Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Tis the Season... be Jolly..." -- you know the song. Don't you just LOVE this time of year? I do. I find myself thinking of Christmases a child going to my grandmother's house (Mom's mom -- "Mama" or most recently, "Big Grandma" on Christmas Eve for her AWESOME shrimp gumbo (& she also had fried oysters but I REFUSE to eat those); and then we'd open gifts that Santa had left us at her house early. Then, on Christmas morning, my sister and I would awake and find MORE presents under the tree at our house. It was SOOO much fun! One of my favorite toys one year was a Remote Controlled Airplane...of course, I think Daddy enjoyed it just a weeeee bit more than I did -- being he's a cropduster pilot and all! LOL Another year, it was my brand new 10-speed bike. I LOVED IT! All of my grandparents would come to our house for lunch. It was fun. I so love spending time with my grandparents. The day after Christmas we would end up at my other grandparents' house (Daddy's parents -- Granny & Pops) and have Christmas with them and my cousins once they arrived from Sabinal. I miss the days of didn't seem as rushed back then like it does now.

Our newest tradition (we started last year) is that we don't travel at Christmas. On Christmas Eve it's the three of us just relaxing, enjoying light appetizer type foods; and one of us has purchased and wrapped a new "family" game that we open and play until late at night/before bed. Christmas morning we sleep in a bit and then celebrate our Christmas. Last year I cooked a prime rib. It was good. This year, we will let Hilton Post Oak -- Houston cook for us. :) It just makes for a really peaceful, relaxing day; and Zach can play or show off whatever new items he got from Santa and then compare them with his friends -- David, Samantha and Tristan.

What is your favorite holiday tradition or memory you have? Tell me! All entries will be entered into drawing to receive a FREE A-sized stamp set from me. Deadline is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 22nd.

On behalf of the Boyer Family, I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! ~ Melanie, Wes, Zach & Freedom

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

National PaperCrafting Month

Are you ready for another FABULOUS product to help kick off and celebrate "National Papercrafting Month" -- which is the month of January? Well, I have it for you!! This special paper package is called "Felicity" and includes decorative die-cut papers, GORGEOUS color schemes and a D-sized stamp set (WOWZA!!!)!!

There are three ways to get the Felicity collection:

• Purchase it at full retail price for $34.95.

• Place an order of $60 or more in full-retail priced stamp sets & receive one collection FREE!

• Place an order of $125 or more in full-retail priced CTMH products and receive one collection FREE!

During the month of January, Hostesses will earn this kit FREE if the total amount of their gathering reaches $400 (before s/h & tax); and, for those of you who are ready to Join My Team as a Close to my Heart Consultant, this paper kit will be added FREE to their New Consultant Kit.
To place an order, you can visit my website,; and, whether you're far or near, to find out more about becoming a Close to my Heart Consultant and earning products at a fabulous discount, email me at

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

CLEARANCE!! 50%-80% off Product!

Yes, you read correctly! Close To My Heart has discounted LOTS of product 50%-80%!!! You can ONLY shop this AWESOME sale on my website <---click here.
There are a variety of paper packs, embellishments, stamps, etc. The sale has a limit of only 5 per item. Some items will sell out faster than others. High traffic volume expected.
You'll want to get in on the amazing deals like My Acrylix stamp sets from JUST $2 and My Reflections paper packets from $5. But that's not all! We have grab bags for $30 each- filled with over $100 in retail products. Plus, great shipping deals on orders over $100. Orders of $100+ have a flat rate shipping of $5
Hurry! This sale ends on December 17th or while supplies last!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wishes Come True

This is the 12x12 layout (single page) that my customers will make when they attend my "Wishes Come True" event on Wednesday, December 2. It uses our Jingle Level 2 Paper pack, Dimensional Elements Flurry, Prisma Glitter (love this stuff), and our 4x6 Memory Protectors Flip Flaps. This was a fun layout to create. (The companion layout to this one can be viewed here. It is the "Fa la la" layout. LOVE IT if I do say so myself. :) )

If you'd like to attend, contact me for details!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Friendship Award!

My AWESOME upline, Tina Sutton, sent me this sweet award, and I am ever so grateful and privileged to receive it from her. I would so love to have AT LEAST have the business she does at some point - SOON!! (I'm workin' on it, Tina! ;) ). Take a minute to visit her here because you will definitely be glad you did. She is such an enthusiastically energetic & exciting person -- full of LIFE!!

This is what the award is all about: It is given to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These bloggers are not interested in increasing their own status, but rather aim to find friends and be friends. The hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are born! Now it's my turn to pass this award on to five of my blogging friends. It is a great joy to do so:
Christa (She blogs about her family and her CTMH business that she is building. She is such a fun & considerate gal. I'm lucky to have her on my team!)
Shannon (I have to second the selection of Shannon. Oh my goodness! Talk about a sense of humor- such a girly girl; and she has a heart of GOLD! I've never met Shannon either...but I'm thinking July 2010 will be a GREAT time to meet...maybe in DC??? HA!)
Jennifer (Another friend whom I've not met face-to-face, but she has been an AMAZING source of support for me -- especially in regards to military issues. I look forward to meeting her one day soon, too...hopefully DC in July!!). She is an AMAZING & TALENTED crafter.
Tonya (Have just recently started following Tonya and she is also an AMAZING & TALENTED crafter. Lots of great ideas!)
Karen I am not sure how big of a team Karen has, but she has to be one of the most compassionate people I've seen in a long time. Reading her blog entries makes me think about how wonderful the simple things in life can be and to not get caught up in rat race and to take time for myself...even if it means taking a week away from the computer (which we all know can be difficult at times...HA!) Her artwork is amazing. I would LOVE to meet her some day, too.

Be sure to visit these gals. I know you will want to follow them to keep up with the charm, fun posts, and their amazing artwork!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't Forget -- It's a STAMPAGANZA Month!!

Don't let this month's special pass you by! Take advantage of Stampaganza -- buy two MyAcrylix stamp sets and get one FREE ($22.95 maximum value...A-, B-, C- or D-sized stamp set). This special is good directly through me or Click Here to shop directly from my website. Don't forget about the stamp sets that are retiring at the end of next month. Stampaganza is a GREAT way to get the ones you want before they're gone. Click Here to see the Retiring List.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Snow Village... up! Well, 95% of it is! I'm waiting on more of the Display Anywhere Lighting system to come in so I can light the buildings that are on our ledge at the stair landing. We started collecting -- albeit not religiously -- Department 56 Original Snow Village shortly after we got married. Our first piece was St. Luke's Church. I love all of the pieces that I have. This is the first year in many that I've been able to set it out. My original plan was to work on it over Thanksgiving, but we will be busier than anticipated. So, Zach and I worked on it this weekend. He really enjoyed doing it, too. We've learned what to do/what not to do for next year...just hope I remember. Might be a good idea for me to write it down!
My next task will be setting up my Department 56 Snowbabies. Every year for as long as I can remember, my parents have given me a piece for Christmas. I'm always excited to see what new piece I will receive.
I love Christmas, and I can't believe it's only 39 days away!!!!! Yep, 39 days away! Don't let it sneak up on you, but be sure and take the time to enjoy the season. It is the most magical time of year.
I will try to post pics sometime this week of my little Snow Village; but please go easy on the criticism...I'm still a newbie when it comes to "designing" the layout! LOL

Monday, November 9, 2009

As Planned & Promised...

...I was able to play with this month's Stamp of the Month, "Around the Block"; and oh, what fun I had with it! I am REALLY liking this stamp set more than I thought I would. (Thanks to another CTMH consultant, Karen P.) So, without further adieu, here are two things I created with it. (The Gingerbread Man, Candy Cane & peppermint swirls are from the retired, "Gingerbread" stamp set.) The button is one of our Clear Craft Buttons and I glued it to one of the B&T papers and trimmed and threaded Designer Chocolate Polka Dot ribbon through it using the needle from our Piercing Tool Set. The snowflake is from our new Dimensional Elements Flurry; and I created my own "Glimmer Mist" using our Pearl Paint and Tulip Exclusive Inks Reinker. Paper used for the projects were our new Jingle Level 2 Paper Pack. I LOVE this paper; and the stripes for the gift bag are from the Creative Basics Jingle Collection paper pack...another great paper pack! I used Liquid Applique and Prisma Glitter for the "snow." Other items used: Twinkle Brads, Cocoa Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, White Daisy Embossing Powder, Versamark Ink Pad, Craft Heater and Craft Tray.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Around the Block

November's Stamp of the Month, "Around the Block" (D1377, retail value $22.95) is just the cutest stamp set that enables you to "build your own house." It's PERFECT for welcoming people to the neighborhood; or inviting them to your home. I will be working with this set this weekend as I've seen LOTS of CUTE artwork with it. Stay tuned to next week when I hope to upload some pics.

Listed below are the ways for you to get the Stamp of the Month ($22.95 value).
  • Spend $100 (before shipping & tax) and get the Stamp of the Month for FREE! (did you hear me -- FREE!!!!)
  • Spend $75 (before shipping & tax) and get the Stamp of the Month 75% off ($5.74)
  • Spend $50 (before shipping and tax) and get the Stamp of the Month for 50% off ($11.48)
  • Spend $25 (before shipping and tax) and get the Stamp of the Month for 25% off ($17.21)
  • Or, you can just purchase the Stamp of the Month at it's full retail price ($22.95)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stampaganza Starts TODAY!!!

Stamp lovers rejoice! Whether you're a long-time fan of stamps or are just venturing into this fun hobby, now is the perfect time to grab some My Acrylix decorative stamp sets. From November 3-30, 2009, when you make a purchase of any two stamps sets (sizes A, B, C, D or E) at full retail price, you will receive a third stamp set of your choice for FREE!(equal or lesser value- a savings up to $22.95). Choose from any stamp set offered in any of the 2009 Idea Books or current product review!

AND- to make this deal even sweeter, for every set of 3 stamps that you buy I will put your name in a drawing. The winner will receive a FREE My Acrylix Stamp Organizer. WOOHOO- this offer is only valid through me. Drawing will be December 1st.

Don't forget to check out the CTMH Retiring List!

Now would be a GREAT time to start making out your wish list! If you'd like, send me copy with names/addresses/email adresses/phone numbers of those you'd like me to contact, and I'll help you get what you REALLY want for Christmas! ;)

Friday, October 30, 2009


My dear friend presented me with this award. I am honored to receive it. Thanks so much, Shannon! I will display it proudly! :D

The Rules are:

1. You can only use ONE word!!!

2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers! (I have picked out six bloggers from the "SOTM Blog Hop" -- and I didn't even get all the way through it yet). There is some AMAZING talent out there. You all are SUCH an inspiration. Thank you for all you share!

3. Alert them that you have given them this award!

4. HAVE FUN!!!

1. Nancy

2. Jody G.

3. Cibele G.

4. Amy

5. Lori

6. Barbara

Now the FUN PART!!!!

1. Where is your cell phone? - desk

2. Your hair? - highlighted

3. Your mother? - Donna

4. Your father? - Billy

5. Your favorite food? - Mexican

6. Your dream last night? - running

7. Your favorite drink? - Lattes

8. Your dream/goal? - wealthy

9. What room are you in? - office

10. Your hobby - scrapbooking

11. Your fear? - aging

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? - mountains

13. Where were you last night? - Home

14. Something that you aren't? - organized

15. Muffins? - Blueberry

16. Wish list item? - organization

17. Where did you grow up? - Texas

18. Last thing you did? - worked

19. What are you wearing? - Clothes

20. Your TV? - off

21. Your Pets? - crazy

22. Friends? - Busy

23. Your life? - hectic

24. Your mood? - depends

25. Missing Someone? - Yes

26. vehicle? - champagne

27. Something you're not wearing? - earrings

28. Your favorite store? Container

29. Your favorite color? - Red

30. When was the last time you laughed? - Today

31. Last time you cried? - suppressed

32. Your best friend? - Sharon

33. One place that I go to over and over? - thoughts

34. One person who emails me regularly? - Debbie

35. Favorite place to eat? - Pappasitos

Blog Winner!!

Congratulations to Dana! Her name was drawn from everyone that posted comments on my blog.

I enjoyed reading your comments and I am glad you liked the layouts. I am putting finishing touches on the companion layout to "fa la la." Stay tuned to hear how you can have chance to make the companion layout -- and possibly have your "wish come true." ;)

Keep checking back, too, because you NEVER know when there'll be another contest. I won't always give you "advance notice." :)

Don't forget to "fall backwards" this weekend -- turn your clocks back one hour before bedtime on Saturday night!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

LOVE our Jingle Paper

I am just LOVIN' our Jingle paper, and I wanted to share a couple of layouts with you. The first layout is from the Jingle Workshop on the Go ("WOTG") that I will be doing Saturday, November 21 -- 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The layout shown in this picture is created by using one of Jeanette Lynton's patterns that is not yet published. We will create these two pages at my house. Plus, by purchasing the Basic WOTG kit, you receive an EXCLUSIVE stamp set that is not available in ANY of our catalogs. Contact me for all the details regarding my workshop on the go nights.

This second layout is what my November Scrapbook Retreat attendees will make. It is using "Monologue" from our Imagine How To Book. Never attended a retreat? You really should try one sometime! We have LOTS of fun -- and what happens at scrapbook retreats STAYS at scrapbook retreats!! ;)

Leave a comment on my blog (this entry) and be entered in drawing for FREE gift! GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stock up on Stamps w/Stampaganza!!

WOW! Just in time for the beginning of the holiday shopping season -- Close to my Heart has brought back "Stampaganza" -- where you can purchase TWO MyAcrylix stamp sets and receive ONE free (free stamp set is of equal or lesser value). Click the link below to start making your list and then beginning on November 3rd, start stocking up on your stamps! This is a GREAT way to get more of the retiring stamps -- i.e., the monthly word puzzles -- that some of you have been eyeing!!!

This special will run from November 3-30, 2009. I also have a "Wish List" form if you'd like to fill out and return to me with the names of spouses, family members, friends, etc. that you'd like me to help them shop for your gift! :) I'm here to help you!

Update on Studio J!!

I am SOOO excited! Corporate sent out an update on the launching of Studio J and I just couldn't wait to share it with you. It is just around the corner! I've heard improvements have been made to it between CTMH Leadership convention and one of our Regional Celebrations. Corporate is on the ball to make this the BEST Online Scrapbooking program ever! I can't wait to play with it! See the details below!!
Studio J will be launched in four phases—stair-stepping the release gives leaders and business builders earliest opportunities to familiarize themselves with the software, so they can better support their teams and large customer bases. All Consultants will have preview access to take advantage of our great discounted pricing and experience Studio J before customers see the product in the spring. The four phases and groups are as follows:
1. All Leadership 2009 attendees: November 2009
2. All Consultants with an active MyCTMH Tier II site: January 2010
3. All Consultants: February 2010
4. Customer launch: March 2010

Retail pricing for Studio J layouts is $12.95 US/$15 CAN, with introductory promotions that include free shipping and page protectors. During the preview period, Consultants will be given the chance at an unbelievable deal: layouts discounted to just $9.95/$11.70 each—and fully commissionable. You may order up to 10 discounted preview layouts, either in a single order or in multiple orders. Shipping charges apply, and no free page protectors are available during the preview period.

Leadership attendees were given a sample layout at the event. Since that time, we have upgraded our process and will now provide “100-year” archival quality paper that is used by top professional photographers and uses silver halide processing, the gold standard in photo processing. The paper isn’t specified as either glossy or matte. It’s shinier than a true matte, but it’s flatter than a glossy stock. We’re excited about this upgrade, which will give your layouts great color vibrancy and lasting quality. Colors will be rich yet will vary slightly from “classic” B&T and cardstock papers using the same colors. This is intentional and required for Studio J’s unique processing and papers. We’re excited to share a layout with you—for all those who attended Leadership, you will be receiving a new sample layout that showcases our upgraded paper and new color process. It’s already on its way in the mail to you!
Stay tuned for more updates! I'll pass them on to you as soon as I know more! Don't forget to stop by to view the video. It's AWESOME!

Monday, October 19, 2009

No, I'm Not Lost...

...nor have I fallen off the face of the Earth. It has just been hectic lately.

Stay tuned...hope to update with artwork soon...just hard to do since home computer crashed and am limited on updating it from work. :(

Hope all is well with everyone!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

BFF Award

I have just received another Blog award, and I am so honored and excited. The Idyllhours blog award is the BFF award - Blogger Favorite Friend. Isn't it gorgeous? My wonderful friend and motivator sent this to me. Thank you so much, Tina!!

The rules of this award are: accept the award by commenting on the blog of the person that gave it to you; pass it on to five others; reveal five things you enjoy doing.
So here goes! I am sending the Idyllhours BFF award to Shannon, Debbie, Melissa, Mandy and Paige!
5 Things I Enjoy Doing:
  • Spending time with my family and friends;

  • Scrapbooking with CTMH prodcuts (DUHHHHH!!!) (;

  • Running/Working Out- I completed my first half-marathon (13.2 miles) in January and am working on training for it again -- Aramco Half Marathon -- January 17, 2010 Houston, Texas!

  • Traveling -- looking forward to going to DC for CTMH Convention with my CTMH sisters and meeting LOTS of new ones (& hoping to get to go to one of Tina's retreats in that place, too)!

  • Shopping!

Thanks again Tina... you are the best!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Studio J = Studio Scrapbooking

WOW! Close to my Heart just held Leadership Convention in Long Beach and has unveiled NUMEROUS wonderful things coming down the pipe.

They have been busy for the past three years working on their view of digital scrapbooking. Studio J is a combination of "Classic Scrapbooking" (known as "paper scrapbooking") and "Digital Scrapbooking." Visit and watch the short video. It is TRULY amazing!!! The best part -- NO SOFTWARE NEEDED! You will create & purchase your layouts through my website and corporate will print and mail them to you.

Can you belive the layout below was done via Studio J?? Totally amazing!!

Roll-out expected First Quarter 2010. Stay tuned!!

HIDDEN WORD CONTEST: the first person to find & e-mail me the hidden word wins a prize!

HINT: item will be available on Studio J layouts in 2010.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Element of Surprise!!

Ahhhh, don't you just love that moment -- the ELEMENT of SURPRISE?!? Well, I definitely enjoyed surprising my very best friend, Jodi, for her 40th birthday (belated) by planning a surprise 40th birthday scrapbooking day at my house with our friends. She was TOTALLY blown away -- and couldn't figure out why her hubby was in such a hurry to get her out of their house (okay, albeit she was LATE...but that's okay...LOL).

I had been planning this for MONTHS (in cohorts w/her hubby, too, since he was planning something else as well); but I elected to postpone mine a month. You see, Jodi's b-day was on June 12th. Her mom passed away on June 7th. I didn't feel right having it that weekend. Well, things fell into place and we decided on July 25th. We had so much fun catching up with each other, having good food and finishing off with AWESOME CUPCAKES!!!!
Jodi -- if you're reading this, I truly hope you enjoyed it and had a great time. We all love ya! Happy Birthday!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!

I hope everyone is having a safe and Happy 4th of July; but, most importantly, I hope you-all are staying cool! Is it hot out there or what?!?! I saw where June was the hottest month on record for Houston area (maybe even Texas....can't remember). I hate to even begin to imagine what July & August hold for us!

If anyone follows me on Twitter, you know that I baked & "attempted" to decorate cupcakes today to take to a 4th of July party. Well, this has given me a new respect for my FAVORITE cupcake place -- Sugarbaby's. While I had fun decorating them, I kept thinking -- and I'm sure -- there is a better/easier/cleaner way to frost cupcakes.
Below are a couple of pics. Zach wanted to put all the pinwheels in as he was so pleased to be helping. So, I let him. The cupcakes are vanilla and I filled them with sugar free vanilla pudding after they were baked. Not sure how much actually got in each cupcake...any cupcake bakers/decorators want to share tips on that aspect??

Monday, June 29, 2009

Back from Vacation!

Good afternoon! We are back home from vacation! The Frio River was AWESOME! I forgot how much fun it was, and I didn't realize how much I missed it! Lots of wonderful childhood memories came rushing back as we got closer to Sabinal/Concan/Frio River. We met some wonderful new friends and are looking forward to camping with them on the Frio again next year!! :) The temps were hot, but the river made it bearable. Too low to float; but PERFECT for swimming. Freedom LOVED the water. She was a natural...and she stole the hearts of many!

What have all of you been up to?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm Honored -- Another Award!!

My Upline, Tina Sutton, has honored me with the "Lovely Blog Award." I am so excited!!

The rules for this one are:

  1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

  2. Pass the award to 10 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here are my choices (in no particular order)

Thanks again, Tina! :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Random Stamping = Unique Patterned Paper

I LOVE Random Stamping. It is one of the EASIEST techniques and most fun to teach. It's amazing to see all the different creations people can make when using the same stamp set to Random Stamp.

To summarize, random stamping is when you use a minimum of two different stamp images. You ink up and start stamping with the bigger image in the center of the paper and stamp in trianglular movements and rotate your paper so as to get a "unique" look. Don't forget to stamp OFF of the edge!! Once finished with the bigger image, you'll do the same thing with the smaller image. When all random stamping is done, you will have your very own unique patterened paper.

Below are just a couple of samples I've done. I also like that by using the random stamping technique, the "blank" white space staring you in the face. Random stamping gives it a more personal touch.

Want to learn how to add random stamping to your crafting? Let me show you how. Call or e-mail me!

Already like random stamping? Send me your random stamped pages by June 16th and I'll send you a small token for sharing!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Yippee!!! I've earned an award!

One of my newest & dearest online/CTMH sister friends -- Shannon Buck -- has presented me with an award -- the Lemonade Stand Award. I am QUITE honored to receive this from Shannon. Thank you, thank you -- etc., etc. -- Shannon, for presenting me with this. I'm so glad to have you as a friend.

The rules of this award are:
*comment on this blog
*cut and paste the award logo and use it on your own blog
*nominate 5 to 10 blogs you feel show great attitude and gratitude
*link to your nominees within your blog post
*comment on their blogs to let them know they received the award
*link back to the person who gave you the award to show your appreciation (Shannon)
You are an amazing lady! I can't wait until I can meet you in person. With all that you've had going on, your sense of humor never ceases to amaze me. I enjoy checking in on your blog, the twitterin' back & forth and, of course, the e-mails. We are both tackling a lifestyle change and WE WILL CONQUER! ;) Hugs to ya! (Amy B.)

Amy..I've not met you in person; but from what I can tell by our e-mails and your website that you are an AWESOME person. You are a wonderful mom for all that you do with and for your girls and I'm sure your hubby loves ya dearly (except when you're impatient and buy something that he's already gotten you for a PRESENT!!!) ;) Thanks for being a WONDERFUL friend! (Melissa L.)

I've only just recently stumbled (via Twitter-land) upon your blog/website and I am sooo glad I did! You have created beautiful artwork and I look forward to getting to know you and see all of your creations -- minus lots of white space! ;) (Nona D.)

I've not communicated too often with Nona personally; but I think we all know how wonderful of a person Nona is -- and how much of an awesome attitude she has. I love all the things she creates -- and I really love the "Sammy-isms" (mine are called -- "Zach-isms") HA!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend!

Memorial Day weekend is just hours away, and I am so glad about that. We are going camping at Brazos Bend State Park outside of Needville, Texas. We're looking forward to it because this is first time we've been camping since right before Wes was deployed to Afghanistan back in 2007. The main goal this weekend is to make sure everything is working properly in the camper before our week-long vacation in just a few weeks!!

I am hoping to get some scrapbooking done, but I'm not sure how successful I'll be. I love camping. I love the peacefulness; the ability to see millions and millions of those tiny bright things in the sky -- what are they called? Oh, yeah -- STARS!!!! Ha! Living so close to Houston, you don't get the same effect of a "starry night" as you do when you're camping.

We'll come back on Monday, and then -- HOPEFULLY -- go over to my friend Leann's house for pool party!!! :) (Miss ya, girl!!)

What are YOUR plans for this long weekend?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Gifts

I have been busy lately making Mother's Day gifts and cards. Initial reaction is that they LOVE them! For my 'moms' I made the dry erase frames (similar to the one I made for my attorney's wife); and for my grandmother, I made her a "lap board" that she can use as a "desk" when she's sitting in her favorite easy chair in the living room and wants to write a note or something. This way she doesn't have to get up and go to uncomfortable kitchen chair. She can be relaxed!
I used all Close To My Heart products w/the exception of the fleur de lis brads. I hope you like! Three of my girls from kids club made the dry erase frames for their moms for Mother's Day, too. I've heard that the mom's LOVED them, too.

Products used:
MyAcrylix stamps:
Buttoned Together
Chocolate Large Alphabet
Chocolate Small Alphabet
Tiny Typewriter Alphabet
May Word Puzzle
Journaling Jots
Just Like You
Simple Invites (retired)
Magic Moments
Free Spirit (fleur de lis)
Perfect Day (lap board)
6x6 Cards: (from our new Wishes card guide/reference book)
Key To My Heart paper & stamps (previous special; no longer available)
Various current & retired CTMH ribbon;
Waxy Flax
Embroidery Floss
Colonial white
Hollyhock spiral clip
I hope you-all like it. I'd love to hear comments!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

She Was "Tickled Pink"... receive this framed layout! LOL In conjunction with the dry erase frame/board that I made for my attorney's wife, I also made this framed layout for her of her and the girls during their trip to Hilton Head last summer. This is actually the 4th framed layout I've made for her. The first one was just a Christmas gift for them, but she FLIPPED & FELL IN LOVE with it so much that her hubby (my attorney) bought several frames (I found the OTC ones and can't wait to get rid of those because we're really not 100% happy with them) and just lets me pick out the pics and put on his account and have fun with them. I really do have fun and enjoy doing these for them -- especially since I know she loves them so much! I just wish I could do this full time...I know I could do SOOOO much more with Close To My Heart. Oh, due due time.

So, here's Tickled Pink. I used dimensional element alpha for the "b"; and chocolate alpha (large) for the rest of "blessed." Tickled Pink is a limited paper pack. It is only available through May 31 -- or while supplies last. Like it? E-mail or call me to order yours -- $34.95 per pack or FREE with a $60 stamp purchase.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Altered Frame

I made this last night as a birthday gift for my attorney's wife. I used the Key to my Heart kit/stamps and both the large and small Chocolate alphabet set. Colors used: Cocoa, Juniper, Sorbet & Tulip. I hope that she likes it. They're expecting their 3rd baby ANY DAY now, and it's a boy. They have two girls already, ages 5 and 3* (*I think).

I hope she likes it!!!

So, what have YOU been creating during National Scrapbooking Month?

Monday, April 20, 2009

I am Here!

I am here...I have not fallen off the face of the Earth! Things at work have been pretty busy and I don't get much time outside of work to update -- plus, home computer is slower than a snail!

I will try to post more of an update later.

How are YOU?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wonderful Spring Break

Spring Break vacation has come and gone, and it was an enjoyable one. Wes' dad/stepmom arrived on Saturday, March 21st. It was good to see them. My family came up on 22nd to also visit with them. On Monday, we didn't do too much. Went to Pappadeaux for lunch -- YUMMY crawfish & Greek salad for me!!! Tuesday - Thursday we were up in Fredericksburg and had a GREAT time. Wes' dad/stepmom headed back to Colorado from there and we headed back home.
I'm attaching a couple of pics we took on our vacation. Hope you enjoy them.

Wildseed Farms -- Fredericksburg, TX 3/24/09

Brenham, Texas -- 3/26/09

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Almost Here

Spring Break vacation is almost here, and I am ready for it. I'm so ready to be off for a few days. It'll be nice.

Wes' dad/stepmom from Colorado will be arriving mid-morning on Saturday to spend some time with us. They haven't seen Wes since he returned from Afghanistan back in October. I hope we have nice weather pretty much the whole time; but at this time of year, it's TOTALLY unpredictable. Of course, our weather is ALWAYS unpredictable.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Successful Retreat!!

Last weekend's retreat was a SUCCESS!!! Everyone had a really good time! I can't believe how fast it went by! I didn't get very many pages done (only 4); but then again, I didn't expect to with me being the host. I had SUCH a good time and can't wait for my next one! For anyone (excluding CTMH consultants) that placed a catalog order was entered for "Mystery Hostess" if sales reached $150. I sweetened the deal that if gathering reached $450, I would give them DOUBLE HOSTESS REWARDS. Well, guess what...the gathering surpassed $450 and my Mystery Hostess -- Natalie Schieffele -- received $200 in Hostess Rewards. I think she about passed out when I told her!

I held my retreat at Aunt Faye's Country Retreat in Conroe, Texas. I HIGHLY recommend this retreat center to anyone. Take a look at their website... . Rick & Sarah Brown are the owners, and they are absolutely WONDERFUL! The price is right; the food is OUT OF THIS WORLD and the accomodations are OUTSTANDING!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Productive Weekend

I had a very productive weekend. Wes & Zach were at a Father/Son camp and I had the whole house to AWESOME was that. I did a lot of preparations for my upcoming retreat this next weekend, including the 12x12 layout below. This is what my guests will get to make during their scrapping weekend. I hope they enjoy it. I had so much fun creating it.

We also had a new gate/fence put up at the house. I like the gate, but my favorite is the fence between the house and garage. It really opens up our outdoor kitchen/patio; and, of course, the star matches the black etched star on our stained concrete. :) Freedom likes the fence/gate, too. Now she can see who's passing by her house. LOL

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Pops ~ I Miss You!

Today is my grandfather's birthday. He passed away ten years ago this upcoming October (which was just four months after my grandmother passed away. I miss them both so much.) Pops (Herbert C. Atzenhoffer) was the kindest, sweetest, warmest gentleman that I've ever known (next to my dad, of course. :) ) He was a towering giant, but as gentle as could be. I never saw him get mad. He was always calm, cool & collected. I've been told that I'm a lot like him ~ and to me, that's the biggest compliment ANYONE could ever give me. My only regret is that Zach didn't get the chance to really know his "Great Pops" as he was only 18 months old when Pops passed away.

Something I've not shared with anyone yet -- not even my family -- but you may remember that last month I completed the Aramco Half Marathon. Well, although my chip time was 3:04, the time that showed on the clock as I crossed the finish line was 3:16. Pops' favorite Bible verse was John 3:16 ~

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

I fully believe that on that day ~ at that moment ~ my grandfather was cheering me on and celebrating my successful finish to my first half marathon.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, POPS! I'll be thinking about you even more today! Sending hugs up your way!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


For some reason I feel ENERGIZED today -- and I know it's not because of the weather because it is GROSS out there -- humid, cloudy, dreary...uggghhhhh!!! Perhaps it's due to the fact I ran 3 miles at lunch yesterday; or maybe because I actually got a decent night's sleep; or maybe because I know that I have a FREE weekend this weekend. Well, whatever the reason, I'm glad! I always enjoy feeling energized as opposed to borderline lethargic!

I am hosting my first "Away from Home" scrapbook retreat in Conroe next weekend and I am PUMPED!!! I can't wait. I'll be working on getting all my stuff together for that this weekend without interruptions, I'm sure -- well, except for my run to Starbucks -- and/or maybe even lunch at my FAVORITE tea room in Friendswood --hmmmm...anyone want to meet for lunch on Saturday? :D

Back to the retreat....I am so looking forward to it. As I mentioned, this is my first one to host away from home and as a consultant for Close To My Heart. WHAT?!? You've never HEARD of Close To My Heart? Where have you been? Well, you MUST take a look at my website ( and see all the WONDERFUL scrapbooking and stamping supplies we have to offer from the very beginner to the most experienced and even those in the middle! I just LOVE our Company and how EVERYTHING matches and is color coordinated! I guarantee you will, too; and, when you're done perusing my website -- and perhaps have placed an order -- call or e-mail me to see about scheduling your very own PARTY and to see how you can earn FREE product! I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Today... another day. The weekend was good; but, as always, it flew by WAAAY too fast! For Valentine's Day, Zach & I picked up my niece after lunch and took her to get her mommy (my sister) a Valentine's gift and then later, we all had dinner together. I made some REALLY good spaghetti -- if I say so myself -- and then we went to Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream.

Yesterday I was a co-host for my best friend's baby shower. It was so much fun. She got LOTS of cute baby items and clothes for Little Mr. Jacob. He is due at the end of March, and I can't wait to meet him!!!!

Wes was so proud of Freedom this morning...she actually ran out and got the newspaper and brought it in the house for him. He's been working with her for a while on that now. Just hope she doesn't start bringing all the neighbors' newspapers! LOL

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!! (Early)

Yes, I know it's not Valentine's Day today; but I wanted to be sure and wish all of my two readers (LOL) a VERY HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!! Tomorrow I'll start out with my regular ritual of my WW meeting and then I have to go and pick up Valentine gifts for Zach and my niece. I hope they like them. Then, I'll bring those to the house and Zach & I will then go get my niece and go shopping for her mommy (my sister) for Valentine's Day. Tomorrow evening we'll all have dinner together and perhaps go out for a treat at Cold Stone Creamery. Zach has a "freebie" coupon that's burning a hole in his pocket -- coupon expires on Sunday.

On Sunday, I'm co-hosting a baby shower for my best friend, Sharon. She is having a BOY! I'm so excited for them...this truly is a MIRACLE BABY!!! Baby Jacob is due at the end of March.

Then, it'll be back to work all over again on Monday.

What are YOUR plans for Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. Zach & I called and sang Happy Birthday to her...probably a good thing no one else was around to hear it...I'm sure tomatoes would've been thrown at us! She enjoyed the call, though.

Things are getting very crazy in Pearland...crime is on the increase. Wes has informed me to get prepared for him to have to work some double shifts. They are so short-handed right now and there's lots of training going on, too.

I'm in the process of getting things together for hosting my first "Away from Home" retreat at the end of the month. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I really hope everyone has a good time and that it goes smootlhy!!!! If anyone reading this has any tips, PLEASE leave me a comment...I can use all the advice I can get! :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Manic Monday

Yep, just another Manic Monday....can't seem to get that song out of my head today. I REALLY did not want to get up this morning. The weekends go by just waaaayyyy too fast. We had a good one. Zach's birthday was great. He really enjoyed it...much better than the last two since Wes was gone for the last two.

The weather here is icky!!!! It is so cloudy, dreary, humid, windy -- DISGUSTING!!!! And we are SOOOOOO needing rain....we are almost 5 inches below normal rainfall...not a good way to start the year!! was your weekend?

Friday, February 6, 2009


I absolutely LOVE means the weekend is just HOURS away!! I am SOOO ready for the weekend. No big plans for Saturday; but Sunday is Zach's birthday, and he will be 11 years old! WOW! Where does time go?! Seems like just yesterday he came into our lives. Tomorrow, Wes will be taking him and a friend to the movies to see The Pink Panther and then I'll meet them at Red Robin for dinner. On Sunday, my family will be celebrating Zach's birthday (& my mom's as her b-day is on Tuesday) at Joe's Barbecue. He requested ribs. :) Then, it'll be cookie cake for dessert.

The temperature is supposed to be about 80 degrees tomorrow and possibly Sunday. Looks like winter is over; and summer is just around the corner. (Southern Texas skips Spring...LOL).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Hate Back Pain!

I'm glad it's day closer to Friday; and I'm ready for the weekend. However, my back is hurting so bad. Even before I woke up and got out of bed I felt the excruciating pain in my lower back. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and pray that it'd go away. But, guess what? I couldn't; and it didn't. :( For the life of me I had no idea why I was in so much pain this morning (& still am to some degree); but Zach reminded me that it might've been from his telescope. See, we were trying to view the International Space Station over Houston area last night. Well, his scope is a little "aged" and I was holding it (w/tripod) overhead to try to catch a glimpse; and, I'm guessing the arching of my back with the added weight overhead added to it. Smart kid. Guess my run at lunch will be interesting and step class tonight even more interesting. Always some obstacle getting in my way. LOL Oh, well...just keep trudging along. Oh, and needless to say...we didn't spot the ISS either. :( What a waste!!!

I made more progress in my scrapbook room last night. Organizing my cardstock by color. Will make labels for the dividers so it'll be easy to read. :) Still no concrete ideas on name for my room...I'll keep working on it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Is it Friday Yet?

I don't know about you, but this week seems like it is DRAGGING by!! Funny thing, though...the evenings and weekends sure seem to fly by. I don't think that's fair. I figure that we probably only average one day and a half for the weekend; and, with Wes being off on Sundays/Mondays, we really don't have much time together to do any family activities. This rat-race is really annoying!!!

I've been trying to make progress in the reorganization of my craft room. I was a little successful last night. Hope to continue on over the next few days. I want to try to come up with a name for my little "haven." Any ideas/suggestions?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reflecting & Smiling

For the past couple of days, I have been reflecting, remembering & smiling about a lot of WONDERFUL memories I had with two very special people -- my grandparents. I think of them often and miss them dearly. Well, earlier this week, my grandfather's best friend, Marvin Herman Wiede, passed away at the age of 92. I knew him very well through my grandparents. He was like a part of our family as well. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend his memorial service to give my condolences in person to his wife -- of 69 years -- Lillian, and the remainder of his family. I did, however, sign the obituary guest book in the Victoria Advocate with permission for anyone to contact me via e-mail if they so wished. Well, last night I noticed I had an e-mail in my "Junk" folder (it came through as Spam); and it was from Mr. Wiede's granddaughter Ashli H. Here is what she said:

"Hi, Melanie. My name is Ashli, and I am Marvin's grand daughter. I just wanted to thank you for your kind note. It's so funny that I read it tonight. My mom and I were just talking about who probably greeted him in heaven, and she felt sure it was Erna and Herbert, "speaking perfect German," and I wondered if they would be reuniting with their coffee buddies at a McDonalds or a Dairy Queen. We are lucky to have had such wonderful grandparents."

It really made me feel good to know that others still remember/think of my grandparents as well as their own -- especially when they are grieving. I am glad I had my whole childhood and part of my adulthood enjoying, knowing & loving my grandparents. I deeply treasure those memories. I only regret that Zach never got a chance to know his "Great Granny & Great Pops." (He was only 16 months when Granny passed away; and 20 months when Pops passed away.) Actually, I regret it more...I'm sure Granny could tell me some stories/what to expect w/Zach because he is EXACTLY like my father...a clown and always cutting up!!! YIKES!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I DID IT!!!!

I completed my very first half marathon on Sunday, January 18th. What a way to celebrate turning 41 (1/15). I'm very pleased with my performance. My goal was to at least run half of the 13 miles (6.5 miles); but I surpassed that and ran 7.5 miles straight! I walked to 8; then jogged/walked 8 to 10; ran 10 to 11; walked 11 to 12; and ran 12 to 13. I finished in 3:04 hours. I am soooooo pumped! I can't wait to be done with my "recovery" period so I can get back to it! I have to gradually work back up to where I was on race day so that I don't end up with a more damaging injury. A running coach told me I should be able to go for a light run on Saturday. WOOHOOO! Can't WAIT!

I had my hostess clubs (3) on Sunday evening AFTER the marathon. Boy, was I moving slow! Luckily my newest DL, Christa, came to assist. I'm ever so grateful for that! Let me tell you...she's going to be an AWESOME consultant...I can feel it in my [aching back] bones. :) LOL

Our office was closed on Monday, so I had a full day of recuperation, too. That was nice. I honestly don't think I could've worked a full day with the pain I had.

COMING UP: January 17, 2010 -- Chevron/Aramco Half Marathon -- it's on BABY!!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Half Marathon -- 2 Days Away

Well, by my post title, I imagine you've figured out that I am attempting the Aramco Half Marathon (which is in conjunction w/the Chevron Marathon) on Sunday, January 18th. I do believe I was insane when I signed up for it back in the spring. I am extremely NERVOUS. My training back then through summer was going great; but then that blasted Hurricane Ike came to Galveston/Houston area and just sent me in a downward spiral; then Wes returning from Afghanistan; and then the holidays. However, I'm sticking to it...I'll be there Sunday morning...probably freezing my buns off because apparently there is a cold front due to arrive between 6:00 & 7:00 a.m. -- with slight rain; but it will be breezy which will probably make it feel ten degrees cooler than it really is...YIKES!!!! I can't believe I'm doing this for the first time at the age of 41!!!! UUGGGHHH...I am NUTS!!!

I have my Scrap in a Snap Hostess Clubs meeting on Sunday afternoon as well. I hope they will be understanding if I am moving VERY SLOW afterwards...especially if I have to go upstairs to get anything from my scrapbook room. Luckily our office is closed on Monday and I can recuperate a little; but I may still go work out lightly so I can work out the soreness.

I'll let you-all know how I do. I've already set Wes' cell phone up to get "alerts" as to where I am during certain "check points" along the way...of course, he would probably have to be awake to hear the alert...hmmmmm....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Being a consultant for Close to my Heart is extremely rewarding to me. I absolutley LOVE it! Of course I'd love more time during the day to do it; but, unfortunately, I must work full-time. (Don't get me wrong...I love my full-time job, too.) Each Monday the "Team" that I'm a part of conducts conference calls. I listen in on as many of them as I can -- LIVE -- or go back and listen to later (they are recorded). Last night's was on team meetings and coaching new recruits. I, myself, am just building my team and I DESIRE to be as good of a leader as some of my other fellow team members. The call was VERY inspirational, motivational and full of knowledge. I can't wait to start putting this information to use with my own team. They deserve a good leader.

Today is our 19th wedding anniversary! Hard to believe it. Seems like just yesterday we said our I dos! (We've actually been together for almost 24 -- high school sweethearts.) HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, WES!!! :)

Monday, January 12, 2009


What a WONDERFUL time we had in San Antonio this past weekend. I feel refreshed. The Westin La Cantera is a BEAUTIFUL resort and we can't wait to go back. We even ran in to one of the attorneys that works at our firm. She and her fiance were there inquiring about having their wedding there...I vote for it. :) We had dinner Saturday night at Kirby's Prime Steakhouse and it was FABULOUS!

We did LOTS of shopping at the Shops at La Cantera and The Rim shopping center. It was really nice to get away, and I can't wait to do it again! :)

Now, it's back to the grindstone...UGGGHHH!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009


TGIF!!!! I am sooo glad it's Friday. For the first time in our 19 years of marriage, Wes & I are going out of town for our anniversary! We are heading to San Antonio for the weekend, and we have dinner reservations for tomorrow night at what appears to be a very nice steakhouse. There is SHOPPING just across from where we're staying. It'll be so nice to have a relaxing weekend for once!

Another reason I'm excited -- I received notification from Close To My Heart's corporate office telling me that I have a NEW downline -- Christa H.! WHOOHOOO! I am so glad to have her on my team now. She is one of my newest friends that I met perhaps almost two years ago. WELCOME, Christa!!

The weather here in Texas is changing -- AGAIN!! Today's high is supposed to be close to 80; but will be dropping overnight as a Pacific cool front comes down. The old saying is true...if you don't like the weather Texas...just wait a minute and it'll change!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ahhhhhhh....'s always nice to come back from dentist appointment with nice, clean teeth! That's how I spent my lunch hour today. I spent couple visits in November having a root canal done and one filling redone...those weren't much fun because my jaw was sore for DAYS! I really do like my dentist. So, that makes it even better. She's so funny -- and I love the dental hygienists, too. They're all very nice.

Today is Wednesday and it's after 12:00 noon. So, we're on the DOWNHILL SLLLIIIIIIIDDE of the week...WHOOHOOO!!! I'm so looking forward to Friday because Wes and I are ACTUALLY getting away for the weekend for our anniversary -- okay, don't fall over. I know those of you that know us know that we NEVER do anything/go anywhere for our anniversary! Well, we are. We're going to San Antonio -- our FAVORITE city to visit in Texas. Zach's a bit disappointed because we'll be there and he wants to go to the Alamo (sorry, kid...not going -- besides, we're not even going to the Riverwalk, which is ANOTHER first!).

I'm in the midst of cleaning and reorganizing my scrapbook room so that I can get more scrappin' and creatin' done this year. I truly LOVE being a consultant for Close To My Heart, and I really want to be able to create more this year!!! I want to rediscover myself, too. I lost sight of a lot of that this past year with Wes' deployment to Afghanistan. I didn't take care of myself as I should have. I aim/desire to get that back -- and I AM PUMPED!!! (Just have to get through anniversary and birthday next week...UGGHHHH!!!) LOL

There are two movies coming up soon that I would LOVE to go see...1) Renee Zelwegger's new one ("New Town"); and then 2) Kate Hudson's new one ("Bride Wars"). May have to schedule a girls' night sometime soon! :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Second Semester...

...has FINALLY started for Pearland ISD. I am SOOO glad. I honestly think their Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks are TOOO long; but, unfortunately, PISD won't change it.
Our weather has changed --- yet, again. We were about 82 degrees at 1:30 p.m. on 5:30 p.m., I think it was down to 51! Yesterday we didn't get out of the 40's, and I don't think we're going to reach 55 today -- (I can't drive....Fifty-fiiiiiiiiiiiiive!) [sorry...just popped in my head]. :) It's also VERY DREARY today.

Zach's mentor that he had in 1st grade is coming over for dinner tonight. We are looking forward to seeing him. He was TRULY a positive role model and Godsend for Zach during Wes' first deployment to Iraq. He's home on break from college. It'll be good to see him again. We keep in touch with him regularly.
I turned in swap items to my sideline yesterday and I LOVE the ones I got back. Debbie S., my sideline, used Daydream (only ONE of CTMH's new paper packs for Spring) and did it in the green shades -- except for mine she did in pink because we did the same pink layout at Regionals this past fall in San Antonio and I chose to do it in green since I have a boy. So, NOOOOWWW I have two versions and can REALLY show how versatile our paper is. Since the AWESOME new stamp set "Cupcake Sprinkles" was used, I'm thinking I should get a couple of cupcakes and schedule a photo shoot before my Hostess Clubs meet on the 19th...whatcha think??? (I'm sure I'll get AT LEAST one response regarding cupcakes.) ;)

The paper pack I used for the swap items was Emporium, and I love how everything turned out.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I hope that everyone had a very safe and Happy New Year! Ours was quiet. We stayed at home since Wes had to be back at work at 6:00 a.m. on January 1.

I'm trying really hard to keep remembering that today is FRIDAY and not MONDAY....uggghhhh!!! It's bad enough having ONE Monday a week...I don't like it when there's TWO!!!!