Saturday, January 30, 2010

look at all the new products t!m is releasing...

for more from t!m click here

Sunday, January 24, 2010

two bored girls = two desk sets

Taylah and her BFF Georgie made these desk calendars and name plates for their desks Thursday... you know when you get the "there is nothing to do" whine... so this helped them both pass the time - thanks to my friend Trish for the calendar idea.

i also taught the calendar class at ACP on saturday once again thanks to Trish for allowing me to teach her idea.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

CHA Winter 2010 Peeks

CHA starts next week and some of the manufacturers are already giving us a sneak peek at their new products for 2010

there is some gorgeous products from Bo Bunny and Maya Road. American Crafts has their new Dear Lizzy line which is designed by Elizabeth Kartchner. Advantus has a new line The Girls' Paperie designed by Margie Romney Aslett so lots of new srapping goodness will be heading our way very soon

here are some pics of some of my favourites, click on the links to go to their blogs for more peeks.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Our Trip ...Days 16, 17, 18 & 19

Day 16 - Sanya Hainan Island - this was by far the most impressive port, but the city it self did nothing for us. Seeing that it was New Years Day only Mum, Taylah, I and Jay, Tracey, Grayson and Olliver went on shore. Mum Taylah and I walked down the main street heading for the markets and the beach, but it was hot noisy and her they drive on the footpaths as well as the road so you were not safe where ever you walked. We were headed down towards what we thought would be a nice area but it got seedier and seedier the more we walked so we ended up turning around and heading back to the shuttle bus and back on board as we had to be back on board by 1pm anyway. There were street vendors along the footpaths and on the way back we passed a stall filled with dead snakes, alligater heads, claws and other animals all looking gross. it must have been a healing stall as they were doing cupping and wiping the dead animal parts on people arms. Too gross for me, also there was some big mobile phone thing going on as every second shop seemed to be selling mobile phones and they all had big displays and promotions outside and lines of people in their stores.

Day 16 continued - Italian night in the dining room - what a night it was probably the best entertainment they had - Rigaberto and Wei danced with all of us girls and then we did a conga line around the room. (the girl in the pink top and blue skirt is Braydens on board girlfriend Connie, she is from Germany)

Day 17 - Hong Kong - Mum, Brayden and I took a taxi up to Mong Kok to the markets where we picked up some last minute bargains. We then went to the sporting goods street so B could get himself some Nike Airs, he also got some football boots, so he was a happy B. Then it was back to the ship so i could take Taylah to Disneyland, but the crowds were so bad that it took forever to get back. So we just went for a look around the harbour shopping complex, as you can see by the photos there was plenty for Taylah to see and pose with.

Day 18 - Time to disembark for the last time and head for the airport for our flight to Brunei - here we are waiting for our flight to be called. - There was a Disneyland shop at the airport so Taylah was able to get some Disney goodies for her friends, I gave the kids what was left of our Hong Kong dollars to spend as there was no use bringing it home. Once we settled into our hotel in Brunei we all had room service for dinner as we were all tired and glad to be in a roomy room.

Day 19 - We left Brunei at 3pm for home - we all just want to get home now. We got into Brisbane around 8.30pm and got through customs with no problems and no lines so that was great - said goodbye to everyone and jumped into our taxi for home.
About half an hour after we got home Taylah realised one of her bags was missing... it seems when the driver unloaded all of our bags he left one in there. It was Taylah's new "Chanel" Tote Bag filled with all of her best things... her Ipod, Nitendo DS with her new game in it that she got from Santa, Digital Camera, 2 pr Sunglasses, new cat money box she bought in Hong Kong, new colour tamagotchi also bought in HK and other items that she can't remember, so a very expensive loss. We have been in touch with B&W cabs but no one has handed it in and as we didn't get the cab number it seems there is nothing we can do. You would think that the cab company would be able to trace which cab it was, but it would seem not. So we have had quite alot of tears, but a big lesson learned, make sure you have everything before your cab drives off. A not so nice end to a fantastic holiday.

Our Trip ...Days 13,14 & 15

Day 13 - Ho Chi Minh City what an eye opener this city was, we could not believe the scooters/motorbikes there were hundreds and the traffic was chaos basically you just toot your horn and go where ever you want and everyone else will get out of your way! When we were crossing the roads we just went, you can't stop once you make the comitment as you will get run over, so as soon as you step of the footpath you just go. We visited the Reunification Palace this was the home and headquaters of the president during the Vietnam War, so it was very interesting expecially down in the basement were all the communications were sent. While we were at the palace our taxi driver let Lachlan drive the taxi around the palace, so that was funny all of us in the taxi and Lachlan driving, we kept telling him to blow the horn!
We also went to the Ben Thanh markets, that too was an eye opener, i have never been grabbed so much by strangers in my life. We all grabbed some bargains, i highly recommend visiting this market.

Day 13 was also Taylah's 10th birthday, so we had a lovely dinner and our waiter Rigaberto organised a cake for Miss T and and our waiters and some of the others all sung Happy Birthday to her, she was in her element with all of this attention. When we got back to the cabing out Cabin steward Jai had left her a little birthday message along with this dog made out of towels a great end to a great day.

Day 14 - at sea, so more drugs and no photos, i know i am very slack

Day 15 - Da Nang how different Da Nang is to Ho Chi Minh, it is alot quieter and cleaner, with a lot of construction going on, so over the next couple of years there will be loads of huge hotel resorts going up.
Our first stop was the Ho Chi Minh Museum but it was closed for the day, our next stop was the Cham Sculpture Museum, this museum houses the most extensive collection of Cham art worldwide. There were some amazing pieces. Next stop was the Han markets, the whole bottom floor was food and the smell was just awful we all nearly vomitted, so we bolted upstairs to the non smelly goods and had a looksee, then headed to the Con markets, these i think are mainly wholesale markets as no one was really interested in selling us anything, but across the road was a fantastic coffee shop where i purchased 2 cups of coffee for $104 000VD  mind blowing amount when said to you but works out to around $7 AUD
I don't think I have mentioned yet how bad the coffee on the ship was - and for a person that normally scoffs 10 cups a day to go cold turkey is not good, so whenever we were on land if there was a good coffee shop I was there.
Day 15  - continued New Years Eve - time to get all dressed up again and what a night it was great. Rigaberto & Wei (our waiters) got into the spirit and expecially Rigaberto he was giving the kids champange, the girls didn't like it but Brayden did so he had his and theirs and then Rigaberto kept filling his glass, then Wayne got Gage, Dylan & Brayden a shot of sambucca each and then Brayden also had a shot of Bailys so you can imagine the state of Brayden by the end of dinner, Rigaberto wasn't much better as he was having a glass of champers everytime he filled someones glass. After dinner we all headed to the lounge for more drinking (only water for Brayden, I had to get him sober) and dancing, Miss T had had enough by 11pm so I took her down to bed (we figured it was midnight in Australia at 9pm so we had seen the new year in) while the rest of the gang partied to the wee hours.

Our Trip ...Days 9, 10, 11 & 12

Day 9 - Christmas Day - sadly no photos - no Christmas lunch, I think it was asian food for lunch so nothing Christmassy at all except we did have our own secret santa - we all had picked out a name in Brunei and we had to spend no more than $10AUD on our secret santa person, so that was fun seeing what everyone had bought each other, but silly me forgot to take the camera with me.

Day 10 - Singapore... we started off our day heading into town and walking around Orchid Road, we then had teppanyaki for lunch before heading out to the Singapore Zoo, as we were waiting for a taxi to take us to the zoo it started to rain and kept on raining for the whole zoo visit. It was all good we bought some umbrellas and a raincoat for Brayden. We then had KFC for dinner at the zoo before heading next door to the Night Zoo, you should have seen the line up to get in amazing! While we were waiting for the gate to open Ashleigh, Brayden and I had fish therapy on our feet - this is where you stick your feet into a fish tank and the fish nibble all the dead skin off your feet - very freaky. The night zoo was hot & humid, we walked around one of the trails first up and then lined up for the tram... once on the tram it was relaxing going around. The we headed back to our pick up point to go back on board as we were staying overnight in Singapore there were to be shuttle buses bringing us back to the ship all through the night... but sadly there was a huge stuff up and we and many others were left on the side of the road for over an hour waiting, we all eventually walked back to the port and then had to wait again at the security gate for a shuttle bus to collect us - to say that Costa had to deal with some angry guests was an understatement! There were loads of people after us also left on the side of the road. So Wayne went to yell at reception and I took the kids to our cabins, Taylah cried for over an hour on the side of the road as her legs were hurting - we had been on our feet since we left the ship at 8am and it was now after midnight.

Day 11 - Our second day in Singapore and after the cofuffle with the shuttle buses no one was going to leave the ship, but then Mum, Lachlan, Shane, Leanne and I decided to brave the shuttle buses and head off to Vivo City for a looksee, this is the port our ship normally docks at, but some other big ship was there in our place (the one in the photo with the big water slide on the top deck) We had a nice cup of coffee, looked around, bought some Cadbury's chocolate to take back to the ship.
We had a meeting with the Hotel Director that afternoon and as no one was happy with the way he was dealing with the shuttle bus mess, we asked for a meeting with the captain, so we had that at 10pm that night - what a meeting there were people from all over the world going off at the captain who really didn't understand anyone but the Italians. So everyone went off POed and with nothing resolved. Just a I am sorry from them would have been nice.

Day 12 - another day at sea, so more drugs and then we had the Captains Dinner!
 We didn't get to sit with him, but had a nice night and it was another night to dress up.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Our Trip ...Days 6, 7 & 8

Day 6 - we were at sea... so the girls and I popped some sea sickness tablets and we were fine.
Here we are enjoying lunch our on the back deck

Day 7 - Kota Kinabula - we walked from the port into town, stopping first at the marina and booking a water taxi over to Manukan Island. We had to go in two boats half way and then both boats met and the boys got on board with us - you would think we were smugglers :). Manukan Island was very beautiful, the water was gorgeous and around the jetty there were plenty of fish, we only stayed for an hour and then headed back to the marina. We then walked up through the town and hit the shops before heading back to the ship.

Day 8 -  Brunei as we had already spent a day looking around Brunei we all stayed on board and relaxed, ready for our Christmas Eve dinner. It would seem that for the Italians Christmas Eve is the big Christmas celebration, so it was a great dinner and we all got to dress up.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Our Trip ...Days 3,4 & 5

Day 3 - shopping and sightseeing in Hong Kong - then boarding the Costa Classica for our 15 day cruise around Asia, before setting sail we got to watch the Laser Light Show in the Hong Kong Harbour it was quite a show.

Day 4 - was a blur after setting sail at 10pm at night it was all good, after being woken through the night with a very rocky ship, we woke and everything was good, then i moved and the not so good started, next thing i am in the bathroom heaving, with both of my girls now going down too, Wayne has gone to the gym i call for Ashleigh to get my Mum, Mum comes in and she is no better, when Wayne comes back he tells us all to get up on the top deck at the back of the boat and that is where we all stayed for the day, covered in towels, sleeping it off, we were too sick to get sea sickness tablets, so we just had to ride it out, our loving family members did managed to pop up now and again to see how we were going, bring us some green apples and then leave laughing... so no photos from me for day 4

Day 5 - Manila after waking up and feeling great (the ship had docked so no rocking) we disembarked for a day in Manila - we quickly hired ourselves a driver with mini van for the day and off we went for an amazing tour of Manila. We were shocked by the poverty and the street vendors coming up to our van while we were stopped in traffic, we also sadly had some children with a baby come begging, very very sad, all banks had armed guards with very large guns outside, so very different to home. We also went for a quick shop at the worlds 3rd largest shopping centre, where i also got us some Krispy Kremes, they were just like they are at home, then we went market shopping, with all the kids grabbing some bargains.
On the whole Manila was my favourite desination as i feel we got to see the good the bad and the ugly.

Our Trip in photos

We had a dream - for a Christmas to remember
16 people
11 Destinations
7 Countries
18 days
here are the first 2 days

Day 1 - leaving home, Brisbane Airport & our 1st night in Brunei the heat as we walked out of the airport was stifling, it was like your clothes instantly vacuumed to your body

Day 2 Brunei as our flight to Hong Kong was delayed by 6 hours we deceided to a tour of Brunei
so here is The Sultan's Museum, The 29th Sultan's Mosque, The 28th Sultan's Mosque

Day 2 continued - Brunei Water Village what an amazing place, everything is on the water, they even have a school, a mosque,a shopping centre, the only thing they do not have is a place to park their cars, these are all parked on the mainland along the water edge. We even got to go inside one of the homes and had afternoon tea
Day 2 - arriving in Hong Kong 9pm at night after our 6 hour delay in Brunei - we had our very own bus from the airport to the hotel - first stop after check in McDonalds :) and then we hit the shops - the big boys all went to the tailors to get suits for the cruise, the kids, Nanny, Leanne and i shopped, it was amazing to be shopping at that time of night and to have to shuffle through the crowds.

look what i bought

i know i am truly tragic - but i couldn't help it ... it makes me happy to have a pink cuttlebug -  i added the bling to the flourish and i am going to give my green cuttlebug to my Mum,so then she too can create embossed cards.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

4 years...

It is 4 years today since my sister Megan passed away - Megan had no chance and only had 3 months with us from when she was diagnosed to when she passed away. I still find it hard to believe that she is gone, some days i think i must ring Megan and let her know what just happened and then remember that i can't.

So please give your loved ones an extra hug today and if you are able please give to the cancer council.

Take Care Everyone

i am back

just a quick post to let you know i am back from our Asian holiday
i will post some photos later