Happy Saturday friends! I'm thrilled you joined me today for Part 2 of my Utah tour recap. I encourage you to get comfortable! If you didn't read the blog yesterday, you can catch up on Part 1 here (and there's a giveaway too!)  I was in Utah for almost a week kicking off our 10th birthday celebration and what a week it was. My mother-in-law would have loved that with each stop I made, I came bearing treats for our friends and their teams. We worked with Bubble & Brown bakery and each morning boxes of sweet treats were delivered to the hotel to take with me. And they were loved by all! While you can't quite see it, we used the Heidi Swapp Minc to make our celebration cards look extra good and shiny! Thanks Heidi!

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On Tuesday morning I woke to a stunning sunrise over the mountains and knew it was going to be a great day. I took pictures along the way at each stop I made this week but with an iPhone so please don't mind the fact they're not perfect. I wanted to capture the memory in a quick and easy way.

My first stop Tuesday was to see our friends at Stampin' Up! which is a place I have heard so much about and always wanted to see. I met Rachel who you will see below who took me on a tour of the Visitor's Centre which is like a beautiful timeline of the company mixed with adorable little rooms showcasing their beautiful products and design team. I could have stayed here for so long looking at all the amazing artwork. Rachel then took me on a tour of the warehouse which was nothing less than extraordinary. Although the picture does not do it justice, the conveyor belts and tracking systems ensure orders are packed with minimal error. Clean, amazing and efficient! Love technology.  Here is the tour…  

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This is Rachel Jensen…love her a lot!

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Next stop on Tuesday was to meet with our sweet friends at BoBunny! BoBunny has always been an important partner to SCT. So long ago when I was starting the magazine and introduced myself to Jan, the owner of BoBunny, she immediately sat down with me and wanted to know everything about the magazine. Jan was one of the first advertisers and would always email me a little note when she received the magazine in the office telling me how much she loved it. It meant a lot in those early days. Below is a picture of the team of amazing people I get to work with at BoBunny. Matthew (Jan's son), Laurel, Jeri and Carley. Great team. We also got a sneak peek in the office but with new products all around I was limited for pictures. All I can say is there are great things coming out and I was thrilled they shared a little sneak peek! 

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 That's a lot of love for SCT they said!

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Tuesday evening was dinner with some friends at the Cheesecake Factory in City Creek which is in beautiful downtown Salt Lake and preparation for our final day in Utah! And for one of the first time's ever…I actually ordered some cheesecake! Like I said yesterday, I really did eat my way through Utah!

Wednesday was a very full day of meetings. My first stop was to meet with Jill Broadbent at Close To My Heart. A very sweet and knowledgeable friend that has been with Close To My Heart for 12 years and loves it so much. She is also adorable and could be my twin with her cardigan. We share a love for them! We chatted about many things and what's in store for 2016! Good things!

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 Next I head to meet with our friends at Echo Park and as you can see from the picture, these are some fun friends.  A selfie shenanigan just had to happen! Jennifer, Andrea, Nathanael, Madison and I had many laughs together that afternoon and I was so sorry to go. Before I did they shared with me some of the amazing things coming in 2016 and believe me when I say, you're going to LOVE what they have in store for you! I may have squealed a little. After 10 years in the business, I still get very excited when I see the level of innovation in the industry.   

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Our final stop in our Utah tour was with our friends from American Crafts. Megan, our Editor-in-Chief, and I were treated to a grand tour of their beautiful offices by none other than Rebecca Cross of Pink Paislee and Marketing Director Grant Madsen. With over 200 employees and two floors of an office building the tour was amazing! We met people from all areas of the company and even had an opportunity to meet the CEO, Sarah DeVoll. A lovely lady with a clear vision for this great company.  

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 Here we take a walk past the actual product designers and the art department. This room had a great vibe and great energy. Happy people! We wish we could have shown you more but we sure would not want to spoil what you'll be seeing on store shelves soon!

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This next picture below while it gives you an idea of their showroom, it certainly does not show it all! There were 8 aisles that were easily 25 feet long of products on both sides. In fact, here's a little tidbit, American Crafts and their brands have over 14 thousand active products available. An amazing number! We walked through each aisle admiring the design, the innovation and clearly a very smart team. I wanted one of just about everything new we saw. I may have even been a little speechless at times! And who knows me to be that?

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But here is how nice our friends at American Crafts are, this below is what was waiting to greet us when we arrived along with a beautiful card. Thank you American Crafts for all the love and support for SCT! 

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Thank you to Stampin' Up!, BoBunny, Close To My Heart, Echo Park and American Crafts for two incredible days. We were welcomed like family at each place and thanked for all that we do here at SCT. A great feeling. It was also mentioned many, many times how much they appreciate YOU, our readers. They are always amazed at how engaged and appreciative you are and I just smiled and said "yes, our readers are pretty awesome!"  

I did have the chance to hang out with one special little lady at Cafe Rio. This is Megan's daughter Maggie who is an absolute doll.  I brought her a Cinderella backpack and a Cinderella art set to which she said "thank you nice lady!" as she skipped and danced. Made me laugh all week thinking about it!

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One of the other highlights of the trip was the tour of Temple Square in the heart of Salt Lake City with my friends from Doodlebug. John Bishop played tour guide and did an awesome job of that! 

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 And I just had to go back to get a picture at night. It truly looks like Cinderella's castle! So majestic.

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During our visit to Temple Square on Sunday, John wanted to show us the Tabernacle and when we walked in, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was rehearsing. They sounded beautiful and I got to check off a bucket list item while I sat mesmerized! Such a great surprise. As an aside, when I was at Stampin' Up! that following Tuesday I actually met Spencer one of the choir members. A small world!

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There you have it friends! My time in Utah was a fun mix of business and pleasure…and eating! It's always nice when your business partners are your friends. I could not think of a better way to kick off what will be another great year than celebrating with some of those companies that help make it possible.

Of course I brought home many things in my suitcase for you so I have goody box number two to giveaway today to one lucky reader.  If you think you might like to welcome this box in to your home, be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know what product you just can't live without these days! Fun! Leave your comment by Thursday, November 5th! We have lots of winners to announce on Friday!

Have a great rest of your weekend and thanks for joining me today!

~  Catherine Tachdjian, Publisher, Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine