Saturday, 27 December 2014

What are you changing in 2015?


Another Christmas has come and gone. It is startling how fast the years go by when you are raising children. I still expect to see my sleepy eyed babies jumping on my bed Christmas morning to tell us Santa has been at our house. Now we have two sleepy headed tweens and a little guy that is far to old to be considered a baby. (except for in my heart). Each year that goes by it feels like it is harder and harder to keep up with these bundles of joy. I resolve every year to get healthier, eat better, exercise more.....some....just so I can bring my A game to being a parent. Then mid January creeps around. Our routine falls back in place and somewhere amid the boxes and ribbons I pack away my good intentions about changing my bad habits.Sound familiar?

 I met Deborah this year and I was so impressed with her zest for life. She is so committed to changing her life and she is doing it! Talk about inspiring. Not only is she getting healthy, she is building a business based on a product that she believes in and uses herself. I thought I was the only one lucky enough to do that (hello shelves of Close To My Heart treasure). If you want to be inspired to really make a difference in your life this year, you will want to meet my friend Deborah.


New Year’s Resolutions…to resolve or not to resolve



With the holiday season upon us once again it can only mean one thing…those pesky New Year’s Resolutions. According to many sites I found using google, among the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions that are broken are:

Get fit/lose weight

Give up smoking

Learn something new

Eat healthier and diet

Get out of debt and save money

Spend more time with the family

Travel to new places

Stress less

Volunteer

Drink less




Are you like me? Do you make resolutions each year and then before January is over you’ve given up on most if not all of them? Then before the year is up you complete forgotten what you resolved to do.




Most of us resolve to get lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more. The gyms are crowded with new members each January only to have those crowds dwindle before March arrives. We try to diet and that gets too complicated to keep up with and takes away from the resolution to spend more time with family because your meal prep time just increased dramatically or maybe it’s because you’re cranky from eating rabbit food all day and nobody really wants to spend time with you.




I am one of those that resolve to do a number of things each year and really never follow through with any of it. However, I made a discovery in 2013 and it has carried me through 2014 and resolution to finally shed the unwanted and unwelcomed weight I had been carrying around. That discovery was nothing more than a vitamin and mineral supplement. The simplicity of the system is amazing and something that I can manage on a daily basis. It is the simplicity that has kept me consistent. The results are so much more than weight loss, because this system is not a weight loss product. It has provided me with the energy I need, filled in the nutritional gaps that caused the cravings for ho ho’s and bon bon’s and has also alleviated some of the discomfort I was feeling in my body that prevented me from doing so many things.




Are you resolving in 2015 to get healthy or travel more or get out debt and save money or spend more time with your family and friends? If you are, will you please contact me and let me help you keep those resolutions?




My name is Debra Bullis and I am a lifestyle changer.

Text/Phone: 613-827-2654

eMail: ThriveTeamCanada@gmail.com

Monday, 8 December 2014

My Hair's Mini Holiday

Ok, yes....admittedly I may be losing my mind, but I have to tell you it certainly feels like my hair got a holiday. I don't know about you but this crispy cold air has turned my coiffe into crispy fried hair. Luckily my friend Deborah Tang, yep, Deborah from last year's post, suggested a mini spa day for my ailing locks. I am not one of those girls that spend hours each morning perfecting their hair and makeup.....I am more the roll out of bed and tie my hair in a knot on the top of my head type, but still my hair was driving me nuts as it was so frizzy and falling into my face. Deborah lent me this really cute bag with everything I needed to save my hair from an untimely chopping.

The shampoo is Arbonne Pure Vibrance Lustre Fortifying Shampoo. It smells divine. I can't put my finger on the exact scent but its somewhere in the berry area. Its not too fruity or strong. I am really sensitive to strong fragrance so you can trust me when I say its just right.

The conditioner is Arbonne Pure Vibrance Fortifying Conditioner. It does not really have a smell. At least I could not smell it over the lovely shampoo. You know how when your hair is really damaged and you run your hand over it when it is wet you can feel the tangly feel. As soon as I put this conditioner on that was all gone. Poof. Conditioners do remove some of that but not like this. It was literally smooth as silk.

I was already tickled with the performance of the products and then I tried the hair mask. Oh my! My hair's texture totally changed. I thought about doing one of those videos where you see the girl flouncing her gorgeous hair around but I figured you would be laughing too hard to finish reading this post.

The spa did not end there. She lent me a serum....I think more valuable than the serum used to create Captain America. Arbonne Pure Vibrance Colour Last Hair Serum. My hair is not coloured....that will be next weeks post  (be sure to check in) but it does tame your hair and make it shiny and glossy. The final touch was the Arbonne Texturizing Mousse. Ta-Da....a perfect hair day.

Thank you Deborah, I really needed this intervention to save my hair.  If you are having a hair emergency or even just need a glamorous holiday look, Contact Deborah Tang Arbonne District Manager, Independent Consultant deborah.tang@gmail.com or shop Arbonne



Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Warm Cozy Leggings are on Everyone's Christmas List This Year

Have you noticed all the cute leggings that are so hot this winter? I think we all learned from last winter that leggings are the best way to survive the brutal winter months. I saw some at a craft sale the other day....not for sale...they were on someones body...but that did not stop me from asking all about them. They were so stinking cute. My daughter would love to get some for Christmas so I went on the hunt for the cutest ones I could find. I have to admit I was surprised at the difference in the quality. I could find some for $9 at the GT Boutique which were really not very soft and cozy and there are some at the Mall but I did not like the patterns. As fate would have it my friend Vicki has signed with a company that sells them through an affiliate system. That counts as buying local to me. So this totally fits in with my plans to try to buy the bulk of my Christmas gifts from local women in business. Then I found out that they are launching December 1st. Its a brand new company that is here to capitalize on our need for cozy leggings. I love it. I signed up under Vicki because my Mama didn't raise any fools. The kit comes with four pairs of leggings for less than $40. Then I can get 25% off all the leggings that I am going to end up buying for myself and my daughter anyway. Did I tell you how much I love this idea. If you are like me and are thinking that this is a great way to get some awesome cozy legging for everyone on your list email me and I will send you information on becoming a Buskins affiliate.  mygrandmasteacups@gmail.com

Buskins Affiliate Program

Friday, 21 November 2014

Family Photo Traditions At Christmas Time - Guest Post By Sarah Kirby

It's funny how little things become traditions without even noticing. 
One year you bake cookies and the next year your kids expect that you'll be baking cookies. One year you decorate the tree while watching Miracle On 34th Street and ... well, you get the idea. 
For my family, the "silly Christmas couch picture" seems to be a tradition we've had for a few years now and I don't see it leaving us anytime soon.
Because I'm a photographer, it's perfectly normal for me to never be in any family photos. Unless it's a cell phone "selfie", I'm the one behind the camera.
So, I started using my tripod to get at least one family photo with me in it. (We could be like the Simpsons!)
My husband is uncomfortable posing for photos, my girls are not (because of their years with a mom who always has the camera out). 
While I was taking some test shots to make sure the light was right, my girls used the time to make some faces and help Mike relax a bit. 
Somehow, a perfectly lovely happy family photo turned into complete silliness and that silliness has evolved into one of our most fun traditions.
I do still get my perfectly lovely happy family photo too!





A few years ago we tried a "photobooth".  
I set up our little "booth" at the end of a hallway by tapeing a sheet to the wall. Our light source was a floorlamp with the shade removed.
I used my good camera on a tripod but I discovered that there are several "apps" out there that will do some really neat images like Photomat (free) and Pocketbooth (.99 cents). You don't have to have a big camera with a tripod to try it out.     
This hasn't become a tradition for us ... yet. But it was a hoot and definitely calls for a round 2 this year now that I have a home studio.




"What are your family photo traditions at Christmas time? If you don't have one, maybe this is your year to experiment! Have fun with it."


Sarah is the owner of Imagine Photography

About Sarah Kirby

My name is Sarah Kirby and I live in Belleville, Ontario with my husband Mike and my daughters Becca and Brianna, all of whom are tremendous supporters of Imagine Photography. In 2007 I began a second career as a scrapbooking consultant and it was through this work that my passion for photography developed. I began to see photos from a different perspective, imagining what they might look like in a scrapbook and how they might best be taken to preserve memories for a lifetime.

My passion (some might say "obsession”) eventually led to taking pictures for friends and family and that passion for photography was fueled even more. Through photography courses, I constantly strive to upgrade my knowledge, skills and equipment so that I can give you, the customer, the highest quality photos and the best overall experience possible.

From 2012 to 2014 I lived in and visited seven countries on three different continents. This experience not only gave me a deeper appreciation of diverse cultures, but also allowed me to photograph some of the most beautiful places on earth. Egypt’s Great Pyramids, Jordan’s ancient city of Petra, and Kenya’s Masai Mara are just a few of the locations I have been privileged to photograph. (please visit my Blog pages to view the travel photography or my Landscape page if you are interested in buying an image. Egypt/Kenya/Jordan Blog and Thailand/New Zealand/Ecuador Blog)

Now that I have re-settled in the Quinte area, I am ready to devote all of my efforts to serving my customers and creating beautiful and lasting memories

Find Sarah on Facebook

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Meet My Friend Sarah and Sneak Peek at November Posts.

Its always nice when out of the blue you have the opportunity to get to know someone new. I was lucky enough to meet Sarah a few months ago in a fb group and we became quick friends. Sarah was kind enough to agree to guest post this week about Family Photos. I know this is something that I start to think about this time of year. Will they be formal shots of the whole family or just the kids dressed up in their Christmas best? I can't wait to share Sarah's "take" on the whole situation.

Join us this Friday for Sarah's informative yet unorthodox post.

Also, be sure to check back later in the month for articles from other guest bloggers about holiday entertaining, keeping holiday stress in check, eating right and staying healthy during the holidays and more.

Did you visit the Heroes Of The City Giveaway yet? Those wonderful folks are at it again. This time you can win a $25 Amazon card. Winners will be drawn every day December 1st-25, 2014.

Enter to win here: 
http://is.gd/HGIxtD

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Jumpstart You Christmas Card Making: Christmas Angel

Not exactly a jumpstart at this point so I saved the easiest of the three cards for today. I also felt it was an excellent card to tie into the celebration in the church today of All Souls Day. When you are finished making these lovely cards take a moment to say a little prayer for those that have gone before us.

Materials:

Colonial White Cardstock
Colonial white Card base
Crystal Blue Cardstock
Crystal Blue Ink
Slate Ink
Green & Blue Adhesive Dots
Adhesive
Sing Glory Stamp Set (Hostess Exclusive Set) message me to order.
Embossing Folder ( I used a cuttlebug swirls)
Cricut Art Philosophy





Run your colonial white card base through your embossing machine. Make sure to only emboss the front of the card. Using your Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge you will want to cut a crystal blue tag shape with a coordinating colonial white inset layer. It does not matter what shape you choose. The diecut will measure 4x5 and the insert needs to be just smaller than that. Stamp your angel stamp in crystal ink. There will be a bit of the stamp hanging over the edge but don't worry it will still look incredible. Stamp the sentiment in slate. Adhere the layers and add your bling and you have a quick yet beautiful card to get in the mail. Bravo!

Traditionally Soul Cakes were given out on All Soul's Day. A quick rendition that we use around here is plain old fashioned doughnuts. So feel free to grab a plain doughnut today to help you reflect on the those that have gone before us. Blessings my friends.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Jumpstart Your Christmas Cardmaking: Pop-Up Nativity Card

Who doesn't love a good pop-up card? This card requires a wee bit of fussy cutting but the end result is so cute that its worth the effort.


Materials:

I used Glory To God Stamp Set (Retired) but the new version is Reason For The Season (You can also use the diecut pieces that are included in the design file in artfully sent)
Embossing Folder (I used a frame folder from Cuttlebug)

The best way to tackle this card is to work on it as two separate cards and then put them together. 

Cut a 41/4 x 51/2 piece of colonial white cardstock. Using your embossing folder create the frame impression. Next stamp your city background in desert sand ink. Next add your sentiment, wisemen and star in Cocoa. Using a sponge lightly ink your sky using crystal blue ink and the ground using desert sand. Allow the ink to dry completely and then adhere it to the front of your card base.

Using your artfully sent cricut cartridge select the Nativity Pop Up Design from page 46 of your instruction booklet. You will see all the layers you need appear. Once you have cut the pieces out of colonial white and desert sand you will want to carefully fold the pop up base. The easiest way to do this is by folding the card in half like a regular card using your bone folder and then go back and gently push alternating slotted areas forward. Once you have all your folds done attach it to the desert sand base liner. I find it is easier to line the characters up once it is stable (no pun intended). If you need to stamp your images now is the time to do it and then fussy cut them before adhering to their steps.We stamped our Creche right on the back of the card so that Jesus and his family would seem to be inside it.  Stamp your sentiment in the bottom right hand corner with cocoa ink. Once you have your nativity scene together you can gently adhere it to the card base. Voila you are a pop-up card whiz.


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Jump Start Your Christmas Card Making - Mary & Babe Card

The countdown to Christmas has officially begun in my house. Once the first Christmas card classes occur I
know that time will start to pass quickly and I have to put myself into high gear. I love the way that our first set of cards turned out. The ladies in the club had allot of fun with the design and I hope you will too.

The first card in the series is the Mary & Babe Card.


Mary & Babe Stamp Set

Materials:

Water Colour Pencils 
Chocolate Ink
Adhesive
Colonial White Envelope
Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge (or scalloped oval and oval punch)
Crystal Blue Cardstock
White Daisy Cardstock
Colonial White Cardstock
Mary & Babe Stamp Set


Cut a 81/2 x 51/2 sheet of crystal cardstock to create a card base (I used my cricut and the damask decor cartridge to get the edge you see pictured.) If your design requires a liner like mine did be sure to cut the coordinating piece out of colonial white cardstock.

Using your punches or cricut cartridge cut a scalloped oval out of crystal blue and a liner for it out of colonial white. Cut an additional oval out of white daisy that fits just inside the blue shape. I cut an additional oval frame out of colonial cardstock to frame my focal image but the other ladies chose to leave that piece out.

Using the Mary and Babe stamp from Close To My Heart stamp the image on the white daisy oval. Colour with your favourite water colour pencils. If you want to wet the image after colouring be sure that you used an archival ink. If you would rather use your alcohol based markers you will want to use MEMENTO ink.

Use Pop dots to mount your focal image to the blue scalloped oval and then to the card base.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Think Pink This October

Hello Friends. This is my friendly reminder to do a breast self examination. Not just the ladies but men also. October is Breast Cancer awareness month but checking yourself regularly should be as much of your routine as trimming your nails or getting your hair cut. Just do it. If you find anything that has changed make sure you talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner.

 Think Pink Shop
Think Pink Shop
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation of Ontario has an excellent website to provide you with information about reducing your risk, screening and what to expect. Spend a few minutes educating yourself about breast cancer as early detection dramatically increases survival rate.

To my friends that are fighting this battle right now know that you beat this. Whether it is your first battle or your fifth I know you can do it.


Friday, 10 October 2014

Harvest Colours Make Incredible Backdrops - Giveaway from camera Kiki

Even today as I was returning home from cleaning out my trailer for the season I was struck by the incredible colours this fall. I am loving all the golds and yellows with the odd sprinkling of fiery red. It reminded me that this is a perfect time for family photos. As luck would have it my friend Camera Kiki was ever so generous and has offered a portrait session (perfect for families, couples, individuals, pets), it has a regular price of $150 and includes up to one hour and high resolution edited images to print & share.


Its easy to enter for a chance to win: just tweet, fb and be generally social. This giveaway is open to everyone on the condition that you are willing to travel to the amazingly lovely Prince Edward County for the photo shoot (on your own...no free travel included :) ) Can you tell I am a County Girl. Good luck guys. Make sure you share this giveaway and also the winners pictures.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Camera Kiki is incredibly talented. Want to learn more?

Visit Camera Kiki on Facebook or join the mailing list Camera Kiki Newsletter

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Susan's Dog Treats Giveaway!!!

Susan Rossy, Owner of Susan's Dog Treats has offered to host a giveaway for our launch of Titan and Legend Blog Dogs. I figured since everyone else in my family is a test subject for reviews and samples it was time my young fur babies stepped up and took some of the spotlight.. Susan joined us last fall in our All I want for Christmas blog series and we are excited to work with her again. Titan and Legend are definitely big fans of her work.

Her peanut butter and bacon dog treats are favourites of not only my precocious pups but of my Mother's pampered pooches as well. I will post Titan & Legends Reviews tomorrow....as brief as they were...my dog's are pups of few words...

Enter to win a prize pack for your four legged family member and you will find out that homemade is by far a better treat than dry old store bought biscuits.





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 25 September 2014

10 Tax Tips for Owners of a Home-Based Business


10 Tax Tips for Owners of a Home-Based Business



It’s not tax season yet, but thinking about and planning for next spring can be an important for your tax strategy. After all, by the time you get around to looking at your situation, it’s too late to take any action.

When you file taxes as a solo business owner, things are more complicated than those days when you may have a received a tax form (T4) from a single employer. However, you've also got plenty of opportunities to trim your tax bill.


1. Deduct your Home Office




To qualify your home office as a legitimate business expense, it’s got to be a place that is used exclusively for business activities. If your kitchen table doubles as your work desk, you won't be able to deduct it. But, if you've got a dedicated room for an office, or even a portion of a room, you'll be able to deduct some of your housing costs. Look at the square footage of your office area and divide that by the total square footage to find the percentage of the housing costs that you can deduct as a business expense. This percentage can be applied to the rent expense, the mortgage interest paid, and the property taxes paid for the “office space”.



2. Home Utilities



If you're taking a home office deduction, you’re also able to deduct a portion of your utility bills—namely your monthly heating and electricity bills. You can also deduct some of your broadband/Internet bill, your cell phone bill and repairs and maintenance to the “office space” but you've got to take into account that you most likely use your home broadband for non-work purposes as well.


3. Office Supplies



Don't forget all the paper, ink toner, postage, paper clips, etc. that you purchase. These are all fully deductible (provided you can prove you’re using them for your business). How about your new computer or iPad? These can also be deducted. However, keep in mind that if you only have one tablet or laptop, then most likely you're also using it for personal purposes as well. And in this case, you can only expense the percentage of how much the equipment is used for business (i.e. 50% or 60%).


4. Travel Expenses



Did you attend a conference this year? Do you travel to meet a client (and aren’t reimbursed for those costs)? If so, you can deduct these expenses. Here’s what you need to know:

· You can deduct any transportation costs (plane tickets, bus fare, taxis, airport parking, rental car)

· You can deduct your lodging and tips

· You can deduct 50% of your meals for business days

Also, keep in mind that if you have an out-of-town business day on Friday and one on Monday, you’re also allowed to deduct your lodging and meal costs from over the weekend too!


5. Automobile Expenses



If you're working from home, you obviously can't deduct any kind of daily commute—you also can’t deduct your morning trip to the local coffee house (no matter how necessary it might be!). But if you travel to meet a client, perform a job outside the home, purchase business supplies, conduct research, or do any other kind of activity for your job, you can deduct this travel. That includes a standard mileage deduction (or public transit fares), parking, and tolls. To keep the CRA from your door, remember, keep a log of the miles that you drive for business. In the long run, you are going to appreciate this extra step at tax time.


6. Taking a Client out to Lunch



Taking a client out to lunch is a time-honored tradition, but it also causes its fair share of issues tax-wise. First, you can only deduct 50% of the meal, not the whole thing. Secondly, do not go overboard. Revenue Canada red flags this specific deduction when you are a small business.


7. Upgrade your Office Space



If you've been thinking about a new desk, office chair, bookcase, task lamp, or other office furniture, keep in mind that these are all allowable deductions. Trying to expense a new painting might be a stretch, unless you bring clients to your home office.


8. Health Insurance



Self-employed individuals (including sole proprietors) may be able to deduct the cost of health insurance for themselves. Note, you cannot expense health insurance paid on your spouse’s work plan.


9. RRSP’s



Small business owner’s starting out usually have tight cash flows. This is expected. But taking advantage of all your deductions to decrease income is one of your best way’s to defer paying the “tax man”. Set up your RRSP and contribute a minimum amount. You will thank yourself at a later date.


10. Don’t Cheat or Lie



It’s not over when you file your return. Audit season comes next, and the Canada Revenue Agency can ask for your refund money back, with interest, if they disagree with your return.

If you have something to hide, consider making a correction sooner rather than later. The onus is on you to show you have not understated your income, or overstated your deductions or credits. If you can't do that, you may face a penalty of 50 per cent of the taxes you owe.

Worse, if there was a willful intent to cheat the government, you will be charged with the crime of tax evasion. The penalty can be up to 200 per cent of the tax evaded, plus interest and gross negligence penalties too — and in severe cases, jail.


Final Thoughts

If you have any questions or concerns, it’s always best to consult with a tax professional. There’s no reason you should have to pay more than you're supposed to. If you have any questions, or wish to discuss your personal tax situation, please feel free to call us today. We would love to help you with your personal tax situation.



Tammatha Denyes
TD Accounting Services
www.tdaccountingservices.ca

We Take Care of Your Books
So You can Take Care of Your Business
Certified ProAdvisor, Quickbooks Desktop
Certified ProAdvisor, Quickbooks Online
Member, Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada

P – (613) 921-2993

F – (866) 375-4844

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tilander-Mack Menswear



How exciting! My Gal Pal Barb Tilander-Mack just opened her amazing new menswear store in Napanee. I had a chance to stop in last week and can't wait to head back with my Hubby in tow. She is carrying an amazing array of quality mens clothing. Several of the folks from my camp bought shorts from Barb this summer and loved getting top name clothes without having to head to the suit shop. She carries Dockers, American Eagle, Dickies and more.

 If that is not exciting enough, Signed By Barb is residing ever so conveniently in the back room. Which means ladies, you can have your husband shopping for his much needed wardrobe updates while you secretly conspire with Barb for that super cool custom pink glittered T-Shirt with your catch phrase on it.

Barb's amazing new shop is located right on Market Square in Napanee.

Direct Seller's Tip: Custom Logo Wear is always in style
Tilander-Mack Menswear

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Get Ready for Tax Season??

Hello Friends.

We are already almost to October and that means it is time to start gathering the information you need to file your taxes next year. Yes, i know that we do that in the new year, but waiting until the last moment to get your papers in order could be costing you and your business. This week we are fortunate to have Tammatha Denyes sharing her tips for Small Business taxes. The best time to start getting organized was yesterday. The second best is today! Put a sticky note on your computer screen and a note on your debit card. You need to get some new file folders and a few envelopes and start getting those receipts in order. Come back Thursday to see Tammatha's great tax tips. You can also join Tammatha's email list to have all the latest information sent right to your inbox. I can't wait to start crossing items of my tax planning to do list.


Sunday, 21 September 2014

From One Scrapbooker to Another

Women are a funny breed. If we find something that we love we immediately want to share it with all of our girlfriends so they can enjoy it too. Men, not so much. They don't seem to reap the same warm fuzzy feeling from knowing that they are introducing their buddy to something that they might like. TOO BAD FOR THEM!!!!!

I will apologise in advance for the fact that this post was supposed to written earlier in the summer. Between trips to the trailer and running the kids all over the countryside I have not had a chance to share. In hindsight this may be a better opportunity though as there may be more of you sitting home today sipping a leisurely cup of coffee thinking about the possibilities the day holds. Here is my advice....head to Kingston.

Several years ago my friend and I were out on one of our adventures (which always included shopping and copious amounts of white hot chocolate with whipped cream). She was showing me a tool that she had purchased at Marchant's. I gave her a quizzical look as I was not sure where she was talking about. She was pretty happy that she had the inside scoop this time as I was usually the one in the  know when it came to scrapbooking supplies. We immediately did a turnabout and headed to Kingston. Have you ever seen the eyes of small child the first time they see Santa Clause at the Mall? It was Christmas, my birthday and Easter all rolled up in one beautiful store of wall to wall crafty goodness. From floor to ceiling there are rows of stamps, glitter and spray. Embossing folders, cutting dies, ink, embellishments and more adorn the walls. Then you see the paper. Bo Bunny, Basic Grey.......GRAPHIC 45!!!!! I was in scrapbooking heaven.

Needless to say Marchant Paper Memories has become a must stop at spot every time I head to Kingston. I have to say though, the real treasure there is in fact not the yummy collection of all things paper. The owners are incredible. I spent a wonderful hour chatting it up as I was regaled  with tales of  how they rocked the first Scrapfest in Kitchener, about taking designers out for supper and having waiters spill water down their chest, getting a wrong number from Tim Holtz. I could have sat there and listened all afternoon if I had the time.

I decided that even though they don't sell Close to My Heart supplies....they were just too good not to share with all my lovely scrappy friends. Do yourself a favour and spend an afternoon browsing their shelves in search of your own scrapping treasure. But be warned, friendships are tested when there is only one pad of Graphic 45 on the shelf. Hurry up, get over there....your next masterpiece is just waiting to be created.

Marchant Paper Memories
1187 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7M 3E1

Friday, 1 August 2014

Spine Expander

It's Finally August 1st...The New Annual Inspiration Book goes live.

Well I was pretty sure that I was going to explode in anticipation of this new book. I also had the sneaking suspicion that one of my girlfriends might strangle me if I did not share the catalogue but that is another story. Have you had a chance to oogle over the new items yet? My mind is just swimming with all the project ideas I have for this season.

I am loving the new ink colours, the holiday papers and the new additions to the My Crush Line. Did I mention the Base and Bling....oh my! I feel a bit guilty as I am wanting to be home playing in the studio rather than being out camping, but who could blame me when there are such yummy new supplies to be had.



You can visit my site to check out the new book My Grandma's Teacups  or you can order a copy for yourself and have it with you all summer. Mine already has soft worn edges from continuous use.

If you want to get your hands on all these goodies place an order, if you want to get them free or discounted book a party. If you want it all.....join my team!


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Heroes of The City Baby App

Exciting news! We are teaming up with Heroes of The City once again to bring you another amazing giveaway! Heroes of The City has launched their new app that is designed especially for wee ones.

Here’s some facts about the Baby app:

"The app is completely free, with no advertising and has no in-app purchases. Everything in the app is designed for the youngest children. The app is easy to use, entertaining, educational and will inspire our children to be creative. This app takes the smallest children seriously and we have specially designed everything in the app to suit children between 0-2 + years."


The app includes:

• 3 animated short movies (Language: English and Swedish )
• Music Panel with two different themes
• Color and shape game
• Magic coloring game
• Balloon Game

In celebration of the launch of the new App I will be inviting several of the Mama's I know to bring their little ones over to test drive this cute new product. Be sure to check back over the next few weeks to see what the "baby reviewers" thought of Heroes of the City Baby! We will announce the giveaway prize in that post, along with all the details of how you can win. If you missed out on the last giveaway be sure to enter this time. Remember there will be extra chances for entries by tweeting and posting about the giveaway!





Do you want to try the Baby App too! Just follow the links to get your copy.


App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/heroes-of-the-city-baby-app/id860084935?mt=8

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rutaett.HeroesBaby&hl=en

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQIZNADyAdMEWhjM8cq7ROw

I hope your family falls in love with Heroes of The City as much as mine. These cute, colourful characters will inspire your little ones to be Heroes too!

Monday, 2 June 2014

June Stamp of the Month: Kaboom

Have you started planning all those summer celebrations yet? This month Close To My Heart is offering the cutest stamps set that would be just perfect for your Canada Day Celebration invitations, cards and layouts. Its called Kaboom! You can snag this set for only $5 with a qualifying purchase in June. Be sure to take advantage of the anniversary kit offer at the same time. Have fun creating with these explosive deals.



Don't limit yourself to fireworks and picnics. I see this set being used for an action hero type layout for my five year old. Bam, Bang, KABOOM! Love it.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Celebrate 30 Years of Creativity with an AMAZING Offer from Close To My Heart

Do you remember when you were a kid and had the chance to go to a birthday party? The games and the cake were all so much fun....but honestly, weren't you a bit excited to get that loot bag at the end? I was! In celebration of Jeanette Lynton's 30 Years in the papercrafting industry Close To My Heart has cooked up some wonderful goodies for us to enjoy. Consider this your invitation to the party!


These are the goody bags! Your choice for only $30 with a qualifying purchase.




Thursday, 22 May 2014

Capturing the Magic in your Layouts

This is one of my favourite stamp sets from the 2014 Spring/Summer Close To My Heart Catalogue. It makes me feel nostalgic for the days when my not so little girl still believed in the tooth fairy. I love working on layouts that preserve that feeling of enchantment. The simple belief in the existance of magic. Unicorn Dreams is that kind of stamp set. I have a laundry list of things that I am planning to use this on. If you fall in love with this set as much I have please contact your Close To My Heart Consultant...or me if you are in Canada to arrange to have a party of your own. This stamp set is a Hostess Exclusive. There are many ways to host a party to earn this cute set...catalogue, Facebook or a Home Gathering are all fun and easy ways to get your hands on all the free and discounted goodies that Close To My Heart offers to their Hostesses. Visit My Grandma's Tea Cups Close To My Heart for more information. Any order over $150 (before taxes and shipping) counts as a party and qualifies you to purchase this set for only $10. Of course, with an order of $150 you get $25 in your choice of free products so you may even choose to receive this magical set for free.


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

New Collections from Close To My Heart

One of the most frequent questions I receive from new papercrafting enthusiasts is "what do I need to get started?" My answer is almost always the same, "That depends on what you want to do." Papercrafting is a huge area of techniques, products and tools. Without having at least an idea of what you would like to try first it is quite easy to find yourself overwhelmed with the huge selection of papers, inks, tools and goodies. The problem is that we often purchase products with no clear plan for what we intend to use them for. I am sure that is how many of us began our hoarding issues. The colours and textures available are amazing and it is so easy to give in to the lure of the pretty designs. By having an idea about the specific area you would like to try first it is much easier to purchase supplies that will help you achieve the desired results. I find that cardmaking it often a great place to start. It takes very few supplies and has no real pressure or the  time commitment required that jumping into making a scrapbook for your daughter's graduation gift may bring. Close to My Heart has come out with some exceptional collections to help you get your papercrafting off the ground!

Contact me or visit My Grandma's Tea Cup's Close To My Heart. Be sure to click shop and then product collections to view all the details about these must have kits.

I would start with either the Essentials Toolkit or the Stamping Basics and then build your collection out from there.







Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Herbal Essences: Naked

Since my teenage years oh so very long ago I have been a fan of Herbal Essences. I have pretty much always had thick curly hair so I was constantly trying new combinations to tame my unruly locks. I used to call it my "Curly Cocktail". I think my first job was merely to keep me in hair products. Times change and so do the needs of our hair. My hair is still very curly but now I have to be careful about strong scents and allergens in products as it can trigger my asthma.

The Herbal Essences sample that I received in my Buzz Kit  to review impressed me. It does have a scent but it is not a strong floral smell. It also does not overpower you. I think people with severe allergies to scents might find it a bit irritating but for me, I thought it was just right.

My hair felt really smooth when I washed it with the Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner. It certainly did not feel like there was any residue left behind.

The part of the sample that I fell in love with was the Souffle. It really did add a ton of volume to my hair. It kept my curls in shape and bouncy all day. Absolutely loved it.

If you are in the market for a new hair collection you should definitely try Herbal Essences Naked.


I invited some of my friends to try a sample of Herbal Essences Naked and after the initial shock and a quick clarification of what they were being asked to do they agreed.

Niki said :I love it, made my hair feel great. I would definately buy it.

Kelly said: I loved it! I went away to Ottawa last weekend and forgot to pack my normal hair products. Thank goodness I had the Herbal Essence samples in my purse:). I used them and was a little worried-not my regular product/hair with a mind of its own/no product to use before straightening! But my hair went off without a hitch! I have been using it all week with great results! Thanks so much:)

Kelly#2 will let us know how she likes it soon.

I really liked this line of products and would definately...and did....recommend it to my friends. Try it for yourself and find out what all the buzz is about!

Disclaimer: I am a Buzz Agent...sometimes they send me free stuff to try...like this...but I get to tell you my opinion of the product. #GotItFree

Friday, 9 May 2014

Favourite Recipes Are Meant To Share

One of the wonderful things about being a papercrafter is the myriad of products available to make our projects exactly the way we envision it. If you are like me, sometimes that looming collection of possibilities is overwhelming and you really just want to focus on the project at hand.  I find this is true in baking too. Some days I want to experiment with different ingredients and flavours, others days I just want to know exactly what to put in the bowl to get the desired result.

Close To My Heart has a wonderful collection of "how to" books that are recipes for beautiful well designed cards and layouts. If you are just beginning with scrapbooking Reflections is a perfect place to start. As you progress with new skills and techniques you can move on to Cherish and Imagine and then Magic. Cardmakers will delight in all the ideas in the Originals and Wishes books. If you are interested in something with a bit of everything included you are in need of the Make it From The Heart Books. After over 15 years of papercrafting I still reach for these books to give me a kick start to my projects.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the these titles please visit my website http://mygrandmasteacups.ctmh.com



Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Quick Crafting with Class

National Scrapbooking Month

What are you doing to CELEBRATE National Scrapbooking Month? This fun kit is available for just $5 with a $50 purchase. Guess what: You can still get your Stamp of The Month for $5! Go ahead and double up on the May deals.  After all,  National Scrapbooking Month comes but once a year....treat yourself! 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Cropping for a Cause


Hello friends.  I have been very busy the last couple of weeks getting ready for what turned out to be a wonderful day with an amazing group of women.  Originally we planned the event in support of the Relay for Life Team that my son has been on for the last few years.

After months of planning the event and after paying for the hall the team folded. Ironically I had been at a meeting of 31 gifts consultants that same day and had met a woman who's father needed a kidney transplant. I am a huge believer that God puts us where he wants us to be so I was sure that this was a sign that we should continue with the event and give the proceeds to this local family.

After having most of the vendors and croppers pull out at the last minute because it was no longer in support of Cancer I was ready to throw in the towel. After prayerful consideration and a looooooooonnnnnnnnnngggggg discussion with my husband (who is always my sounding board in situations like this) I made the decision to proceed and just accept whatever happened.  What happened turned out to be a wonderful day!

The vendors that came were quite possibly the nicest bunch of direct sales people I have ever met. The Scrapbookers were a cozy little group that spending the day with was a delight.

At lunch time we sat at tables to the side of the hall in small groups of 2-4 women. At supper time we put all the pizza on one table and strung the other tables together so that we could all be together. My husband had quite a chuckle when he realized we had all been sitting there eating pizza and sharing stories for over an hour without noticing. We bought things off each other, learned from each other and laughed so much my sides are still a bit sore.

We may not have raised a ton of money for the family but we raised $127 which is not bad. I will continue to brainstorm ideas to raise more money as part of my charitable plan for this year.

I love love love Scrapbooking, but scrapbooking for a cause was an incredible experience.  What can you do to use your creative skills for a good cause? Cards to shut ins? Crafts with kids groups? It is an amazing feeling to use the gifts God has given each of us to make others lives a bit better.



Please visit our amazing new friends: (I will add the links as I receive them )
Pampered Chef- Chantele
Ahna & Zoe- Claudette
Thirty-One Gifts - Julie
Scentsy - Lisa
Organo Gold- Yvonne










Wednesday, 2 April 2014

April's Stamp Of The Month



The stamp of the month for April has got to be one of the cutest sets this spring. Imagine all the projects you will be able to create with this adorable collection of "blurbs" and "chat balloons".

Balloon Talk is available to purchase for just $5 with a qualifying purchase in April. It has 24 sweet sentiments that will have you stamping happily for every occasion.




To order this adorable set just visit my site at My Grandma's Tea Cups Close To My Heart

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Now is the Time to let your Creativity Make Your Dreams Reality

Have you been dreaming of starting out on a new adventure? Last year, that was me. By chance I was invited to party at a new neighbours house. I had heard of Close To My Heart as I was an avid scrapbooker. I even owned a couple of the cricut bundles and a few stamps.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would sign up to be a consultant and a year later have my own business that I love, an amazing scrapbook club, a downline of enthusiastic consultants, a schedule of classes and workshops and so much more.  My life has changed in ways that I can not begin to describe.  Are you ready to take that first step? During the month of April, Close To My Heart is offering an incredible package, The consultant kit contains over $300 in products and supplies and costs only $99.


If you reach your sales goals of $1200 for your first quarter they will give you your enrollment fee back so the kit is free. 

For the month of April only new consultants get their choice of one of our three exclusive Cricut bundles. FREE!!! $99 value




If you are unsure of the cartridge bundle that suits you best Senior Director Melissa Laverty created a really helpful video:





Don't miss this incredible opportunity to follow your dreams. I did and now I can't imagine my world without Close To My Heart. Take the leap and join my team ------------------------------> Your dream starts here------------->