Monday, October 4, 2010

A Prize and Sharing Some Shopping!

First things first.

My sincere apologies with being so tardy with
the giveaway from my week of GIU.
Many of you know that I was away for a few
days celebrating my birthday
(more on that next)
and last week just flew by with a multitude
of creative deadlines & life as I know it.

Thank you to all who visited during GIU
and I hope you will continue to peek 
inside The Open Window.

Without further delay
congratulations to my birthday twin

Cathy...get in touch with me at
because you have a choice between 4 different sets from Unity!

Now on a loooong personal note....

I thought I would share a little of my birthday shopping
with you.  Some of these things you have already
seen in action as I have 'broken them open' 
and played...and posted...and played some more!

This is the front of the fab Hilton Garden Inn.
The trees are already turning up in Central Wisconsin
which is always a bonus having a birthday in September.
I hinted on Facebook often about just how close
I was to Archivers...and here is the proof...

Just to the left, you see the back courtyard of our hotel
and what's that I see just a few steps away?
So yes, I was very fortunate to spend most of my
Sunday in the workroom, playing and shopping.
Paul watched football, then came down to see
what I was up to, treated me to coffee at Starbucks
(also next door...I know!).

Here's where I share a funny side story....
Paul noticed that our keycard was not locking the
door properly in our room while I was away.
Can you see it coming?
I decided to take a break to go get my camera,
got to the room to find it completely empty.
Everything was gone.
A trip to the front desk proved that they indeed
had moved us, and apparently I kept passing
Paul in the elevator.  By the time I found him,
he was in Archivers looking for me.
By the way...we were upgraded for the inconvenience
to a beautiful 4 room sweet with a whirlpool bath.
So our second night there was quite a lovely surprise.
There was a nice little make 'n take that day...

It was Tim Holtz weekend there and with a
$30 purchase, you got an Archivers tote
designed by Tim.

Oh!  Speaking of surprises....
When we arrived at the hotel on Saturday afternoon,
the hotel clerk informed me that there was a 
gift card waiting for me over at Archivers from Sarah.
My dear bestie from England made 2 phone calls
to get it arranged...Bless her heart!
She only knew the details because I had
shared them here with you.
It made me a little 'teary' to know that I have a
friend who would think to do all that to
make it what did I get?
Here's the tour.....

Sarah wanted to make sure that I got that Tim Holtz bag!

I also received two wonderful packages by mail from
my dear friends Savannah & Michele.  Michele sent
me this fabulous Martha punch and Sav sent the rest...

All were such lovely surprises!

I have the best husband!
I used to own my own store and spent 12-14 hours a day
there, he thought I would never want to spend time
the way I did that day.  When that was my request,
he made it happen and even 'indulged' me.

Two more little photos....

This is my favorite thoroughfare through Madison.
We go up there once or twice a month.
We spend so much time on this road getting to our
favorite places.  I love how the changes in color
make this a lovely drive.

And family treating me to Red Robin...yum!
From top L:  my son Alex (22), Alex jr (2) & his mom Jayme
CJ (7), Mallory (CJ & Caleb's mom) (26), Caleb (5),
myself and Paul.
(I love little Caleb peeking over his mom's shoulder)

Thanks so much for spending some major time with me!
I appreciated all of the birthday wishes that came my way.
It made turning 50 that much sweeter...


Katrina said...

WOW!!!! What a fun birthday!!!! And quite the haul lady!!!!

Congrats to Ms. Cathy!!!!!

Hugs, Katrina

Rufus said...

What a FUN birthday! Not to mention quite the haul are Archivers! Now is that heaven or what, a 4 room suite right next door to Archivers AND Starbucks! WITH a gift card!!!!

Sharli said...

Hi Julie Ranae! What a wonderful birthday - I'm glad you shared although I'm pretty sure my face is green now. So, Madison as in Wisconsin? Maybe I need to relocate?! LOL


Savannah O'Gwynn said...

GET OUT! I loooooooooooooooooooooooooove all the pics and that Cathy won on your blog:) SO FAB! Congrats Cathy!!

Now let's talk about getting together so I can play with all these fab goodies:) LOVE LOVE LOVE it:)

Michele Gross said...

What a fantabulous birthday you had! Love all those awesome pics!! :)

Eva said...

Julie, I am sooooo happy you had such a fabulous celebration on your Birthday!!! You are so loved and it sure shows!!!! Sending you more love from my heart! Hugs...Eva

And CONGRATS to sweet Cathy!!! Love ya, too!!!

Ok, I am done with the love fest...hehhehe

StampinCathy said...

WOW! What a fabulous birthday! I just love seeing all your fun goodies and all the goodies from your stamping friends. What a priceless picture of the fam too! I'm so excited I own some UNITY!!!!

Lisa Somerville said...

Looks like you got lots of fun stuff!

Helen said...

Glad you had such a wonderful birthday! What a gorgeous and lovely bundle of pressies!

Jaclyn Miller said...

You are one lucky lady! I loved seeing all of your picts and that AMAZING stash! Glad you had a great birthday.

Sarah Anderson said...

Well I wanted you to get exactly what you wanted for your birthday :) When I get to come over to the states I want to stay in that hotel with you :)

lisa said...

A very Happy Special Birthday to you Julie. It sounds like you've had an absolutely fantastic time and all those gorgeous goodies to play with.
Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos.
hugs Lisax

Mona L. Pendleton said...

WOW Julie! Thanks for sharing your birthday story with us :) So happy you had a wonderful time & found some awesome goodies! Can't wait to see what you create!