Stay On Track with a Mini Goal Book

You’ve set some great goals for the new year, and you’re ready to get to work (especially after reading our tips for goal-setting success)! What better way to keep track of your progress and motivate yourself along the way than to create a cute mini goal book? With the help of the Cricut® Artbooking collection and the La Vie En Rose paper packet, you can create a trendy mini book like this:Create a beautiful book to keep track of your goals this new year! #closetomyheart #ctmh #newyears #goals

Look how fun! We got really creative with this project, starting with the cover: Those colorful “2016” numbers were cut from some Picture My Life™ cards, while the bookmark flags come from the La Vie En Rose Complements. But that’s just the beginning—let’s take a peek inside!Create a beautiful book to keep track of your goals this new year! #closetomyheart #ctmh #newyears #goals

We’ll start the grand tour with this motivation pocket. It’s full of stamped cards with encouraging reminders for the day. Bright watercolors are the perfect way to add extra excitement and energy to these motivational sayings. Watercolors also come into play on the next page, where each goal fits into a category, and each category has its own color. Has organization ever been so cute?Create a beautiful book to keep track of your goals this new year! #closetomyheart #ctmh #newyears #goals

Here’s another card from Picture My Life Through the Year! It’s already so decorative that just a couple embellishments are enough to complete the page. Charts are great for keeping track of your goals, so we created a pie chart with a twist. It coordinates with the goals on the previous page, and you can fill in the chart with watercolors as you complete your goals, proving that keeping your goals can be fun and creative!Create a beautiful book to keep track of your goals this new year! #closetomyheart #ctmh #newyears #goals

Finally, check out these lists—beautiful and inspirational! Isn’t a reminder of what your goals are all about a perfect ending for this book? It’s a great reminder about why goal setting is really important. On the surface, goals seem to be all about what we do, but they are actually about discovering who we are and the inner strength we have.

What’s especially neat is that this applies to creating art with paper. On the surface, you’re stamping, designing, and arranging, but what you’re actually doing is learning more about yourself as you discover your own creative potential. Pretty neat, right?

We hope you enjoy fulfilling your goals as much as you enjoy creating a fun mini book like this one to track them!

Recipe

Mini Goal Book

B1482 My Acryix® My Story, E1031 My Acrylix® Dated, E1033 My Acrylix® Inked Alphabet, D1661 My Acrylix® Crazy Good, B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand, X7201B La Vie En Rose Paper Packet, Z3177 Picture My Life Through The Year Scrapbooking Program, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, X5770 Glacier Cardstock, X5930 Slate Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z3128 Paper Fundamentals Basics, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2193 Cotton Candy Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, X7201C La Vie En Rose Complements, Z3095 Whisper Thick Twine, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z2013 Sequins Silver Assortment, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Thread

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
7″ Photo Mat 1 <3> (p. 40)
7″ Photo Mat 2 <q> (p. 48)
7″ Shift+Photo Mat 1 <W> (p. 49)
6 ¾” Photo Mat 1 <e> (p. 50)
7″ Photo Mat 1 <r> (p. 51)
4 ½” Photo Mat 1 <u> (p. 54)
7 ¼” Shift+Photo Mat 1 <O> (p. 56)

All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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5 Tips for Achieving Your Goals This Year

It’s time to make New Year’s resolutions again! Are you making goals to spend more quality time crafting or to try new techniques? Maybe you’re already great at accomplishing the goals you set, but for those of us who could use a little extra help, here are five tips for goal-setting success:

1. Choose goals you can get excited about!

Accomplish your goals this year with our five tips! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmh #closetomyheart #newyears #goals #tips

Choose goals you’ll enjoy, like dancing instead of running.

It’s hard to commit to something that doesn’t inspire your passion, so make goals to do things you love! Even goals about things you know you should do can be fun. For instance, if you want to exercise more but hate running, join a dance class or go walking with your friends instead. You’re much more likely to stick to a goal that you enjoy!

2.Tell someone else about your goals.

Accomplish your goals this year with our five tips! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmh #closetomyheart #newyears #goals #tips

Share your goals with a friend who can help you succeed!

Whether it’s a spouse, parent, or friend, make sure someone else knows about the goals you’ve set. This will help you be accountable—you’ll want to be able to tell them how well you’re doing! Plus, your loved ones can also encourage you or even pitch in to help when the going gets tough. It’s also great to have someone who can congratulate you on your successes. That’s what friends and family are for!

3. Record your goals.

Accomplish your goals this year with our five tips! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmh #closetomyheart #newyears #goals #tips

Create a mini book to record your goals!

You’ve heard it said that a goal not written is only a wish. So create a beautiful spot to record your New Year’s resolutions that you’ll want to look at again and again! For example, our next post will give you some ideas for creative ways to write down your goals in an adorable mini goal book you can keep with you and reference throughout the day or week. Stay tuned for that post!

4. Track your progress.

Accomplish your goals this year with our five tips! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmh #closetomyheart #newyears #goals #tips

Use the Everyday Life™ planner system to track your progress!

It’s important to record your goals, but it’s also important to remind yourself each day to work toward them. That’s one reason we’ve created our planner system: to give you a place to track your goals and activities day by day! You’ll be able to use tools like our water goal stamp and bright stickers to see your progress. This will keep you focused and encourage you to stay hard at work!

5. Reward yourself for goal milestones!

Accomplish your goals this year with our five tips! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmh #closetomyheart #newyears #goals #tips

When you reach a goal milestone, give yourself a reward like the January Stamp of the Month!

When you’re busy or discouraged, the spa trip you promised yourself for achieving your goal will feel very far away. Instead of planning one big reward for completing your entire goal, set up several smaller rewards—like a new stamp set or an extra hour of crafting—for hitting milestones along the way. They’ll keep you motivated all along your journey!

Worthwhile goals are the path to self-improvement, and these tips will help you become your very best self. What do you hope to achieve in 2016? Share your goals in the comments so we can cheer for one another!

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Getting Started with Your Everyday Life™ Planner

The New Year has arrived! That means you can finally start using your planner and the rest of your Everyday Life items you’ve been so excited about! Since these products are new to everyone, we thought we’d give you some tips on how to use them.Get started using your Everyday Life™ Planner! #ctmh #closetomyheart #everydaylife #planner #2016

It’s a beautiful week, thanks to the stickers that come with your planner pages! We designed them for organization optimization!

First you have the round ones with helpful little icons to place next to tasks on your to-do list—don’t you just love that little gold present? These are great for helping you see at a glance what type of event you are looking at while simultaneously adding a splash of color!

Then there are the rectangular stickers, which you can stamp with the Everyday Life Perfect Plan roller stamp to further color-code your pages. For instance, you’ll notice here that we stamped “PAY DAY!” on a green label so it coordinates with the green dollar sticker.

But maybe you’d prefer to arrange your colors a little differently. Well, thanks to our roller stamp, you can! You can stamp any of its twelve words, phrases, and images onto any stickers you’d like to create your very own personalized system. Here are some tips for stamping onto the stickers:

  • Practice stamping on a scratch piece of paper beforehand so you get a feel for the roller stamp.
  • Start with the stamp leaning slightly toward you. Roll slightly away from you to make sure the whole image gets stamped onto the sticker.
  • It’s okay to go slowly, but be careful not to slide the stamp since that can smear your image.
  • Use the metal guides on the edges of the roller stamp to help with placement of the stamp image.

Click on the Instagram video below to see the techniques in action!

Get started using your Everyday Life™ Planner! #ctmh #closetomyheart #everydaylife #planner #2016

Last but not least are the fun little flag stickers that complete the sticker set. We really love these because they can be used horizontally or vertically, as you can see on this calendar. That’s what’s great about the entire Everyday Life line—you can use the products in whichever way makes the most sense to you for your everyday life!

Ready to organize your year? Then enjoy getting to know the Everyday Life planner system, and let it work wonders for your life! If you haven’t jumped on the chance to get your own set of Everyday life 2016 planner pages yet, then we’ve got great news for you: Starting today, they are now available at 50% of the original price!

Next week we’ll be sharing a post about how you can pair the planner with Picture My Life for even more fun!

Recipe

Everyday Life™ Planner
Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3208 Everyday Life™ Album—Black, Z3209 Everyday Life™ 2016 Planner Pages, Z3212 Everyday Life™ Perfect Plan Roller Stamp, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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A Year of Great Products!

Happy (almost) New Year from Close To My Heart! 2015 has been amazing, and we know 2016 will be just as good! At this time of looking back and looking forward, we thought we would show you some of our favorite products that debuted in 2015 and some products we think will top 2016’s charts from the brand new Seasonal Expressions 1, which goes live January 1!

Let’s start with five of our favorites from 2015: 

1. InstalifeIt isn’t any surprise that this adorable line was a top-seller last year. Instalife makes creating a fun-sized, trendy album of mini memories quick and easy.

2. Fundamentals. Whether it’s filled with papers, stickers, or assortments, a Fundamentals package is always a lifesaver. Because these staples come in our exclusive colors, you’ll always have the materials to match your latest layout or card. They’re helpful and adorable!

Check out our best products of 2015 and our favorites coming in 2016! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #NewYear #bestof20153. Paper Packets. Our paper packets are well loved for their cute and coordinating designs that can liven up any project! Several of our paper packets were top-selling items this year, with Zoe being number one.

4. Cut Above. We love Cut Above because it helps you create charming, handmade cards in a flash. For instance, our friend, Dapper Giraffe, and his card kit will get you ten party-themed cards faster than you can say “Happy Birthday!”

Check out our best products of 2015 and our favorites coming in 2016! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #NewYear #bestof20155. Stamp of the Month Sets. A lot of you are taking advantage of our Stamp of the Month sets—proof that you know a good deal when you see one! You can always get the current Stamp of the Month for a really great price with a qualifying purchase. Like you, we love a good deal. 🙂

2015 was a pretty great year, wasn’t it? And 2016 is going to be just as great! Here are five of our favorites from the new Seasonal Expressions 1 that we think really set the tone for an exciting new year:

1. Everyday Life™. Our planner system has already been a huge hit, and we know everyone is going to love using it all year long! We also know you’ll love the My Crush® Everyday Life pages and the Everyday Life washi tape, which, when paired with the planner pages, help you organize your life and preserve your memories at the same time! Also, have you heard about January’s special? We’ll be offering an exclusive Picture My Life™ scrapbooking program that will complement your planner perfectly!

Check out our best products of 2015 and our favorites coming in 2016! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #NewYear #bestof2015

2. Workshops Your Way. We are so excited about this new program! Our new Workshops Your Wayscrapbooking kits come with materials and instructions for creating three scrapbook layouts and a Picture My Life layout! And since we know you love using up every last bit, we’ve also designed adorable cards you can make using the remaining workshop materials and a few extra items.Check out our best products of 2015 and our favorites coming in 2016! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #NewYear #bestof2015

3. Thin Cuts. These little beauties look like cookie cutters and let you cut shapes that coordinate perfectly with certain stamp sets. Just put them through your die cutting machine with a piece of paper, and then stamp the matching image onto the shape. 

4. Base & Bling Necklace Cards. Do you love using Base & Bling to create personalized gifts? Wait ‘til you see these! Using the My Acrylix® Friendly Wishes stamp set, you can stamp a special message onto the necklace card, add a splash of watercolor, and attach the necklace. Slide it all into the sealable bag, and you’re ready to give someone a dazzling gift!

Check out our best products of 2015 and our favorites coming in 2016! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #NewYear #bestof20156. Picture My Life White Overlays. You’ve loved them in gold, you’ve loved them in black—and now you’re going to love them in white! Picture My Life overlays are clear cards with foil designs that you can slip over your photos or cards in your pocket scrapbooking for an extra bit of flair.

Doesn’t this list get you excited for 2016? With products like these, creating beautiful artwork to preserve your memories or discover your inner artist will be an exciting adventure! Tell us below which products you’re most excited about from Seasonal Expressions 1!

All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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New Year’s Eve Favors

2016 is right around the corner, which means it’s time to party–and we have the perfect party favors you can make for your guests! They’ll even complement the Kaleidoscope party décor we shared a couple of weeks ago. Pull out your Cricut® and Kaleidoscope paper packet for this one, and get ready to create these lil’ show-stoppers:Make your New Year's Eve party a "blast" with these poppers! #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #party #NewYear's

These will be the life of the party even before they’re opened! First, pick your favorite Kaleidoscope paper design. Bright colors and festive designs make Kaleidoscope an easy choice for this type of project.

Next, cut your Cricut® shape out of your chosen paper using the Artiste cartridge. The Artiste cartridge also comes with a handy instructional booklet that will show you how to fold it into its 3D shape!

Last, bling it up! Add some sparkle with glitter paper, shimmer trim, and sparkly embellishments!

As fun as these popper-like favors look on the outside, you can make them even MORE fun by putting surprises inside before sealing them shut. When your guests are ready, they can rip open an end to find a special treat—maybe a few pieces of candy, a “fortune” for the new year, or even a little toy! Just like that, you’ve got a fun, unique gift everyone will enjoy!

To finish off your popper, we’ve got an extra fun idea— confetti! Pull out your triangle border punch, and cut out pieces of Kaleidoscope paper, glitter paper, cardstock, or all of the above! The hole in each end of the popper is big enough that you can insert the confetti even after assembling the popper.

Pop on over to our Kaleidoscope party décor post to finish off your party plans, and enjoy creating these paper poppers! 🙂

Recipe

Poppers
B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand, X7202B Kaleidoscope Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z1829 Black and Grey Glitter Paper, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z1986 Pink Shimmer Trim, Z1752 Sparkles Clear Assortment, Z1997 Triangle Border Punch, Z3170 Cricut® Artiste Collection, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Hole Punch

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
8″ 3D object <BdayBoy> (p. 68)

Artistry
1¾” Layer <I> (p. 18)

All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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From Jeanette: My Christmas Tree

Everything about Christmas fills me with wonder—its sparkling decorations, cheery music, and gift giving. The most wonderful part though is spending time with my loved ones, and I wish I could spend time with each one of you this Christmas, too!

Though we are apart, I’d still like to invite you into my home by showing you something special—my Christmas tree! Here are two pictures, one before it was decorated and one with all the trimmings:
Celebrate Christmas with us at Close To My Heart! #Christmas #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #merrychristmas #christmastreeCelebrate Christmas with us at Close To My Heart! #Christmas #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #merrychristmas #christmastree
I think Christmas trees are simply beautiful, and it’s magical watching a plain tree transform into a handcrafted work of art. Which decoration is your favorite? I can never decide between the gold striped ribbon, the pearl strands, the glittery red leaves, and the delicate glass ornaments. And of course there’s the golden star on top!
Celebrate Christmas with us at Close To My Heart! #Christmas #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #merrychristmas #christmastree
This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. When I look at my tree, it fills me with joy and reminds me of the beauty in this world. All the troubles of life fade away with the glistening of those Christmas tree lights.

I hope these photographs light a smile on your face, and I hope your own holiday traditions bring you and your family closer together. Most of all, I hope you feel peace, happiness, and love this holiday season.

Merry Christmas, my dear friends.

Love,

Jeanette

A Cricut® Christmas!

The “most wonderful time of the year” deserves equally wonderful scrapbook pages, wouldn’t you agree? In the spirit of the season, we are sharing four scrapbook pages that show how Cricut® Artistry can make your Christmas memories absolutely magical!

First off, let’s have a look at this classy piece:Let Cricut® help you craft some Christmas memories! #closetomyheart #ctmh #cricut #christmasShapes from the Artistry cartridge add a festive feeling to this page, especially the layered deer head that literally pops right off the page with the help of some 3-D foam tape. The Cricut® Artistry collection also gets credit for those delicate two-toned holly leaves.

What other details do we love about this page? We love the calendar card from the Picture My Life™ Through the Year scrapbooking program. We also love the “joy” sentiment on the bottom-left corner of the page; it was made using white embossing powder, giving it the look of snow in stark contrast to a nighttime sky.

Speaking of snow . . .Let Cricut® help you craft some Christmas memories! #closetomyheart #ctmh #cricut #christmasThere’s no easier way to cut intricate snowflakes than with your Cricut® Artistry cartridge! With some watercolor paint splatters, mini snowflake stamps, and bitty sparkles, these flakes become something really special. It may seem counterintuitive to put white snowflakes on white cardstock, but you can see it definitely works! The snowflakes add a subtle background and texture to the cardstock, which has us dreaming of a white Christmas!

And since we scrapbookers are all about getting the most out of our papers, we’ve got a clever Cricut® trick for you to try out. After cutting out shapes with your Cricut®, use that sheet of cardstock as an overlay, like in this example:Unknown-15See how the snowflake-shaped spaces become stunning designs on this page? Let’s zoom in on that.Unknown-17Try out all sorts of different backgrounds behind your cutouts. We used white shimmer trim and silver foil tape, in addition to clustered embellishments, to add the wonder to this winter wonderland. When you have all your backgrounds in place, attach the cardstock with the cutouts with 3-D foam tape so it pops.

Feeling inspired? Well just wait until you see all the Cricut® magic on this page!Unknown-18You know, we heard Santa Claus was coming to town, so we really went to town with the Cricut® cuts on this page—Santa is made of four different layers of paper! And the trees and “Joy” tag are each made of three layers! What’s great about the Cricut® Artistry collection though is that it makes creating elaborate scenes like this simple and fun. You also get to decide which scenes to create and how to arrange the cuts on the page.

The Santa scene pairs perfectly with our White Pines paper, and some watercolors and embellishments really top this page off perfectly.

Ready to make your own Christmas masterpiece? Then pull out your Cricut® and put on your thinking cap—or Santa hat—for a day of holiday crafting! Make sure to use the hashtag #cricutartistry when sharing your creations online!

Recipes

 12″ x 12″ Joy Page
A1174 My Acrylix® Spray of Joy, X7202B Kaleidoscope Paper Packet, Z3176 Picture My Life White Pines Scrapbooking Program, Z3177 Picture My Life Through the Year Scrapbooking Program, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, 1282 New England Ivy Cardstock, X5777 Fern Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z3126 Paper Fundamentals Enchantment, Z2163 White Daisy Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark Ink Pad, Z3077 White Pines Assortment, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z2010 White Enamel Stars, Z3090 Red Enamel Gems, Z2068 Ranger White Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z555 Craft Heater, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen Journaling Pen, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Thread

 Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
3½” <Thksgvng> (p. 45)
3 ½” Shift <Thksgvng> (p. 45)
¾”, 1″ and 1 ½” Icon-1 <Christms> (p. 48)
¾”, 1″ and 1 ½” Shift+Icon-1 <Christms> (p. 48)

12″ x 12″ Let It Snow Page
Reflections: Bottom Border—Tucked In
B1483 My Acrylix® Season’s Greetings, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5770 Glacier Cardstock, Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3130 Silver Foil Tape, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen Journaling Pen, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Thread

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1¾” and 2 ½” Icon-1 <Winter> (p. 49)
2″ Shift+Icon-1 <Winter> (cut 2, p. 49)
2¼” and 3” Icon-2 <Winter> (p. 49)
2¼” Shift+Icon-2 <Winter> (cut 2, p. 49)
1¼” <Font> “Let It Snow”

12″ x 12″ All Bundled Up Page
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, 1385 White Cardstock, X5929 Whisper Cardstock, X5930 Slate Cardstock, X5776 Peacock Cardstock, Z3122 Enamel & Glitter Duos Blue Dots, Z3089 Grey Enamel Gems, Z1752 Sparkles Clear Assortment, Z2013 Sequins Silver Assortment, Z3024 White Shimmer Trim, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z3130 Silver Foil Tape, Z3095 Whisper Thick Twine, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen Journaling Pen, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1 ½” and 2″ Icon-1<Winter> (p. 49)
1″and 2″ Shift+Icon-1 <Winter> (p. 49)
1″and 2¾” Icon-2 (p. 49)
1½” and 2″ Shift+Icon-2 (p. 49)
3″ <Font> “all bundled up”

12″ X 12″ Happy Christmas Page
D1656 My Acrylix® Miracle of Christmas, D1657 My Acrylix® Holly Jolly Christmas, X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5779 Poppy Cardstock, X5751 Sorbet Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, X5770 Glacier Cardstock, Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2652 Poppy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2650 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3145 Picture My Life™ Overlay Black, Z2013 Sequins Silver Assortment, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, Z3090 Red Enamel Gems, Z3114 Instalife Roller Stamp This Happened, Z3115 InstalifeRoller Stamp Day-to-Day, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z2027 Mini Stapler, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
2½” Icon-1 <Holiday> (p. 47)
2½” Shift+Icon-1 <Holiday> (p. 47)
2½” Icon-2 <Holiday> (cut 2, p. 47)
2½” Shift+Icon-2 <Holiday> (p. 47)
2½” and 3½” Icon-2 <Holiday> (p. 48)
2½” and 3½” Shift+Icon-2 <Holiday> (p. 48)
2¼” Shape <Christms> (p. 48)
2¼” Shift+Shape <Christms> (p. 48)

All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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13 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress

What do you want to remember about this year’s holiday season? Probably not how stressed you feel about all there is to do and buy. We want to help keep your spirits up so you can focus on what matters most: family, friends, and the memories you create together. That’s why we’re sharing some tips on lowering your stress levels and keeping your holiday memories purely joyous!

1. Go for a walk in the sunshine. The rhythm of walking calms the brain and improves sleep. Who knew? Daytime strolls are particularly effective because the sun relieves symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. If the sun is rare where you live in the wintertime, take advantage of every day it does show its face. Sounds like it’s time to go outside!Ditch stress this holiday season! #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #Holidays #stress

2. Make a soothing spot. Find a place—your bedroom, your deck, or even a corner of your desk—and dedicate it to calm. Keep any stress-inducing items far away! Instead, hang up beautiful artwork you’ve made, pictures of those you love, or even paint the wall your favorite color. Cool colors like blue and green are especially good at telling your brain to relax.

3. Use a planner! There are many benefits to organizing your time, which is one of the many reasons we created our Everyday Life™ planner system. Writing down reminders like grocery lists saves your brain the work of remembering the information. Creating a schedule also helps you feel in control of your life, which reduces your anxiety. Be proactive by ordering our planner system for next year. You’ll experience peace of mind knowing you’re all ready for 2016 to begin!Ditch stress this holiday season! #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #Holidays #stress

4. Ditch technology for a while. While it’s true that laptops and iPhones can make life easier, it’s also a good idea to occasionally take breaks from them. Why? So your adrenaline can stop racing from all the noises and alerts of your electronic devices. Lower adrenaline equals lower stress. Besides, it’s always amazing how much more time you have to complete your to-do list when you turn off the television and step away from the computer.

5. Combine holiday preparations with socializing. If you’ve gotta do something, why not do it with people you love? Social people are less likely to catch colds and more likely to catch good sleep. Have your friends over to wrap presents, make cards and decorations, and (of course) scrapbook your holiday memories!Ditch stress this holiday season! #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #Holidays #stress

6. Laugh! You always hear that laughter is the best medicine, but do you know why? There are actually physiological reasons why laughter is so great for your health. In some studies, laughter appeared to reduce stress hormones, pain, and blood sugar levels. So go ahead: Pull out your scrapbook album with last Halloween’s funny pictures, take funny photos with your kids or grandkids, or make a silly card. You deserve a good giggle!

7. Hold hands with a loved one. The emotional benefits of being close to someone you care about are reason enough. Plus, traditional Chinese medicine teaches us that applying pressure to the fleshy place between your thumb and index finger can release tension in your upper body. Cool, huh?Ditch stress this holiday season! #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #Holidays #stress

8. Reward yourself! In all your holiday shopping, don’t forget to get yourself something every now and then. It’ll boost your mood and get you motivated to conquer your next task. After a long day on your feet, go ahead and get yourself a little something special—doctor’s orders! 😉

9. Have a snack. Try to eat something every two to three hours. Snacks high in carbs and low in fat—pretzels, tortilla chips, and unbuttered popcorn, for instance—are especially helpful because they have been shown to increase your levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that helps you feel calm.Ditch stress this holiday season! #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #Holidays #stress

10. Express gratitude. People who list what they’re thankful for are more optimistic and report fewer health problems than those who don’t. But why keep the gratitude to yourself? Spread the joy around by making your loved ones thank you cards expressing your gratitude.

11. Cash in on holiday scents. Science suggests that certain smells are therapeutic. For instance, pine can decrease hostility and depression levels, citrus can boost your mood, and peppermint can increase motivation, energy, and confidence. And there’s a bonus: Smell is the sense most connected to memory, so a whiff of gingerbread can bring back the good ol’ days of baking with Grandma!Ditch stress this holiday season! #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #Holidays #stress

12. Crank up the tunes! When “Frosty the Snowman” comes on the radio, belt along, because singing can reduce your stress hormone levels. Not a singer? Luckily for you, even listening to your favorite music increases blood flow to your brain (which helps you think straight).

13. Take time for your hobbies. You didn’t think we’d forget this one, did you? 😉 Concentrating too long on tasks may lower your productivity. Spending even a few minutes on an activity you enjoy (like scrapbooking) gives your mind a break, so pull out your artwork and work on it for 10 minutes. When you return to your original task, your brain will be more focused and ready to work.Ditch stress this holiday season! #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #Holidays #stress

Don’t send stress an invitation to your next holiday party. Instead, take a deep breath and try these tips. Let this special season be the best one you’ve ever had and make some merry memories!

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Sprucing the Tree and Spreading Good Cheer

Do you have some scraps or sheets of leftover holiday-themed paper in your stash? We’ve got a great idea that will help you add some Close To My Heart bling to your tree:Use your Base & Bling and extra supplies to make Christmas ornaments! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Christmas #decor #gift

Aren’t they sweet? In addition to being an adorable touch to your tree, they are so quick to make! First, pull out your 1″ circle punch, and cut yourself a circle from your extra holiday paper. Using Glue Dots™, attach that circle to the center of a Base & Bling circle pendant—then embellish it to your heart’s content!

Simple, right? All you have to do now is string a piece of twine—maybe Poppy or Fern—through the top and hang it on your tree!

Unless you’d rather hang it on someone else’s tree!

We recently had the opportunity to donate the materials for this project to Primary Children’s Hospital—a local children’s hospital that is always looking for holiday crafts to do with their patients. We gathered up some of our older holiday papers, Base & Bling pendants, Glue Dots, and twine, boxed up all the crafting fun, and took it to the hospital. We felt privileged to visit a place dedicated to helping kids feel happy and healthy!

Use your Base & Bling and extra supplies to make Christmas ornaments! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Christmas #decor #gift

It’s rewarding to know that you’ve brought someone joy, even if it was in a small or simple way. If you’ve got a closet brimming with items you don’t use—and we know you do!—consider donating them to a worthy cause. That could be someone’s fundraiser, or else a local hospital, school, daycare center, church, or local arts program, just to name a few!

We know that helping those around you creates the merriest memories of the season, so join us in helping out your local community! Thanks and blessings to you in advance. 🙂

Recipes

Glacier Ornament
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z3153 Base & Bling Circle Pendant—Faux Silver, Z1752 Clear Sparkles, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, 1772 Memory Book Glue Dots

Cheer Ornament
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z3176 Picture My LifeWhite Pines Scrapbooking Program, Z3154 Base & Bling Circle Pendant—Faux Gold, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, 1772 Memory Book Glue Dots

Tree Ornament
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z3153 Base & Bling Circle Pendant—Faux Silver, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, 1772 Memory Book Glue Dots

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