Home Office Employee Appreciation Breakfast

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since our last Employee Appreciation Breakfast—it just doesn’t feel like that much time has passed!

But it has, and we had our annual breakfast this morning at our home office (tomorrow we’ll have our Kanab breakfast. . . watch for that post tomorrow), and it was the best breakfast BY FAR! Someone asked me what made it so great, and I started to list off all sorts of things, but it really came down to one thing: attention to detail. Our HR department, and especially the gal who was in charge of this particular event, paid incredible attention to every detail.

Employees were greeted by a handmade, hand-stamped banner that said, “Thanks 4 all U do!” Serving tables had tablecloths and eating tables had centerpieces. Our designer fabric lined the silverware holders. . . and the list could go on and on. I knew the presentation was fabulous when employees started taking pictures before they even grabbed a plate of food!

In short, our HR people really did take it up a notch! And while it was beautiful to look at, it was even more delicious to eat! We had real eggs and ham, hand-cut fresh fruit, French Toast made from thick Great Harvest cinnamon bread, soft butter, homemade syrup. . . not to mention the homemade granola that my sweetheart made! Mmmmmmm! (See the recipe below. . . )

The morning was topped off by the announcement of our annual Heart of Stampin’ Up! award, which is given to Stampin’ Up! employees who are nominated by their coworkers. This award is exactly what it says: An award presented to employees who really do live our Statement of the Heart, which focuses on loving what we do, sharing what we love, and helping others enjoy creativity and worthwhile accomplishments.

It made my heart swell as I read each of the more than two dozen nominations. I felt such gratitude to be able to work with people who exemplify what I hope Stampin’ Up! is. And I also felt great gratitude for the good people who took the time to nominate their coworkers and express appreciation for these wonderful people.

Truth be told, there are dozens, if not hundreds of Stampin’ Up! employees who deserve this award! I am so blessed to work at Stampin’ Up!

I did, however, narrow this year’s winners down to three, and I congratulate these three amazing people: Manivone Lithamalay, Kevin Lunt, and Lynnette Abernathy.  Thanks for all you do!

I did have several people ask for Sterling’s homemade granola recipe, and I don’t blame them—it is delicious! He doesn’t follow a precise recipe. . . he’s one of those people who kind of just tosses a few things together and it always works out!

But here’s the “approximate” recipe (along with Sterling’s comments. . . smile):

Sterling’s Granola

6 c. old-fashioned oats
2-3 c. coconut (shaved, unsweeted if you can find it; if you can’t, regular shaved coconut works)
2 c. sunflower seeds (raw or roasted/salted)
2 c. pumpkin seeds
1 c. chopped pecans
1-2 c. chopped almonds
1 c. chopped cashews
1 c. flax seed (optional)

(You can also add any other nuts you have laying around)

Add strong sprinkling of ground cinnamon (whatever looks good to you; you can figure it out!)

In separate bowl, mix the following:

2 c. of coconut milk (can find in most grocery stores)
1 c. agave nectar (natural sugar replacement) or 1 c. honey
2/3 c. virgin coconut oil (unrefined; heat in microwave before adding to other moist ingredients)

After mixing moist ingredients together, pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Spread granola over 2-3 large cookie pans, then place in oven (350 degrees F) for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take out and turn/move granola. Repeat two times, for a total of 30 minutes of cooking. Note: Watch carefully so granola doesn’t burn. If it looks like it’s burning, turn the oven down or shorten cooking time.

After cooking, take the granola out and cool. We keep our granola in Ziploc baggies in the freezer. Not really sure why. Shelli says it lasts longer that way, but it doesn’t last very long at our house whatever way you store it. Shelli likes her granola (about ½ c) with cut-up berries (any kind) or bananas and almond milk. I like vanilla yogurt on mine, along with almond milk.

Oh yeah, one more ingredient—smile big while you eat it!