing week for everyone involved! I also see this part of Italy through a new group of eyes each time and it is such a JOY for me to experience the beauty and splendor of Lake Como with a new group each year!  It is a passion of mine to share this part of Italy with YOU and I know you will enjoy this place as much as the other people have before you…

Here's a preview of what the 5th Annual Creative Retreat in Italy will include:

Bellagio, Italy ~ 7 Nights ~ June 13 - 20, 2015 - $3,499

- 7 nights at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni Apartments or Hotel Florence
- Opening Reception overlooking the gorgeous lake
- Day trip to Milan for the Worlds Fair - 2015 (The theme is FOOD… good choice Italy!)
- 4 Classes by amazing European Scrapbook Artists!!
   ~    Céline Navarro &  Zoey Scarpelli    ~
- Exploring Lake Como on beautiful vintage boats
- Tour of Bellagio, including the history of this region by a local tour guide
- Ferry's to surprise locations for exploring 
- Tours of famous Villa's and gardens on the lake
- Cooking Class with famous Top Chef of Italy
- All breakfast included in the gorgeous breakfast rooms at either hotel
- Almost all lunches and dinners are included
- Grand Finale at Mistral - GHVS Michelin Star Restaurant
- Transfer to and from airport are included
- Taxi's and Ferrys to and from dinners and excursions
- Hotel and room taxes included
- Crop time in the event room
- Wonderful products from our SPONSORS
- Free Make-n-Takes
- Handmade "Swag Bags"
- Amazing SURPRISES I can't reveal yet…
- Plus time to relax by the GHVS pool, or stroll the cobblestone streets
- And…an unforgettable week in Italy!!!

Sign ups for this Creative Retreat will take place on NEXT TUESDAY, JULY 15th!!  You will find ALL the information on the REGISTRATION PAGE --->  over here

PLEASE NOTE:  I can only take 20 ladies on this Creative Retreat so the spots will fill up fast!

* More details will be on the REGISTRATION PAGE soon!


The 4th Annual Creative Retreat in Italy ~ July 11 - 18th, 2015

~ Art Week ~ 


So there's a SNEAK Preview!  More details will be sent out to those on the INTEREST list tomorrow.  DON'T FORGET TO SIGN UP NEXT TUESDAY, JULY 15TH TO SECURE YOUR SPOT FOR ONE OR BOTH CREATIVE RETREATS!

Hugs to all,


Friday, June 13, 2014

Ciao from Italy!!

When I first started doing my Creative Retreats in Italy I was only doing it once a year.  As you can imagine it's a lot to put together and I want to make EACH retreat a special occasion!

But as I was planning for this years Creative Retreat in May, I knew that was when the girls were still in school and I figured I would hang out in Italy after the first week was over and until school was out and they would come with Lance and we would enjoy our summer vacation here.  But the more I thought about it, I decided to open up a 2nd week right after the first one since it SOLD OUT so fast and since I was just hanging out here by myself… Why not have some FUN with more ladies??

This 2nd Creative Retreat was a bit different though.  I wanted it to be more casual, less classes and more exploring and I have to say I was SO blessed by the ladies that came this week!  It was a small group and so I wasn't sure how that was going to be... and I have to say, I LOVED IT!  There were two ladies who had been to my first Creative Retreat so they knew each other and had loved it so much they wanted to come back and then they both brought friends.  What a JOY to know that they had such a great time here and wanted to now share it with their friends… So we had a blast this week together!

I have to say this is such a wonderful job for me.  I get to be in a place I love and has become a 2nd home to my family…  I get to share this place with other people…I get to share all my favorite places,  all the people who have become like family to us here, and we get to be CREATIVE in such an amazing backdrop…  AND I get to watch people from all over the world get to know each other and make lasting friendships!!  How wonderful is that?  I LOVE to hear stories of friendships that have developed, vacation plans made with these new friendships, plans to meet in New York, or plans to go see where each other lives…  It's just AMAZING to me that my little dream of hosting events in this part of Italy has grown into something BIGGER then "my" dream…  

That is why I will be doing my CREATIVE RETREATS next year AND as hopefully many years into the future as I can!

So here are some photos from my 2nd week, I hope you enjoy them.  

Don't forget to scroll down to the bottom of the blog post for some of the EXCITING DETAILS of the 2015 CREATIVE RETREATS!!!

George's house… actually he owns the 4 houses around this house too.  Must be nice...

Enjoying the pergola on the first night with a light dinner and gorgeous view.

Had a beautiful day on the lake.

My friends boat as we left Bellagio for a fun afternoon!

These wonderful ladies enjoying a view of Villa B.

Sitting on the terrace enjoying a beautiful day!

Getting to know these ladies was a pleasure!  Such wonderful people...

Taking a little break as we walked up some of the many, many steps here.

The most relaxing place for lunch.

Enjoying a walk through Villa Melzi with my friend Rita as our tour guide.

Enjoying the beautiful views of the lake.

Another amazing village on Lake Como.  

So many, many pictures I could share with you but it would be an overload of photos…  Needless to say, it was another wonderful week and I'm so glad I got the chance to have a small group here!  I've had my Creative Retreats here, I've organized my husbands business retreat here and next summer I'm organizing a family reunion here too!  It's fun to change things up a bit and bring different groups of people here.  And if anyone is every interested in me hosting an event for YOU, I'd love to!  Don't hesitate to email me if you have an event you'd like me organize on Lake Como. 

And speaking about events…

I am SO EXCITED to announce the dates for the 2015 Creative Retreats!

Next summer I am going to be hosting 2 CREATIVE RETREAT WEEKS in Italy!

The first week will be June 13 - 20th, 2015


The second will be the week of June 20 - 27th, 2015


**In addition to these two weeks, I will be hosting a mini Creative Retreat in Paris, France!!

Yes, I am very excited about sharing my love of Paris with you as well!  This will be a smaller group and it will be for 5 nights, not a whole week like my Creative Retreats in Italy.  But as most of you know, I've been to Paris many times and would love to host a mini Creative Retreat in one of the most beautiful cities in the world!!  

I will be posting all the details about EACH week on here and on my FB Page very soon!  If you want more information, just email me and I will put you on the INTEREST LIST. 

The 3 events will be available for SIGN UP's in mid July, (next month)  so make sure you check back for the details as I update this blog and the Registration page!

Hugs to all,