WOOT-WOOT…it is Friday and I know to many, that makes you super happy! Well I guess I am happy but let’s face it….it is what it is!!! (as the saying goes).

On Wednesday I had shared with you that I would be back to share some photos of my time away and YEP….I will do so but before we get to that…let’s talk about the BLOG CANDY for one lucky winner! (I realize that many do not wish to be bored with things other than Stamping…but heck, I am what I am and I do use my blog as an extension of “me”)

I feel very blessed to have a community of Blog followers that love to share a bit about themselves and I thought – let’s do a super simple BLOG CANDY that we all can see a community of talent from all over this beautiful country! (If you live outside the USA….please chime in as well….it makes it even more special!). 

While I was away I saw beauties that I have never seen before. John felt the same way as both of us have been born and raised on the East Coast….it was just amazing and the weather – I LOVED IT….not having humidity as we do on the East.


WHAT IS THE BLOG CANDY? YUM….something super practical!


Let’s face it…we all love to make things with our hands…and I am just like YOU! With a new catalog coming I will be hosting another Product Share (NO, you did not miss it – and I will post on that next week…but these DSP Swatch gems make this wonderful thing that we do (stamping) sooooooo much easier!)




The DSP Swatch Books make life easier, it is as simple as that!


No need to flip through a bunch of paper and all of the info is right on the back of each offering… I cannot begin to tell you how many of these gems I have made up…but I will do so again and again with every catalog as they are lifesavers! (It’s like reading the “above the crease” on the front page of a newspaper))


Leave a comment answering these simple 3 ?’s…


  1. What State are you from…
  2. How long have you been stamping…
  3. What is your favorite type or style of card to make…

Here’s my answer…

I live in Maryland, I have been stamping for 8+ years and my style of card making is to make clean and simple cards with lots of basic layers



OK folks – time to switch gears!…Grab a cup of whatever (somewhere in the world it’s 5 o’clock)….if you want to hear about our time away….if not…please leave a comment and I will see you Monday with a card that will make you BEAM!

Good luck and it will be fun to see the answers and especially where everyone is from! Again, I honestly had NO IDEA WHAT SO EVER that the Pacific Northwest part of our country was as beautiful as it was!!!

It was just amazing and it truly made me feel like a little East Coast Bumpkin having a pair of new glasses on! It is just spectacular and I can hardly wait to go back!

I did earn the Alaska Incentive Trip from Stampin’ Up! (it was wonderful) and naturally that was the reason of our “going to this part of the country” but John and I added 2 days to the front and then a week after making it an ultimate time away!

When I started to go through my pictures I clearly realized that there were WAY TOO MANY THINGS to communicate to you all about…..but here are some of the things that totally stood put in my memory bank! Some will make you smile and laugh….some will make you look and say….WOW – it is beautiful….and then there are some that will inspire you.


For me, the inside feeling from this trip is…

If you can….travel and see things before time slips by!


When we arrived back to Seattle after the cruise…we rented a car and drove with no agendas….nothing booked or planned, (this is a 1st for us) we just knew that we needed to end up at the end of the week in Portland to fly home! After we got off the boat, we picked up the rental car and went to “Highway 101” and drove the Oregon Coastline!

Usually I go by a set of “to do’s” and agendas….and I love to make plans in advance, especially for restaurants as I do love my food and I do love to cook! John and I are both pooped (having some busy past months) and vowed to each other – let’s just get away and relax. We said, We are going to a place we have never been to….so let’s just do it! (Funny thing is……Hannah is getting ready to move to Seattle so she was THRILLED that we liked the area so much…..as she said to me, now I do not need to worry if you will come and visit!!!!)

As I was going through my pictures just to share with you some…..I went to export them and there were 97 (that was just picking some “keepers” from the 100’s and 100’s that I took) YIKES!!!! I know that there is NO WAY that I could edit, communicate the photo but trust me….there might not be 97…..but there are pretty darn close to it!


Here you go….snippets from the travels of John and Susan….


We were about 15 from the house leaving to the airport and I remember that I forgot my backpack/camera….naturally I said a few verbal words and John just looked at me and said NO…we are not going back! (I had a hunch that was what he was going to say)

This is one of those differences about us…..he is one of those die-hards that makes sure that he is WELL OVER 2+ hours ahead to the airport……so – keep in mind – all of these pictures from our time away were taken with my I pad! (and I must say….it did GREAT!)

Next….I left my cell phone on the plane going out to Seattle. WHAT???? YEP, I did. I do have a legitimate reason though…(ha-ha) – after we got all settled in our seat and John took a deep breath and said to me, now I am ok – we are here….we are settled and I am fine (I think that was his way of telling me that I could talk now)….Well….you know me – I spotted a dog on the plane 2 seats back.

My maternal and doggie instincts kicked in…..(John rolled his eyes and then smiled…I know what this means) I naturally asked this sweet gal about her dog and the moral of the story is that her dog is a companion dog to her as she has severe anxiety with flying! Yep….I bet you know what I did – I offered for John and I to move back to sit with her.

We did….and it ends up that she is 29 yrs old – a school teacher and her buddy…Jimmy, flys with her everywhere! (He is a rescue and the story made me melt) They were simply adorable and guess what, my phone was left in the seat back of where we 1st sat….(turned off) and I totally forgot about it when the plane landed!

With the wonders of technology…..we saw from FIND MY IPHONE….that my trusty phone flew all over the country…for many days…..making it’s ultimate stop in Denver – Southwest shipped it to our house and after a 2 1/2+ week journey…..it is back home on Randall Lane.

Ok – I promise that I will STOP…..(I am sure that I will have many people unsubscribe from my blog because of all of the pictures etc….) but as I have said and will say again. I love to Stamp….I love my Stampin’ Up! friends and family….I never EVER dreamed that I would ever have a Blog or heck – be a SUD this long….but I share all of this as this is what makes me tick, this is what makes me roll and this is a passion that I have ….to share and inspire.

I truly, truly feel that we are are all sooooooo darn hard on ourselves. Trust me, I am guilty as well. We all need to take a deep breath and remember that there are truly so many things to be grateful for. When I do not blog, I feel guilty. When I do not create, I feel guilty. Why do we do this?

I am having to come home to 100’s of emails and to-do’s but what is the best feeling is…to have people that I have never ever met before…reach out and care…reach out and ask – everything ok….now that’s what I call is a gift! I am taking a deep breath and it will get done…

Taking time for yourself is super important. I find it much more of a joy to give and give and do and do rather than take care of myself….Am I hitting a cord with any of you? I sometimes think is a habit we get ourselves into….but what happens is – you run yourself down and you lose your belief in yourself!

Many of you know that I love to make up kits…..last year was the PITS for me with kits…..did I plan to break my wrist….NO…..did I plan for my Dad to become ill……NO…..Did I know that I might have to deal with severe bone loss...NO….but these things did happen and guess what – I just kept going forward but now I am going forward with intention.

I am planning to start a “kit like program” in September (it will be different than before)….as I do miss them. It is a passion and love to me to make up sample cards for my kits as we all seems to be our worse enemies ….saying WE CAN’T DO IT….but I have learned…when we have positive energy…WE ALL CAN ACHIEVE GOALS….it is just that we need to see that we are the ones holding ourselves back!

Yesterday I shared in a group text to some special ladies in my life….you are being too hard on yourself – there is no judging here….whatever YOU make with YOUR hands is a gift….it is as simple as that! I am really starting to embrace that motto of getting wiser as you get older!

Creating, Stampin’, laughing, sharing my love for my family, sharing my crazy passion for animals….I guess the highs and the lows is a way to express who I am. I am blessed but guess what – WE ALL ARE BLESSED….I truly love this creative thing that I do!

Darn, I just wish that there was “STAMPIN’ TOWN, USA” that only people that were fun, creative, positive could go to…..this is how I feel when the group of us get together to do some crazy fun weekend adventures together – We call ourselves the Sisters of the Traveling Stamps! We have a BLAST and we are all soooo different….that’s what makes us roll….

Enjoy these pictures of the fun….and if any of you live in Eugene or Florence Oregon….YOU ARE MY NEW BEST FRIEND and YES – I would love to come and meet you. (nothing like inviting yourself) We adored those areas! We loved the coast line so much that we only made it in Eugene the night before we headed to Portland!

The great news is….we will be back. It was truly magical and loosing my phone….being unplugged was FABULOUS….we hiked and hiked….we ate and ate (I am a BIG FOODIE)….we laughed and laughed….and we drove and drove saying mile after mile – WOW, LOOK AT THAT! (I’m sure we were being total tourists)

I have become a big yoga lover and I am very dedicated to practicing on a daily basis. I feel better than I ever have and after being diagnosed with aggressive osteoporosis I make sure that I take care of myself. John too has learn to love and appreciate the benefits of Yoga and while were were away we practiced at any studio we could find…..and you will see we hikes and hiked our legs off! This area is the BEST for all of this…..

The peeps are thinking that their Mom and Dad are having “what-ever you want to call it crisis” but we laughed and laughed as there were actually days that went by that we did not check in with them.

James had the best comment……he sent John a text and said……“Everything ok?…reason being the last time we communicated with you all…..Mom was getting ready to get on a Helicopter to a glazier to play with Husky Dogs and go sledding and you were leaving with some men to go Halibut fishing”

We arrived home last Thursday to have all of the peeps come home on Friday and we celebrated Christmas over the weekend.YEP…that’s right….Christmas in August. We have not been together as a whole family since Thanksgiving and even with a delayed plane coming home and the time difference…..I rallied and made it a special weekend.

We pulled out Christmas decorations and had our traditional dinner one night (it was probably 90 outside) and we just laughed as ….only us!!! The other night….we did the yummy Maryland thing…..picked Crabs and then James did his annual firework show!

As we were all outside eating in between storms there was this beautiful rainbow….and I just smiled as I knew it…..I did the right thing….I had a great time away and really vacationed and enjoyed myself….and then came home to the best group of people…..my family!

Every time I see a rainbow my heart skips a beat and my eyes get a tear…as my Mom loved rainbows and the icing on the cake was Hannah looked at me and said, “Look Mom…..Gigi’s with us!”

Have a great weekend….and please leave a comment for the Blog Candy!

Monday I will announce the winner!




Here they are…she was so sweet and her dog Jimmy is the best!!! She said that when she puts the bandana on his neck, he knows that they are going to an airport. It is amazing how service dogs can be trained.

If you are ever in Florence Oregon – you HAVE TO take a ride on the sand dunes…we did the slow tourist one….and then the super thrilled crazy one – I admit, even I was a bit scared – over 60 mph in the sand and it was sooooo hard to see the dips etc….a super fun time!

I sure do wish that the State Parks in our area would take after the Oregon ones….they were simply amazing!

FAB-O tiny restaurant in Florence…..

Eugene Oregon stole my heart – we were only there for a short time but certainly long enough to realize that we will be back! Clean…great weather….fun things to do….lots of beautiful countryside and lots of Vineyards!

Did someone say vineyards??? Oregon has some AMAZING Ones!

John doing a little retail wine therapy at King’s Estate….

Yep…we saw Sea Lions…..they are just adorable and I love the noise that they make. We also did see Whales….not in Alaska….but in Oregon – John was thrilled!

We went to heaven…..Cannon Beach Oregon….(If I am ever missing and the weather is good….I am probably there) – This was spectacular and there was a HUGE CORGI DOG FESTIVAL going on as we walked up the beach – there were 100’s of dogs having the BEST TIME and me…..I was melting missing my pups!

Look at the man below…using his sweet Lab as a foot rest!

Does this make you smile! This little guys was a happy as the rest….playing and having a BIG OLD TIME!

As we walked down the beach I could sense something over my shoulder….YIPPEE – HORSES…..is this the BEST or what!

I view like this does wonders to your soul…..simply beautiful!

Ok….John and I are THE WORST at selfies…..we laugh and laugh every time…..one day we’ll get it!

Look at this amazing water….just breath-taking!

After hiking and hiking…WE FOUND IT….now this is ONE BIG TREE!!!

BEST food truck ever…..look at the flowers on the roof – it is actually a cargo carrier and we stood in line for over an hour!

We were up really high and we were so scared that we would fall trying to do a silly selfie for the peeps!

Recognize this? It was where the Goonies Movie was filmed!

The water in Alaska was always so crystal clear….I had NO IDEA that Alaska was soooooo green and lush – I think that this is a place everyone needs to see to appreciate….WOW!

We took a super fun train ride up a HUGE Mountain…..breathtaking! A great history tour!

We went to a glacier while on the cruise and you would see these massive pieces of ice in the water. The color of the ice was amazing

Every night when we would come back to the cabin…we had a new animal made out of towels….I admit, when we walked in….he scared me!

In Victoria we toured an amazing garden….these flowers were unreal….and to think – this was from my I Pad

The sequence of pictures are all out of order but here in Seattle at the market….now how could I NOT take a picture of a pig! Oh, by the way….Daisy did great while we were away and Hannah even groomed her and put cream on her every day – She looks BEAUTIFUL!

If we lived in Seattle, I think sweet John might need to know these flower ladies….just amazing!

Darn I love food, look at this beautiful bounty that summer brings!

How can you not love a city with a Piano playing on the corner!

I had no clue that Seattle was soooooo hilly – what a fabulous place!

Get ready to moan with this cuteness….this guy was in our hotel – and YEP….he was there for an Instagram following….

LOVED this sign at the yoga studio in Seattle…..it was a great place and the coffee in Seattle….PERFECT!

I know you can’t tell….but I was DRENCHED…..we were very true to our Yoga on our ventures….

The view of Seattle as the boat left the dock.

I was sitting reading a book and looked up…..this plane just gliding in!

Anyone else like fried pickles? You just have to have pickles and cheese with hard shell Crabs!I mastered a new recipe that was a hit with the peeps……(notice the Christmas Tree) – I will say…I heard, “Oh Mom….I can’t believe you did that” (I just asked John if we could just keep the decorations upstairs as heck, Christmas will be here sooner than we think)

Here is the rainbow when we were doing our family crab feast!


I hope that you will find your own rainbow this weekend….

thanks for letting me share……xoxo….susan!

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