Thursday, May 29, 2008

See you at Pacific Home Furnishings!

Just in case you've been wondering where we are...we're still here! Working like crazy girls, of course!

This week we've been finalizing details with the Pacific Home Furnishings staff for Saturday's Design Selections workshop, which is SOLD OUT! A quick reminder to everyone attending: don't forget to bring your inspiration photos so together we can find just the right fabrics and area rugs for your space!

One student is making a HUGE effort to be there on Saturday. You remember Randee Gabriele? She was the lucky winner of the $10,000 diamond pendant at our Invitation to Design Workshop this past February. She's flying in and staying overnight to be sure she doesn't miss any of it. It makes me so happy to hear folks say how they've been looking forward to the events that we put on.

We've also been hard at work on a new product which we will be telling you about shortly. So much to do, so little time!

We're looking forward to seeing everyone this Saturday! For those of you who can't attend this time, we'll be posting photos and highlights, too!

Monday, May 19, 2008

All aboard!

I've got great news for you--we're going cruising in style! RSVPstyle! As I've mentioned before, my favorite cruise line is Crystal Cruises, and we have just finalized arrangements to hold a workshop aboard the Crystal Symphony's November 23 cruise to the Mexican Riviera! Is that exciting or what?!

This amazing trip will be during Thanksgiving weekend. The Crystal Symphony will sail out of L.A. for seven days of cruising between amazing destinations including Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta!
We will get you more details shortly--check the travel section of The Honolulu Advertiser and our website for upcoming details. If you can't wait, you can contact Lynda Bell of Travel Lynda at (808) 395-2980.

When the idea was first brought up by Outrigger Travel to do this workshop,
I immediately jumped at the chance. To incorporate all of my favorite things--cruising, eating, teaching design and decorating, being with my family and having fun--what could be better than that?! Just imagine, a whole group of us learning, sharing and vacationing together--I can't wait!

For those of you that have been following our last trip, the third part of
our Amazing Asian Adventure will be going up in a few days. This last part even has a few video clips of the Crystal Symphony and the refurbishment it went through. After reading about our incredible cruise, I think you'll understand why I am so excited to be going on Crystal again--this time, I hope, with you! So come aboard and let's cruise and learn together!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

My daughter Nicki has made me many homemade cards and this year I was inspired by her to make one for my mom. My mom is very practical and she was so happy that I didn't spend $5 for a card. She absolutely loved it... glitter and all.

Happy Mother's Day to all the the moms out there!

Gotta go now--enough time on the computer, I'm going to milk this day for all it's worth!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A different kind of inspiration

Yesterday was a really rewarding day. My daughter Nicki and I went to the Ronald McDonald House on Judd Hillside to deliver the donations that she collected at a charity concert she threw. Now let me back up:

This all started a few weeks ago when Nicki got a school assignment. Now keep in mind, she’s only in the second grade. They’re learning about how you can make a difference in your community. The assignment was to do good for your community.

Some of the examples that were given were arranging for trash pickup in your neighborhood, or helping out at a shelter or delivering food to a neighbor in need—different good deeds to get the children to start thinking about others.

I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to sit with Nicki and really encourage her to be creative—and find a way to use her talent to make a difference.

Nicki loves to sing. She’s been singing since she was 4 years old. She decided to hold a kids’ concert. She told me, ‘Mommy, if I can get my friends to perform with me, we can get their parents to donate money!’

Since Nicki is not familiar with the charitable organizations out there, I told her about some, and we decided on the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii. It’s a wonderful organization that provides a home away from home for seriously ill children and their families that do not live on Oahu. Their Judd Hillside home can accommodate 10 families whose children are in and out of the hospital on Oahu.

Nicki called her friends and invited them to participate. She got eight children. She asked me if we could have the concert at our house so she wouldn’t have to use any money to pay for a place. I offered to donate the food as well.

For two weeks, on Friday nights we had rehearsals. Then we had the Kids’ Concert, and it was fabulous! It was adorable—we had kids ranging from almost-two-year-old twins Alexis and Erica singing their ABCs, and Robert playing a little piano and singing Michael Row Your Boat Ashore, all the way up to Nicki’s age.

Nicki emceed the show and introduced each act. During the intermission she said, ‘If you have not yet made your donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charity, now’s the time to do it!’ Bossy, that one!

Then they all came out and did an ensemble song-and-dance routine to You’re the One that I Want from the movie Grease. Their efforts raised $1,100.

It was a fun evening but it was for a much bigger cause. That really hit home yesterday when Nicki took the little box of donations and went to the Ronald McDonald House and delivered it to Jerri Chong, who is the executive director of RMHC-HI.

We got to meet two of the families staying in the house. One of them was a little boy named Rico and his dad, who are from Guam. Rico had surgery at Shriner’s for his club feet. We also met Katie, who is three months old and just got out of the hospital. She was born six months premature and was teeny tiny! So her family has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House since February. They’re from Kwajalein: her mom, dad and sister Kira, who is 4 years old and healthy. When Kira saw Nicki she ran up and gave her a hug and was her shadow the whole time. She was so thrilled to have someone to play with.

So Nicki saw firsthand the difference she made. Everybody from the PR person to the executive director to the woman who runs the house to the office manager—everybody came out to welcome Nicki and thank her. She sang them the song she sang at her concert, which was Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid, and a few of the staff members cried. She explained to everyone that she decided to call it the Kids’ Concert because it was by kids and for kids.

Then little Kira said, ‘I want to sing a song too!’ and she got up and sang. It was a very special day.

What started out as a school project turned into so much more—a learning experience for everyone, including me. I learned how one little person can make a difference.

For more information about this wonderful charity, go to

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Let’s hear it for the boys!

As we knew, a big part of our audience is the women out there who want to beautify their spaces. But hey, let’s not leave the guys out! It really tickled me that just in the past week, I got two great compliments from men about our Style Kit.

The other day I ran into Robert Palma, the jewelry designer who with jeweler Dale Cripps very generously donated the sapphire-diamond pendant prize for our last workshop. Robert and his wife, Kyoko, are in the process of buying a new home and Kyoko has started watching the DVD and spending a lot of time on that and loving it! Robert told me that he examined the Style Kit thoroughly and was blown away by the packaging and detail. It meant a lot to me, coming from someone who has to pay such close attention to detail.

And recently I talked to Nelson Oyadomari, whose girlfriend Kay Mukaigawa came to our workshop and told him how great it was. One day he popped in the DVD at his office. He said, I can’t believe it. As a guy, normally I can’t sit through these things for long. But people walking by his door saw the DVD playing and stopped in and started watching, and everybody raved and had great comments about the quality. As a matter of fact, Nelson is leaving on a business trip today and says he’s planning to take Discs 2 and 3 along to watch on the plane!

So thanks, guys!