Close To My Heart Free Virtual Crop – Brushed is Back!

Close To My Heart has brought back the amazingly beautiful collection – Brushed and it is available now through the end of July! It has a slightly re-vamped color scheme to reflect the ink colors currently available and includes a new 12″ x 12″ coordinating sticker sheet, coordinating card stock, and the two stamp sets that were originally offered with it are being brought back and offered again!!

Purchase the Brushed collection from my website at:


FREE live virtual craft event on June 30th, 2020 at 2:00 pm MDT on Close To My Heart’s official Facebook page! We will be creating one single-page layout, three two-page layouts, and eight standard-sized cards, all using this beautiful and exclusive Brushed collection. To learn more and to sign up for this free event, click here.

***Make sure to click “going” on the event page in order to be entered to WIN FREE PRIZES during the live event.***

The Beachside Sweet Shop


By Karen Clarke  
Read Feb. 2017
Free copy received from for in return for an honest review.

Synopsis of the book from

Chocolate fudge, butterscotch and raspberry bonbons… treat yourself to some sugary treats, a big slice of friendship and a sprinkling of romance at The Beachside Sweet Shop.

When Marnie Appleton inherited a sweet shop from her grandfather she was determined to do his legacy proud. The shop has been a much-loved feature of the little seaside town of Shipley for years, but now Marnie needs to bring it up to date, and she’s recruited gorgeous new assistant Josh to help.

Marnie gets busy redecorating the shop and choosing delicious new sweets to stock, but things are never that simple: new neighbour Isobel, a fame-hungry blogger, is on a crusade against sugar, and she’ll go to any lengths to secure bad publicity for Marnie’s shop.

Marnie fights back with homemade sugar-free treats, but with her best friend Beth heavily pregnant, her grandmother Celia recovering from an operation, and her very recently ex-boyfriend Alex returning to Shipley with a new love, Marnie has a lot on her plate.

And then there’s Josh, with whom Marnie is struggling to keep her relationship strictly professional…Will both the sweet shop and love flourish?


My Review:

To start, this book is a fairly quick read, I read it in a few hours one afternoon.  It’s 267 pages and I read it on my kindle.

Karen Clarke’s writing style is easy to read and flows well. She brings in the quirks of the supporting characters and makes you want to get to know them ALL.

Marnie Appleton is a very lucky woman.. it just takes her a bit to realize it!   Marnie THINKS she wants to travel the world and resents being “stuck” in the small town… or does she?  I was intrigued by this idea and the internal struggle that Marnie was having.  I liked how things moved in the story to help her reach her conclusion.

Some things I wish had developed more were the issue between Marnie, Josh and Josh’s uncle; Isabel’s “problem”; and Marnie’s mother and what happened in the past between her and Harry’s dad.

At the end of the book was a letter from Karen Clarke indicating she would be writing more stories about this town and it’s inhabitants.  I can’t wait to read the next one!!


Are you a member?  If so, let’s connect


Ready, Set… Go?!

What is State of Slim?  It’s a weight loss/maintenance program created by two doctors at Anschutz Medical Center here in Colorado.  There is a book – it’s called…guess what??  “State of Slim”.   This class is 16 weeks long and is partially paid for by my work.  I am going to use my blog to follow my journey so that I have a place to look back and reflect on.

My first group class was on Wednesday, August 17th.  I am one of 20 in the class…although that number has dropped after the first day.  People were given 24 hours to drop out of the class if they didn’t think that this was for them.  I am sticking with it.

After reading the book (well, most of it anyway… I didn’t read phase 3 yet because it seemed like that phase was a long way away…), I knew that phase 1 was going to be hard.  Phase 1 lasts for two weeks, and right smack dab in the middle of those two weeks, well, that’s my birthday!  I will be 46.  OMG, when did I get old????????  So, for my birthday, I’ve asked to do something that doesn’t involve food.

Phase 1 lasts for two weeks, and right smack dab in the middle of those two weeks, well, that’s my birthday!  I will be 46.  OMG, when did I get old????????  So, for my birthday, I’ve asked to do something that doesn’t involve food.

I’m officially two days into week 1 of phase 1 and I’m tired of raw veggies already!  The first two weeks is focused on low carb, low fat, low sugar, high protein.  They give you a list of foods you can choose from and a few recipes to get you started.  There is also a pinterest board with recipes that have comments on how to adapt them to the phase you are in if possible.  I posted the food list on the fridge to help give me a visual when I open the fridge.  Luckily, I had quite a bit of the

Luckily, I had quite a bit of the foods on the list in the house already.  I did go grocery shopping this weekend and picked up some protein powder.  I chose Tera Protein powder.  I like the vanilla bourbon flavor.  It is low sugar, organic, non-GMO, and tastes pretty good.  I tried the chocolate, and while it’s good, it won’t be my go-to.

The exercise expectation for the first week is 10 minutes a day, 6 days a week.  I can do that.

Plan for the weekend… MEAL PLAN, PREP, and PLAN some more…

Until next time…





Once in a while, like today, I hear someone say… “I wish I was a teacher so I could have the summer off.”  Let me tell you, most teachers don’t have the summer off!

My hubs is a teacher, and while he may not be in the classroom with children right now, he IS in the classroom learning!  He will have had a three-day span and a 5-day span this summer where he didn’t have professional development or a school meeting happening.  And, mind you, he doesn’t get paid to do professional development hours, in fact, sometimes he PAYS to do them!

Just a short rant… do NOT think for one moment that all teachers do over the summer is lay by the pool and sip margaritas!  They work  hard, not just during the school year, but over summer “break” as well!

… Rant over… thank you for reading.



The hubs and I had a fun adventure this past weekend!  We went to COMICON!!!  Now, for those of you who know me, this is not something I would normally venture out to do.  I am a pretty stereotypical introvert.  Large crowds make me cringe and want to hide!!  But, for Husband’s Day (aka Father’s Day) this year, I wanted to do something REALLY special for my guy.  He is an AVID superhero “nut”!  Maybe I’ll do a blog about his SuperHero Room next! LOL!  I thought to myself, “Self…what would he like most this year??” and then voila, a facebook ad popped up and said… TAKE HIM TO COMICON!! (Not really, but an ad did come up in my facebook for it!)

So, we went!  He had SUCH a great time!  He got a book signed by a favorite author, met and had some comics signed by a favorite illustrator, saw tons of weird and great costumes, got lost in the crowd, bought comics he couldn’t find in his regular store, and had a FABULOUS time! 🙂

Next year’s father’s day present??  a 3-day pass to comicon!! It was THAT FUN!! 🙂


the hubs and I at the KDVR booth at Comicon 2016 (Denver).

Thoughts for the day…

I have been a Close to My Heart independent consultant for 4+ years now.  There have been a TON of changes that have happened in those years.  I have been contemplating letting go of my consultant status for a few months, and will have to decide soon.  It’s been a part of who I am for so long, it’s a hard decision to make.  However, the thought of not having to meet a quota, but just enjoying what I am doing, and actually getting back to CRAFTING gives me a little thrill each time I think about it.

What will I do? That, I am not sure of.  I will, however, keep posting to this blog, but rather than be a catalyst for selling my wares, I think I’ll make a SCRAP of ME! (Because, after all, I am GRACE!)

Have a fabulous Thursday!


Spring into Action for a Super Sweet Steal!





During the month of July, when you purchase $25 (USD & CAD) in current, retail priced stamps, you qualify to receive either the July Stamp of the Month, My Acrylix® Life Is Wonderful, FREE or any one of the Hostess Rewards stamp sets featured in Annual Inspirations 2014–2015 or Seasonal Expressions 2 for only $5 (USD & CAD)! That is a savings of up to $17.95 USD / $19.75 CAD! The July Stamp of the Month is a lovely, versatile stamp set that is a great match for your cards and layouts that celebrate all the wonderful things—big and small—that life has to offer.

Additionally, the Hostess Rewards stamp sets have previously only been available as part of the Hostess Rewards program, which means now is the perfect opportunity to get those special stamp sets you’ve had your eye on! To get your FREE stamp set or your $5 (USD & CAD) Hostess Rewards stamp set, simply place an order for $25 (USD & CAD) of any current, retail priced stamps. This offer is available only during the month of July and applies only to the July Stamp of the Month and current Hostess rewards stamp sets, so spring into action and jump on this deal before it’s gone!

(copy from my CTMH page @ )

Artfully Sent… Where have you been all my life??

I am in LOVE with this cricut cartridge!!!  SOOO many awesome cards to make, so little time!! 🙂

The collection comes with three stamp sets, a packet of white daisy paper to get you started, and of course the fabulous cricut cartridge!

This video has only a small amount of ideas you can create…

To get yours, visit my store at: or, to learn more or have a class using the cartridge, contact me at:  I would LOVE to teach you about this!

Just Because…

I’ve been using my new machine, and came up with the card below!

I used retired paper from Close To My Heart, trying to clean up my stock a bit, and brads from a local craft store.  The twine is from CTMH as well as the stamp.

The stamp is in the current IDEA BOOK and is available on my website at

Stamp is called “Happy To Be Friends” and is C1605.  Only $13.95!!

Chalkboard Just Because Card - March 2015

Chalkboard Just Because Card – March 2015