Cards, Christmas, Crafting, CTMH, Scrapbooking

Close to My Heart – Seas & Greetings

Have you seen the new paper line Seas & Greetings from CTMH? This design paper is so stinkin cute! It is decorated with snowmen that are outfitted in summer clothing and accessories. Can you say Christmas in a tropical location??

I love the idea of this paper so much that I did order a pack! I don’t have any island holidays, but I do have some cute papercrafting ideas for it for holiday packaging and gifts!

Here is the Cardmaking kit which is on sale if you are a VIP! I Item # VIP114. I just love the designs of these cards!

Winter Scrapbook Workshop Item# VIP113

Here is the scrapbooking kit available HERE. These pages are darling! There is always extra pieces leftover from the kits to make a few cards too! This is such a great deal since you are also getting the stamp set AND the thin cuts!

If you can’t get enough of this cute Christmas paper, please come back and join me for my 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS projects coming soon! These will be great for last-minute gift ideas, gift wrapping ideas, and more! I’ll be using Close to My Heart paper, Seas & Greetings, Christmas Story, and Freshly Baked.

I will start posting THIS WEEK my 1st Day of Christmas idea! See you soon and happy crafting!

CTMH, Halloween, Scrapbooking

Boo Crew Scrapbook Layout

Okay, now that another Halloween is in the books, how will you scrapbook the memories?

I used one of my favorite paper packs called Boo Crew 👻 to create a quick Halloween layout. I loved the colors of this pack! The stickers of bats, candy, and the banner added something super cute to this!

Boo Crew

This paper pack is still available, and FaBooless is! You can purchase through my site HERE.

There’s also this cute stamp set to match the paper pack and of course some shiny embellishments! These cute ghosts can be purchased HERE. I hope you have fun scrapbooking all of your halloween photos! My kids are still little enought to Trick-or-Treat so we did go out with them for about 2 hours. They both got a total of about 8 pounds of candy! We love to use all the candy to decorate our gingerbread houses in November and December! We will definitely post pictures this year 🙂 What do you do with all of your candy?

CTMH, Life, Writing

Realtor’s Commission Revealed. That’s It. I’m done. I’m going All In.

So for the 2+ years that my husband has been self employed (realtor), I must say they’ve been the hardest in our journey together. We moved, we had to rent again, then we were able to buy (which was a blessing) but it’s definitely not our dream home. (1,200 Sq ft, 4 of us, 1 car garage) Life has been a struggle for sure. We have been able to buy things and go on amazing vacations, but when the market slows down or we have a few slow months, we have no income coming in. This is scary.

So I finished my degree and was telling my husband I can fall back on that if being a loan officer/realtor doesn’t work out. I convinced him to let me quit my 40hr work week great paying job to start a new career. It is tough. Working on commission is such a struggle. People think realtors make thousands of dollars for doing hardly Anything and that is BS. It is one of the hardest, most challenging jobs. You have to be available for texting/phone calls whenever your clients need you, go to showings sometimes an hour away from home, work with people that say they’ll work with you and then never sign an exclusive right to buy contract, pay hundreds of dollars out of pocket before you even see a paycheck. I’ll breakdown my costs briefly, since becoming a realtor in June:

Expenses for my real estate business:

  • Real estate course & materials Kaplan $833.05
  • Licenses and fees with Dora $150
  • Extra study prep materials $45
  • Exp realty registration $149
  • Pikes Peak Association of Realtors $600
  • Brokerage (desk) Fee $85/mo x 5 months = $425
  • Suprabox membership $18/mo x 5 months = $90
  • Marketing campaign $300
  • Office supplies $113.00
  • Mileage driving to meet clients so far….?? Estimated maybe 500 miles

Total costs paid out: $2,705 , + mileage ($.625/mile) = $312.50 = $3,017.50!!

So let’s put this into perspective… when I sell a house (I hope to this month!!) IF I sell a house that is $325,000, = $9,750 commission (WOW!!) BUT….. I will walk away with roughly $3,120.

Commission breakdown:

  • Team split Zillow lead -50% $4,875
  • EXP company -20% $975
  • Taxes roughly 20% = $780

After I pay my business account the $3,120 this barely covers my expenses to date. And doesn’t even cover the fact that I didn’t get paid anything since June, July, August, September, and October. (We had to use money in savings to get by)

Ok that’s my rant about real estate commission. Now for the good part. I have been able to go on several amazing vacations because I have a flexible schedule and did not have to ask a “boss” if I could have time off, husband’s side of business was good (at the time) so we were able to pay cash, I have been able to take my kids to school and pick up, help them with their homework, spend breaks and summer with them, and just be free to do what we want to do. it’s been amazing.

I now have time to work on a business for me. I have time to have side hustles, at least until real estate takes off. If it never does, maybe the hustle will?? Haha 🤣

So I am recommitting myself to being a Close to My Heart Consultant. I know I have viewers (on YouTube) and readers that want to see crafting, card making, and scrapbooking!

So I plan to create a content calendar, post blog entries, YouTube content, and tutorials every week!!! I’m stating this here so everyone of my followers can hold me accountable! I would love for you to follow along with my journey. I promise I’ll be “real”, it will be fun, funny, entertaining, insightful, educational, and crafty! Shit is about to get REAL. 😃

Content Calendar Coming 🔜!!!

Thank you to my followers that are already willing to read my fluff pieces here and have been waiting patiently for me to actually blog about crafting! I have lots to say as I have been stamping/making cards for about 15 years! Let’s Gooooo!!! LFG!!!!


Feeling deflated…

I have just spent the last couple of months creating a business plan and working on opening a brick and mortar business in the Colorado Springs area. I have a partner, my best friend who I was going to do this with. I had a meeting with a businessman/commercial realtor this week. He basically told me that the market is taking a downturn and we are heading into a recession that could be the worst yet. He said honestly we should wait it out and NOT start a business. I am completed deflated and unmotivated. I’m pissed off and personally just annoyed. I feel like I can’t get ahead no matter what I do. I have tried hustling cleaning houses, I have tried being a loan officer, now a part-time realtor (seeing major effects of the recession hitting the housing market). I don’t know what else to do. Where do you go when you feel you can’t lose anymore? I have an entrepreneurial spirit but I can’t get anything off the ground to save my life.

I feel I have worked so hard and still have zero to show for it. I have no one (as far as family) giving out handouts, so it is up to us. WTF. Sorry if this is a vent, but it is. It’s a vent to say I can’t win no matter what I do.

Can I just start life over?

Cards, Crafting, CTMH, Scrapbooking

Just Checking In & A Beach Party!

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since I posted so I thought I would check in! I haven’t been stamping in a while, mostly scrapbooking but I will be stamping soon! I just received a big Close to My Heart order with some awesome beach-themed stamps! Take a look at this pretty paper, scrapbook page, and card ideas! Aren’t they super cute??? You can shop this collection on my website HERE.

Beach Party
Beach Party

The new beach kit is called Beach Party, I ordered the Scrapbooking Kit, and some matching stamps and thin cuts! (Below) Don’t forget to add the super cute Stamp of the Month, Voice of the Sea, which is only $5 if you spend $50, or it is FREE if you are a VIP customer and spend $50.

Voice of the Sea (SOTM)
Beach Party
Floating by to say HI

Until I get my new card-making videos up, please check out my recent videos HERE 🙂

Thanks for stopping by my lovely crafty friends! 😀

Cards, CTMH, Scrapbooking

Smitten Product Bundle – Last Chance!

I am “smitten” with this line of products from Close to My Heart! The design paper is adorable and is great for card making or scrapbooking! One side of the paper is pretty neutral too for any kind of pages.

Last chance because there are limited quantities left! You can shop my store page HERE to order yours today!

Here are some of the sample cards I made using the supplies from the kit.

Smitten Products

I also took my leftover papers and stickers and created my own layouts.

You can shop on my site 24/7 at Thank you for visiting my blog! Happy crafting!

CTMH, Halloween

Boo Crew 2-Page Layout using Close to My Heart Paper Pack

Boo Crew

For this 2-page layout I used the Boo Crew Paper Packet & Sticker Sheet. Item # CC8211 $9.95. I love the stickers on this set! I used one of them to make an embellishment, the cauldron! This set will only be available while supplies last until October 31st, so snag yours while you can!

I used the stickers with foam tape so they would just POP off the page! I also inked all of the edges of paper with our Black Ink Pad, which I think helped them to have some contrast. If you would like to see more on how I put this layout together, please visit my Youtube video HERE. Or click the video below!

Happy Stamping!

Charlene 🙂


Are you a VIP Customer?

If you’re not, now is a great time to sign up! Or if you are, but your membership is expiring, this is a great time to renew!

The VIP program is a chance to earn shopping credit on your purchases while getting access to exclusive product and perks! Pay $35 and get $15 in VIP Credit when you sign up! (yearly membership)

What perks you say? Perks such as this Flower Shop Card Kit! This is an exclusive kit for only VIP customers!

VIP Flower Shop Card Kit $29.95 VIP103

The VIP Flower Shop Card Box comes with materials for creating and storing 15 beautiful cards. With pre-printed card bases, envelopes, an exclusive stamp set, stamping block, and mini ink pad all included, the only thing you need to add is your favorite adhesive! With a variety of interchangeable stamp sentiments, this kit makes it easy to whip up the perfect card for all kinds of occasions. Store your completed cards in the eye-catching box where they’ll be ready for you when you need them.

Get your exclusive kit and card box before supplies run out!!

cooking, food, Gluten Free, Meal Planning

Meal Planning

Here are some FREE meal planning tools I have made for you to make life easier in the kitchen! Each weekly meal plan is 7 days and has recipes for 7 dinners.  (and maybe some bonus desserts!) Also, I planned the meals so the ingredients that you are shopping for can be used for 2 or more of the recipes! These recipes are taken straight from the Pampered Chef Recipe collection and are tested for goodness. 🙂

I also took the liberty of making a SHOPPING LIST for you….WHAT?! I mean, I hear ya, one of the worst things about cooking is that you have to SHOP for what you need amiright?! Just pull up the shopping list when you are ready to shop. Then pull up the Meal Plan Menu and follow the link to the Pampered Chef Recipe* to cook!

I hope you enjoy this help with Menu Planning! Happy Cooking! xoxo




*Recipes are subject to availability on Pampered Chef’s website.