A Gift of Aloha

A little over a week ago we had a stormy weekend here on Oahu. I was home stamping when the power went out. It was daytime and I knew that in the evening we were supposed to have a family get together for my birthday. I wondered if we should cancel the celebration because the weather was so bad. I would have suggested it but I really had no idea of what we were doing and if the weather would be an issue. All I knew was that my family had something “secret” planned for me.

In the early afternoon, I got word that the family gathering was on! My son, Kalani and his wife, Joyce, showed up at the house gave me Mickey ears to wear.

Cindy and Joyce

Cindy and Joyce

As soon as I put the ears on I guessed that we must be doing something at the Disney Aulani hotel which is less than ten minutes from my home. We headed straight for the Aulani. As we drove, the wind and rain were pretty bad but that didn’t dampen our mood. I love being with my family and was excited that we were going to be together. We arrived at the hotel, went in and took a few photos in the lobby.

Cindy and Joyce

Cindy and Joyce

I love the Aulani and figured we must be going to dinner or some type of show there. So. imagine my surprise when less than 20 minutes later we were back in the parking lot and Kalani began wrapping his sweatshirt around my face as a blindfold.

Kalani’s sweatshirt blindfold

Kalani’s sweatshirt blindfold

After a really long drive, the car door opened and I heard my husband Derek’s voice. He led me step by step out of the car and I was absolutely convinced that we were in town. For some reason, I thought we were at a miniature golf place or maybe at Brett and Jessica’s house. I still didn’t understand why this family gathering was so secretive?. So, imagine my shock when Derek told me to take off the blindfold and when I did, I saw that I was in Kapolei, back at my house!

My home was filled with 20 of my closest friends and family. They had transformed the living room There was a beautiful table set all Hawaiian Style with ti leaves, a tapa tablecloth and there was even a woven lauhala mat spread out on the ground. There were pineapples on the table that were glowing from all the twinkling candles. Remember, there was a power outage earlier that day and my power was STILL out…. so this party had been set up without power and somehow that made it even better!

To the left of the dining area, there was a stone and board set up, where my family and friends had been pounding pai’a’i (pounded taro) for our dinner.

I stood there absolutely stunned as everyone yelled, SURPRISE!!!!!

After greeting everyone with a hug, they had me sit down and gave me the opportunity to pound taro. It was a wonderful experience.

Pounding Poi

Pounding Poi

We sat on the floor around this beautiful table and Brett led us in a time of communion. Then came the most beautiful meal that had been prepared with so much love and aloha.

My Hawaiian Birthday

My Hawaiian Birthday

I found out that during the week my kids had been making preparations for this traditional Hawaiian meal. They spend countless hours making sure every part of this celebration was special.

My birthday dinner

My birthday dinner

Just look at these beautiful trays of Pa’i’ai. I recognized right away that this was a huge labor of LOVE.

My Hawaiian Birthday Dinner

My Hawaiian Birthday Dinner

My Hawaiian Birthday Dinner

My Hawaiian Birthday Dinner

I found out from my friend Cindy that while I was being driven around in circles, all of my family and friends got to work preparing for the party. Cindy took photos to show me how everyone was involved in setting things up, parents and children working together side by side.

Eddie and Daniel prepping the pai’a’i

Eddie and Daniel prepping the pai’a’i

Marlee prepping the Kulolo

Marlee prepping the Kulolo

Noah and Daniel pounding taro

Noah and Daniel pounding taro

I was so blessed to hear that much of this surprise was orchestrated by my beautiful daughter who wanted to bless me on my birthday!

Jessica prepares the meal

Jessica prepares the meal

After dinner, my son in law Brett had each guest go around the table and look at me in the eyes and tell me something they loved and appreciated about me. It was a beautiful moment filled with heartfelt words of love, appreciation and encouragement. My eyes welled up with tears as I heard the words spoken from all in attendance, even the youngest child had something kind to say.

The evening ended with the most special surprise of all. Kahu Kiha, who was instrumental in orchestrating this celebration from start to finish, blessed me with a Hawaiian Name. Being someone who doesn’t have a middle name, I was humbled by this beautiful gesture and gift of aloha. Kahu Kiha shared one of my favorite bible verses, Philippians 4:7 where it says: And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. He then gave me the name Kaleimaluikai’u. He spoke such beautiful words as he explained each part of the name he had chosen for me. One of the meanings of this name is, “The lei of peace from the highest heaven”.

Just as God gives me peace in the midst of the storms I face, I hope that I can bring peace and encouragement to others who are facing challenges in not only my words but in the example I set.

Kahu Kiha, Jess and Cindy

Kahu Kiha, Jess and Cindy

I am so grateful for all the love and aloha shared during this special celebration. I was amazed not only by all the hours it took to prepare every special part of this gathering, but also by the fact that people had to deal with downed power lines, flooded roads and power outages, just to be there!

My Beautiful Sisters

My Beautiful Sisters

I am so grateful for the blessing of family and friends who I am honored to “do life” with. They are a treasured gift to me.

To show my appreciation for this special celebration, I created a Thank You Card with the Tropical Chic stamp set.

Tropical Chic Thank You Card

Tropical Chic Thank You Card

I cut out the center of the card with the Layering Square Framelits and added one of my favorite die cuts from the Tropical Thinlits. I kept the colors simple, using Crumb Cake and Early Espresso Card Stock. The only bright color I used was a pop of Flirty Flamingo Ink for the Hibiscus flower.

Some people go through life and never have the opportunity to hear why they are loved and appreciated. It’s strange how sometimes those type of words are only spoken at funerals or memorial services. This experience caused me to want to be more intentional about looking for opportunities to share kind words with others face to face. I am grateful I can do that in the cards I send and hope that I will also do more of that in person with each opportunity I am blessed to do so.

For today, I will take a moment to write notes of appreciation and love to all who were a part of this special gift of aloha. It is one that I will forever cherish and never forget.

With Love and Aloha,

Kalei

Sweet Little Hula Girl

It’s a New Year, and the start of our annual Saleabration. After taking a holiday break, I am really excited to get back in my stamp room to play with all the fabulous products we have in our new 2019 Occasions Catalog! When a new catalog comes out I often look for stamp sets that I can use to create cards that reflect the aloha spirit. So, it’s quite normal for my first cards using new products to have pineapples, palm trees or hula girls on them.

Here is what I came up with using the stamp set Family and Friends, for my first card of 2019.

Hula Girl Thank You Card

Hula Girl Thank You Card

Isn’t this little hula girl cute? I just love the Family and Friends stamp set! With this set you can design personalized creations in a matter of minutes. This set comes with 40 individual stamps that you can use to create many different people and animal images of all shapes and sizes. You might think that lining up all the small pieces would be difficult but it’s not! That is because I used our awesome Stamparatus tool to line things up and it was easy breezy!

The background of this card was created with the fabulous Tropical Chic stamp set. I stamped the leaves and flowers in Real Red, Mint Macaroon and Tranquil Tide ink.

Family and Friends Hula Girl Thank You Card

Family and Friends Hula Girl Thank You Card

The skirt of this card was simple to create. I just took a piece of our playful Leaf Ribbon and cut off three leaves using Paper Snips. Then I used Mini Glue Dots to adhere them to the body. I used a Real Red Stampin’ Blends marker to draw in a bikini top and added a jeweled Real Red flower embellishment to the hair. The flower was made by using one of the punches that comes in the Bitty Blooms Punch Pack which is on page 25 of our new Occasions Catalog.

Hula Girl Thank You Cards

Hula Girl Thank You Cards

Well, its time for me to go and fill out a few of these cards so I can put them in the mail tomorrow. I hope that when those who receive one see this sweet little hula girls face, it will brighten their day before they even read the words of gratitude written inside.

I hope you are inspired to give the Family and Friends stamp set a chance and make some personalized creations of your own!

Stamped Blessings for a Happy New Year!

Cindy

Oh Darling, You Are Fabulous!

I went to Starbucks in Kapolei a few days before my trip to Alaska.  I found these really beautiful Hawaii Starbucks cards.  I often bring gifts for friends I will meet when I travel.  For this trip,  I decided to pick up a few of these cute Hawaii Starbucks cards to give as gifts.  The card design was navy blue with red and yellow hibiscus flowers on the front.  The word "Hawaii" is iridescent and really shiny!   

Hawaii Starbucks Card

Hawaii Starbucks Card

Next, I needed to package these cute gift cards!!!  I had an idea!!! I decided to make a punch art Hula Girl card.

I played around with my framelits and punches and before you know it, this fabulous Hula Girl was born!

Hula Girl Card

Hula Girl Card

The face takes up the entire front of a standard size card.  I used our Layering Oval Framelits to create the shape of the face and the body.  I used a whole oval for the face and half an oval for the body and adhered them to a Basic Black Card Stock background as shown below. 

I layered a strip of Pineapple Punch card stock across the bottom of the card.  I rounded the corners with a corner rounder and stamped it with flowers and leaves from the Tropical Chic stamp set.  I used a 1 3/4 inch circle punch to take a small piece out of the top to create a scooped collar.   After stamping the flowers, I added some tiny Red Rhinestones to them.  I then layered a piece of Basic Black card stock with rounded corners over the top oval to create bangs.  You can follow the photos below to watch the progression.

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Demonstrator Mary Fish designed this awesome new Vases Builder punch that coordinates with the stamp set Varied Vases that she designed when she reached her million dollar sales mark with Stampin' Up!  If you like punch art, this punch is a must have as it produces many fun pieces to work with.  I used several of the pieces from this punch to make the face.

Punch Art Pieces

Punch Art Pieces

 I punched pieces from the Vases Builder Punch to create the smile, nose and I cut one of the vases in half to make the ears.  You can see the face elements in the photo above and below you can see how I tucked the split vase on each side of the oval to make ears.

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I adorned the head with a Haku Lei that I created using the Tropical Chic stamp set and coordinating Tropical Thinlits.  I added dimensionals to the back of the stamped and die cut pieces to create a flower crown as shown in the photo above.  Once all assembled it looked like this.

 The lei around the neck was made with the circles that are found in our Cookie Cutter Builder punch.  I punched the small circles out of Glossy White card stock and lined them up to resemble a Pikake lei.  

Here is a close up, don't you think she's fabulous?

Hula Girl Card

Hula Girl Card

You know who else is fabulous?  My sister in laws, Lisa and Jen who stayed up till the wee hours of the morning helping me assemble these cards when I was in Washington State, visiting family.

Lisa and Jen

Lisa and Jen

My friend Debbie was there too but I think she was too busy counting circles to jump in the photo!  Debbie and I did manage to take a photo together the next day when we went hiking together at Snoqualmie Falls before she headed back to Oregon.

Debbie and Cindy

Debbie and Cindy

Can you believe that she drove all the way from Oregon just to stamp with me!!  Now that is a fabulous friend!  Debbie really liked this card because she loves Hawaii where she once lived when she served in the US Coast Guard.  I hope Debbie will one day make Hawaii her home again!

I have never done a punch art type of card in such a large scale before.  Where I not only used punches but Framelits too!  I really enjoyed creating this Hula Girl card and it was fun to see the smiles created when I passed it out to some of my demonstrator friends.

Hula Girl Card

Hula Girl Card

The inside of this card was stamped with the sentiment, "Oh Darling, You Are Fabulous".  This sentiment comes from the stamp set Stitched All Around.  I think that is an important message to share with friends now a days as people need to reminded of truly how remarkable they are!  It feels great to be encouraged and reminded of how loved you are.  

I hope my fabulous friends who received this card know that is how I feel about them and I hope they think this card is fabulous too!  

Until next time,

Stamped Blessings!

Cindy

 

On The Road Again

I can't believe that August is here already!  Time sure flies when you are having fun.   One of my passions is to travel.  Don't get me wrong, I love Hawaii more than any other place on earth, but I also enjoy getting to explore new places and experience new adventures as often as possible.   July 2018 was filled with the opportunity to visit three different places.  Washington State, Alaska and Canada.

On the road again #travelocindy

On the road again #travelocindy

My adventures began in Washington State.  I arrived there one week early prior to the start of the Stampin' Up! Incentive trip to Alaska.  Since my husbands family lives there, I had the opportunity to spend time with them, which is always fun.

The day I arrived my Mother in Law, Alvena, picked me up and we went on a road trip.  After dropping off my luggage, we drove for 2 hours to Canada.

Road Trip

Road Trip

It was a beautiful day for a drive.  Alvena brought a container filled with fresh blueberries and raspberries.  It was a wonderful snack for our road trip.  I had never driven to Canada before from Washington State, so I really enjoyed the scenery.

 The flowers at the border were so beautiful.   I loved this Canadian Flag made of flowers!!

US/Canada Border

US/Canada Border

The main reason we went to Canada was to go to the McArthurGlen Outlet Mall.  I had recently discovered that my favorite store Desigual was there!  I had only been able to shop at Desigual Outlet in Spain, so a 2 hour drive to get there was nothing compared to a trip to Barcelona!

Shopping at Desigual Outlet!

Shopping at Desigual Outlet!

We had a really enjoyable time at the mall.  It was the first time either of us had been to this mall in Richmond.  It was very clean, had nice shops but the funny thing was the location.  It was right next to the airport, like basically a few inches away from the runway, or so it seemed.  Every few minutes large planes would fly overhead.  It sort of made me think that perhaps I could have just flown directly there to avoid the 2 hour drive!!!  Oh well, next time.  

McAruthurGlen Outlet Mall - Richmond, Canada

McAruthurGlen Outlet Mall - Richmond, Canada

Actually the drive was great.  I was looking forward to some one on one time with Alvena.  I am blessed with a Mother in Law who is a woman of prayer and has lots of words of wisdom.  Just recently it dawned on me that she has been praying for me my whole life, before she even knew me.   What a blessing!!  As we shared she quickly noticed a pattern in my speaking.  I began to do something I do often, to talk down about myself.  "I should know how to do this better", I said.  "I am not very good at that", I declared!  Alvena encouraged me to stop speaking these negative words over my life.  She reminded me of who I was in Christ and to focus on God and his promises so that I could walk through life in victory rather than defeat.  

That evening before I went to bed I opened up a new Bible Ap I downloaded to use on my trip. Guess what the first words of the devotion were, "You Are What You Speak".  Ahh, it was one of those divine moments where I just smiled and got ready to receive this life lesson.  The devotion went on to talk about how our life is influenced by what begins in our mind and what we believe.  I read that if I wanted to receive real transformation in my life I had to change my old pattern of thinking and speaking and replace it with the truth found in God's word.  Here are some of the verses that encouraged me that night.

 "I am not timid, but I have power, love, and a sound mind", 2 Timothy 1:7.

 "I have the Holy Spirit, so I am not a slave to fear".  Romans 8:15

I felt so encouraged that God was answering my prayers and helping me to see areas in my life that I needed to change.  I was so excited that this was just day one of my July adventure and God was already leading me to the transformation I had been praying for.  He is so good.

The newest Baughman

The newest Baughman

Time with family was great.  I got to meet the newest little Baughman, my nephews daughter, Esther!  She is so precious.  

Alesha and I

Alesha and I

I also loved hanging out with my neice Alesha.  We discovered this awesome place to go for breakfast called the Woodinville Cafe.  The food and service was so great, we went back there three times!  

I took Alesha rock climbing at Vertical World.  We had a one on one climbing session with this guy named Jess.  The night before I arrived I had learned that Jess grew up in Hilo so I grabbed a bag of Primo Popcorn to give to him when we met.  Jess was super happy to receive the popcorn and really excited to talk about his life in Hilo where he lived for 12 years.  I asked Jess, "if I could have brought you anything from Hawaii, what would you have wanted".  He thought about it for a moment and then he said, "I miss Kalua Pork!".  Little did he know that the moment he said those words I began to see how I could make that happen.  After all, spreading aloha is what I like to do!

Climbing at Vertical World, Redmond

Climbing at Vertical World, Redmond

The next day I made arraignments to climb again.  This time I went with my brother in law Darren and my sister in law, Lisa.  That evening prior to our climb, I not only made Kalua pork and white rice but I also made butter mochi.

Jess at Vertical World

Jess at Vertical World

The look on Jess's face was priceless!  When he saw the plate lunches we brought he was so excited.  He said he wanted to eat them slow to make them last all week.  He opened up the mochi so fast and began to eat it right away.  A few minutes later he texted his Mom.  He said he told her, 'you won't believe what I have".  

It makes me happy to make others happy.  Jess thanked me multiple times for this gift of aloha.

Cindy and Jess

Cindy and Jess

We had a blast climbing that day.  Vertical World is a really great place.  We made up a new concept that day called, "dancing with the wall".  Jess even put on some salsa music when I was about to go up to make my climb go a little faster!  

Dancing with the wall

Dancing with the wall

Another huge blessing that happened while I was in Washington was that I got to see Debbie!  Debbie is my downline from Oregon who drove up to attend a Stampin' Up! workshop that I helped my Sister in Law Jennifer with.  

Jennifer, Cindy and Debbie

Jennifer, Cindy and Debbie

Before she drove back to Oregon, Debbie and I went on a hike at Snoqualimie Falls.  It was very beautiful there.

Snoqualmie Falls 

Snoqualmie Falls 

As Debbie and I hiked, I told her about how I was working on making some personal changes and was going to begin to overcome my fears.  One of those fears was doing a Facebook live video.  So right there in the middle of our hike I decided to go for it.  I turned on Facebook live and shot my very first video to my private downline Facebook group.  It was fun to celebrate this victory with Debbie by my side!

Debbie then dropped me off at Lynn's house!  It was SO good to see Lynn.  We had planned a Stampin' Up! workshop at her house too, just like the good old days when I used to hold classes for her in Ewa Beach.

Lynn and Cindy

Lynn and Cindy

I couldn't believe how big her kids had grown.  I got tears in my eyes just seeing how big and beautiful they were.  Genesis was taller than me!  How could that have happened so quickly??

Cindy and Genesis

Cindy and Genesis

Genesis was such a great helper!  She is a young avid crafter and we often discuss that I will be contacting her on her 18th birthday so she can officially join my team! 

Genesis demoing at the workshop

Genesis demoing at the workshop

Everyone who attended Lynn's class seemed to have a great time.  How can they not, she is such a great hostess.

Friends at Lynn's workshop

Friends at Lynn's workshop

I made some new friends and was reacquainted with friends from Hawaii who just happened to be in town at the same time as me.

Stampin' at Lynn's

Stampin' at Lynn's

Would you like to see the projects we made at these two classes?  Here they are.

The first was this gift card holder.  This was made out of a note card.  I slit the front of the card at 2 inches so that I could create a pocket to hold a gift card.  The stamp on this card comes from the Darling Label Punch Box.  

Darling Label Punch box card

Darling Label Punch box card

Project number two featured the popular Tropical Escape Suite.  I love all the "ooh's" and "ahh's" that I get when I share this beautiful new suite.  Its not just popular in Hawaii, people all over are loving creating projects with this tropical beauty.  I used a little piece of the Tropical Escape DSP to cover the bottom of this Granny Apple Green card stock that had been die cut using the beautiful Tropical Thinlits.

Tropical Thank You Card

Tropical Thank You Card

The final project featured one of our DistINKtive stamp sets, Healing Hugs.  The sentiment came from the set Accented Blooms, where people could choose the word Thank You or Hello for this card.  This card also featured my favorite new color, Lovely Lipstick.  

Healing Hugs Card

Healing Hugs Card

It was fun to share these projects at two different classes in Washington State and everyone seemed to have a really fun time and enjoy every minute.

Washington State Class Samples

Washington State Class Samples

The last day I was in Washington, Derek arrived.  I was so glad he could take a short break from his very busy work schedule to go to on this trip with me.  Since he was only in Washington for a day and a half we made sure to visit his Grandmother.   Grandma Carol is amazing!  She is in her mid 90's and has such a sharp memory.  We sat and listened to her tell many interesting stories from her past.  It was a precious time.  

Visiting Grandma Carol

Visiting Grandma Carol

My adventures in Washington State were so much fun.  It was a time for transformation to begin, a time to be with friends and family, a time to spread aloha and a time for gratitude and thankfulness.

I am so grateful for the special time I experienced in the Pacific Northwest!

I can't help but smile thinking of my next stop.  It will be on my 16th incentive trip with Stampin Up! where I will be reunited with so many of my special my Stampin' Up! friends!  With them it is always fun, always special and this next adventure will be held on a cruise ship bound for Alaska.  What a blessing!

It is sure to be a grand adventure!   Ready or not, here we go!  We're on the road again!