Mixing & Matching Magic

Each Close To My Heart paper packet has its own theme, feel, and color scheme, which makes creating cohesive artwork a breeze! But at its heart, each packet is made up of beautiful, individual patterned papers that can be used together in all kinds of combinations.

Today we’re going to expand your horizon, invite you to try something new, get you out of your comfort zone, and all that jazz—because we’re going to share you with you three different approaches to mixing our paper packets together!

Tips for mixing scrapbook papers #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #craft #papercrafting #cards #memorykeeping

This card is wearing Zoe, Kaleidoscope, and Georgie 🙂

Approach #1: Invent your own color scheme and choose papers that fit. For this card, we chose pastel colors. Light pinks, blues, greens, and yellows from several different paper packets all work together in this cheery card.

Tips for mixing scrapbook papers #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #craft #papercrafting #cards #memorykeeping

This page is wearing Zoe, Urban, Georgie, and Kaleidoscope. 🙂

Approach #2: Choose papers that are different tones of the same color and then add one or two accent colors. Here, we have all sorts of blues—Glacier, Juniper, and Peacock—accented by Pear and Gypsy papers.

Tips for mixing scrapbook papers #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #craft #papercrafting #cards #memorykeeping

This layout is wearing Georgie, Kaleidoscope, and Zoe. 🙂

Approach #3: Pair up different papers based on a shared color tone. In this example, we started with a paper we really liked—this Juniper one from the Georgie paper packet. The little Canary dots on our Georgie paper inspired us to pair it with the bright Canary paper from the Kaleidoscope paper packet. They make a beautiful duo, don’t they?

What are your favorite paper packets to combine? Tell us in the comments below!

Recipes

5 ½” x 4 ¼” Birthday Cheer Card
Wishes: Simplicity™ (rotated)
B1506 My Acrylix® Little Presents, X7197B Zoe Paper Packet, X7202B Kaleidoscope Paper Packet, X7203B Georgie Paper Packet, Z2172 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shapes*:
Artistry
¾” Shape <v> (p. 34)
2″ and 2 ¼” Shape <Christms> (p. 48)

12″ x 12″ Hugs & Kisses Page
Reflections: Main Frame—Backdrop
E1030 My Acrylix® Handwritten Print, X7197B Zoe Paper Packet, X7204B Urban Paper Packet, X7203B Georgie Paper Packet, X7202B Kaleidoscope Paper Packet, Z2649 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, X7197C Zoe Complements, Z2013 Sequins Silver Assortment, Thread

12″ x 12″ Family Layout
D1644 My Acrylix® The Authentic Life, B1482 My Acrylix® My Story, X7203B Georgie Paper Packet, X7202B Kaleidoscope Paper Packet, X7179 Zoe Paper Packet, Z2195 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2172 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3105 Fundamental Assortment Gold, Z3165 Fundamental Stickers Whimsy Pack, X7203C Georgie Complements

* Real Dial Size

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From Jeanette: A Guest at Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Get to know Jeanette Lynton! #ctmh #closetomyheart #thanksgivingdinner #gratitude #conversationWhether you’re celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow or not, I’m sure each of you has special traditions around this time of year that you’re looking forward to sharing with your loved ones. One of my favorite parts of this holiday is the conversation that we always have over dinner and throughout the evening. It’s just so nice to be together as a family, talking.

I often make reference to the Close To My Heart family because Close To My Heart feels like so much more than a company to me. This family would include all of you who are reading this blog, so I wanted to do something to share this Thanksgiving holiday tradition with you, too.

Here’s my idea: Remember the printable conversation starters we shared in a blog post last week? I thought it would be fun to give my answers to a few of my favorites, just like I would if I were with you in person! And I would love it if you would pick one of your favorites from last week’s list and share a response with me in the comments, too. That way, though we won’t all be together around a dinner table, we can still enjoy getting to know more about each other. I’ll go first!

Q: What is the most mischievous thing you did as a child?

A: When I was about 3 or 3 ½, my mother was taking me on a trip by bus to visit one of her family members. She was pregnant with my brother, and she said that I was quite the handful. I was running on the chairs and all over the place. I would go to the ashtrays, grab the cigarette butts, and try to mimic the people smoking at the bus station. Then I took my little hand and pulled on the station fire alarm. Everybody started screaming and running out; my mom was trying to grab me and keep me from running out with all the people!

She also said that I’d stare out the window. I’d see flies and say, “Look at all the little airplanes!” Once I realized they were flies, I would take the dead ones from the windowsill in my hand, stroke them, and say, “Poor little dead flies.” My mom would slap the flies out of my hand—I think she was afraid that I was going to try eating them!

Q: What nicknames have you been called?

A: I have one that I was called when I was in grade school. All my friends would call me “Jeanetti Spaghetti.” That’s what I went by just at school until my mom adopted the name, too. It wasn’t that funny when she said it, but I guess it was endearing. My husband, David, calls me “Honey.” I know he’s really serious when he calls me by my name, so I’d rather be called “Honey” than “Jeanette” by David.

Q: Which decade best describes your personality and why?

A: I love the 70s without a doubt. The music from the 70s captures my heart. I love Three Dog Night, Bread, Carole King. . . . I could name off every group. I sang every song, and I loved it. So I think that the 70s best describes me because of its music.

Q: Which smells remind you of your childhood?

A: Every time I smell a warm rain on a warm day on a warm street, it reminds me of playing and jumping around in the rain as a child—just carefree. It was a happy time to be outside in a rainstorm, when the rain first hit the pavement.

Q: What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?

A: I’m thinking about the beach in Maui. I love looking at the ocean—sitting on the beach, and just watching the waves roll in. Our family had a special palm tree we would sit under when we visited that beach. I love Maui—I love everything about Maui.

The other place I love is American Fork Canyon; it’s probably the most beautiful place in the whole world. It’s just right here in our backyard. I love the big cliffs, the rocks, the trees, and the beautiful Tibble Fork Reservoir in front of all those pine trees—it’s just gorgeous! I think that we have the most beautiful mountains in the world, and I think people around here take it for granted. But I find the greatest pleasure every time I look at them, which is often.

I’ll stop there, though it would be fun to keep going! Go ahead and look at the full list of conversation starters, pick your favorite one, and then share your answer to it in the comments on this post.

As I’m focusing on gratitude this Thanksgiving, know that I’ll certainly be thinking of you. I’m truly grateful to be able to count friends as supportive as you among my many blessings. God bless you!

Love,

Jeanette

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Dinner Is Served—In Style!

Maybe you volunteered for it because you enjoy making everybody comfortable. Maybe you were stuck with it because your dining room is actually big enough. For whatever reason, you’ve got it: Hostess Duty. The big dinner is already too close for comfort, and it’s only getting closer.

No fear! Whether you’re in charge of your family’s Thanksgiving gathering or another large dinner party, Close To My Heart will help you get prepared. We want you to be able to focus on the most important part of any party—the people! With that in mind, we’ve created printable thank you cards and conversation starter cards that will help you create wonderful memories as you gather around the table. Take a look at this Thanksgiving place setting:
Create beautiful Thanksgiving place settings! #closetomyheart #ctmh #thanksgiving #dinner #autumn #fall #gratitudeBeautiful, right? The thank you card and the conversation starter card add a personal touch to this elegant place setting. In this example, the thank you card was printed on kraft cardstock, trimmed out, matted on paper from the Urban paper packet, and topped off with a bow made from gold glitter paper—so simple!
And as you’ll notice at the bottom of the card, our printable thank you card includes a spot for you to type in your name or family name! This will make the cards personal yet ridiculously quick and easy to put together.

Now let’s take a closer look at the other piece of this place setting:
Create beautiful Thanksgiving place settings! #closetomyheart #ctmh #thanksgiving #dinner #autumn #fall #gratitudeConversation starter cards are a fun way to get people around the dinner table to put away their phones and enjoy the company right in front of them. We’ve created two different sets of conversation starters—one for children and one for adults. Simply print them out, cut them up, and attach them to a folded piece of paper as you see here. You could also cut them up and place them in a container to be passed around the table and have each person take their turn drawing a prompt.

Lend an autumn feel to your Thanksgiving place setting by attaching stamped images to your cards. This colorful leaf comes from the My Acrylix® Thankful Heart stamp set and has been colored with watercolor paints and attached the card with 3-D foam tape. Slightly curling the edges of the leaf upward makes it look ready to blow right off the card, doesn’t it?

Because we know you host special dinner parties throughout the year, we’ve designed both the thank you card and the conversation starters to work year-round—they’re not Thanksgiving-specific. Take a look at another place setting to see what we mean:
Create beautiful place settings for your next gathering! #closetomyheart #ctmh #dinner #dinnerparty #thankyou #gratitudeWhatever the reason is for holding your special dinner party, we hope you get to enjoy the food, people, and the feelings of gratitude. Your guests certainly will! And remember—snap some photos of those special memories!

Printables

Dinner Party Thank You Card
Dinner Party Children Conversation Starters
Dinner Party Adult Conversation Starters

Recipes

Thanksgiving Thank You Card
X7204B Urban Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z2027 Mini Stapler

Thanksgiving Conversation Starter Card
B1463 My Acrylix® Thankful Heart, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

Generic Thank You Card
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z1997 Triangle Border Punch

Generic Conversation Card
1388 Colonial White Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

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Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community

Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhconsultant #stickyboy #family

There is no single word that describes the Close To My Heart community better than “blessing.” During this month of gratitude and Thanksgiving, I want to share why this community has been such a blessing for both myself and my family.

Close To My Heart—her Consultants, her Home Office team and Executive Team, and above all, Jeanette, have become a family to me. They have not only helped me discover who I am but also have helped me define the type of woman that I aspire to be. They have continually supported my dreams and fostered my growth as an individual, mother, leader, artist, and businesswoman.

Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhconsultant #stickyboy #family

This family is composed of a community of many: my personal Team, my larger Team, my fellow Consultants across the country and around the world, and our Home Office teams. They have provided a support system that is like no other—a community that has seen each other through tears of sadness, trials and tribulations, losses, sicknesses, triumphs and celebrations, and complete joy. I have found strength within these relationships and have witnessed bonds like nothing else I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing or being a part of. These relationships are indeed priceless. They are genuine. They are real.

Within this community and on this journey that we call life, I find hope, respect, empowerment, unity, and togetherness. I find individuals building each other up. I find inspiration, faith, and celebration. We share a passion for preserving our memories and these relationships. I truly believe that these passions are what enable these unique relationships to grow. Along my 9-year Close To My Heart journey, I have been taken under the wings of great Consultants and encouraged to fly. I find myself now taking my own Team, and others who are now where I once was, under my wings. Their goals have become my goals to help them achieve. I want to walk with them as they make their dreams—with both Close To My Heart and in their personal lives—come true. All the while, Close To My Heart will help them grow and let their inner beauty shine.

Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhconsultant #stickyboy #family

I am continually touched by the caring, selflessness, and giving nature that is a trademark of the Close To My Heart family. I have witnessed first-hand Consultants rally to help families recreate their families’ memories when they lost their homes to floods, help fellow Consultants earn incentive trips, make cards for troops overseas and at home, and hold creative fundraisers for our amazing charity partner Operation Smile™ and so many other personal causes. This selfless nature speaks volumes to the character of the Consultants and their company.

One of the things I love the most about our community is that even though I am the Consultant, my own family is treasured and valued as well. My children are asked about with genuine interest, not just as a formality. Little details are remembered by the Executive Team and other Consultants, which I find truly endearing.

To illustrate, my most cherished Close To My Heart memory is shared with my daughter, Abigail. She is now eight and has grown up with CTMH. She can do the “twist-twist-tap-tap-tap stamp dance” in her sleep, and with sass! She can name most of the colors in our palette, knows many of our products inside and out, and could probably teach my classes better than I could. She loves Close To My Heart and tries to be a part of it. Last year, Close To My Heart did a special promotion in which copies of Sticky Boy were sent out randomly with orders. Abigail wanted me to have one so badly! She stalked my orders looking for a Sticky Boy, helped me post to his Facebook page that she would give him a good home, and more. The campaign ended, no Sticky Boy had arrived at the Sheridan household with my orders, and Abigail was in tears. The following week, a package arrived addressed to Abby. Tucked inside was a handmade card and a stowed-away Sticky Boy. Never have I seen such delight and pride in her eyes! That is the magic of Close To My Heart—a magic that is incomparable! One individual taking note and blessing another. Astounding.

Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhconsultant #stickyboy #family

The Close To My Heart community is truly a blessing. Within Close To My Heart, I have found the place where I belong.

Thank you, Tonya, for the beautiful blog post. We’re so glad that you’re part of our Close To My Heart family!

A few months ago, Tonya sent in some beautiful artwork for Monica and Jeanette that we just had to share. First, this beautiful Designed Décor chalkboard, which features an array of messages that embody Close To My Heart’s mission:

Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhconsultant #stickyboy #family

Tonya also sent both Monica and Jeanette amazing cards inspired by a page we created at Convention this year:

Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhconsultant #stickyboy #family #ctmhconv2015 #makeitfromyourheart

Didn’t she do a wonderful job of turning a scrapbook page into a card? Tonya, we’re so lucky to have you. Thank you to all Consultants and customers who help make our Close To My Heart family fabulous. We love you all!

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Your Family Tree Never Looked So Good!

We believe the heart of scrapbooking to be the relationships that we celebrate and preserve on the pages in our albums. Of all the relationships in our lives, family relationships are among the most cherished. Today’s artwork shows you a beautiful way to celebrate those relationships that make us who we are:
Create a beautiful family tree generations will cherish! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #ctmhzoe #diyfamilytree #familyhistory #familyphotos #scrapbookingideasThis is a beautiful family, and we’re sure yours is just as beautiful to you, too, which is why we’re going to pass on some insider’s tips from the artist who brought this tree to life. Sharing a page like this one with your children and grandchildren is sure to give them a greater appreciation for their heritage and the art of preserving family history. Let’s take a closer look, then, shall we?
Create a beautiful family tree generations will cherish! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #ctmhzoe #diyfamilytree #familyhistory #familyphotos #scrapbookingideasFirst off, our artist made good use of our watercolors to create a breezy blue background. She then used the My Acrylix® Friend Tree stamp set to stamp the limbs of the tree. Because the stamps are flexible, she was able to bend the stamp to shape it just the way she wanted before inking and stamping it in place. This allowed her to plan out where she’d be placing her pictures and which spaces would need the most leaves.

The leaves were stamped using stamps from the same set and a variety of colors, including Pear, Fern, Topiary, and Sweet Leaf (how fitting!). When it comes to adding the leaves, our artist recommends starting with a lighter color and working with one color at a time to fill up your branches.
Create a beautiful family tree generations will cherish! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #ctmhzoe #diyfamilytree #familyhistory #familyphotos #scrapbookingideasNotice the textured look on some of the leaves? To create this effect, our artist stamped on a piece of scrap paper and then the page itself, making each branch and leaf on the page unique—just like every person in her family tree!
Create a beautiful family tree generations will cherish! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #ctmhzoe #diyfamilytree #familyhistory #familyphotos #scrapbookingideasThe tasteful accessories our artist chose also add some class to this page. The page is anchored down by a torn paper strip from the Urban paper packet, the popped-out “family” title, and a twine bow that contributes to the natural feel. A dovetailed title, a handful of gold sequins, and elegant enamel triangles finish the ensemble nicely.

So, are you ready to memorialize your own family? No one knows them better than you do, and now you have a new idea for creating a visual reminder of their lives and of the relationships that tie you all together. Enjoy the family reunion!

Recipe

12″ x 12″ Family Tree Page
C1633 My Acrylix® For Family, D1677 My Acrylix® Friend Tree, D1662 My Acrylix® Harvest Wreath, X7204B Urban Paper Packet, X7202B Kaleidoscope Paper Packet, X7197B Zoe Paper Packet, 1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2153 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2197 Pear Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2155 Topiary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2650 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2111 Chocolate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z3123 Enamel and Glitter Duos Green Triangles, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set Z3170, Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
¾” Shift <Font> “FAMILY” (cut 2)
1 ½” Card <i> (cut 7, p. 48)
1 ¾” Card <i> (cut 7, p. 48)
2″ Card <i> (cut 7, p. 48)

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Feeling Cornered by Chronology?

Do you suffer from acute chronological scrapbook syndrome? You’re not alone.

Thousands like you have been printing photos and storing them away in shoeboxes for decades, assuring themselves that one day they’ll feel more motivated to scrapbook everything in the perfect order.

Full of good intentions, but dreading the task of organizing every photo, victims of this syndrome often find their passion tainted by a nagging voice that tells them they must start at the beginning (wherever that is) or not start at all.

It’s time to silence that voice and get back to doing what we love!

It may seem revolutionary, but scrapbooks don’t have to be done in chronological order. Remember that these memories are your stories, so you get to tell them however you wish. The only way you’re doing it “wrong” is if the method you’ve chosen feels like a task rather than a delight.

Free yourself and your creativity by trying these organizational methods of scrapbooking instead:

Life Milestones
Milestones happen at every stage of life. Create an album that showcases a variety of milestones from the lives of each family member. Pick a certain milestone and focus on that, or gather a bunch onto one layout. You can include things like graduations, church ceremonies, losing teeth, getting married, the first day of a new job, or learning to walk. This is a fun way to show your family’s progress over time.

Love is You layout in album

Classic Family Memories
Have a favorite memory that everyone in the family loves to talk about? Get it on paper. When your family comes over for Sunday dinner and starts to reminisce, write down the extra details they add to your story. Better yet, ask them to write their own version of the family memory. Include everyone’s version of the story as journaling on your layout. Even if you have no idea where the photos of that specific memory are, just start taking the first steps. You’ll find the photos in that notorious shoebox soon enough.

Someone You Love
Pick a person who’s important to you and create an album that’s all about them. The photos can come from any time or event. The important part is simply that they get remembered. This album will become something they will cherish for always.

Color Schemes
This artsy method is more wild and crazy, but definitely a lot of fun—and excellent for a creative boost! Choose photos and papers based on the similarity of their color schemes and then put them all on one page. Find out how fun it can be to see a collection of unrelated memories on one layout!

Random Reminiscing
Reach into that pile of photos and pull out a few. Scrapbook them any way you wish, whether that’s together on one page or each on their own layout. As you finish each layout, simply place them in your album in any order at all. This method is a lot of fun to look through afterward because you’ll always be surprised by which memory pops up next.

Purposeful Prompts
Type a list of prompts (e.g. your favorite words, themes, questions you think your posterity will ask about you), trim them into strips, and place them in a jar. Draw a new one every time you sit down to scrapbook. Whatever kind of information that prompt inspires you to document, do it!

It’s the Little Things
In addition to the big events of life, be sure to also emphasize the daily things that make you and your family who you are. Stepping outside of big events will paint a more realistic picture of your life as well as add some variety to your albums.

Likes and Dislikes
Focus on a person’s likes or dislikes, not worrying about their age or location at the time you took the photos. An overarching theme like this really helps to reveal who a person is in just a layout or two.

Favorite Activities
What activity does your family love to do? Find pictures of yourselves doing that activity across any number of years and group them together. Say you like to vacation together; make a layout just for vacations. They don’t even have to be from the same trip—just get the theme put into one place.

Travel layout in album

How do you feel now? Empowered? Liberated? Excited? The only thing to make this moment sweeter would be for us to remind you that the albums you’ll need to keep your long-awaited layouts safe in are available at a great deal this month. Take advantage of the February deal on albums to get your gorgeous, non-chronological layouts archived and on display. You only have a few days left to take advantage of this promotion. Your memories have waited a long time for this; now let them shine!

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Message from Jeanette: A Season for Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Next to the Fourth of July, this is truly one of my favorite holidays. I am excited to share with you today my gratitude for blessings I’ve received in both the past and the present.

At this season I am reminiscent of the way my family celebrated Thanksgiving when I was just a girl. I loved the fact that this holiday was so centered around food, and, boy, was this one meal that I could really look forward to: turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy! As a child I thought the excitement of the holiday lay in the delicious dishes placed before me, but as I grew older I came to realize that the real excitement was in the blessing of being with family.

Young Jeanette

I especially remember the good times that surrounded my wonderful Aunt Lola, who was always the life of the party. Her sense of humor had the rest of us rolling in our seats every Thanksgiving. She would tell story after story, making us laugh and laugh until our sides ached. At those Thanksgiving tables, surrounded by my mother and father, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins, I knew true happiness.

Those family-centered Thanksgivings are some of my fondest memories, and it’s now my privilege to be the one planning those parties for my own children and grandchildren. I have always loved to keep things simple, so I long ago established the tradition of having our Thanksgiving Day feast at a beautiful mountain resort instead of at home. With a fantastic menu from which we can eat all we want, plus the bonus of made-to-order goodies, the restaurant becomes the mouth-watering daydream of one and all during the days leading up to the holiday. My grandkids talk about it for weeks beforehand, repeatedly reviewing their anticipated menu choices. It’s a tradition we all cherish together!

This year I’ll be instigating another tradition for this special day. Using the gorgeous Picture My Life™ Avonlea cards, I’ll have each family member record what they’re thankful for. I’m going to compile their responses into our very own family gratitude mini album. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

On my own card I’ll be sure to add the names of each precious member of my family. I am so grateful to each one for their encouragement and love for me. They, more than anyone else, have been my ever-present strength. I cannot even hope to fully express how grateful I am for them.

I am also grateful today for those that have become my family—my Close To My Heart family! I extend a special thanks to my dear friends, Brian and Monica, who just also happen to be my Executive Team members. I am thankful to them for the support they are to me in every business venture we undertake.

Brian, Jeanette, and Monica

This year I have had many opportunities to mingle with the Consultants of this company, and for that I am extremely grateful. How I have loved being in your presence, hearing your stories, seeing your smiles, and feeling of your excitement. My relationship with you is what brings me the most joy in this business!

Consultants at Convention 2014

I express gratitude for the wonderful employees of Close To My Heart that work so hard to accomplish our company mission. Thank you for all your efforts this year.

Employees

I am mindful today, also, of the land I live in. I cherish the foundations that this land was built upon, and I am grateful for sacrifices made long ago by unselfish men and women. My own father was an Army man and I happily support those who continue to give everything to this country. I am grateful for people in every land who cherish the freedom of the human soul and give their lives to protect it.

I am grateful that I can worship as I please. I believe in a God in Heaven who watches down on all of us. I am grateful that He showers me with His love. I know He cares by the way He sends me loved ones—or even complete strangers—to reach out to me in my hours of need.

Year after year, I watch blessings being added to my trove, and today I thank you for what you have personally added to it. May you have a very happy Thanksgiving, and may it be an exciting beginning to a season devoted to looking outward to others.

Jeanette

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Classic, Cozy, Comfortable!

Clam ChowderAs my daughter Ashley progresses in her pregnancy (baby girl coming next month!), she’s found it more and more difficult to get comfortable and cozy. While I can’t do anything to eliminate those aches and pains of the third trimester, I can provide a little comfort—comfort food, that is! I find that the simplest pleasures are also the classic comforts, so I whipped up a batch of my special clam chowder and a warm loaf of homemade bread. It isn’t fancy, but it sure is fabulous.

We ladled up this rich, delicious soup and cozied up in the kitchen to eat and chat and discuss plans for the new baby. Ashley put her feet up and we just enjoyed a great meal together. I’ve been serving this delish dish since my teen years. If you’d like to try my classic clam chowder for yourself, here’s the recipe. We could all use a little extra comfort now and then!

Clam Chowder

1 cup chopped onions
1 cup diced celery
2 cups diced potatoes
2 (6 1/2ounce cans) chopped or minced clams
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1 quart half and half cream
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

1. Drain juice from clams and pour over onions, celery, and potatoes in a sauce pan. Add enough water to partly cover the vegetables. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer over low heat until vegetables are tender.   2. Meanwhile melt butter. Add flour and blend together. Stir consistently and add half and half cream. Stir with wire whip until smooth and thick.   3. Add vegetables with water to cream. Add clams, and vinegar. Heat thoroughly.   4. Season with salt and pepper.

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Too Tasty to Wait For!

too-tasty-too-wait-01Today, I thought I’d share a recipe that was a huge hit with my family at our Sunday dinner. I made a classic Italian alfredo sauce with pasta and chicken.

Last week I was one of the cooks at our annual Relief Society dinner and this was the pasta that we served. My friend Erin gave us this recipe to make and it was a huge hit. Like the Relief Society dinner, my whole house was full of warmth and garlic as I cooked, and my hungry crowd came flocking at suppertime! In fact, we could barely get the dish on the table and the prayer said before my family began devouring it–and I definitely couldn’t ask them to WAIT while I took a photo of the food for my blog.

So… the photo included with this post is a half-eaten pasta dish. It may not be magazine-cover pretty, but I assure you, it tasted fantastic! Try it at your house and you’ll see for yourself!

Best Creamy Pasta Ever


Sauce
7½ tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons chopped garlic
3¾ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1¼ cup chicken broth
2½ tablespoons cornstarch
1¼ cup milk
2½ tablespoons dijon mustard
5 tsp. fresh rosemary
1¼ tsp. salt
1¼ tsp. fresh thyme
¾ tsp cayenne pepper
4½ cups of heavy whipping cream
2½ cup parmesan cheese
2 cooked breast cut in bite size pieces
6 slices of bacon cooked, cut in 1” pieces
17.5 oz. of dried penne pasta, cooked as directed on package

1. Melt butter and sweat garlic (don’t brown).   2. Dissolve cornstarch in small amount of chicken broth.   3. Add all sauce ingredients EXCEPT FOR CHEESE, stir with a whisk; and simmer about 10 minutes until thickened.   4. Stir in 2 ½ cup parmesan cheese,set aside.   5. Layer cooked pasta with chicken and bacon in casserole dish.   6. Spoon sauce over top.   7. Top with additional 1/4 c.parmesan cheese mixed with paprika (to add color).   8. Cook at 475 ̊F for around 10-15 minutes until bubbly.

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