Monday, January 6, 2014

Turning Over A New Leaf...

One of my goals this year is to start making some healthier choices and to shed some of these extra pounds that have creeped up again... sighhhh. Managing my weight has been a lifelong struggle for me and I know that I am not alone. I have learned that extreme diets only work for a short time and even though I may lose a few pounds, as soon as I go back to my old habits and routines, the pounds come back. So, I am going to try to make some simple changes this year and see if I can replace some old habits with a few new ones.

I saw this idea last week on Facebook and commented that I really thought I might try it out. The idea is   to create a 'salad in a jar'. They claim that your salad will stay fresh for up to a week. I don't know about you, but as soon as I open a bag of salad it seems like the next time I go to use it, the lettuce is limp. So, I thought it was worth a try. Besides, it looks sooo pretty!

I went grocery shopping on Saturday and bought a bunch of fresh vegetables and then came home and called my mom and asked if she had any quart jars in the shed. I thought for sure she would have some, but she said she could only find one. Well, in true 'mama style', she showed up at my house within the hour with a new case of widemouth quart jars! She went and bought me brand new ones! ( Love my mom!)

I ran the jars through the dishwasher that night and on Sunday afternoon, I gathered all of my vegetables on the counter and got to chopping! I found lots of instructions and recipes on the internet for creating salads in a jar. Basically, what I found is that you can create your salad with pretty much anything you have on hand. You just need to start with your dressing at the bottom, then add your heavier vegetables, then your proteins and finally your greens at the top. According to what I read as long as your dressing doesn't touch your lettuce, it should stay fresh all week in the jars.

I decided to make 5 salads for the week to see if they truly did stay fresh and if I liked eating them this way. I used a couple of different salad dressings to have some variety. I found that you really just need enough dressing to cover the bottom of the jar, much more than that and your salad will be 'swimming'.
After the dressing, I added sliced cucumbers, chopped peppers, red onion, shredded carrots, baby spinach and some mixed greens. I opted not to add in tomatoes or avocado, etc. and figured I could add those ingredients as I chose when I made my salad. I saw recipes for adding hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, etc. so I think you can use whatever you might have on hand.  This would be a great way to use up some leftovers!

Don't they look sooo pretty??? I was inspired to eat healthier just by looking at them in my refrigerator!

Today was the first test. How good would it taste? I am lucky enough to live just 5 minutes from my job, so I get to come home for lunch most of the time. I came in today, opened up my jar and dumped it on a plate! How's that for a fast healthy lunch? I did slice half of an avocado on top and added some salt and pepper, but that was it and .... it was YUMMY! The only thing I would do differently is like what I said above... easy on the dressing. It takes less than you think!

So, I guess the next test will be how good will salad #5 be at the end of the week? Will it still be as fresh at day #1? I'd love to hear from you if you try this and what yummy combinations you create! I know for me, it's all about convenience. If it's prepared ahead and I don't have to look in the frig and try to find something to eat, I do much better. ( Or even worse, go run thru a drive thru!)

Here's to getting healthy and 'turning over a new leaf' literally! I am hoping that a few small changes this year will add up to big results!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

I remember my mother and grandmother making comments about ‘the older you get, the faster time goes’ and I thought they were crazy! LOL  I remember being young and I couldn’t wait to be 16 to get my driver’s license or to be 18 to be ‘an adult’ and graduate high school…or to be 21 and be able to get in to a club or go to Las Vegas. LOL  Now that I’m older I understand what they meant…. The older I get, the faster time goes by. It can slow down anytime now! 

The last couple of years I have had some major life changes and it seems like I’ve been in transition, just trying to find my new place in the world and to find purpose for my life in this next chapter. After 25 years of marriage, I found myself divorced, and a single woman on my own for the first time in my adult life. I had been raising children for those 25 years and now my children were grown and trying to find their own way in life. The one constant thing in my life these last few years, and my saving grace, has been my Close to My Heart Business. It continues to provide so many things in my life…friendships, a great income, amazing incentive trips, a ‘place to belong’, something to always look forward to.

I have been a Close to My Heart Consultant for 15 years now and I got to ‘retire’ from my job as an RN 10 years ago to work my business full-time from home. I love being able to make my own schedule and to share CTMH and my love of scrapbooking and memory keeping with all of my friends.  I continue to hold my monthly scrapbook classes and am looking for new ways to connect with more of my friends and fellow-scrapbookers in the coming year.

Just a few months ago, I accepted a full-time position at our local Medical/Surgical Clinic and am working a M-F 40-hour week in addition to my scrapbook business. It has been a challenge trying to find that balance again and I am working on ‘getting my groove back’ in the New Year. I have met some wonderful people at my new job and made some great new friendships, as well as having some additional income to pay for my new house and pool! I purchased a new home in April of this last year – another big first on my own. I love my house and it is slowly but surely feeling more and more like home to me.  

I haven’t posted on my blog in quite some time, as it’s been hard to know what to post these last couple of years and how much of this journey to share. But my goal for 2014 is to share more of my story with you and to slow down and find 'joy in the journey'. 

If you are familiar with scrapbook author and teacher, Ali Edwards, you may have heard about her 'One Little Word' Workshop, where she has you choose one word for the year. Ali writes, 

"Having a single word to focus on each year has made a difference in my life.

In 2006 I began a tradition of choosing one word for myself each January – a word that I can focus on, meditate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life. My words have included play, peace, vitality, nurture, story, light, up and open. These words have each become a part of my life in one way or another. They’ve been imbedded into who I am, and into who I’m becoming. They’ve been what I’ve needed (and didn’t know I needed). They’ve helped me to breathe deeper, to see clearer, and to grow.
What do you do with this one little word?
You live with it. You invite it into you life. You let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities." 
So, I've been doing a lot of thinking the last few weeks... what is my one little word for 2014? What do I want to focus on? Where do I need to improve? And I've finally decided! My word is JOY! I want to stop simply trying to make it through each day, each week, each month, but to savor each moment and find JOY in my life again this year. I choose JOY! What will you choose to be your 'One Little Word' in 2014? I hope you'll share with me if you decide to choose a word to lead you this year. 
Wishing you a Very Happy New Year in 2014 and that you find lots of reasons to celebrate and scrapbook and that you find JOY in your journey, too!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

THIS Makes me HAPPY!

As a scrapbook artist, I am a huge fan of Stacy Julian. She just seems so comfortable with who she is and what she believes in and I am always so inspired by her. If you are not familiar with Stacy Julian, I invite you to get to know her here. 

You might know her as the founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks Magazine or the author of a couple of my all-time favorite books on scrapbooking - 'The Big Picture" and "Photo Freedom". I devoured these when I first discovered them and still turn to them as a fabulous resource for my scrapbooking systems. Currently, she is the founder of Big Picture Classes, an online educational site for scrapbookers and crafters. I have taken many classes from Big Picture, my favorite being her Library of Memories Classes. I love this class so much, I think I have taken it at least THREE times! LOL. Stacy started her career in the scrapbook industry with Close to My Heart as a consultant (formerly known as D.O.T.S.) and has been a favorite speaker many times at our annual conventions.  I was even invited by Stacy to help her in one of her presentations at our Close to My Heart Convention years ago. What a privilege and an honor that was! So, you see I have been a fan of Stacy's for many years, which leads me to my post today....

I am currently enrolled in 'The Big Idea Festival' at It is a free workshop of daily Big Ideas and Challenges that runs from September 4th - 17th, 2012. I was taking some time this afternoon to get caught up on the first few days of the workshop and I watched Stacy's video presentations for Day One of the Big Idea Festival. WOW! I was so inspired and this BIG IDEA just made me SO HAPPY! 

Stacy's 'Big Idea' is to:

Make someone's day!

Stacy goes on to say...
"The online world is an exciting place to work and hang out—with new advances in digital media and communication exploding at every turn. Many of these digital tools have established themselves permanently in our daily lives and routine-think email and Facebook. But the sheer volume of digital communication can be utterly overwhelming, driving attention deficit, dehumanization and diminishing returns on our efforts. It's crazy to me, that these super-convenient tools, celebrated for their ability to connect people, can actually have the opposite effect. This is why my big idea is very old-fashioned and requires only a pen and a piece of paper …"

Stacy's Big Idea is to create a 'Happy Mail Movement'. She has committed to sending a handmade card/note every single day for an entire year! What an awesome idea! Here's the best part... she is asking everyone to 'pay it forward'. So, if you get a handmade card from her, she is asking you to send a card/note on to someone else to make their day! Who doesn't love Happy Mail??? I know I do and as a scrapbooker and cardmaker, what a better way to use my talents and supplies and touch someone's life? 

SO, I'm going to take Stacy's Challenge and create my own Happy Mail Campaign! I am going to agree to the challenge and make and send a handwritten note/card to someone everyday for the next 365 days! If you receive a card or note from me, will you 'pay it forward' and send a handwritten note or letter to someone you care about or who might need some happy mail??? How long has it been since you sent/received a handwritten letter? It is truly becoming a lost art. As Stacy says, Let's rediscover the joy of sending and receiving handwritten communication. 

You don't have to wait to receive a card or note from me, take the challenge and start your own Happy Mail Movement within your own circle of influence! I'd love to hear about it if you do! 

If you'd like to watch Stacy's video presentation about the Happy Mail Movement, go to  and sign up for The Big Idea Festival. Her video is archived under Day One! 

THIS makes me HAPPY! 


Friday, August 13, 2010

Do You Believe in Magic?

I do... and so will you on September 1st! We have a brand new 'Scrapbook How-To Program' coming out and I'm so excited to share it with you! Close to My Heart Consultants have a one-month preview period before each new catalog to order and get familiar with the new products we have coming out. I used our new 'How-To Program' this week with my leftover paper from the Splendor Scrapbook Kit and created a layout to share with you! The pattern that I used is called 'Showtime'. I hope you like it!

If you would like to pre-order your new 'how-to' book, email me at and put 'Magic' in the subject line!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Look what I got this week! A wonderful email from Close to My Heart's Founder and CEO, Jeanette Lynton and a photo of us together after the Awards Gala at our Convention in Washington D.C.!  So fun! I love my job!

Dear Cindy,

Congratulations on your well-deserved award at Convention recognizing your incredible accomplishments of the past year. It was a pleasure to meet with you at the award recipients' reception and, as promised, I have attached the photo which was taken of us. It's a great reminder of the wonderful time we had and how hard work truly pays off in so many ways. May your achievements continue this next year as you help others preserve their memories and celebrate their relationships.

Make it from your heart,


Here is one more photo that was sent to me of myself and Jeanette with two of my team members who were also award recipients this year! Congratulations to Etta Langford and Stacy Park!!! Great job this year girls!

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