Memories from the Kitchen and Giveaway

You may have heard it said that the kitchen is the most important room in a home. It is where you go to gather with your family and guests to cook, eat, socialize, do homework, craft, play games, and, on occasion, even scrapbook 😉 . With so much of our day-to-day happening around the kitchen, we are experiencing moments that are inevitably turning into nostalgic memories that we long to hold onto.

Naturally, because of our whole-hearted belief that everyone should be memory keepers, we came up with a system to help you preserve those precious memories from the kitchen.

Memories from the Kitchen #ctmh #closetomyheart #kitchentraditions #memorykeeping #kitchen #recipe #kit #memories #nostalgia #nostalgic #food #ctmhkitchentraditions #ctmhgimmesomesugar #giveaway #free #gimmesomesugar #everydaylife #EverydayLife #album

Designed for so much more than to hold recipes, the Cut Above® Kitchen Traditions recipe kit is a collection of materials you can use to create a unique keepsake. It comes with recipe cards for those memorable meals that you yearn for, while also providing a place for photos and journaling to share why the recipes mean something to you.

We offer the kit in three configurations, so you can choose what fits your needs best. The first is the basic Cut Above® Kitchen Traditions recipe kit, which comes with 60 4″ x 6″ cards (including recipe, title, journaling, and pattern cards), six 6″ x 8″ divider pages, two sticker sheets, and a helpful guide containing tips and ideas on how to use the kit. The second option is the Cut Above® Kitchen Traditions recipe kit with Memory Protectors™. This option includes all the same materials as the first but also comes with 6 Memory Protectors™ to hold your cards and pages. The last option is the Cut Above® Kitchen Traditions Bundle, which is an all-inclusive bundle that comes with the basic kit, the Memory Protectors, and a Bashful Everyday Life™ album and the coordinating My Acrylix® Kitchen Traditions stamp set (D1770).

We want to give all memory keepers—and aspiring memory keepers—the tools you need to beautifully document those special moments from your kitchen. That is why we are giving away 5 (!!!) Kitchen Traditions bundles to 5 lucky winners! For a chance to win, you will have to do a little bit more than what we’ve done in the past. First, you must be a subscriber to this blog. (If you aren’t yet, just push that big blue “Subscribe to list” button on the sidebar!) Second, you must leave a recipe you love in the comments below with a short explanation of why you love it. The drawing will take place Monday, April 30, at 2 p.m. MDT and winners will be notified via e-mail, as usual.

To kick things off, here’s a recipe from Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi:

Frijoles a la Charra (Bean Soup)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 diced white onion
  • 6 strips cut bacon cut into 1 inch pieces (raw)
  • 4 cans La Constena pinto beans
  • 1 can Rotel Mexican Festival tomatoes
  • 3 cans petite diced tomato
  • ¼ cup mild Herdez Salsa Casera
Directions:

In a large pot, boil the beans. While you wait for the beans to boil, fry the bacon in a separate large pan. Once the bacon is soft, add the onion and sauté it in the bacon grease. Add one can of diced tomatoes at a time and bring to a boil each time. Add the Rotel tomatoes and bring to a boil again. Add Herdez Salsa and cilantro and bring to a boil one last time. Combine your mixture with beans in the large pot and bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

Now, it’s your turn. Can’t wait to see what’s cooking in your kitchen!

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And the winners are…

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Oscars giveaway! We hope you had a fun-filled night, and we hope this contest made it even more special.

Here’s something that will brighten your Monday: We’ve decided to give everyone who participated a prize! We had 17 people get two guesses right, so they will all get that prize, and those who didn’t get any right will still get a prize as well!

Here are our 14 winners who got one guess right (or no guesses 🙂 ):
1. Janet Sisk
2. Brenda
3. Karen Bibbee
4. Kelly Massman
5. stampin4ever
6. Kathleenlucile
7. Carol Swedlund
8. Nicolereneerobinson
9. Tara Hendrickson
10. Anita Leitgeb
11. Jeanie Burch
12. Anita
13. Krystal Scanlon
14. Susan Johns

Here are our 17 winners who got two guesses right:
1. KMcQuistain
2. priceofpaper
3. CarolynS
4. Kristin
5. Jocelyn Pryor
6. Amy Gehring
7. Alyson Mayo
8. Renaue McNamara
9. Margie Rhodes
10. France Pelletier
11. Terri Grimes
12. Celena Estrada
13. Amy White
14. Cathy Derouche
15. Sandy Heringer
16. Sherry Thompson
17. Linda Rogers

And only one person got all three right—way to go, Kym!

You can claim your prize in the usual way—just send a quick email to ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com with your name and mailing address so we can spend your prizes off to you. Use the subject line “Oscars winner.”

And since we’re on the topic of movies, we thought it would be fun to share with you 5 movies where scrapbooking saves the day. Enjoy!

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Make the Most of Your Planner

It’s always such a good feeling to start off the new year with a brand new planner and brand new inspiration, so we’re super excited that we could give you a planner system that is functional and pretty! If you’re looking for even more ways to customize your newly purchased planner, the Picture My Life™ Live Your Day scrapbooking program is definitely the way to go!Enjoy using the Everyday Life™ Planner and Live Your Day PML Cards together! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #EverydayLife #planner #PML #liveyourday

Some of the decorations for the planner are functional as well as fun. For instance, don’t you love the “Birthdays” card to help you remember your loved ones’ big days? Insert some Memory Protectors™ into your planner so you can add pictures, color, and details like this to your week or month! Check out another example:Enjoy using the Everyday Life™ Planner and Live Your Day PML Cards together! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #EverydayLife #planner #PML #liveyourday

We also know that your to-do lists can be pretty daunting at times. At those moments, a bit of humor or motivation can help get you going. The Picture My Life Live Your Day scrapbooking program includes cheerful sentiments like this one, which can really brighten your day, especially when paired with your favorite photos. Here’s another fun way to use these Picture My Life cards:Enjoy using the Everyday Life™ Planner and Live Your Day PML Cards together! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #EverydayLife #planner #PML #liveyourday

Set your Picture My Life cards free from Memory Protectors™ by sticking them to any page with washi tape. Try embellishing your planner’s monthly dividers with cards and washi tape for a really stellar start to the month!

If you haven’t purchased the Picture My Life Live Your Day scrapbooking program, there’s still time! This handy set of cards is available until January 31, so hurry and snatch them up—they’re ready to save your day, week, month, and year!

Recipe 

Everyday Life Layouts
CC1058 Picture My Life™ Live Your Day Scrapbooking Program, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3209 Everyday Life 2016 Planner Pages, Z3208 Everyday Life Album—Black, Z3211 Everyday Life Washi Tape, Z3212 Everyday Life™ Perfect Plan Roller Stamp, Z3192 Memory Protectors4″ x 6″, Z3191 Memory Protectors4″ x 3″, 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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Dear Future Self . . .

How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions for 2016? If you could use some motivation now or think you might before the year is up, one thing to try is writing a letter to your future self, talking about the things that you hope to have done by the date of the letter! Have a look at this one:Get inspired to accomplish your goals by writing a letter to yourself! #closetomyheart #ctmh #everydaylife #mycrush

Our My Crush® Everyday Life pages are perfect for this job. Along with encouraging phrases and bold illustrations, the pages also include subtle patterns and colors, making them easy to write on and decorate!

So how exactly do you go about writing a letter to yourself? We have a few ideas. Start by jotting down a few lists about yourself—strengths, weaknesses, worries, past successes. Think about your past year and some challenges you’re likely to face this year. Then write your current self a note as if you were a kind and wise mentor trying to encourage a friend. As the year progresses and the hard times hit, you’ll be able to look back and get the help you need from you!

Once you’ve finished writing out your letter, feel free to dress it up with a few embellishments—may we recommend the Everyday Life™ Perfect Plan roller stamp and washi tape? They pair wonderfully with the My Crush pages. Then add the page to the front of your planner so you can reference it whenever you need a boost.

Your goals are worth working for, and you’re most likely to accomplish them if you have faith in yourself. Preserve that faith with a letter to yourself and shoot for the stars!

Recipe

My Crush® Letter To Self
44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3208 Everyday Life™ Album—Black, Z3210 My Crush® Everyday Life Pages, Z3212 Everyday Life™ Perfect Plan Roller Stamp, Z3211 Everyday Life™ Washi Tape, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker

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Plan & Preserve Your Memories in One Place

While dates and to-do lists are important, they don’t usually become your favorite memories. Memories tend to come more from special moments that make an impression on you. Your Everyday Life™ planner is an excellent tool for helping you stay organized and feel prepared, but it can also help you preserve memorable moments as they happen, especially with the help of the Picture My Life Live Your Day scrapbooking program.Plan and preserve your memories in one place! #ctmh #closetomyheart #pmlliveyourday #picturemylife

Add in a couple Memory Protectors, and you’ve got an album ready to be filled with photos of all your fun times alongside Picture My Life cards to preserve your memories in the same place you plan them!

Yes, this really is “The Good Life,” and with the lovely month title cards, you can easily mark the passage of time through the entire year.Plan and preserve your memories in one place! #ctmh #closetomyheart #pmlliveyourday #picturemylife

Isn’t it fabulous? We’re also fans of the journaling cards—they’re big enough to write a few dates and thoughts on, but small enough to let the pictures do most of the talking. 🙂

Since you use your planner every day, it is a convenient place to include happy pictures and memories that will remind you why you do what you do. And then, when 2016 is over (as it will be all too soon, no doubt!), you’ll have a complete Picture My life album already completed!

The Picture My Life Live Your Day scrapbooking program is only available for the month of January, so make a plan to order it today! With it in hand, you’ll be ready to make your planner into a memory keeper’s work of art!

Recipe

Picture My Life™ Live Your Day Planner
CC1058 Picture My Life™ Live Your Day Scrapbooking Program, Z3209 Everyday Life 2016 Planner Pages, Z3208 Everyday Life Album—Black, Z3192 Memory Protectors™ 4″ x 6″, Z3191 Memory Protectors™4″ x 3″, 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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From Jill: Capture Memories as You Make Them

As I enter the New Year with resolutions and hopes for the future, there is one resolution that I keep at the top of my list year after year: documenting my stories. Because this is so important to me, I am always looking for new ways to do it.

This past year, I tried a new form of journaling involving my planner. I have always been a planner person. Even with technological advances, I like using pen and paper to organize my days, and since I always have my planner close by, I thought I’d try something out. Here’s what I did: Whenever something sparked a memory from my past or whenever something special happened that day that I wanted to remember, I wrote it down in my planner.

Use your planner to up your scrapbooking game--you won't want to miss this great idea! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #planner #journaling #memorykeepingmatters

By jotting these things down in my planner as I remembered them or as they happened, I found I focused more on what’s really important in life and not just my never-ending to-do list. I also found that when I went to scrapbook, I could reference my planner for journaling ideas. Sometimes what I wrote in my planner was something that happened on a specific day, but other times I just wrote down a random memory from the past. Either way, turning to my planner gave me inspiration for what to write next to my photos, like you can see here:

Use your planner to up your scrapbooking game--you won't want to miss this great idea! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #planner #journaling #memorykeepingmatters

The photo I used on this page was taken in June, but that little quote actually came from a conversation between these two kiddos in January. Even though the exchange didn’t happen at the same time as the photo, it made a much more meaningful story to compliment my photo than something generic like “here we are at the park… again.” The quote and photo work together to tell the story of their relationship at that point in time.

Our dear friend and brilliant storyteller, Stacy Julian, has spoken at a couple of our events in the past year, encouraging everyone to document memories as they come. On our CreativeLive show (which you can still watch for free any time you’d like, by the way 🙂 ), she led us in a fun exercise to trigger memories and stories with random photos of ordinary objects.

This exercise transformed the way I think about storytelling, showing me that even seemingly random, unconnected memories are part of my story and can often be connected to more significant memories. Instead of letting these random memories fade whenever they are sparked by something I encounter in my day, if I just take two minutes to write them down, they can be kept and told. Whether the memories are old or new, a planner is such a convenient place to record them as they come so you can remember all those details when you sit down to do your journaling.

I want to invite all of you to join me in my efforts to keep and tell stories with a new weekly planner prompt. Each week, the Home Office will post a question, thought, or photo prompt on Facebook and/or Instagram that will help spark an old memory or help you see the stories in your everyday life, which you can then write about in your planner. Just think—if you do this every week, you will capture 52 stories you may not have otherwise told or documented—what a treasure!

And if you haven’t already gotten our Everyday Life™ 2016 planner pages, I encourage you to get them now because they are half of their retail price! They provide enough space for jotting down your memories in addition to your to-do lists.

Here is the first planner prompt (sparked by my own story): Document a conversation. This could be something your cute kiddos say, a nice exchange between you and a loved one, or the conversation you observe between a grandparent and a child.

All of our weekly prompts will use the hashtag #memorykeepingmatters, so search that hashtag on Facebook or Instagram to review all our prompts at once. These prompts would be a great thing to share with your social media friends so they can preserve their memories, too. Also, feel free to share whatever part of your story you want with the same hashtag.

One of my new favorite quotes from author Madeleine L’Engle says, “Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.” This is what I want for my family and my life, and I want it for each of you, too. Join me in a storytelling journey by using your planner to record special memories as they come to you.

Always let your stories shine,

Jill

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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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The Everyday Life™ Line Has Arrived!

IT’S HERE! 😀

The moment you’ve all been waiting for since our Australasia Convention announcement and the Plan Ahead blog post has come at last: You can now place your order for our planner system!Create a beautiful planner with our Everyday Life™ line! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmheverdaylife #planner #organized

Isn’t it beautiful? We love the vibrant colors of this planner, and all that space to write down those oh-so-important lists and reminders. And because we just can’t help ourselves, we’re also going to give you a deal on an exclusive planner bundle! From now until December 31, you can order a special planner bundle that gives you everything you need to create a planner at a 15% discount! You’ll get the Everyday Life™ black album with trendy gold foil designs, the Everyday Life™ 2016 planner pages, including stickers for color coordinating your planner, and the Everyday Life™ Perfect Plan roller stamp, which works hand-in-hand with the stickers.

But that’s not all.

For anyone who hasn’t seen our Planners Gonna Plan video yet, we have an extra surprise: There are more items in the Everyday Life™ line, and they’re ALL available as of today! Let us show you the whole system!Create a beautiful planner with our Everyday Life™ line! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmheverdaylife #planner #organized

First up, we’ve created two new Memory Protectors™ that are sized especially for the Everyday Life™ album—one with four 4″ x 3″ side-loading pockets and one with two 4″ x 6″ side-loading pockets. You can create a mini Picture My Life™ album, like you see here, or you can add some photos and Picture My Life™ cards to your planner. What better way to add a smile to your day than to turn to your to-do list and see pictures of those you love?Create a beautiful planner with our Everyday Life™ line! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmheverdaylife #planner #organized

Next, we’ve got something really exciting—our My Crush® Everyday Life pages. These loose, 3-ring hole punched pages come in a variety of playful patterns, and some have sayings that will lift your spirits and encourage you to seize the day! Did you notice the washi tape used to hold these precious photos and memorabilia in place? That’s our Everyday Life™ washi tape, which coordinates with the colors of the planner pages and the My Crush pages. We’re all about preserving the little moments in life, and these My Crush® pages and washi tape make memory keeping on-the-go easy, cute, and fun!Create a beautiful planner with our Everyday Life™ line! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmheverdaylife #planner #organized

Here our artist combined the planner pages with the Memory Protectors, the My Crush® pages, and the washi tape. Now you can see just how many amazing possibilities there are with our Everyday Life products. You’ll be able to preserve your favorite moments in the same place that you plan them!  We’re excited to help you enjoy your memories the same way you live your life: one day at a time. 🙂

Ready to place your order? To purchase the Everyday Life planner bundle*, which includes the album, planner pages, and roller stamp, head on over to your Consultant’s OBA, and select “Special Promotions” on the left-hand side of the page. To order additional Everyday Life™ items, like the My Crush® pages, select “Everyday Life” on your Consultant’s OBA.

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.

*To receive the 15% discount, you must purchase the planner bundle found under “Special Promotions.” Adding the items separately will not trigger the discount. You must use the campaign item number provided for the bundle. 

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Plan Ahead!

Raise your hand if you have used planners for years and cannot imagine life without them. Now, let’s see a show of hands from those of you who may think you’re not “the planner type.” But are you actually the planner type? Answer these questions to find out! Are you a visual learner who loves to see your days laid out in front of you? Are you someone who can’t remember anything unless you physically write it down? Or are you a loyalist who prefers the purity of paper over electronics?

If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, then get excited. Why? Because, as we announced at Brisbane Convention, we have created our own planner that we’ll be making available for order later this month! Take a look!

Check out this beautiful, customizable planner! #ctmh #closetomyheart #2016planner #organization #papercrafting

First, get your hands on our adorable three-ringed Everyday Life™ album. Its black cover with a gold foil floral design is sure to be the envy of all your friends. Then grab the Everyday Life™ 2016 planner pages, which include weekly and monthly spreads to help you focus in on the daily details but also remember your plans for the entire month. The planner pages also include four sheets of colorful label stickers, 12 trendy monthly dividers with tabs, and a bookmark-style page finder to help you turn quickly to the current day. To help you store receipts, fliers, and more, there’s also a pocket folder page. Is that organized or what?

Personalize your pages even more with the Everyday Life™ Perfect Plan roller stamp, which has phrases like “shopping list,” “no school,” and “don’t forget.” We’ve designed this roller stamp to coordinate with the label stickers; simply place the label sticker in your planner, and then stamp the phrase of your choice onto it. With several colors to choose from, you can color coordinate your reminders for organization perfection!

So pull out your current planner, family calendar, or even a Post-It note, and write this down: order the Close To My Heart planner as soon as it is available, later in November. We know this is a reminder you’ll appreciate all year long!

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